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Bubba McCoy grudgingly admitted he'd watched most of both those so-called political conventions.

"There weren't any ballgames to watch except some Mississippi State-Vanderbilt replay from the 1990s on the SEC Network," he said.

"I wouldn't walk to the window for Mississippi State and Vanderbilt if they was playin' in my front yard."

Bubba lamented that the world was turned "plumb upside down." He did not mean the virus and unrest. He meant something else.

"I tuned in to a live college football ballgame last Saturday night on ESPN and it was State Teachers College from up at Conway. On national TV. And winning. And it wasn't that bad a game.

"When did Teachers College become a national TV-type program?"

I told him to try to keep up and that it had long been the University of Central Arkansas, or, for national football purposes, Central Arkansas.

"It's Teachers College to me. Always will be. You remember that little dynamo of a quarterback they had in the early- to mid-'60s, name of Bobby Tiner? That was back when the world was right-side-up and Teachers College was where it belonged in a thing called the AIC."

Yes, I remember. I even remember when Little Rock had a minor league pro football team called the Arkansas Diamonds, and Tiner and former Razorback star Jon Brittenum were the quarterbacks, and Tiner the more effective.

But I wondered if we could we get back to the political conventions.

"I reckon so, for whatever you think it's worth," Bubba said.

"The Democrats didn't talk about anything except that Joe Biden is a good guy and Donald Trump ain't, which I knew already, and the Republicans didn't talk about anything except that these protesters are gonna get you if Biden wins because his party won't do anything about 'em, which I kind of knew."

Bubba's political observations were keen, although we could argue whether Democrats would go light on rioters as opposed to protesters.

"Here's what I think," Bubba said.

"I think Joe is a good guy who doesn't really know what he's doing half the time. I think Trump is probably a bad guy who knows what he's doing most of the time.

"People like you who tell me it's important that I pick between 'em--I just don't buy it. I figure I'll do my social distancing by not voting. Either way, I'm gonna keep sitting here in the big middle of mostly nowhere and try to sell a few used vehicles. And punching the remote hoping for something better than Mississippi State and Vanderbilt."

Did Bubba not fear for the nation in a second Trump term?

"Oh, I figure Pelosi will impeach Trump three or four times if he gets a second term. And I might worry if I let myself think about such things, just as I might worry if I let myself think about Kamala Harris being president in a couple of years."

What was with the fear of Harris--sexism, racism or both?

"Don't start that mess with me. She just seems smart-alecky and about half-mean."

I suggested Bubba would say the same about Elizabeth Warren, just as he'd said much the same about Hillary Clinton, and that his failing might be sexism more clearly than racism.

The issue centered on Bubba's disapproval of seeming arrogance, imperiousness and meanness in those women when he would fault a man less for those same qualities or flaws.

Bubba shot back: "I just told you Trump was a bad guy and it's for some of those same reasons."

But Trump was not bad enough that he'd vote against him.

"And I just said I'm not voting against Joe and Kamala Harris either. I've got you this time, Mr. Col-Yum-Nist."

Perhaps he did.

I wondered: Whither our country, and our society, and humankind, if a good-enough ol' boy decides not to vote in the presidential race because the candidates prove unworthy of his vote and the effect of the choice on his life seems to him nonexistent or pointless?

"Oh, it ain't that bad," he said.

"What you and I need to do is enjoy the time we've got left, drinking a little whiskey in my case and a little frou-frou wine in yours and watching college boys spread the virus to each other by butting heads for our amusement every weekend. We'll be long gone by the time AOC gets us turned into Denmark-West, and she'll be able to get it done because that's what the people will want."

I told Bubba he probably was right and to have a happy Labor Day.

He said it'd be like any other day except that he thinks his wife usually gives him permission on holiday weekends to grill himself a real hamburger instead of the usual ground-turkey burger.

"See there," he said. "I've got something to look forward to."


John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame. Email him at Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.


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