Down Yonder to that UFO

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

First it was the alien abduction.

Then it was the duck that talked to himself.

All within an hour of each other.

Oh, and then there was the fast food drive-through: "Good morning welcome to (don't even think I'm going to name them since they have a Bazillion dollars and I have $425.77 in the bank) may I take your order."

Don't they know, why else would you be sitting there in the ORDER lane. "Yes I would like a _____ (I'm telling you I'm not telling) and a coffee black 5 or 6 sugars please."

"Okay a @#$%^*&+&%$#@!!"

"Huh."

I have no idea what she/he said, what language he/she said it in, or what I had just possibly agreed to. So I repeated my order.

"Drive around." This of course was loud and clear.

Two miles down the road when I looked in the bag, this is what I got: An Orange Juice, 3 packets of sugar and a chocolate milkshake.

Doesn't that just burn your arse.

And I would have been pretty mad had not the UFO been heading my way.

If you are reading this I am either filing it from the media room in the Bi-Lo Center, or that Cantina in Star Wars where I'm munching peanuts with Elvis and Jimmy Hendrix.

Either way, it usually reads pretty much the same.

So get this, I'm driving South, or maybe West or East on Highway 123 possibly in the middle or one of the ends of South Carolina, I would know that but Jill my magical GPS has no clue as to where we are, all I can see where my car shape usually is is a ? mark.

Which actually would be correct at this point in time.

Outside the fog is so bad I'm actually contemplating driving close to the speed limit. You want to know how bad, go get some of that fake spider-web stuff you have up in your attic for next Halloween, fluff it all up, glue it to your face and go out and drive around the block.

That's what I'm driving in right now. It's 5:30am, I just followed some tiger paws in the street, must be Clemson, to a CO VEN EN E Store with some neon issues to ask the person inside if they know where the Women's Bassmaster Tour Championship was being held, here's how the conversation went (keep in mind it's 5:30AM and my remembering may be stunted):

Bells on the door jingling.

Me: "Hello...hello...anybody here..."

Somebody: "Why Yeeeessss..."

Me: "Ah." Workers everywhere reading this, if you are stocking things under the counter, MAKE SOME NOISE.

Me: "I'm trying to find the WBT launch any chance you know where that is."

Somebody: "Why Yeeesss..."

Me: I'm not saying anything and haven't figured out how to quote that yet.

Somebody: "You just go back outside (no kidding that's what she told me) go down about 5-6 lights and turn left and it's right down yonder there."

Me: "Thank you." I left.

But the thing was she was right, give or take a yonder or so.

The UFO came at Yonder number 3.

I'm driving through that fake spider web you should still have glued on your face when suddenly out of nowhere a bright light descended from the clouds and came charging right at me.

Now the minivan I'm in has a very good crash rating, but I'm not sure the feds have tested them for side impact damage from a Vulcan Cruiser (USofA if that's what you are doing right now out at Area 51 I take it all back).

And so I braced for that ray they use to scoop us up to the heavens, or cut up cows, at just about the same time the Locomotive broke though the fog and barreled down the railroad tracks next to me that was hidden by the spider web fog.

The last Yonder was a hairpin turn which contributed to my screeching four-wheel drift into the Women's Bassmaster Tournament parking lot.

And in complete darkness and bone chilling fog, 12 women with tiny flashlights strapped to their heads were getting ready for Day 3, the final day of the championship.

It was a scene straight out of Transylvania (if Transylvania actually gets the net, you know what I mean). You could feel the light in the mist, stray particles of bright floating along in tiny drops of water, something right out of the Abbott & Costello Meets Frankenstein movie (goggle it to find a movie that can scare the pants off you without the aid of a chain saw).

No crowds though, no media (except me and most of the media around here cringe at that thought), no helicopters, no Mike & Anybody, no TV-Live or Not, no booths selling stuff.

Just me, 12 women athletes, Deb who runs the thing, a bunch of husbands who introduced themselves to me as "Bass Caddies," some mighty fine muffins, and a Duck named, Bob.

And that's a freakin' shame.

Not the duck, any duck that talks to hisself in hubcaps is cool in my book, but the fact that other than family and friends, these athletes launched into a cold fog, mostly unseen.

The fog a perfect metaphor for their sport.

Trust me when I say this, and I'm not saying it to get more of the delicious blueberry muffins, I went to the launch, I watched them prepare, I talked with them, I saw them launch into the white cloud...

...and I didn't lose my MANHOOD doing so.

And I checked.

And to prove it, I'm going down to Lake Neely Henry in Gadsden, AL, May 22-24 and cover their tournament in full, not just the last day the last launch, and Ladies I APOLOGIZE for doing that today.

And I invite you to join me.

If you're man enough.

db

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