WENDELL, N.C. -- In 15 years as a repo man, Ron Shirley has survived a broken bottle to the head, a baseball bat to the legs, a shot-up tow truck and the sight of a naked man sprinting out of his house at midnight, screaming for his reclaimed coupe.
Ask Shirley how he survives this world of ax swingers and shotgun shooters - besides standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 300 pounds - and he explains that he's tough enough to hit a giraffe with an uppercut, bad enough to put a rattlesnake in your pocket and ask for a light.
So throw in Shirley's former power-lifter wife, Amy - "She's tougher than a $2 steak" - and his best friend, Bobby Brantley - "He's gooder than grits" - and you've got the makings of a grade-A reality show: "Lizard Lick Towing," a mixture of country wisdom and skull-busting scraps that starts Feb. 7.
There's only one thing more satisfying than watching Shirley wrestle a Honda Accord away from a 4-foot woman on national television, then see her chase his tow truck down on a scooter, then witness her poke Shirley on the nose and demand, "Who do you think you are, Big Bad Leroy Brown?"
That one special thing: seeing this drama unfold right here at home, shot mostly in the flyspeck eastern Wake crossroads community of Lizard Lick, named for a 19th-century whiskey still that drew small, four-legged reptiles.