February17/ 2006

… Before the recent Las Vegas jaunt a regular wrote “I bet you come back with some wild story”.  The drunken Daly tale was the best we could do.  BUT we out drove that one on the fly since last Wednesday…. Grabahold (but not “your left one”) and hang on for a pretty incredible adventure involving Quin Snyder, Tommy Bahama, two Ford dealers, a bunch of meth addicts, a Paris Hilton wannabe, … and “the wine guy” strikes again.  

Greg, the Ford dealer in Lawrence, Kansas called his buddy Gary the Ford dealer in Columbia, Missouri a few weeks ago.  “Hey, Gary, you must be outta Thunderbird convertibles?”

    “No. I’m looking at two of’em on the showroom floor right now.”

    “Then how come your basketball coach came all the way over to Lawrence to buy his girlfriend a new toy?”

Why indeed … but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

Let’s go back to last Wednesday.  As reported earlier, Team BobLee had to turn down a VIP invite from The Legendary Clubhouse Tailgate Guys in Blacksburg due to familial obligations in Kansas City.  So there is no misunderstanding, that decision had nothing to do with premonitions, degree of faith in John Bunting or Jesse Holley, or prior knowledge that Hokie Jim’s menu would not include deviled eggs or pimento cheese sandwiches.  Unlike some of you knuckleheads, “sports” is not always #1 on The Family Hit Parade.  We have “lives”.

So it was off to KC with a tight agenda full of renewing old acquainti, making plans for Kid’s big move to Mizzou next Fall and maintaining détente with “the in-laws”.

For those of you limited in global perspective to a day’s horseback ride from wherever you were born, Kansas City is quite a cool place.  It’s “The Plaza” shopping district could be argued to be “Rodeo Drive of The Midwest”.  Kid had locked in the coordinates to Anthropology and Urban Outfitters and Mizzus had to check-in on a former J-School student of her who is Asst Manager of Tommy Bahama’s On The Plaza.  For those of you unfamiliar with “Tommy Bahama” … add a 25 cent label to a $25 “Aloha shirt” and sell it for for $125.


    Oh, did I mention that as I’m writing this The FamilyBobLee are cruising at 37,000’ at 599 mph in a Hawker 800 between Dallas and BL World HQ … and there aren’t any passengers but us.  But, again … we’re getting ahead of ourselves.


    Leaving Kid at Anthropology, Mizzus and I mosey over to Tommy’s and “the plot thickens”.  Mizzus and her friend are chatting away while I feign interest until my parabolic senses pick up “that prissy Mizzou basketball coach is having an affair with Paige Laurie”.  SCHWANG!

Go back about a year ago right here on BLSays … the sordid tale of the Wal-Mart trust fund bimbo cheating her way thru Southern Cal … her Daddy donating big bucks to get naming rights to Mizzou’s new arena … “Paige Arena” … and having to rescind those rightsarticle-2610556-1D4530D900000578-391_634x830 in abject public embarrassment.  Paige’s Daddy had married Bud Walton’s (Sam’s brother) daughter thereby becoming one of America’s most well-kept, ill-mannered, neutered, and pompous elbow ornaments.  Paige grew up as Columbia Missouri wealthiest trust fund baby every bit on the level of Paris Hilton and her crowd of vacuous heiress-heads. 

Southern Cal took back the ill-gotten diploma and the U of Missouri renamed the arena Mizzou Arena and named the court Norm Stewart because Bill Laurie absolutely hated the longtime Mizzou coach … and Paige simply continued her shallow golden-spoon jet set life.

So Robin at Tommy  Bahama’s On The Plaza whose normal sports interest level consists of “is that silly game over yet” knows that Paige Laurie and Quin Snyder are “having an affair”.  Hey, BobLee isn’t Quin married to Larry Brown’s daughter?  Yes and no … yes, Quin IS married but not any more to the daughter of “the smartest coach in THE WORLD not named Dean or Ol’ Roy”.

I was on it like a crow on a June bug.  “Are you SURE?”  “Pretty sure … I heard it from a KU friend of mine.”  Uh oh … MAJOR credibility flag!  That put “this one” on the level of a Franklin Street “fact” that Mickie Krzyzewski was running a brothel out of the pro shop at Hope Valley Country Club.  I tucked Robin’s juicy tidbit away, knowing where I would be the next day.   

We depart Tommy’s, prying Kid out of Anthropology with a crowbar and a C-4 satchel charge … and head east toward Columbia … but not quite all the way.  We rendezvous with old friends in their remote Missouri River “cabin” in Howard County.  Their 6,000 sq ft tri-level cedar manse is one of the few residences in Howard County not either “on wheels” or with a “meth lab” out in the tool shed.  Apparently the quite rural Howard County, Missouri is “The Meth Lab Capital of the Midwest“.  

Kid slept with one eye open and one hand with a death grip on a baseball bat.  Asked if I was “skaird of the meth addicts I said “heck no … I deal with message board loonies all the time so I’m used to gap-toothed cross-eyed loonies with fried brains.”  Mizzus swears that around 3 AM she heard “Duelin’ Banjos” coming from just over the ridge but I think she’s been watching Dukes Of Hazzard too much.

I watched The Lane Stadium Ambush from the shores of “the wide Missouri”.  Seeing the cyron report that the Wuffies had edged the Turtles and were therefore “bowl eligible” I remarked to one and all.  “Now the Wuff Loons and Heel Loons can spend from now until next September playing solitaire with two decks of 51 arguing ‘we’re better because (we beat you / we went to a bowl)”.  The ultimate “Idiots’ Delight”.

But anyway … my buddy that owns this charming weekend getaway is a lifelong Columbian.  He’s been following Mizzou athletics since 1959.  We shared the “glory years of Dan Devine” together.  So over smores and a nice Chianti I popped the question about “Quin and Paige”.  And that brings us up to his account of Greg in Lawrence calling Gary in Columbia about Quin going to Lawrence to buy Paige a T-bird convertible. 

I had two immediate questions … (1) of ALL the Ford dealerships in all the world, WHY would this wavy-haired, Armani-suited, Gucci-loafered rapidly rotting branch of the K-coaching tree go to the one place in the Midwest where he would not only be recognized but possibly shot on sight.  Would Quin’s mentor dress in drag and walk into Top Of The Hill?  That makes no sense … but according to my buddy … very little that Quin has done since arriving at Mizzou has scored high on the lauded and applauded meter.  Think Ricky Clemons and a sack-full of NCAA “minor violations” and now a 2-year string of “no March big dance invitations”. … (2) Paige could buy her own fleet of T-Birds by hocking her diamond belly button piercing.  

   My buddy is a low key level-head not prone to fits of hyperbolic loon-rage at all.  He thinks the Quin & Paige rumor has legs.  That’s good enough for me.  Feel free to slap any/all of this on any WAFFLE HOU*E toilet stall wall or Duke-hating fan site you come to.

His overall assessment of Mizzou athletics was a Classic.  “The football coach is ‘a nice guy’. He’ll never be more than .500 BUT he ‘runs a clean program’.  Snyder is a jackass and an embarrassment to The University.  The REAL IDIOT is “the Athletic Director”.  He’s an incompetent moron.”  Bwahahaha … Yessiree … BobLee felt right at home.

We did a quick campus run through for Kid to pick out her dorm preferences. Rescheduled a lunch with NASCAR’s Carl Edwards’ mamma and step dad.  Then 100 miles back to KC.  Reville on Monday morning was 4:30 but “Murphy” was up earlier and laying a trap.  Our KC to Dallas first leg was delayed by weather and we would miss our DFW connection with no other available seats today.  Tuesday noon looked like our revised ETA back at Swagger HQ.

Team BL was designed as a “fixed base operation”.  It doesn’t travel well as a unit if you get my drift.  Our family “patience tank” was running on fumes and facing 24 more hours on the road was not a happy thought AT ALL.  

Desperate times call for desperate measure … we pulled out the special SwaggerPhone and hit the magic code “EIB”.  Voila!  That aforementioned cute little Hawker 800 appeared “out of the clear blue of the western sky” like Ol’ Sky King’s Song Bird complete with sandwiches, sodas, and a jar of cashews.

The wheels just “touched down” and Uncle Hunter is waiting on the RDU tarmac with the SwaggerMobile.  Annabelle The Family Cat will be mildly pissed that we are 5 hours later than our original ETA but all in all another “one for the record books”… Life Is Good!

As BobLee always says … “Aloha shirts, T-Birds, and riverfront cedar castles are mighty nice … but Good Friends and a Sense of Humor will get you through the tough times! 


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