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NAX: Bubba’s hot over a burned-up governor’s mansion - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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NAX: Bubba’s hot over a burned-up governor’s mansion

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Posted: Sunday, May 24, 2009 12:00 am

After not hearing from my buddy Bubba Gravelhauler for the better part of a month, he called to ask if I could drop by the Crawl On Inn to help settle a dispute.

I took the first opportunity — since he was offering to buy the longnecks.

I arrived at the appointed time and found Bubba and one of his golfing partners, Mort, involved in a rather heated exchange.

Bubba waved me over and said, “You got here just in time. Me and Mort been talkin’ about this whole governor’s mansion thing and how they been figurin’ out ways to restore it after somebody set it on fire. And I got a little ticked when they started sayin’ they was gonna take $11 million of that there stimulus cash and use it to rebuild the place. Then I saw where it was gonna cost another $10 million in state tax money on top of that. So I’m claimin’ we ought to go another way. But Mort claims that there’s somethin’ in state law that says we gotta furnish the governor a place to live and that it has to be right there down by the Capitol. Which is it?”

I told both of them that I wasn’t an expert on the subject, but I thought a lot of the pressure to rebuild the mansion was because of tradition. “It’s a historic building, and I think they want to keep it where it is. But I really don’t think there’s a specific law that says it has to be on that sight.”

Bubba got a superior look on his face and said, “So we could tear down what’s left and turn it into a park, or a bar, or somethin’ useful? And maybe we could move the guv out to the edge of town where things are a bit cheaper? I win the bet.”

Mort allowed as how he was claiming that they’d build back at the same location and if that happened, he’d win the bet.

Bubba said, “Yeah, but you said it was because they have to build back at the same place because it was the law. It ain’t the law. We could stick him in a doublewide out by Willie’s golf course if we wanted to. You lose.”

I was mapping out a way to slip away quietly when Bubba asked me what I thought was going to happen.

“Well, I think they’re bound and determined to rebuild the original mansion. And that’s kind of funny since Rick Perry has spent all this time bad-mouthing stimulus money and now it looks like they’re going to use it to get him back in the house.”

Before I excused myself, I asked Mort and Bubba what kind of stakes were involved in the bet. Bubba said it was money; Mort said beer.

So I left them arguing heatedly about both the bet and the payout. Maybe we can get some stimulus money for an anger management course.

Odessa, TX

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