By Jon Dawson
Legendary newspaper office concierge, Rick James muse and Post Office Wanted Poster Hall of Fame inductee Paulette Burroughs has been on my mind.
About a month ago, a very nice man by the name of David Stone called me out of the blue. He was looking for a copy of the story I wrote years ago wherein Paulette stole the replica of the C.S.S. Neuse, only to be caught when the boat became entangled in a Bojangles drive-thru awning on her way out of town.
“I threw a dollar in a donation bucket when they were raising money to build that boat,” Paulette said during a recent phone interview. “In my mind, I was a partial owner and didn’t see any problem with borrowing it.”
Paulette’s tumultuous relationship with historical monuments was not limited to the C.S.S. Neuse incident. In 2015, she was cited for vandalism at the site of the Mt. Rushmore Memorial after single-handedly attempting to carve the likeness of Richard Petty next to the face of George Washington.
In 2016, while vacationing in England, Burroughs painted several sections of the Stonehenge monument to resemble dominoes, and after doing so, reportedly, used her rental car in an attempt to knock them over.
“Excuse me for trying to make history fun,” Paulette said during the ensuing trial. “It’s just a pile of rocks in a circle; there’s not even a gift shop!”
Paulette’s antics morphed from localized acts of tomfoolery to full-blown international diaper storm when she tricked an international drug cartel into purchasing what they believed to be a few hundred pounds of valuable narcotics.
“I’ve been sweeping up pollen and collecting it in a barrel for years,” Paulette said. “I didn’t see any point in dumping the pollen in the trash, as that would just be setting it free to cause more havoc. One spring just after having topped off the barrel I found myself on a chartered bus to the Montreal Casino. As soon as the bus crossed over into Canada we pulled into a rest stop where I overheard two guys talking about needing some ‘white powder’ for their business.”
As it turns out, the conversation Burroughs was eavesdropping on was between two members of the notorious Canadian Crédule Cartel. Burroughs saw an opportunity to get rid of her barrel of pollen while making a tidy profit.
“By the time I stopped talking I had them convinced I’d send them all the powder they needed,” Burroughs said. “I told them I’d douse it in yellow food coloring so as to disguise it as mustard powder. They thought it was a genius idea. Of course all their customers couldn’t afford illegal narcotics after they started buying over-the-counter allergy medicine, which in turn destroyed the Crédule Cartel.”
The remnants of the cartel chased Burroughs throughout Europe for several months, and they nearly caught up with her in London.
“I was working at Buckingham Palace as the Queen’s official page turner,” Burroughs said. “We were in the middle of ‘Fifty Shades of Beige’ when I had to scoot out of town because the cartel’s henchmen were hot on my heels. Eventually most of them found jobs here in the United States as pharmaceutical reps.”
Paulette’s latest crusade has taken her to the steps of the North Carolina legislature.
“I have a petition with 10,000 signatures of people who agree Nabs should be the official snack of North Carolina,” Paulette said. “North Carolina was built on tobacco, and the stomachs of the people who cropped and put in the tobacco were filled with Nabs every morning around 10 a.m. If the British monarchy – who to my knowledge have never put in a barn of tobacco – can stop everyday for tea, then North Carolinians should be able to stop for a Nab and a Pepsi.”
Jon Dawson’s books available at www.JonDawson.com.