UPDATE: Roanoke Rapids’ quite notorious Randy Parton Theater (& Nail Salon) is back in The News. Oh Goody! That allows us to bring back this Double Platinum Blast From Feb 2008. If the following isn’t on the VERY short list of our All Time All Time Hooterific… I demand a recount.
I suggested to Ann (Mrs Dr. Jim) Goodnight that a copy of this column should be on display in the lobby of her oh-so-toney Umstead Hotel. That was eight years ago. It was “sent to a committee” for consideration ??
You hardly need to know the back story to this most delightful dumpster fire but here it is…. Randy “Dolly’s Baby Brother” Parton and his sidekick “Slick Rick” had just flim flammed the good citizens of Roanoke Rapids…. completely emptying the local Widows & Orphans Fund. An angry mob, armed with tar & feathers, were pursuing Randy & Rick down I-95.
The two hapless Perps plus yours truly, my pal Kolchak, “Jenks” from The N&O, and Cary’s most famous billionairess met at her oh-so-toney The Umstead…. and Then:
(Originally Posted Feb 9, 2008)
…. a poor man’s Kyle Petty doing his impression of Brisco Darling operating a Guess Your Weight scam at the State Fair.
Put it in Mamma Goodnight’s toney Boutique Hostelry & SPA in Cary. Invite BobLee, Kolchak Carrington and a bevy of blow-dried talking heads …… Sometimes being me is just too much fun.
Randy “a/k/a Dolly’s Baby Brutha” Parton wanted to give his side of the story about “what really happened” in Roanoke Rapids. At 11AM on Friday yours truly and a bunch semi-legitimate media types gathered amid muffled giggles and grins trading rimshots at Cary’s oh-so-toney The Umstead Hotel & Spa on the campus of Cary’s mysterious corporate goliath SAS.
The Umstead is Jim Goodnight’s wife’s version of “I’m bored Jimmy. Buy me something to play with”. When hubby is a billionaire “something” means more than a Hallmark Card franchise at the local mall or a personal trainer named Sven.
“The Ump” is quite the Hostelry (& Spa). Pretentiousness oozes from its every pore which is not a bad thing if one tucks one’s tongue firmly in one’s cheek where mine permanently resides.
The sense of anxious anticipation permeated the room on the level of Democ Gubernatorial candidate-ette Bev “Baby Dumpling” Perdue calling us together to detail how she lost her virginity in the backseat of a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda. Odds were being given and bets taken whether Randy Parton would be able to establish the slightest iota of credibility …. And, if so, could he sustain said credibility longer than 30 seconds. Those who wagered nope and are you kidding split the pot.
Local Democratic “operative” Brad Crone emceed the show for reasons never explained other than Rufus Edmiston was not available to open proceedings with his classic rendition of It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.
I counted nine camera tripods pointed at the podium. Media events such as this involve three categories of folks ….. (1) The guys in jeans are the techies aka cameramen. (2) The folks carrying little notebooks are the “reporters”. (3) The guys checking out the info-babes and grabbing handfuls of free snacks are the Internet Legends. ….. oh, and (4) the somber dude in the dark suit is a $500/hour lawyer from Poyner & Spruill. More about him later.
To everyone’s total surprise the proceedings started on time. It ended earlier than Brad had indicated it would but that was due to the media vultures actually pecking out Randy’s eyes ….. and at the genitals of Slick Rick Watson. Slick Rick Who?
Randy hisownself was there, of course, along with a sad-faced Sissy Spacek lookalike introduced as “Randy’s wife”. How come every country music gal not named Mandrell or Shania looks like Sissy Spacek? Daughter Heidi Lou nor sister You-Know-Who were not on the premises.
The aforementioned Poyner & Spruill dark-suited mouthpiece stood behind Randy at the podium. As a $500/hour Teddy Ruxpin his job was to say “we cannot answer that question as it is a private matter”. After the 7th or 8th recitation of that phrase, he simply raised a finger to his nose like a bidder at a Sotheby auction.
Randy probably had a Dress For A Poor Impression consultant pick out his wardrobe. Being that grungy and yucky takes professional talent. If you’ve ever been to a NASCAR race at Talledega you’ve seen 100s of “Randys” slouched in lawn chairs beside their truck/campers. He has a ponytail that Kyle Petty or Secretariat might envy. At least two feet long and likely washed whenever it rains or once/month whichever comes first.
The best way I can describe Randy Parton as I watched him today is ….. a Franklin Street derelict wearing reading glasses. He was soooo obviously waaay out of his element that one had to feel a dollop of compassion for the poor fool. But a good juicy column trumps compassion for poor fools every time.
Randy read a prepared statement which he might have skimmed thru prior to 11 AM but which was obviously not written by him. My guess is a $250/hour associate at Poyner & Spruill but I’m just guessing. The prepared statement was a combination eulogy and American Idol contestant application.
Apparently this poor fool thought he was performing for a busload of blue hair in Branson …. Not Dr Van Helsing and a roomful of bloodthirsty bad guy hunters.
Randy outlined a glowing personal career that made one wonder why The Grand Old Opry’s “The Ryman” Auditorium had not been renamed “The Randy”. By 11:20 pretty much 97% of what Randy claimed to be and claimed to have done had been debunked thru the dreaded Q & A. Refer above to that “vultures and eyes” part.
…. Beginning the Q&A was classic. A nubile intern would hand the wireless mic to a media guy/gal and they introduced themselves. …. I’m Don “Kolchak” Carrington w/ The Carolina Journal” and Randy hollered out “HI KOLCHAK!” It was straight out of a AA meeting. Old habits die hard for Randy Parton.
…. Three kicks upside his head questions later Randy was getting whiplash turning to his P&S consigliere for back-up. At around 11:22 Randy got that deer in the headlights look that said “who’s great idea was it to do this anyway?” Randy’s sad tale of good intentions gone awry had deteriorated into legitimate concerns over whether he really IS “her baby brother”.
“Kolchak” and I walked out at 11:32 looking like Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John after seven hours of sewing up gut-shot GIs for the 4077. Kolchak had his hands in Randy’s entrails for a good 10 minutes.
…. A “money line moment” came when Randy admitted he had absolutely no experience whatsoever in running a theater. The entire room waited for the “But …… Holiday Inn Express” punchline. It never came. $250/hr P&S ghostwriters don’t do zingers …. they shoulda.
It was great fun busting Randy’s scruffy chops like a Whack-A-Mole but the really long knives were saved for Slick Rick Watson.
A veteran Democrat operative like Brad Crone shoulda known better than to ever allow unplanted questions. Democrats and Daylight never go well together. There is a reason that Hillary (nor John Edwards …. who?) never does/did it . When your mere physical presence screams I WOULD NOT EVEN BUY A USED CAR FROM ME you should avoid “the media” in all its forms.
Slick Rick was the “mastermind” behind the whole scam and everyone in the room knew it. Randy was simply the halfwitted Judas Goat w/ the two foot long ponytail. His apology to Randy on behalf of the State of North Carolina had every reporter in the room grabbing their wooden stake and hammer. Within five minutes he backtracked on that faster than an NFL cornerback trying to cover David Tyree.
Kolchak and The N&Os Jonathan Cox were double-teaming Slick Rick like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock.
At 11:28 the lightbulb finally went on w/ Rick & Randy. This Dog & Pony(tail) Show had been suggested by the P&S guy since he is billed out by the hour or portion there of. Crone pulled the plug at 11:29 but P&S will bill it as one partner at $500 for a full hour.
It truly had become A Raging Dumpster Fire ….
How much Mamma Goodnight charged’em for the coffee set-up and room rental was another “we can’t answer that one either.”
Brad had informed us in advance that Randy had to get back to Sevierville TN by late afternoon for “business reasons” ….. his shift at the Dollywood “Guess Your Weight” booth begins at 6:30.
I spent last Friday morning w/ Randy & Rick & Kolchak and the ScamBusters ….. and I spent Friday afternoon getting $1,500 worth of dental work. All things considered it was a helluva Fun Friday. ….. I hope you had a good one too.
As I reminisce about that Most Glorious Day w/ Randy @ The Ump, I got to thinking What, If Anything, Could Compare and it came to me – The Martin Report @ The Carolina Inn – YES! …. I recall that day, as Po’ Ol’ Guvy Jim hemmed and hawed and stuttered and stammered and wished he was ANYWHERE Else, I turned to The Fabulous Comparato Twins – Paige & Nicole – “All this needs is Randy, Rick and Rufus singing “…. God Made Honky Angels.” …. The FABs had no clue what I was taking about, bless their hearts. 🙂
My friends…. each of you know someone who feeling’ poorly for whatever reasons. They may be bummed out that America’s handbasket is so close to Hell we can feel the heat thru the soles of our Bass Weejuns. Maybe they’ve got personal issues. Whatever. If you take a minute and send them this column, it WILL take their minds off whatever ails’em. At least for five minutes. ….. DO IT!