January18/ 2000

… As often happens, one column births the next one and our sacrosanct topic order gets hijacked … It’s happened again… “Hurricane Stanley” spawned Shoot On Site posters of BLS in Cameron Village … In truth, every city has its “Old Money Enclave” with its exaggerated stereotypes… Meanwhile in Charlotte – GUESS WHO is More Popular than Ol’ Roy?   This one has Franklin Street in a catatonic stupor!

 ITB stands for “Inside The Beltline” (I-440) and is Raleigh’s “Old Money Enclave”, the traditional residential nesting grounds for “city fathers”, Junior League officers, and anyone with even an outside chance of ever getting into Carolina Country Club.  Now there is nothing wrong with any of that.  We are not implying that there is … unless “the truth” kinda pinches you a little.  You say “ouch” and BLS senses blood in the water and STRIKES!

I have, in this current life, been a resident of eight different cities in six different states.  Every one of those cities except for White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia had its own “ITB” by various names.  White Sulphur only had about 2,000 people.  Most of whom were kin and many of whom were simply called “Junior” but they did not need a “League” of their own.

In San Antonio it is “09” zip code (aka Alamo Heights).  In Dallas it is “the Park Cities” further delineated as University Park and, the ultimate, Highland Park.  In Charlotte it is Myers Park.  In Kansas City it was Ward Parkway/Mission Hills.  In Worcester MA those catbirds were so in-bred powerful they kept the Mass Turnpike from getting within 10 miles of the city limits.

“Old Money Enclaves” (OME) serve an important purpose in societal evolution.  In addition to oxygen, food, water, and cable TV; humanity requires two key societal elements:

  •  Some people to look down on and feel superior to
  •  Some people to be envious of and shroud said envy in lampoons

Using this theory, ANY neighborhood you do NOT live in is wide open to be ridiculed regardless of the average home prices or which local “day spa” most of the housewives attend for periodic aroma therapy.

ITB/OMEs provide both.  If you are “in one” you do a Marie Antoinette impression making sure that your Guatamalan housekeeper keeps the bathroom deodorizer well hidden because, well because your “you know what” emits no odor.  Those outside the OME are referred to as those people and their primary purpose is to be recipients of the net funds leftover from the Annual Charity Ball at “the club”.  If there are no net funds left over then “those people” will simply have to “make do” like they somehow always manage to any way.

If you are NOT a resident of an OME you justify your hand-to-mouth existence by such declarations as “I wouldn’t WANT all their money if it meant I had to act like that.”  “That” is usually defined by such phrases as his/her daddy’s money” (allegedly accumulated “illegally” during The Great Depression!) and veiled references to assumed sexual inadequacies.

There are assorted subsets of ITB/OME.  A popular one in recent years is the “ITNRE” … “Incredibly Tacky Nouveau Riche Enclave”.  My all time favorite one of these is PIPER GLEN in Charlotte.  I have a theory that all those “grotesque vertical houses on itty bitty lots” are occupied by Colombian drug lords, AmWay Triple Diamonds, or NBA power forwards.  SUGARLOAF outside Atlanta is another classic example of a ITNRE.

A neat feature of ITNRE is the proliferation of skanky trophy wives who meet the UPS guy at the oversized front door wearing just a thong and a smile.  ITNRE real estate tends to turn over a lot based on vice squad and DEA raids and poorly worded pre-nups.

Piper Glen and Sugarloaf are, coincidentally, both part of TPC developments.  I’ve toured TPC communities all over America talking to the UPS drivers.  Every one of’em has a “skank in a thong standing in an oversized doorway” story.   Where else but SSays you gonna learn this stuff ???  ….. Raleigh’s Wakefield is a TPC enclave too … uh oh, INCOMING!

I am going to forgo a litany of “Enclave” jokes because you’ve likely heard them all and/or the ones I know may not be as good as yours anyway.  I will share one from BLS Buddy Bill, an ITBer … “every ITB has (1) a Lab named “Tucker” and (2) the obligatory AB or OBX decal on your his/her Tahoes.”



    A complimentary signed copy of BLS’ best selling “Braggin’ Rites” if you send me an ITB/OME joke that (1) I have not heard, and (2) causes me to spit coffee all over my keyboard. ….. “a Lab named “Tucker” came damn close to the coffee on the keyboard.


    As we leave ITB/OME/ITNRE just remembers that every “metro area” has one.  Class envy in all its convuluted forms is as ingrained in us as hating alumni of Liberal Arts schools or Land Grant schools whichever one you did NOT graduate from.



Is More Popular in Charlotte Than Ol’ Roy and His Boys ?

    I’ll give you a hint.  He nicknamed my pal “Prez Ersky” … “Irksome”.  He saved AM Radio.  He is uniquely one of the most loved and most despised “ICONS” in modern American history.  … That “harmless little fuzzball” hisownself

“America’s Anchorman” 

El Rushbo          Maha Rushie

  For as long as anyone can remember, WBT in Charlotte has been Tar Heel Sports’ radio home in Metrolina.  It’s 50,000 watt blowtorch has carried Woody’s dulcet tones for most if not all Carolina basketball games over the last half century.  Ye Olde Legend actually used WBT’s far reaching signal as a recruiting tool.  He told folks like “the Kupchaks” that they could listen to Mitch’s games via WBT.  Doc Hansbrough can catch Tyler’s games if he and new Mrs Doc H want to stay home in Poplar Bluff one weekend.

   But the suits at WBT looked at their balance sheets recently and saw that when they preempted their regular programming to carry a Tar Heel ballgame … they suffered a net revenue LOSS!   WHOA NELLIE!  That’s not good … not good A tall.  How could it be?

This will be impossible for Lunatic Fringers to grasp, but the rest of you huddle up for Professor Swagger’s class in Radio Economics.

 Radio does NOT exist to play music OR ball games OR political chat OR snappy “zoo crew” patter OR late night sex therapy shows.  Radio exists to provide consumers’ ears to advertisers.  The number of ears that get those advertising messages is how the “Herb Tarleks” of the world afford tacky sports jackets and bad haircuts (except my ITB friend Robert who is a Nowells guy 100% and probably gets his nice haircut at Cameron Village barber shop.)  Radio is first and foremost an advertising medium, not an entertainment medium.  Newspapers are essentially the same despite what ego-inflated “journalists” like to think.

Pure and simple … WBT’s long time “night guy” John Hancock draws in more ears than does Ol’ Roys’ Boys.  Ol’ Roy simply cannot penetrate that radio market to the degree that WBT’s “regular programming” does.

OK, Swagger, but what does this have to do with “that blowhard Limbaugh … hehehehehehehe!  Glad you asked.  Rush comes on from noon to 3 PM Monday thru Friday.  Carolina plays its games either on weekends or night … EXCEPT in early March for two days of afternoon games in the ACC Tournament.

WBT, and every one of Rush’s over 600 affiliates, make soooo much $$$ from the huge audience he brings EVERYDAY that even missing TWO DAYS of Rush Limbaugh costs WBT significant revenue they cannot recoup with the ad rates justified by a modest Tar Heel fan audience.

Actually the real secret is Rush’s crackerjack research staff … but that’s another story … for another day!

As we post this column, Learfield Sports and WBT are trying to “work something out” and they might, but it’s more likely that WBT will pass, and another station will carry the games.  The downside for Metrolina Carolina fans … no other Charlotte station has the blowtorch power of WBT.  Ergo, if you live in Monroe, Mt Holly, or even Lake Norman you may not get a clear signal on the new affiliate.

You just know the reality that El Rushbo has more fans in Charlotte than Carolina Basketball has mucho blue “liberal” panties in a wad.  The constipation factor for dingbat extraordinaire “Fruitcake Freddie from Franklin Street” alone must be ENORMOUS!

The only way this could be more deliciously ironic would be if Ye Olde Super Liberal Legend” was still coaching.  Imagine a poor Learfield intern  getting the assignment of telling Coach Smith …

“Rush Limbaugh beats you in Charlotte, Coach Smith, … sir.”

    Memo To Gary Soba … maybe Maha Rushie would do a BB pre-game show with Jones Angell LIVE from SPANKY’s … IF you supply the Kevlar vest and bulletproof PopeMobile?  Want me to ask him for you?  I’ll be glad to.


We have to bring Tar Heels fans back to life … CPR Paddles please … 


    OK, we have a pulse.  College World Series …. College World Series … Omaha.  Tar Heels eyes fluttering … smiles beginning … feelings of arrogant superiority returning … aaaahhhhaaa,



   (Whew, that was close.  We probably shouldn’t mention that Rush thingie again, should we?)

How many of you watch the College World Series every year?  How many even knew there WAS a College World Series or know where “Omaha” is?  Sure Rudy and the Post 9 boys know all about it and Tommy Frazier up in Henderson and Mark and Boots and a few others.

But it’s a BIG DEAL now that Carolina is in the Championship Round.  Which, by the way, Team USA Men’s Soccer is NOT.  They Lost to Ghana !!!  GHANA … Mia Hamm and the bouncy ponytails could beat GHANA wearing concrete shoes.  Yet another World Cup debacle for Uncle Sam to be followed by the ubiquitous “recommitment to soccer in America” and, of course, firing the coach. (Larry Brown just came available and would probably be interested).  But back to Mike Fox and his “Moochies”.

Did you see that Cal-State Fullerton game on Wednesday?  Where is Fullerton?  Is that like “the Dunn” of California?  So ya think the town of Smithfield is proud of Jay Cox?  Just a little, I’ll bet.  Move over Ava Gardner, there’s a new star in Johnston County!  His 9th inning catch shows up as “fly out to Left” in the scorebook but scared the bejeebers out of all us watching.

I’ve watched three games now and those kids are getting younger every time.  There is a portrait of Dorian Gray somewhere that looks like Helen Thomas … soaking up the aging of these boys.  If they win in Omaha do they qualify for Williamsport?

I still don’t like the “pinging” but I really like these kids.  Rudy tells me Coach Fox and his staff are non-cussing “straight arrows” which is VERY COOL.  Unlike Ozzie Guillen in Chi-town and El Diablo over at Cameron Indoor!

All you’ans who never watched hockey until the Stanley Finals and now call yourselves Caniacs should watch college baseball for the first time.  It’s a big bandwagon too … hop on and enjoy the ride.

My buddy “Big Bobby” has a wise saying … “No sports discussion is ever complete until it’s been dragged thru the race swamp” … there’s an UN-diverse similarity between the Canes and the baseball Heels.  Don’t you know that the N&O’s Barry “Mr Bojangles” Saunders is shuffling his well-worn race cards and getting ready to deal’em.

… on a related note … GET READY!  You are going to be hearing/reading soon some “wild & wooly BS” from South Rawlee’s very own “Cash Michaels” relative to The Derm Mess.  Yeah, BobLee knows ol’ “Cash”.  Actually a rather likable old race-baiting scoundrel… a poor man’s Al Sharpton … enuff said!


Swagger’s Stumpers

1. Who was Ava Gardner’s “most famous” Husband?  

2. Who was Ava Gardner’s “shortest” Husband?


    Bobby HULL was “The Golden Jet” … His son was “The Golden Brett” … that’s cool!

    PS: to the WBT issue.  Dickie will get blamed for it because “Dickie gets blamed for everything”.  It’s not Dickie’s fault AT ALL but he is numb to criticism so pile it on him rather than have to pick a new whipping boy.   Maybe Idiot Nifong had a hand in it … or Dave Huxtable or Red Zone Mazzone … let’s blame them rather than Dickie … OK?

    Will new Bobcat Michael call “available again” Larry Brown?  NO Michael, Please NO!  I could not care less about the past, present, future of “the Bobcats”; I simply do not want to read umpteen more Larry Brown stories.  I am sooooo OVER Larry Brown!

   Stephanie Chambers DAUGHTER OF DERM POLICE CHIEF STEVE CHAMBERS was arrested Friday on assault charges … to go along with her earlier bad check and no drivers license charges … This Clinches It … Derm chosen as location for 2006 remake of Amos n Andy, to be titled “Dumber and Dumber and Dumber and Dumber …….. 

    Want to e-mail BobLee?

 [email protected]

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