This Pembroke Mafia Football League column is somewhat dedicated to Clemson, which is playing Alabama on Monday night for some trophy.
It’s entirely dedicated to Fast Eddie, mostly because when I think of Clemson I think of my own ancestral home in the Upstate of South Carolina and of the fine people who live there.
For those who don’t know him, Fast Eddie was a cousin-in-law of mine until he and my cousin’s daughter split up. He worked for a tree service and I always thought he was a likeable fellow and handy with chainsaws, though as do many of his religion he liked to spend his free time watching online videos of people blowing things up and then trying it at home.
That’s why Fast Eddie blew up a dryer. At least, I think it was a dryer. I got the story second hand from my mother, so it might’ve been a washer.
What I also don’t exactly recall was whether he decided to blow the dryer/washer up because he had lucked into a quantity of a certain explosive I knew in the Army as C-4, or it was the other way around and he kept the C-4 around waiting for a major appliance to come into his backyard, begging to have its door blown off.
Either way, Fast Eddie had motive, opportunity and the means. He even had a backyard, back then.
So, Fast Eddie put the C-4 in the major appliance and backed off to what he thought was a safe distance to watch the fun.
He forgot to duck, too.
The blast sent the door and some other parts flying off at a high rate of speed. The door and other parts hit Fast Eddy and put him in the hospital, probably Oconee Memorial Hospital in Seneca.
He might even have been singed, a little, and smelled like somebody left something on the grill to long.
And his hair might’ve stood up like it does on TV when someone blows up. I do wish he’d shot video.
I’m not sure what Fast Eddie told the folks in the ER to keep them from calling the cops.
I don’t think he told them he was there because he blew up a major appliance. Even Seneca might have an ordinance against that.
I think he might’ve claimed a tree fell on him, or he got hit by a drunk driver, or he fell out of a speeding speedboat on Lake Hartwell and hit a rock.
His offspring once came down for a visit with his grandmother, who as I said is my cousin. She, like others in that branch of the family, tend to view the Georgia coast as some sort of exotic vacation destination similar to the French Riveria or Universal Studios, only full of people who almost speak the same language.
This is understandable given that she comes from a dozen or more generations of Upstate South Carolinians who, in the words of my dad, haven’t been far outside two counties - in this case Anderson and Oconee - their entire lives. Sometimes I envy that.
Fast Eddie’s offspring, whom I shall not name to protect the kid’s identity, was in the second grade or thereabouts at the time of this particular visit and size-wise about three-foot-by-three-foot. He had a Mohawk haircut and repeatedly expressed to me his conviction that I was some kind of rube.
Still, me and Dad took the kid fishing at a pond not far from my home, and Dad and I stood around baiting hooks for Fast Eddie’s offspring until it started raining, then we headed home.
About halfway home, and it was only a 10-mile trip, it happened. It was awful. Think rotten eggs, discount store cat food and turnips put in a blender and left to ripen in the sun for about a week and you might come close.
At first, I thought a leaky paper mill had sprung up from somewhere and was violating every EPD permit in the books. I looked at Dad. He looked at me. The question "whaaaa" hung there in the air until we heard a giggle.
The odor was emanating from underneath Fast Eddie’s offspring. On a 1-10 scale of bad smells, this was a 20. The windows went down, all four of them, but we couldn’t get home fast enough. Dad may have run a red light.
Fortunately for me and my wife, Fast Eddie’s offspring and his grandmother, my cousin, were staying at my folks house down in McIntosh County. But I learned later that it was a tough ride home for my folks.
Dad, in his rush to get the windows back down somewhere on Highway 17 outside Riceboro, accidentally hit the power window lock on the Ford. Like his father, Fast Eddie’s offspring knew an opportunity when he saw one. They almost put him out of the car at Harris Neck and made him walk back my way.
We are all a little older now, though probably no wiser. Fast Eddie is probably off somewhere around Seneca, looking for something to blow up. His offspring is too, though in a different way.
And those blasted orange Tiger paws are probably all over Oconee County, just waiting for Alabama to come tromp all over them.
Go Clemson. I hope you win. Win it for the Fast Eddies in the world.
Especially since Fast Eddie’s actually a Georgia fan.