Jon Dawson: Woman blamed for UNC basketball woes has ties to Lenoir County

Paulette Burroughs entertains fans in the parking lot of a Biz Markie concert in 2020. Photo by Richard Clark.

Eastern North Carolina media fixture and Miss Wackaloon 1981 Paulette Burroughs has surfaced after a nine-month exile.

After selling her chain of used bathroom tissue outlets to Roger Waters in 2018, Burroughs quickly squandered her millions in Atlantic City.

“After throwing back a few dozen Aunt Roberta cocktails at the bar she went nuclear and ordered an Aunt Esther,” said Richard Clark, a bartender at the Golden Collard Casino in Atlantic City. “The Aunt Roberta cocktail is widely regarded as the strongest mixed drink in the world, while the Aunt Esther is so strong it’s illegal to even own a copy of the recipe. When we told Mrs. Burroughs we couldn’t legally make the Aunt Esther cocktail, she scooched over the bar and made it herself, setting off the fire alarm several times in the process.”

Within a few months, Burroughs’ hangover subsided and she found herself broke, living in a display tent in the sporting goods section of a Walmart in Undershirt, Arkansas. Devoid of money, friends, or the ability to pronounce the word “Worcestershire”, Burroughs headed for the highway, where she hitchhiked her way back to North Carolina.

Two out of two Tax Deductions recommend Blizzard Building Supply, located at 405 Walston Avenue, Kinston.

“I was very lucky,” Burroughs said. “A guy driving a tofu delivery truck headed for Chapel Hill picked me up. Since I used to drive Rick James’ tour bus I was able to take a few shifts behind the wheel. He got a little salty when the cab of the truck got hung up in the awning of a Bojangles drive-thru in Kentucky but was amazed by the dozens of old boyfriends I kept running into at all the truck stops. After the fourth “HONK IF YOU’VE DATED PAULETTE” bumper sticker we saw, he realized he had royalty riding shotgun.”

Once in Chapel Hill, Paulette scoured the wanted ads. She applied for a job at the Beach Cafe on the University of North Carolina campus.

“I was very lucky to land the job at the Beach Cafe,” Burroughs said. “After I was caught selling counterfeit sauerkraut at Lefty’s Leftovers restaurant in Kinston a few years ago, I never thought I’d have the chance to work in or embezzle from a restaurant ever again.”

Always the life of the party, Paulette quickly befriended several members of the UNC basketball team.

“I’ve been a Tar Heel fan all my life,” Burroughs said. “Not many people know it, but Dean Smith got the idea for the Four Corners offense while I was chasing him around a Denny’s for an autograph. Remember Michael Jordan sticking his tongue out? I told him if he did that it would scare defenders away. I’m not saying I’m responsible for his success, but a few points off of those shoe sales would set me up with potted meat in perpetuity.”

Paulette Burroughs has become a folk hero in Chapel Hill, although it’s rumored the UNC Tar Heels basketball coaching staff would like her to relocate to Durham.

“Most of the team hangs out with Paulette because she has cool stories about beating up Clint Eastwood and working as Kanye’s crayon sorter,” said a Tar Heel team manager speaking off the record. “She likes to stay up all night watching reruns of ‘Baretta’, eating pizza, and doing backflips off of balconies.” 

Although the players are finely tuned athletes, none of them have the stamina or strength of Paulette Burroughs,  According to, she has won the Lenoir County Demolition Derby a record 17 times, four of which were without the use of a vehicle.

Reports that Paulette Burroughs was seen delivering a crate of Just For Men hair dye to Mike Krzyzewski’s office last Friday could not be confirmed nor denied by Duke University.

Jon Dawson’s books are available at

The entire archive of shows can be found at

The Bryan Hanks Show airs on 960-AM in Kinston and daily at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. It also airs on the suite of stations in New Bern and Greenville (107.5-FM) at 6 p.m.

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