Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sanford brings home silver in Jobsledding

Below: Sanford poses with an out-of-state supporter
Competitors drive economies downhill in new winter sport

B & P News – Torino, Italy

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford secured a silver medal Friday in the newest sport in the Winter Games – Olympic Jobsledding. The sport, in which competitors see who can drive a state economy downhill the fastest, is Sanford’s “second-favoritest sport in the world, next to bicycle riding.”

“It’s taken me three years to become the second best jobsledder in the world,” said Sanford in a telephone interview from Italy. “My hat goes off to Gold Medalist Mississippi. Enjoy it while it lasts.”

But not everyone shares Sanford’s enthusiasm. Critics have smeared Sanford’s second-highest unemployment performance with claims that the governor is using performance-diminishing drugs to attain such a high level of joblessness so quickly.

“When we tested the jobsledders, Sanford’s urine was found to contain large levels of doping agent,” said Olympic nutritionist/economist Boris Kryzlwnkskovsky in a press conference. “But after talking to him, I realize it may be naturally occurring in his case. We’re going to re-test it.”

Sanford says that his job performance was not aided by any foreign substances.

“I achieved this distinction based on my own inabilities, not performance diminishing drugs,” said the medalist. “Ten percent lack of inspiration, ninety percent lack of perspiration. Seven percent unemploymentation.”

The Governor is the second South Carolina political entity to earn a medal in Torino. Last week, former Sanford spokesman Will Folks earned a bronze in “gurling,” another new sport which features male competitors pushing a girl across a length of ice towards a piece of furniture.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Colorblind merchant inadvertently opens "green dot" liquor store

"Your kidding me, right?" asks storeowner. "That's green? Shit."

B&P News - Swansea

In what may be a South Carolina first, local colorblind businessman Steve Enfinger recently opened a "green dot" liquor store on Highway 321.

"I don't know how it happened," Enfinger said Tuesday. "When the Sheriff pointed it out, I was like 'You're kidding me, right?'"

South Carolina law requires a red dot to be displayed on the outside of buildings that distribute spirits. The red dot traces its origin to circular Coca-Cola signs, which were subsequently painted full crimson to indicate alcohol sales.

Sheriff Moot Flair was sympathetic to Enfinger, but asked him to repaint the dots by week's end. "That poor bastard," stated Flair. "You should have seen the look on his face. He said, 'That's green? Shit.' I laughed my ass off. "

This was Enfinger's second setback due to color-blindness, or Daltonism, this year. In May, the businessman inadvertently baked his wife a green velvet cake for her birthday.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This blog is too new to have "vaults" to plunder, but over the next couple days I thought I'd share some posts from the early days of Barbecue & Politics... Enjoy!

Christian Exodus assails Gaffney Peachoid

Below: Gaffney's Peachoid water tower
Homo-erotic pornography has no place in SC skyline , says leader

B & P News - Gaffney

Christian Exodus, the upstate organization that seeks to establish a government of fundamental Christian values, has cited its first objective -- the demolition of the Gaffney "Peachoid."

"That ain't no water tower," said the group's president, Ted Flinch. "It's flat-out porno, and it has no place in the Carolina sky. Why do you think my son's so gay?"

Flinch's four-month old son had no noticeable reaction to the comment, but Gaffney residents have been quick to defend their peach-shaped water tower, erected in 1981.

"Yeah, it kind of looks like a hiney or whatever," said Emma Jean Broadus, owner of the Broadus Pharmacy and Gun Shop on Main Street. "But so do real peaches. At least they didn't put the fuzz on it."

In a press release issued on late Saturday, Flinch stated that Christian Exodus will boycott public water supplies until the Peachoid is removed or covered.

While the opposition is not expected to result in the Peachoid's removal, it could present problems for another water tower currently under consideration in the city. A public hearing for the "Shroom-oid" -- a backup tower shaped like a thick-stemmed mushroom with a bulbous cap -- is scheduled for next month.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

‘Henry McMaster facts’ craze sweeps internet

Below: McMaster, whose tears cure
cancer. Too bad he never cried.
McMasterisms typically assign super-human qualities to Attorney General

B & P News - Columbia

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office hardly seems a likely source of the next hot trend, but that hasn’t stopped the grass-fire proliferation of a new internet phenomenon -- “Henry McMaster facts.” These McMasterisms, as they are also known, are typically extreme exaggerations about the Republican Attorney General that are created, compiled, and circulated in internet forums such as fansites and weblogs.

And their popularity seems to be growing exponentially. One example is the popular website, which reports the following Henry McMasterisms:

Henry McMaster has to register every part of his body as a separate lethal weapon. His spleen is considered a concealed weapon in over 50 states.

Henry McMaster once rode a nine foot grizzly bear through an automatic car wash, instead of taking a shower.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Henry McMaster.

Henry McMaster once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants are known today as Giraffes.

Some analysts believe McMaster’s persona as a crimefighter contributes to his elevation to hero status, especially among students. The epicenter of this particular trend seems to be an offshoot of the University of South Carolina College Republicans that calls itself McMaster Beta Epsilon (MBE).

“Internet fads like the recent ‘Henry McMaster facts’ obsession often take root on college campuses,” said USC social science professor Chris P. Kareem. “I’m not surprised that the McMaster Betas were the instigators of this particular mania.”

The MBE website features what is probably the most comprehensive list of McMasterisms, including the following :

Henry McMaster knows the last digit of pi.

When Henry McMaster wants an egg, he cracks open a chicken.

Henry McMaster is widely predicted to be first black president. If you're thinking to yourself, "But Henry McMaster isn't black," then you are dead wrong. And stop being a racist.

Henry McMaster can make a woman climax simply by pointing in her direction and saying “boo-ya.”

When Henry McMaster falls in water, Henry McMaster doesn't get wet. Water gets Henry McMaster.

Sources close to the Attorney General say that he is unaware of the phenomenon and his cult status among thousands of McMaster enthusiasts. Most say his reputation takes a back seat to simply doing his job well.

“Any time Henry McMaster spends on the internet is time spent cracking down on online predators,” said McMaster spokesman Trey Walker. “When he finds them, he stalks and destroys them with extreme prejudice. That’s why he drives an ice cream truck covered in human skulls.”

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sanford delivers "economic good news"

Below: Sanford shares details of
"economic windfall" for Palmetto State
Governor to save a ton of money on his car insurance

B & P News - Columbia

Despite having a the second-highest unemployment rate in America, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford expressed optimism Wednesday about an economic boon that could jump-start his sagging approval rating and his bid for re-election in the June GOP primary.

“I know a lot of people, particularly unemployed ones, get depressed about the state’s floundering, forty-ninth ranked economy,” said Sanford in a press conference. “But I’m here to deliver some terrific financial news: I just saved a ton of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO.”

Economic analysts question whether the savings of around 15% or more - the result of a 15-minute call from the Governor’s Office - will translate to any sort of tangible benefit to the state’s economy. Sanford says that the insurance savings prove that he is doing an adequate job as governor, despite his "Achilles heel" of "leadership, the economy, and education."

“Perhaps I’m not a great governor, or a good governor, or even one of the top 47 governors in the country,” said Sanford. “But I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A messenger for Bessinger

Growing up in West Columbia, I always considered Maurice Bessinger a sort of father figure. I’ve mentioned before that my tee-ball team was sponsored by Piggie Park, and I considered Little Joe, the illuminated cartoon pig who monitors the intersection of Charleston Highway and Airport Boulevard, to be one of the Seven Wonders of West Columbia.

But the name Bessinger is synonymous with barbecue in the Lowcountry, too. Octogenarian Melvin, whose son David now runs Melvin's Bar-B-Que in Mount Pleasant, is the oldest living Bessinger restaurateur -- a word which surprisingly lacks an n. His relationship with his Midlands-based younger brother, best as I gathered from reading “The Story of Melvin’s Legendary Bar-B-Que” and Defending My Heritage: The Maurice Bessinger Story, has been strained, to put it lightly.

Each Bessinger claims to have been promised the family biz in Holly Hill by father Joe, after whom each of the brothers has named a sandwich. According to Melvin’s story, “Melvin’s father asked him on his death bed to run the famous restaurant after he passed away.” This was 1949.

According to Maurice’s account of his teen years, “I’d never given such matters much thought, but Daddy said to us that ‘Maurice will get the business…’” This was 1947.

Each claims their sauce is the secret family recipe. Says Melvin’s, “His father gave him at the age of 10 years old the Golden Secret Recipe and how to cook the hogs in the ground as well as other family recipes.”

Maurice has a different account. “It was an old family heirloom. Actually, it is hundreds of years old. Daddy went on improving and refining it for the rest of his life. I inherited the recipe when I built Piggie Park Enterprises into the largest barbecue operation in the world.”

I have my own theory, called the Third Bessinger-Hunley-Lizard Man Conspiracy, but I’ll share that at another time. For now, let me say that if you find yourself in Mount Pleasant, like Gervais did last weekend, you must go get some of Melvin’s 'cue. I had the Blue Plate Special: pulled pork, the best collards I’ve had this millennium, cornbread, and cole slaw. It was great. Not a buffet, but that’s my only gripe. The cheeseburgers are supposedly world renowned, too.

Also, maybe read the Maurice Bessinger story. Even if you don’t believe that public education is an instrument of the New World Order, which is the forerunner to the anti-Christ, you might enjoy this book. Um, no, it’s not at Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Staton fails to garner coveted Will Folks endorsement

Below: Education/business
gurus Bob Staton and Will Folks
Analysts blame ‘Will Folks joke’ for non-endorsement

B & P News - Columbia

Republican Bob Staton was dealt a crushing blow this week in his campaign to become the state’s next Superintendent of Education when he failed to earn the endorsement of former Sanford spokesman and highly esteemed education/business expert Will Folks.

“I can’t endorse Bob Staton because I don’t feel he represents the Republican Party like I do,” wrote Folks in an op-ed titled 'SanFloyd for GovernaCation,' which was rejected by the State Newspaper, the Free Times, the Carolina Trader, and several computer printers. “What do business and education leaders like Bob Staton know that I don’t, as a former spokesman for prolly one of the awesomest governors ever?”

Most experts agree that the non-endorsement from Folks is a setback that could possibly take the Republican candidate moments to overcome.

“Staton will need to somehow bounce back after losing what is known in political circles as the ‘Folks Nod’,” said Francis Marion political science professor Ginger L. Blenheim. “Usually the Folks endorsement is a reliable indicator of who will get Will Folks’ vote, and unfortunately for Republican Bob Staton, it looks like this crucial demographic will go to another candidate.”

Some insiders speculate that Folks’ refusal to endorse Staton has less to do with ideology than the Education Oversight Committee chairman’s recent attempt to insert a “Will Folks Joke” into the high school science curriculum. Staton says that claim is exaggerated.

“I simply wanted our high school students to be able to critically analyze the difference between Will Folks and a neutron,” said Staton in an interview with B & P News. “The difference being, of course, that there’s no charge associated with a neutron.”

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bono lends support to SC unemployment crisis

Below: Bono tackles job creation while
Governor Mark Sanford recounts a fishing trip.
JOBS AID concert hopes to raise gubernatorial awareness of unemployment

B & P News – Columbia

Grammy-winning recording artist Bono has pledged to help alleviate South Carolina’s economic suffering by headlining a benefit concert, JOBS AID, next month. According to the U2 frontman, the goal of the benefit is to help draw international attention – and possibly even the attention of the Governor’s Office – to the unemployment crisis in the state.

“I never want to turn my back when there’s a disaster, and South Carolina’s 49th-ranked unemployment certainly qualifies,” said Bono in an exclusive interview with B & P News. “Raising awareness, particularly gubernatorial awareness, is key to solving this crisis.”

In a joint press conference, Governor Mark Sanford praised the singer for his efforts with JOBS AID, but added that South Carolina’s unemployment was due to “people from Michigan moving here” and “not really a crisis, per se.” He said that the state “has to get worse before it gets better” and that South Carolina “reports data differently than other states.”

Sanford continued that the rankings “probably don’t account for small businesses” and that “Airbus would’ve only employed a hundred workers.” He maintained that there is a “lag between jobs being created and announced” and said “let’s hear it for a great year at Commerce!” Sanford concluded his remarks with a short story about a recent fishing trip.

Replied Bono, “This is going to be a lot bloody harder than I thought.”

JOBS AID is scheduled for March 25th on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion. Tickets are $50.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Shealy’s gets the crown

It’s a rule in the Bridges family that you don’t set foot in/near Batesburg-Leesville without getting some of the best barbecue in the history of civilization, from Shealy’s Bar-B-Que. I happened to be out that way last weekend, to judge a beauty pageant.

I know, I know…Gervais is like the John Roberts of barbecue, but a beauty pageant?

It’s actually the second time I judged this particular contest, and Gervais says, there is nothing like a rural South Carolina beauty pageant. Where else will you hear the emcee say, “Her hobbies include deer-hunting with her boyfriend,” or “mud-bogging,” or “catching crawfish in the creek in her backyard.” And no, I’m not making those up.

My favorite part about being a judge is interviewing the contestants. I asked each girl about the last book she read, and was floored when one girl said Fahrenheit 451. These were some of the brightest, most genuine, and most talented women you’ll ever meet. Easy on the eyes, too.

One of the perks of being a judge this night was that Shealy’s provided the grub, gratis. Pulled pork barbecue, fried chicken, green beans, apples & carrots, and rice with milk gravy – forgetaboutit… the apples and carrots were surprisingly good, and the rice and milk gravy might be what the next world war is fought over.

If you’re in or even near B-L, do yourself a favor and get some of Shealy’s barbecue. It’s the most beautiful product to come out of South Carolina since Kimberly Aiken.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Funny Top Ten List

Top 10 Sanford excuses for South Carolina’s second-worst-in-the-nation unemployment rate

10. Hit his head during bicycling accident, damaging the part of the brain that controls job creation.

9. It’s entirely possible that, on some level, he wanted to make younger brother Phil look like less of a failure in the eyes of their parents

8. (tie) Typographical error led administration to relentlessly pursue AirBust, whose Lee County inflatable bra factory employs a paltry seven workers.

8. (tie) Bureau of Labor Statistics counts some South Carolina jobs as "Georgia jobs," due to their location in Georgia and their workers, who are Georgians.

7. Felt obligated after high school class voted him 'Most Likely To Single-Handedly Cripple an Entire State’

6. All those unemployed people from out-of-state flocking to S.C. in search of greener pastures, you know, like in Marion County.

5. 49th ranking part of secret economic development plan to lure San Francisco-based football franchise to the state.

4. Trying to narrow SC's workforce down to a single employee, who will be named the next Apprentice.

3. Sanford thought Bob Faith was going to create the jobs, while he brought the dessert; Bob Faith thought Sanford was going to create the jobs while HE brought the dessert. You should have seen the look on their faces when they both showed up with the dessert. Priceless.

2. Swears he set his unemployment alarm for 6.9%, but it must not have gone off.

1. Recent release of Johnny Paycheck greatest hits album inspiring a disproportionate number of South Carolinians to "take this job and shove it."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Why I’m co-sponsoring H. 4347

By Rep. Drink Small (D- Bluesville)

Guest Columnist

I was born a thirsty child, never could get enough. I said I was born a thirsty child, never could get enough. Mama would breastfeed me all day long, man that breastmilk was the stuff.

She'd breastfeed me in the church, on the farm, and in the city. Talkin' 'bout she’d breastfeed me in the church, on the farm, and in the city. And nobody said a word, 'cause Mama had great big eyes and they were pretty.

One day I was being fed, while she was shopping for some shoes. That's right -- I was being fed, and she was shopping for some shoes. Shoe store owner said no way, and I got the public breastfeeding blues.

That’s why I’m cosponsorin' H. 4347, now that I'm a grown up man. I said that's why I'm cosponsorin' H. 4347, now that I'm a grown up man. Shoe store fella said Mama can’t breastfeed there, but I say yes she can.

Representative Small is a blues physician and member of the House Ramblin' Committee.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Palmetto Pig, January Highlights

Inadvertantly hip Mike Fair

I finally made my way back to the Palmetto Pig yesterday for lunch. My buddy Lucius put it best when he said, “I don’t think it’s possible to have bad meal here.”

Something I like to do, usually on my second trip to the buffet bar, is to get a little hash, some baked beans (not a lot), some rice, some cole slaw, and some pulled pork, then mix it all up and smother it with the “original sauce.” It might not sound great, but it is.

I like to experiment a little with my foods, I guess. Hannah Jane can't stand it when I make a "cornbread milkshake."

This was my first trip to the Pig in over a month, since around the time of the Kiawah Marathon. Gervais says, a month is a long time to go without the Pig’s righteous offerings. As I masticated, which sounds dirty but isn’t, I thought about how January flew by.

Best as I remember, this is what went down:

January 1st – Senator John Land records Democratic response to Sanford’s State of the State address.
January 6th – Lou Rawls dies at 72. Sanford lowers flags on state property to half mast, chastises other state governors for their lack of respect.
January 10th – First day of the 2006 legislative session. Bill introduced to “abolish property taxes forever and ever, Amen” by Rep. Travis, arguably the best baritone in the House.
January 11th – Candidates for state office disclose finances. Governor has $4.6 million campaign war chest, or roughly $100,000 for each state with better unemployment than SC.
January 12th – US Senator Lindsey Graham tries to soothe bawling wife of Alito by crooning first verse of "No Woman No Cry" at Senate confirmation hearing, earns lifetime endorsement from NORML.
January 17th – Myrtle Beach man arrested for faking his own death in 1979 to avoid paying child support. Attorney General Henry McMaster punches the man in the mouth repeatedly and issues press release about it.
January 18th – State of the State Address. Tons of praise heaped upon newest Thomas Friedman book by the Governor. Friedman is grateful, and says that of all the governors he would’ve picked to endorse his book, Sanford was “definitely in the top forty-nine.”
January 22th – Senator Mike Fair shows his aversion to church-state separation by wearing his “Jesus is my homeboy” T-shirt into the Senate chamber.
January 24th – Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows SC at 49th in joblessness. Say it to my face, BLS. That’s what I thought.
January 26th – New bill, dubbed “Put Parents in Charge II,” is introduced, but killed in committee after it is discovered the primary sponsor is “Rep. Dennis Sinned (R- Elliville).”
January 31st – First debate in Governor’s race. Sanford did not attend because of a “wardrobe malfunction” which left one of his nipples exposed.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

These people should admit they’re working for Oscar Lovelace

By Anonymous Commenter

Guest Columnist

I’m sick of all these people going around not admitting they’re working for Oscar Lovelace.

Just the other day, I was reading the paper, and there’s this article by some shithead about South Carolina’s unemployment being so bad. Why is he bringing that up now, in an election year? He’s working for Oscar Lovelace, that’s why. He should probably admit this in his articles.

It reminds me of the political science professor who said Governor Sanford was “lost in space” during the State of the State address. Does Francis Marion University know this professor is moonlighting for the Lovelace campaign? They should. He should tell them. Because he is.

What are the odds that there’s a TIME magazine in Dr. Lovelace’s waiting room? Probably pretty good. They work for him. I’m just saying.

My barber, I don’t know about him. He’s been cutting my hair for years, and then all of a sudden the other day he says that Sanford’s a bad governor, credit rating, unemployment blah blah blah. Is he working for the Lovelace campaign? If you ask me, yes he is. He is working for the Oscar Lovelace campaign, and should admit it.

Come to think of it, my girlfriend’s been acting all weird lately. You know, just being real standoffish and stuff. I’m breaking up with her. No girlfriend of mine is going to work for the Lovelace campaign.

In conclusion, a lot of people out there have a lot of admitting to do, particularly about working for the Oscar Lovelace campaign. These people need to be totally honest, and ask themselves, am I employed by the Oscar Lovelace campaign? More often than not, the answer is yes, and they should admit it.

Anonymous Commenter is a freelance commenter whose area of expertise is Oscar Lovelace campaign-related employment. His previous contributions include “How much is your daddy paying you?”, "You are Ross," and “Admit you work for Oscar Lovelace.”