Best Blunders of 2022—Raleigh Mag’s Dropped Acorns Awards

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Nope, not the holidays. Our annual Dropped Acorns Awards—aka kinda like the Oscars for best “did they seriously do that” moments. From flubs and faux pas to lapses in judgment and questionable decisions to just straight screwups, this year’s losers—er, winners—do not disappoint. 

Repeat Offender

It seems as though North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson forgot that “girls rule and boys drool.” You may remember Robinson from last year’s Dropped Acorns—despite calling “transgenderism” and homosexuality “filth” while speaking at a church, he’s maintained his position in office. And guess what—Robinson’s at it again (!), this time making a controversial comment about women’s subservient role to men. Pardon us while we check our calendars—nope, not 1922. But, taking us back 100 years, the lieutenant governor (who’s also expected to run for governor in 2024—bring out the “pussyhats”) stated on an extended tour of NC churches: “We are called to be led by men” as part of a critique of the social justice movement. Perhaps someone should play the LG some Queen Bey “Who run the world? Girls!” lyrics. This came on the heels of his bang-up revelation during a sermon at a church the day after a May mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, where Robinson shared he owns AR-15 rifles (the style of gun used in the shooting) “in case the government gets too big for its britches. Because I’m going to fill the backside of those britches with some lead. I’m going to say it to you plain: Your boy ain’t going down without swinging.” Swinging or shooting? Either way, down boy.

Joey Carty

Child’s Play

What do you get when you spend two years of research and six months of design conception on a new logo? A design that could’ve easily been drawn by a child (womp womp). So is the NCMA’s new Clemson-hued (Clemson! Blasphemy!) “visual identity,” revealed in August and inspired by the museum park’s iconic rings of “Gyre” by artist Thomas Sayre. Some called it “bold,” while others mocked it by coming up with satirical slogans like “North Carolina Museum of Hot Wheels,” “North Carolina Museum of Arby’s Curly Fries” (the similarity is uncanny, really) and “North Carolina Museum of My 1-Year-Old’s Doodles.” One disgruntled citizen even went so far as to say, “This new logo is embarrassing. It does for creativity (and NC!) what Trump does for democracy!” Ouch. Mind you, there was nothing wrong with the NCMA’s previous logo, which was made up of a custom alphabet specifically created for the museum by renowned independent design firm Pentagram. Odds are, the former designers are probs feeling a bit salty—which makes sense, considering the new logo also resembles a pretzel. 


Get Trucked

Pro tip: Save the Mario Kart moves for game nights with the boys. Style points for the very creative car crash that occurred at the intersection of Garner Road and McMakin Street this summer, where a truck ran a stop sign, jumped a curb, flipped over and landed atop a parked car in the driveway of a residential building (#Parkour!)… and, no, they weren’t filming the next Fast & Furious movie. If you’re not flipping out already, there was a man inside the building when the crash happened (don’t worry, he was OK—just a bit emotionally wrecked). To boot, ABC11 reported that the truck went airborne. So, turns out, flying cars aren’t just a thing of the future (keep up, Elon Musk). Either way, sounds like the driver needs a crash course. BRB, we’re calling our high school driver’s ed teacher in for backup because this guy needs a brake from being allowed behind the wheel. 


Downtown Raleigh’s Peace Street Bridge has made quite the name for itself, having trapped hundreds of wheeled victims in all its 12-foot, 4-inch glory over the last 60+ years. Seriously, do people even read? There’s a “low clearance” sign. … Or do they think it’s just a suggestion? Perhaps heeding the suggestion in the nick of time—in what can only be described as a new kind of W for the Peace Street Bridge—a semitruck driver made an about-face just before almost wrecking himself at the infamous bridge—causing quite the traffic jam as a line of cars on each side waited for the driver to make what the Twitterverse called a “600-point turn,” almost rear-ending a skateboarder and backing into a wall in the process. So, still “undefeated, undeterred—a bane to those that can’t read numbers”—as the  @PeaceStBridge Twitter bio reads. “Last meal” as of press time “6/14/22.” Ah, reading is fundamental.

Drive-Thru Patio

Seen here applying for his cameo in the movie Crash, a young speed demon wiped out the outdoor seating area of Olde Raleigh Village Rudino’s Sports Corner when he wrecked the car he was driving into it. While first reported to be a 70YO man who accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes, onlookers confirmed the driver was a youth with an apparent need for speed who “sounded like some guy trying to show off…” after hearing “loud exhaust noises… and then crash.” Luckily, his mid-August demolition Derby audition occurred on a Monday—a day of the week the restaurant does not operate, so the only injury was to the popular patio area, left looking more like the aftermath of a frat party (read: broken wood panels and outdoor tables and chairs flipped and strewn about). That and the driver’s bruised ego—which hopefully will get him to slow his roll… 

Screenshots of Zainab Baloch Post before they were later removed.


We already knew politics could get heated, but ex-Raleigh City Council candidate Zainab Baloch really, ahem, fanned the flames of political dysfunction after ending her campaign when she literally lit up (read: set on fire) one of incumbent Councilman Jonathan Melton’s campaign signs in a show of “radical resistance” against Mayor Baldwin, Melton and others in office. She then posted a few pics of her weekend plans on Instagram, and, naturally, everyone in Raleigh reacted (holy smokes, right?!). The post was deleted by the following Monday. But if you think Baloch felt remorse for her fiery endeavor, think again. When The News & Observer asked why she took down the post, Baloch replied, “so I wouldn’t get arrested.” … Fair enough, since it’s a Class 3 misdemeanor to “steal, deface, vandalize or unlawfully remove a political sign that is lawfully placed.” While Baloch might not be a good match for Raleigh, at least she was keeping #HotGirlSummer going. 



Maybe someone should have schooled them on the correct spelling of “friendship.” A clear sign of our government at work, Apex Friendship Elementary School became everyone’s favorite subject this summer before school was in session when photos of its misspelled sign went viral. (Hey, editor job security!) The error drew plenty of fire-y backlash and even landed on The State You’re In Facebook page with the caption “Apxe Firendship School cat’n eb buitl fsat enuogh, litreally.” Ah, a teachable moment. Hopefully, school started with a spelling lesson—followed by one in quality control (seriously, do you know how many eyes saw this sign before it was set in place?). … Though you can hardly blame them when our president is saying things like: “Let me start off with two words… ‘Made in America.’” Let us respond with two words: WTF. (Obv, on purpose–don’t @ us). And, ya know, given the exorbitant signage costs and industry delays, good thing it wasn’t set in stone… er—oops.

Not So Fly

If you needed more proof our country’s politicians struggle with troubleshooting, Rep. Madison Cawthorn was caught for the second time attempting to wheel his way through an airport carrying a loaded gun (because if at first you don’t succeed…?), causing Homeland Security to pull out a few big guns of its own in a letter calling the TSA to “act decisively to ensure repeat offenders like Rep. Cawthorn face the full extent of TSA’s enforcement actions.” Translation: No TSA PreCheck for you, congressman. Perhaps this incident can help the rest of us make a case when our toothpaste is getting confiscated at the security checkpoint—because, for some of us, packing for a trip means stuffing extra snacks in our carry-on rather than a firearm. But on the bright side, with most politicians keeping their heads in the clouds, at least we know one gun-touting congressman who’s staying #grounded. 

Hook, Line & Stinker

Keeping it “reel” (stinky)—and becoming quite the newsy, ahem, clickbait—22,000 pounds of live catfish were strewn all over I-95 in mid-October when a semitruck crashed and turned on its side, casting quite a smelly situation and snarling traffic for hours. Adding fuel to the massive mess—literally—gas was also spilled in the wreck, prolonging the cleanup and making the whole sitch that much more, well, fishy. Luckily, the driver was uninjured. Those fish out of water, though… they never stood a chance. So, um, carpe diem?! 

Bo Hines

Going Bananas

TW: Banana Republic slander. After the FBI search on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, critics—er, Republicans—stated the search made our country look like a “banana republic,” essentially a slang term to describe “poor countries that are politically unstable.” And while it’s a pretty unappealing phrase to begin with, apparently not all of us understand its connotations. And by “all of us” we mean those running for office. 2022 NC-13 Republican candidate (and Banana Republic shopper?) Bo Hines put his foot down on what he thought was slander on the clothing retailer in an August interview, stating “I think that’s an insult to Banana Republics across the country.” … Um, that is simply not ripe. And for this former NC State wide receiver, we’re surprised he didn’t catch his banana blunder—but, hey, at least we know he’s in support of snagging a reasonably priced sweater. 

Lose Yourself

Clearly one way to “lose yourself in the music, the moment”—literally—is to approach Raleigh City Council with an iPhone rapping those famed lyrics from Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” And then reciting them after council requested to silence the music. Yes, that happened. In September, North Hills resident Shane Collins invoked the Detroit rapper in the throes of the fight for affordable housing during the ongoing (stalled) rezoning hearings for Kane Realty’s request to build up to 40 stories in the hood. “He can’t be here,” said Collins of Eminem as he turned off the rap, “so I’m not going to bring him here.” Oh, but he still did. Collins continued by stating the solution to affordable housing is affordable housing, naturally, and, like Yoda channeling Eminem, dropped the rapper’s lyrics from the 2002 8 Mile soundtrack theme song: “Look… you only get one shot. Do not miss your chance… this opportunity comes once in a lifetime.” Mic drop. If only all our problems could be solved by 20-year-old Eminem hits. 🎤 Just wondering if Collins went home to mom’s spaghetti with palms sweaty, knees weak, arms heavy. #SnapBackToReality

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.