God Bless Food Lion & Avis

January17/ 2000

… UPDATE:  A NEW SSAYS WILL BE POSTED TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATING “THE DUKE MESS” ...!It’s a mental block for me.  I simply cannot remember the bypass around Wilmington from Hwy 17 to I-40.  It trapped me again recently and “the immigration issue” came into play.  We’ve purposely avoided “that issue” here until now. … Not much new on The Gothic Nightmare except CNN’s Nancy Grace is disgusting … and NC State has not found a hoops messiah.  We use this lull in cataclymic issues to do some topical housecleaning.

    Don’t tell me “how easy it is”.  I am very aware “how easy it is”.  I have no trouble going from Rawlee to Myrtle Beach via I-40 to Hwy 17.  I ALWAYS have trouble reversing the route.  No less an authority than “Little Ricky Packard” of The Clinton Packards has tried to help me.  I could tatoo the directions on the back of my hand and still miss the turns. 

   I was in Myrtle Beach earlier in the week for Hootie & The Blowfish’s annual Monday After Masters celeb-golf fete.  In addition to Darius Rucker’s music buddies who I have zero awareness of, there were the usual celeb golfers … Kevin “Hercules” Sorbo, Dwight “The Catch” Clark, Steve “Visor Boy” Spurrier, George “Heisman” Rogers, Meat Loaf, Stuart Scott, et al.  Arnold Palmer was on hand this year and is still “the biggest draw” wherever he appears.  That is a very good thing.

   An aside … Lee “First Black To Play In The Masters” Elder was on-hand.  Lee has aged out of the Senior/Champions Tour but remains one of THE nicest guys you’ll ever meet.  I’ve known Lee for 10-12 years.  I was chatting with his wife and noted how we miss him on tour.  She beamed as I noted what a fine gentleman Lee has always been.  A reminder that there are few things in life more meaningful than “the unexpected compliment”.  Give one out today.  It will enrich someone’s day and make you feel good too.

   So … I’m driving back to SwaggerWorld and come to where I always take the wrong turn which I promptly did except it was a different wrong turn than usual.  It’s 9:30 PM and I’m heading down Hwy 74 towards “Leland” … totally wrong direction  To my credit, “getting lost around Wilmington” is the one time I don’t behave like a stubborn male.  I have learned to “stop and ask directions” … and therein lies the rub.  I took an exit in “the middle of nowhere” and came to a “strip center”.  My choices for traveler’s aid are Subway (??), a Chinese take-out (??), an “off-brand” pizza joint (??), and a Food Lion grocery.  I’m already “out-of-sorts”, it’s late, I’m lost, it’s been a long day.  I am not up to dealing with blank stares and unknown tongues that Berlitz has never heard of.  

   I assessed my options and figured the night manager of the Food Lion was most likely to both understand and to speak intelligible English.  I was right.  He was sympathetic and got me re-oriented and back to the correct exit.  Problem solved … not quite.

   He got me on the by-pass but NCDOT had laid innumerable land mines for me with detours and horrible signage.  Realizing again, I was getting into the labyrinth of metro-Wilmington I saw a sign for “the airport”.  Using the same logic that led me to Food Lion, I knew I could depend on Avis.  I have been an Avis Preferred customer for 10+ years and NEVER had a miscue.  An Incredible customer service system.  I also recalled I have never had a communications issue with an Avis representative.  I headed to the airport and the Avis counter.  Bingo … a most cordial “European-American” female who appreciated my plight and calmly directed me to I-40 and towards home.  Bless you my child.

   I successfully overcame the ever-growing problem in America of finding retail service representatives who both understand and speak “English”.  I will likely not be so lucky next time.  Does it concern me … DAMN RIGHT IT DOES.  I did not have to conduct commerce with these people, all’s I needed was directions, late at night, when my options were limited.

   As a “baby boomer” hardly a day goes by that I don’t at least recall “in the good old days …”.  Recalling taking for granted pulling into “a service station” and “getting directions”.  Now you can NOT get directions OR service … but you CAN buy lottery tickets, condoms, and five different flavors of beef jerky.

   I recommend you devise a “find someone/anyone who might speak English” plan for you and your family when you travel.  Food Lion and Avis are on my list.  If I owned a bunch of convenience stores I would advertise “Our staff speaks English” in big bold letters on a billboard. And I would be sure my staff DID speak English.

   I appreciate the complexities of “the immigration issue”.  I propose a solution that involves the necessity of passing a basic English comprehension test … oh, and the withholding of the right to vote for 10 years after passing the English comprehension test.  I’m having a problem finding Lib/Dems who want to withhold those voting rights.  Gee, I wonder why?  Who benefits from an electorate that is “ignorant by lack of comprehension”? Who indeed. … Gotta give BOTH parties “credit” for totally embarrassing themselves over “the immigration issue”.


    There were rumors that either Rev JJ or Ol’ Sharpie might come to Derm to score some camera time.  Neither have plans to do so.  As this is well-entrenched as a national focus issue, am I the only one figuring both JJ and Al sense “a Tawana”.  Mike Nifong will climb further out on the limb of no-return this coming week.  

   CNN’s Nancy Grace has boxed her”disgusting”self into a corner on this.  If this does “Tawana” will she apologize … naaaaah, she is just another self-righteous screaming-meemie in the “drive-by media”.  The “drive-by media” never apologizes … it just destroys reputations then moves on.  To hell with “justice”, Nancy wants a rich white boy to lynch.

   To her credit, my friend Ruth Sheehan of the N&O DID bring up “the Tawana option” this week.  Kudos to Ruth … few of her ilk are so bold.  Most, like Nancy Grace, continue to pander to the mob mentality.

   Some of you asked about the original DNA samples.  The Lacrosse team members gave those samples VOLUNTARILY.  If one or more knew their DNA might be on “the college student and single mother of two…” (aka – “drunken skanky stripper“) do you think they would have risked any presumption of guilt. Duh?  Now Nifong is looking for any shade-tree lab that will give him the results he needs to be re-elected.  May 2 is election day for Mike Nifong … just keep it smokin’ til then Mike.

   Anybody heard how those FIVE blue-ribbon panels that Pres Brodhead established over the kill’em & skin’em e-mail are doing?  If there had been two stoopid e-mails would he have appoined TEN blue-ribbon panels?  “Blue-ribbon panels” … ya jest got love academic bureaucrats!

   BREAKING NEWS (TRUE):  Rev JJ announced Saturday that “he” will pay the drunk exotic dancers’s college tuition “even if she made up the whole story”.  No mention was made from which institution Jesse will extort the funds … or if he actually does it.  237 other “black exotic dancers” in Derm immediately asked “howsabout us, Rev?” … Will Ol’ Sharpie agree to chip in a year’s supply of pop-on nails?


    No one has any reliable intell on Lee Fowler’s direction for the next NCSU BB coach.  A list of 6-8 glorified whozits is being shuffled about with no one seemingly aware of what order the whozits might be in.  FWIW … if you had told the wuff rank&file a month ago that Herb would leave … but they would NOT get “a big name” would their “hang’em” mentality have been as strong?

   I wish I had thought of this line several weeks ago … “Herb Sendek is the first guy to ever move to Phoenix to ESCAPE the “heat”.”

   NCSU is about to announce their Tailgate TaskForce proposals.  You will recall that your humble Internet Legend lit the fuse to all that with my little ol’ “F-Bomb Alley” column back in September.  I offered suggestions to Taskforce Honcho Tom Stafford but he ignored my offer.  ANY new restrictions that effect reserved parking fans at Carter-Finley are needless over-reaction.  The reserved parking fans are not and never will be “a problem”.  

   The “problem” is the western end of the Trinity Road Fairgrounds lot.  The solution is ENFORCEMENT of existing rules AND more visible uniformed security in that area for 90 minutes prior to kick-off and 60 minutes after the game.  No “new set of rules” will matter unless there is serious enforcement by uniformed security.


Swagger’s Stumper

What was Clarence Rutherford’s nickname?


    Kudos to The Carolina Hurricanes for their outstanding NHL season.  As a small market team with no “name players” they have done an incredible job.  Are there ANY “name players” in the NHL? Regrettably, I still don’t have the slightest urge to pay $50+ to attend a game.  … on a related issue … Raymond Felton has certainly had a fine rookie season with the Charlotte Bobcats evolving into more of an offensive threat than he ever was at UNC.  Regrettably for owner Bob Johnson, I have no interest in spending any $$$ to attend a Bobcats game either.  A sampling of our Charlotte-area SSays readers reveal similar apathey on their part.

    Many of you have applauded BobLee’s candid commentary of The Gothic Nightmare.  Many of my friends in the “mainstream media” have also applauded Swagger’s candidness.  They acknowledge they are under strict orders to report only a particular point of view.  I know you are shocked to hear that … SHOCKED!

    Huzza to SSays long time reader Bill From Greenville … in the last column we referred to Otis Day & The Knights … Bill e-mailed “can we dance wif yo dates?” … to which we replied “Otis, My Man!” … SSays readers are cool!

    If you should ever wish to unsubscribe from this website … it takes several days for our data base to update itself.  If you want “out” we do not conspire to keep you.  Really, we don’t.

E-mail BobLee at

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