Are We Sure I’m in the RIGHT Place?

Years ago, I was between wives and on a business trip in an unfamiliar city when a colleague and I stumbled into a bar because we noticed a lot of women heading through the door.

As we entered, we thought “WOW, the odds are stacked in our favor”—the only other guys in sight were a bartender and a couple of bouncers leaning against the wall.

However, glancing around, we discovered all the gals were dancing together and those at tables sat hand-in-hand nibbling each other’s ears. Clearly our wildest fantasies were not going to come true. We were about as welcome as Jane Fonda at an American Legion Veterans Day barbecue. One wrong move and the two bouncers would have been all over us like ugly on a gorilla.

That’s kind of how I feel here in the middle of Folio Weekly. Probably the same way the folks in liberal Austin, Texas feel when they drive outside of those “weird” city limits, or Appalachian coal miners when they arrive in liberal Asheville, North Carolina.

It’s that feeling of “Am I really supposed to be here?” Like pledging a college fraternity, then realizing that half the brothers are nitwit legacies who were locked in the attic during pledge week.

Now, I’m not saying that the folks at Folio Weekly or that you, its readers, are mean-spirited, non-accepting, narrow-minded or dim. Not at all. But as a loyal Folio Weekly reader, it’s hard not to notice that our outlook on a lot of subjects runs in opposite directions. In fact, I’ve met only one Folio Weekly employee so far, Editor Claire Goforth, a very attractive, blue-eyed redhead with a My Fair Lady-like name. She’s a delightful young woman with a quick wit, a fine writer and a skilled editor. In case you didn’t notice, this is called sucking up.

When offering me the opportunity to write for FW, she suggested we give it a six-week run to see how it goes. I assume if the offices aren’t attacked by the “resistance” tossing rotten fruit, screaming slogans, throwing rocks and demanding my head, it’ll proceed. Being ignored could also signal the end of the line. So I’m looking for a happy medium, in other words, slightly toasted, happily lit readers who enjoy my thoughts.

I started my career at large daily newspapers, and after leaving journalism, continued penning editorials and letters to the editor in the various cities life has taken me. Upon moving to Amelia Island almost seven years ago, I did a stint writing a weekly column for the Fernandina Beach News-Leader.

As in my column and my blog, my comments here will consist of reflections on various local, regional or national incidents, ranging from the most scenic coastal areas to stare at on your cell phone and my favorite sea turtle and manatee recipes, to excerpts from David Yulee’s prison diary and accounts of enraged Norwegian tourists who can’t find lutfisk at T-Ray’s Burger Station.

Backed by my crack research staff of drinking buddies, reliable honky-tonk sources, and writing fueled by vast quantities of beer, this column will be devoted to anything I feel like musing about, including local restaurants and beer joints, searching for smoked mullet, BBQ cook-offs, and other finger-licking, rib-sucking, chili-slurping, best-hamburger-in-the-world type activities that I think would be of interest to me and the friends my first wife would never have allowed on the porch, let alone in the house. I’ll throw in a dose of silliness, political nonsense, stupid movie, TV and local media reviews, dim people doing dumb things, and lots of claptrap my ex-wife and liberal political-science professors will hate. I’ll do my best to keep it on an interest level that hovers above linoleum and boiled cabbage.

So, if you have ideas I should pursue, or just want to complain that you can’t stand me or what I write, contact the Florida Times-Union. No, just kidding, email me or Claire and her associates. I’m sure their addresses are somewhere in this paper but I don’t know where. I’m new here.

Scott is a former newspaper reporter and retired corporate and agency public relations professional. He blogs at; contact him at [email protected].