The Girl in 12-E

January17/ 2000

… I don’t normally start up conversations with fellow passengers on a plane … for the same reason I don’t pick up anything smaller than a quarter off the floor of a public restroom … but Wednesday night, coming back from Dallas, I did … and I learned some good stuff from “the girl in 12-E”. … PLUS … a funny story from The Byron Nelson … and “a night of laffs with “the fellas” …

    In two cities in America, Dallas and Los Angeles, cosmetic surgery is considered “a sport”.  Apparently it is even more popular than bowling.  For Dallas’ “nip, tuck and enhance crowd” the Big Show-Off is the annual EDS Byron Nelson Classic PGA event.  Two events of “the Tour” are as renown for their spectators as for the participants … The Byron Nelson and the Phoenix Open.  “The Pavilion” at Las Colinas is the gathering spot for every high-grade skankette in central Texas and every commodities broker and car salesman on a hot streak.  Remove wedding bands before entering and remember to cover up the ring tan line on your finger. 

    I first “did The Pavilion” in the pre-Mizzus Era in the early 80s when “The Byron” was held at Preston Trail.  It’s a tradition that has defied change.  I avoid that carnal mosh pit these days but I was on-hand to observe the ritual.  

    Lord have mercy there were some remarkable “enhancements” on display … I saw breasts (covered I must add) that were plumper and spicier than anything Bojangles or “The Colonel” could imagine.  Some were “supersized” but none came with seasoned fries or a biscuit.  They did, however, come with a high maintenance contract and a strong warning recommending an iron-clad “pre-nup”.

    As yours truly was golf carting around the TPC Course I did have several PGNR situations.  “PGNR” ??? … you know … “Pretty Girl Needing a Ride”.  Ever the gallant knight, I always try to oblige.  One asked “Are you BobLee Swagger?”  I gave my stock answer … “Nah, I’m his better-looking twin brother!” 


   Flying back Wednesday night (for the Kinston Rotary engagement on Thursday) I met the aforementioned “girl in 12-E”.  As said above, I usually avoid verbal encounters on airplanes.  Before I got my 30 gig I-pod I would just plug in earbuds and pretend I was deep into “my music” to dissuade would-be conversants.

    I took 12-D (on the aisle) first and she arrived a minute or so later.  “She” is/was in her mid 20s and pretty in a “your best friend’s sister” nice sort-of-way.  We shared the common concern … who would be in 12-F.  NOT the dreaded “fat woman w/ a crying baby” … Please Gawd NO!  I don’t recall who spoke first, I think she did.  “Who will it be … fat guy in the ballcap? … scary dude in the sunglasses? … mean-looking woman with the pointy nose?

    We both kept missing on our choices.  Finally he showed up … nice looking black dude who looked like an English black dude.  Turned out to be rather fascinating fellow but that came later.

   With the ice broken we started that awkward “airplane chat” about bad times on recent flights which is a pretty sad indictment of modern air travel.

   Somewhere between wheels up and leveling off we did the “what do you do?” exchange.  She is HR Manager for a restaurant franchisee.  Being “BobLee” I of course knew her boss, the VERY successful restauranteur.  At least I knew he was famous for wearing a ponytail and living in a really big “I am VERY successful” house.  That was enough to prime the pump for the two hour flight.

   She was “a delight” on several levels.  One … she was very bright.  I like that quality in a human being regardless of gender.  Two … she obviously loves her job and her enthusiasm was genuine … not the “giddy” air-head variety.  She is obviously very good in her job as I knew enough to know she knew a lot more than I do about “the restaurant bizness”.  She graduated from NC State three years ago with a degree in Business and Accounting.  Three … she loves NC State … BUT …   NOT in the stoopid Wuff Loon Idjit way.  

   We’ll discuss sports in a minute.  “The girl in 12-E” loved “going to State” … she loved her professors, the courses, the campus, the whole 4-year experience.  Oblinger should hire “12-E” to do PSAs for NCSU. 

   It is sooooo neat to meet someone who is so happy about anything.  Donna Fargo would have loved this young lady.

   She knew two Leesville High School celebrities … Kyle Tucker and some dude named Clay Aiken … said both were “great guys”.

   Yes, we chatted about “the great BB coach search” and she ain’t convinced Sidney is “The Man” but she just wants to be able to attend “State games” thinking “we have a legitimate chance to win today”.  She said she hasn’t had that feeling “since Philip left”.  Ouch, Chuck!  She loves “gameday” and the whole experience but wants the Pack to be more competitive.  She is NOT an “F-Bomb Alley” girl AT ALL … I just know she’s not. 

   About 30 minutes from landing, “the guy in 12-F” got involved.  He is VP of an international scuba diving company.  He flies all over the world setting up scuba diving operations … who knew?  I told him about the UNC numbnutz doing away with the swimming requirement.  He thought that was very dumb too. 

   As we landed she got a text message from her sister that “Chris” had been voted off American Idol.  She was bummed out.  We did the ubiquitous “plane exiting” ritual.  As I got to the top of the jetway I looked back.  “The girl in 12-E” was about 50’ behind me … I gave a hearty wave good-by … she gave me a hearty wave back.

   What was her name?  I never asked, she never said.  I went to an Applebees for lunch today.  I didn’t see her … but somebody will read this and will tell her that “that strange fella on the flight from Dallas thinks ‘the girl in 12-E’ is going to do just fine in life … she’s got ‘the right stuff’.”


 Four QBs, a Point Guard, and an Internet Legend

    Remember a year ago when Leo Hart got a bunch of us together for a sports banquet?  Well, he did it again last night.  The annual North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Banquet.  Leo buys a table and assembles “the fellas” for a night of fun and fellowship.  

   This year it was Leo, yours truly BL Swagger, Paul “Bootleg” Miller, Alley Hart (Billy Packer’s guard mate at WFU), and Randy “Mustang” Short (a teammate of Leo’s at Duke).  The 4th QB was Dashing Danny (Talbott) The Rocky Mount Rocket.  Danny wasn’t at our table but we all gathered for laughs during the reception.

   If you grew up “Downeast” in the 60s, Leo Hart, Paul Miller and Danny Talbott were as good as it could get for three-sport superstars at Kinston, Ayden and Rocky Mount respectively.

   I wish I had taped the evening and could play it for you’ans.  Five guys, none of whom are as young as we used to be, just ribbing the heck out of each other and ourselves.  Someone was telling “a funny story” about someone else at the table nonstop for three hours.  I just met Randy but have known the others for almost 40 years … lots of stories from 40 years.

   The biggest question of the night was whether Leo or Dick Grubar broke more coeds hearts during their BMOC glory days.  I knew’em both and no disrespect to Dick, but I agree with Randy … Leo takes a backseat to NO ONE in the heartthrob department.  You pay attention any time someone starts a story with “this one time that Joe Montana and I were in San Diego …”

   I am blessed in so many ways.  Not the least being the gentlemen I can count as “my friends”. 


 Swagger’s Stumper

 He played 

Bret Maverick’s cousin Beau AND “The Saint”?


    The 3rd guy in the ’83 SI cover was Thurl Bailey. (Note: Little Ricky Packard has requested I stop doing Wuff Trivia.  He knows the answers, he just doesn’t think they deserve the exposure.  Mrs Little Ricky would disagree)

    Mike Nifong has “done it again” … 2nd round of DNA tests show Ho #1 had sex but NOT w/ a Duke Laxer.  Latest evidence called “Volcanic” by Greta Van Sustern.  Nifong’s future as a “lawn jockey” on Mayor Bell’s front lawn now in jeopardy.

   The Daily Tar Heel, surprise surprise, is now giving Mad Mohammed “The Drive-By SUV Nut” a public forum to vent his idiocy.  Everyone who is “shocked” by this, raise your hand and light a votive candle.

    Fine time in Kinston.  My line about “spend another $25 and buy a degree for Chas Shackleford went over BIG in Charles’ home town.”  I’ll be back in Lenoir County on Saturday for VineSwamp Cauley’s “Celebration of The Victory Well”.

 Want to e-mail BobLee?

[email protected]

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