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Pembroke Mafia Football League: Taking one for the teams
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For historians who may someday look back at Pembroke Mafia Football League actions during the latter part of 2021, this is how the effort to keep our local governments from turning one another into newts began.

First, I was informed by text that Christchurch, New Zealand officials just fired the city’s longtime wizard, one Ian Bracknell Channing, who since 1998 for the bargain basement price of $10,000 per year had been performing “acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services,” according to various news services, citing a New Zealand site called Stuff.

Second, Holy Dumbledore.

This news naturally spread like wildfire among the Pembroke Mafia Football League’s quickly formed emergency ad hoc committee to discuss wizard acquisition and deployment. Which at that moment was exactly two of us, it being not only an emergency but a Saturday and a most of us were napping in anticipation of a big day of college football.

“We need to hire this Wizard fellow quick,” said the PMFL emergency ad hoc committee on wizards member not named Jeff, who asked to be kept anonymous or else he’d come around and shoot my porch lights out.

“What are we going to do with a wizard,” the one called Jeff retorted. And yep, that’s me.

“We already have a whole bunch of geniuses who think they can pick football game results before the games even happen,” I continued. “And look at Ben Taylor’s socks! He’s already dressing like a sorcerer from the ankles down. Next thing you know he’ll be wearing purple suits with sparkles.”

The other ad hoc committee member on wizards gave me a look and told me to shut up and use my old noodle, or brain.

“Just think of what could happen if this Wizard falls into the wrong hands. You and I both know Bryan County and the city of Richmond Hill are probably going to be chomping at the bit to hire this guy so he can give him something the other side doesn’t have, which is a wizard who can cast all sorts of spells and cause warts and things.”

I pondered that a bit.

True, Bryan County has made a lot of hires lately and so no doubt would likely jump all over the opportunity to be the only county commission in the Coastal Empire to have its own wizard, but they couldn’t if Richmond Hill beat them to it. And that might well happen.

After all, I have it on good authority anything the county can do the city can do better, or maybe I have that good authority backwards, but the point is whichever side didn’t have a Wizard would be covered in boils and smell like beets and salami. There might be a plague of toads at the Crossroads, or it might rain yellow-eyed eels in Ellabell, depending of course on which side the Wizard was working for.

The cold war would turn into the mold war.

Anyway, the other emergency member of the wizard acquisition ad hoc emergency committee of the Pembroke Mafia Football League elucidated a bit on why we had to get involved in order to save the county, and the world.

“We need to get this guy in order to preserve the balance of power between the county commission and city council,” he said, “because it’s our duty as a Pembroke Mafia to keep either from getting the Wizard. You and I know right now the only thing that keeps either one from annexing the school board is the fact the other side would take them to court, and they’ve already spent two-three years in arbitration deciding who gets paid to flush what toilets.”

That was a scary thought. After all, there are probably all sorts of brother-in-law spells out there to stop up commodes, and no doubt if one side had the Wizard, the other side would be forever calling Roto Rooter Jr.

“But what about pink flamingos,” I asked, because I had heard from a usually trusty source that Richmond Hill is fixing to relocate South of the Border to the new I-95 exit.

It’ll be called Even Further South of the Border. They’ll sell upscale shot glasses and upscale snow globes and mouth watering gator on a stick to the yankees.

You’ll also be able to buy tiny Henry Ford action figures complete with their own golf carts – Salt Life stickers already on the window – as well a change of clothes that include sunglasses, crocs, Bermuda shorts and an “I heart Richmond Hill” t-shirt.

“I hadn’t heard about that,” said the other emergency ad hoc committee member. “But it sounds like a great idea.”

Anyway, after some discussion we decided to send a letter to the Wizard and see if he’d be willing to work for the PMFL.

“Make it sound all lawyery,” said my co-committee member. “Use big words and lots of henceforths and how-do-yeedoos.”

Will do, I said. And I did. I’ll let you know when we get an answer.

Standings through seven weeks.

Former Bryan County News Assistant Editor Theodore O’Neil and PMFL Spiritual Guru the Rev. Lawrence Butler are tied for first with 24 misses each.

PMFL Tractor Parts Minister Mike Clark and Richmond Hill City Clerk Dawnne Greene are in second with 26 misses to date. In third are the aforementioned Mr. Taylor, also known as the county administrator and the tallest human ever to escape Turner County, and me.

PMFL CEO and retired Navy Chief Admiral Petty Officer B.J. Clark, a big wheel in American Legion Post 164 and an expert on everything, is by himself in fourth place. Pine Tree Magnate Bob “Flypaper for Freaks” Floyd is in fifth, Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter “12-term” Infinger is in sixth; District 1 County Commissioner Noah “King of the North” Covington is in seventh; and Bryan County Fire and Emergency Services Chief Freddy “Swamp Diddy” Howell and Ad Hoc Committee Member and Richmond Hill Special Projects Manger Alex “Furry” Floyd are tied for eighth but per BJ are still “a dedicated and happy couple of public servants.”

In ninth is Mike Brown, world’s greatest sportswriter. Mike has more honors and accolades all by himself than the rest of us have put together, and if you’re not careful he’ll tell you all about them.

Mike B: “There I was, standing next to the President and we were discussing his corns for some reason, and he sliced off the tee and hit some hot dog vendor, and Gen. Patton looked over at me and Jim Thorpe and said, ‘there’s a little mustard for you,’” and then I got another medal for quoting people perfectly. Hahah, it was quite a morning. Did I tell you about the time I explained electricity to Elon Musk? It’s a great story. You see, me and Erk Russell and Vince Lombardi were having a limeade ...”

And in 10th is Dr. Gene “Lima Bean” Wallace. He hails from Pooler originally, back when Pooler had about 18 people and I-95 was a dirt road and the kids all had grocery store feet. Those were the days.

This week’s games.

Ole’ Miss vs. LSU: Mike C., Alex, Gene and Jeff pick the Bayou Bengals. Everybody else rolls with the world’s newest biggest hotdog in need of mustard, Lane Kiffin.

Miss. St. vs. Vanderbilt: Dawnne goes it alone in taking Vandy. The Wizard might’ve gotten to her already.

Coastal Carolina vs. Appy: Gene, Lawrence, Bob, Jeff and Freddy take the men who like goats.

Wake Forest vs. Army: Me and Mike C. know who protects this nation and keeps the other branches of the military out of trouble. Everybody else takes the Demon Deacons.

Oregon vs. UCLA: Me, Alex, Noah and Carter take the pastel Bruins. At least we got style.

San Diego State vs. Air Force: B.J. went to Navy boot camp in SD shortly after Pearl Harbor. Me, Alex, Noah and Dawnne take the Aztecs over the Airmen.

Southern Cal vs. Notre Dame: Alex is only one to take the Trojans, but then he’s been acting kind of weird lately.

Wofford vs. Mercer: Bob Floyd and yours truly take the Terriers while the rest pick the Bears.

Savannah State vs. Albenny State: Noah, Dawnne, Bob and Gene pick the Tigers from down on the Marsh. Rest of us pick Albany, and B.J. was stationed at the Naval Air Station there for a while too, shortly before the Spanish American War.

That’s it for this week.

Remember this is all in fun and if you get turned into a newt don’t get mad, go to the polls and vote. Or better, yet, get your own wizard.

Whitten is editor of the Bryan County News. He wears the biggest size hat you can get in stores.

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