The Dutiful Husbands’ Bench

October26/ 2010

I don’t recall who spoke first; but once we started we had a grand time.  If you’ve ever visited Front Street in Beaufort you know the drill.  …..

NOTE:  A “long one” but worth it. There’s an Unpleasantness Update at the bottom where it belongs!

The focus of this charming waterfront community in Carteret County is several blocks of antiques shops, galleries and bistros all arrayed for the express purpose of appealing to a niche clientele.  Blondie and I be of that niche and have been for several decades.

Blondie has several Beaufort shoppes (!) that she frequents; invariably buying a nick or a nack to compliment the nick, nack or curio that she purchased on an earlier visit.  I dutifully fulfill the “I’m with her” role.

She strides purposefully into a quaint shop.  I tag along.  The proprietor smiles at her and asks me if she can help me.  I give the “I’m with her”

… a time-honored Danse Retailer.

signal setting in motion a time-honored Danse Retailer.  The proprietor concentrates her subliminal selling chit chat at Blondie while I endeavor not to break anything.  The good folks in Beaufort offer a slight alternative to all this – the Dutiful Husband Bench.

Weathered benches have been placed at intervals outside the shops.  In olden days dutiful husbands could smoke or whittle while waiting for their wives to peruse and purchase.  Its 2010, we can check sport scores on smart phones or, as happened this day, engage in the ancient art of pleasant conversation.

One of us made a oral pronouncement directed to no one in particular of no strong opinion.  “Sure is a nice day” (which it sure was) is a safe choice.  The bench partner then can respond or not.  Or not  ends the exercise.  In our case the other volleyed back with “it sure is” and it was “Game On”.

He was slightly my senior and dressed as I in the casual attire of the coastal visitor.  Occupations, net worth and other telltale demographic signs were indistinguishable.  Just a coupla husbands dutifully waiting while our wives browsed on a sun-drenched Saturday in Beaufort.

45 minutes later we parted, both rejuvenated that we had chanced upon a fellow “nice fella”.  Our wives had checked in on us during our extended conversation.  Both relieved and pleased that her guy had found something to occupy his mind and time that did not involve breaking anything fragile or requiring her to apologize to anyone.

We covered a wide array of topics including both the “P” and “B” issues …. those being “Politics” and “Butch”.  He being a litigator and I an Internet smart-aleck, shyness was not an encumberance.  He had deliciously strong opinions and I’ve been known to have same on occasion.  That we shared the same opinions made for a harmonious respite.

He was a UNC alum, and long time supporter, not in concert with BOTBob’s CYA cabal or the zombie mob threatening anyone opposing their BCS fantasies.

Coincidentally, I had met another gentleman of similar opinion a few hours earlier at the NY Deli on the Atlantic Beach Causeway.   In both cases, I had not expressed my own views before they did.   No doubt we are the only three who feel so according to the screechers.   Actually there’s at least one other that you will meet in a few minutes.

My Diogensian quest to meet interesting fellows struck paydirt on a bench in Beaufort on a Chamber of Commerce day along The Crystal Coast.


M-I-Z … Z-O-U – Howsabout dem Tigers!  My disdain for the putrid underbelly of big time college sports does not keep me from enjoying the actual on-field competition.  With the moon-dappled Atlantic lapping outside our seaside condo, Blondie and I cheered on our Missouri Tigers vs the #1 ranked Sooners via HDTV…. a humdinger of a game for the perennial bridesmaid Tigers.

Gameday from the columns was fun.  Kid reported that Columbia was a crazy zoo all day and that was before the big win.  Yes, the Sooners were over-rated and Mizzou will face a stiffer challenge in Lincoln but it was a fine time nonetheless.  Did I mention Kid was babysitting for Mizzou Coach Gary Pinkel’s family?  The tentacles of TeamBobLee are everywhere.


The World Series between Josh’s Rangers and Buster’s Giants will draw far fewer viewers than Dancing With The Survivors Of American Idol, but I’ll be watching.   Blondie is convinced that Tim Lincecum, despite two Cy Youngs, should be in the Little League WS in Williamsport rather than the Big Show.

Go Josh Go !!  Re: Nolan Ryan – we love ya, Nolan; but ease up on the nachos with extra cheese before you’re bigger than Bevo.

Speaking of Bevo – Orangebloodied board monkeys on the warpath for Mack’s head on a stick.  That means another dozen rumors that Mack will be coming back to UNC in any of 4-5 capacities.



“Great Unpleasantness” Update

Despite 110% support by BOTBob Winston’s CYA pals ….. those Butch Is Not Crooked – Just Clueless  t-shirts ….. and the ALLCAP rants from the zombie mob, general public disdain over the Great Unpleasantness continues to build from Murphy To Manteo.

NO ONE outside BOTBob & The Board Monkeys is buying the Butch Didn’t Know Nuthin’ yadda yadda.  Despite his 36, or is it 360 or 3600, local charity involvements and despite signing his organ donor card and despite swerving to avoid hitting a deer in downtown Carrboro,  Sgt Butch’s popularity beyond Friendly Franklin Street has fallen to Bernie Madoff depths.

The DeathPenalty4Sure / UNCheats howls from the unhinged faction of ABCers counter the equally unhinged cyber simians in HeelNation.  Discount both foolish factions.

BE VERY CONCERNED WITH the NOT TruBlue citizenry across the rest of the state (and nation) especially the incoming members of The NC General Assembly who determine UNC’s operating budget.  Uh oh!  For every goggle-eyed ButchBeliever there are 10,000 non Tru-Blue citizens saying  “My tax dollars to support such foolishness. I don’t think so”. ….. and there’s the public perception over the $70,000,000 Fancy KenanKlub for BOTBob and his CYA buddies – Paul, John, Roger, et al. – Oh me, Oh my!

For Chancellor Thorp and incoming President Ross running the gauntlet thru a Republican loaded General Assembly will not be a pleasant Old Well Walk.  Begging for bucks while alibing for Sgt Butch, Black Santa & Bling Bling will be a  difficult chore.  With UNC’s institutional integrity fast becoming a punch-line an already difficult task becomes much more so.

And there’s The NCAA.  Aahhh, yes – The NCAA.


The following comments appeared in this past Sunday’s N&O.  I am not “uncleron” nor did I have any foreknowledge of his decision to comment.  I do, however, know his actual identity.  He is a native North Carolinian ….. a former Morehead Scholar ….. a long time Kenan season ticket-holder w/ 4 on the 50 ….. a prominent member of the Triangle-area business community, he moves and shakes in the same circles as BOTBob’s CYA Gang.

Like yours truly, he does not claim to speak for any one other than himself; but chances are he probably does. These are his words.

BY:  “uncleron” – Bread and circuses ……. using the platform of two “top 50” centers of academics, (when will we let the coaches and the bowl committees take over that ranking anyway?) What does US NEWS & REPORT know about recruiting?

LIVE from the birthplace of thuggery masquerading as collegiate sports. Between plays, ESPN shows wistful images of the “glory days” where Ray Lewis mocked opponents, rappers stalked the sidelines and student managers kept a watchful eye on the bling stored in the locker room. TV announcers debate whether Coach Shannon should allow more histrionics on the field after a good play to bring back the “old days” of swagger. We are regaled with Coach Shannon traveling in a three-piece suit in a 6 foot boat to capture a specimen, I mean recruit a student athlete.

What do these teams have to do with the University of Miami or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill anyway? How many of the players could get in on their academic merits? How many of the fans in the stands actually attended a class? College football looks and acts more like Wrestlemania or NASCAR than anything connected with academics.

I love football. I love the University of North Carolina and I am proud of what it has meant to this state historically. It saddens me to see the Chancellor, Athletic Director and members of the Board of Trustees trash what the University should stand for while they try to defend and keep the services of Butch Davis because he can bring in bigger stronger faster “students” to wear Carolina blue on Saturday. Who cares what they do the rest of the week right?

Where are the defenders of the University in all of this? When will some adult stop and consider the hypocrisy and greed involved. The University, the Board of Governors and the Legislature have all been such a comfortable little clique for so long.  The Romans distracted their citizens from the corruption of their leaders by providing them spectacles.

Sell off the facilities and pay the players, but take the logos of the Universities away if you want to maintain the fiction of academic integrity, or does that matter any more?


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