Take THAT Arthur Ravenel Jr!

December20/ 2011

Dec 20:  Delete one item from the BobLee will never ever do list.  I have often maintained that there is nothing on the other side of THAT I value enough to cross to get to! THAT – The Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge aka The New Cooper River at Charleston – has fallen from atop my Not To Ever Do List.   Its former #1 place now shared by (1A) Vote For Obama and (1B) Have Breakfast at BOTBob’s MegaMansion.
Our weekend in Charleston highlight’s today’s column along with Dwight’s Jones’ Move Over Marvin Party. ….. and Bon Jovi is NOT dead but Kim Jung Il IS.

Kid is in that phase of Life known as “collect ugly bridesmaids’ dresses”.   Not to be confused with “buy a little red sports car” or “bury people your own age” phases.  Those come well after “be in friends’ weddings”.  Her BFF since Jr Hi – Meagan was married Sunday amid the moss-draped oaks of Charleston’s Magnolia Plantation.  Kid flew in from St Louis for the nuptials and we drove down for the event to retrieve her for Christmas.

I thought we were fine as regards The Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge.  Our hotel was on the periphery of The Battery and The Magnolia Plantation is along side The Ashley River southwest of Charleston.   A famous description of Charleston is “where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet to form the Atlantic Ocean”.  Charleston is also “that famous Southern coastal city where Paula Deen does not live”.  The butter-lovin’ Queen of Southern Cookin’ lives in nearby Savannah; which does not have a really scary bridge on its northern perimeter.

Any discussion of The Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge with low country locals will provoke the line “if this one scares you, you REALLY wouldn’t have liked the old bridge”.  This one does scare me and I REALLY didn’t like the old one either.  The “old one” was a legendary very very narrow, very very creaky white-knuckler.

For the record, I also don’t care for The Huey Long in Nawlins – The Walt Whitman in Philadelphia – The Chesapeake Bay Bridge at Annapolis and New York’s Throgs Neck and/or Williamsburg Bridge.  It’s called Selective Gephyrophobia.

The Guiness Book of Phobias does not include Fear of High Traffic Interchanges”. If it did, my list would be led by The High Five in Northeast Dallas.  Atlanta’s Spaghetti Junction doesn’t really bother me…. unless it’s raining really hard, it’s rush hour and I’m pulling a trailer.  Raining really hard, rush hour and pulling a trailer adds immeasurably to any bridge and/or traffic interchange crossing.

There are plenty of scary bridges in the world.  Feel free to suggest your favorites.  The TV show Modern Marvels is always highlighting them.  If there weren’t enough actual scary bridges, Modern Marvels is forever doing graphic simulations of proposed really scary bridges in otherwise nice places I never intend to visit such as “spanning The Straits Of Gibraltar”.   Those inscrutable ChiComs are planning one humdinger in some remote province.

Gephyrophobia is fairly common as some of these godforsaken structures actually offer chauffers that will drive Gephyries across if they simply freeze up and can’t do it.  Having a Gephyrohobic freeze up amid bridge can create new Gephyrophobics from being stranded amid bridge behind a frozen Gephyrophobic for a prolonged period of time.

I did not rent a chauffeur to cross The Arthur Ravenel Jr.  I married one.

My Ravenel Jr crisis was created by Meagan’s Wedding Party staying at a rented beach house on Sullivan’s Island which IS across The Cooper River from Charleston.  There is an alternate way to get from Charleston to Sullivan’s Island but it involves a 30-mile detour.  Had I known where Kid would be staying we could have selected a hotel more conducive to that alternate route but then I would not have written this column.  There is a reason for “uh oh” circumstances.

We always enjoy trips to Charleston.   More so now that I am addicted to audiobooks.  Come on…. you knew I would work that in some how.  I love Blondie enjoying herself.  Shopping, antiquing, browsing and looking at old houses achieve that state for her.  But if she is fridgitty worrying about me being bored it lessens her pleasure.  With my headphones and an iPhone full of audible yarns, I am physically at her side but mentally slaying dragons, tracking down serial killers or thwarting Islamofascists from blowing up assorted national monuments.

A Walking Tour of Charleston’s Battery with Blondie, Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, James Lee Burke, Michael Connolly, Louis L’amour, or my latest find – Mark Greaney, is a true delight.

While Blondie drove us across The Arthur Ravenel Jr, I was battling a Sri Lankan hit squad out to collect a $20,000,000 bounty on International assassin Court Gentry aka The Gray Man.   We traversed the Cooper River as Court vanquished the Sri Lankans with his MP5, a Kaybar knife and two “flash bangs” (Pretty much everything I reisten to involves a “flash bang” grenade at some point in the narrative)….. I know what you’re thinking – I was either curled up on the floor or had my hands over my tightly-closed eyes.  Nope, sitting up right with eyes wide open as Blondie stayed resolutely in the middle lane.

Perhaps I will deliver a lecture at the National Convention of Gephyrophobics on Audiobooks – The Long Sought Cure We All Seek.

Official Charleston Trip Report:
•    Meagan & Tim The Med Student vowed “thru sickness & health”
•    Kid did not catch the bouquet
•    The sangria at the reception was exceptional
•    The Cypress Restaurant has THE BEST French Onion Soup
•    We did not run into Pat Conroy “South of Broad”
•    Court Gentry rescued Sir Donald FitzRoy from the Chateau in Nice
•    And….. The Arthur Ravenel Jr is now “just another bridge

Meanwhile a new problem loomed for The Old Well Crowd as Christmas arrived early for ABCers.

It’s a good thing Bubba Cunningham brought his HazMat suit as his mere presence in Chapel Hill has not vanquished all traces of The Great Unpleasantness.  Record-breaking UNC Wide Receiver Dwight Jones has spiced up The Holidays with his quite-illegal promotion of an upcoming “do” in his hometown of Burlington.

Marvin The Mad Tweeter and McAdoo The Plagarist are now joined by Dwight The Party Promoter.  If anything could displace Tim Tebow from a regional sports page, it would be ANOTHER pile ‘o crap involving a Butch&Blake Boy.   Dwight’s version of Pac-Man Jones Visits A Vegas Strip Club will apparently involve local Alamance County celebrity – Dwight enticing his homies and dirty-leg ladies to join him for a Night of Revelry celebrating his impending NFL career.   Well-circulated posters of Dwight and dollar bills and party details have broken more NCAA rules than there are sticky-floored bars on Franklin Street.

ABCers are speculating that “this one” could be “the straw that totally wipes UNC off the face of the Earth”.  ABCers do enjoy speculating about UNC’s future.

Dwight’s antics may cause him to miss The Blah Blah Yadda Yadda Independence Bowl on December 26.  If so, Dwight will join pretty much every UNC and Missouri fan we have contacted so far.  The Rams Club is chartering two Mini Coopers and an Econoline Van to carry the Tar Heel fanbase to Christmas In Shreveport.   Seats ARE still available……

As of 6 PM on Tuesday, Dwight Jones HAS BEEN DECLARED INELIGIBLE for the Yadda Yadda Blah Blah Independence Bowl.  ….. AND the BIG parteeee has been cancelled!
As of Noon Wed, Dwight Jones has been Reinstated for The IndepBowl but the Burlington Bash is still cancelled…. and Kim Jung Il is still dead.

Methinks Larry Fedora’s first Team Meeting will be memorable for the Butch Boyz who will still be around and might be thinking it’s “business as usual” amid Kenan’s Lofty Pines.  Methinks it won’t be.

NOTE:  We have it on Very Solid Source that Larry Fedora HAS had “a briefing” from The Burly BlueBleeder as regards “skeletons in closets” and “where bodies are buried in/around Chapel Hill”.  That oughta save Larry more than a few headaches.

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