NORTH CAROLINA: Petulant State Officials Demand That PayPal Return Pre-HB2 Ceremonial Wooden Bowl

The Charlotte Observer reports:

Over the last year, when companies announced plans to grow their footprints in North Carolina, state leaders have presented them with an unusual gift: An oak bowl carved from wood from the state capitol grounds.

So when PayPal unceremoniously canceled its plans for an expansion in Charlotte over opposition to House Bill 2, state officials did what any jilted ex might: Asked for their stuff back.

“We reached out to them and said, ‘Give us the bowl back.’ That is a North Carolina artifact from the North Carolina state capitol made by North Carolina artisans for companies that are coming into North Carolina,” N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla told the Observer Monday during a visit to Charter Communications’ training center in Matthews.

“We got it back, gave it to a charity auction, and they raised money that is for the benefit of the state capitol.”

The origin of the bowls traces back to about a year ago, when an oak tree on the capitol grounds was struck by lightning. Crews were about to come chop up the tree and dispose it, but Skvarla called the governor’s office to implore them to keep the pieces.

  • LackofFaithify

    Worst college graduation gift ever. Here’s a wooden bowl for your new apartment. Thanks Aunt Genie.

  • Gustav2

    Paypal gave it back because it was taking up too much space in the storage closet.

    • Joe in PA

      I’m surprised they still had it.

      • Gustav2

        Really, it might have ended up as a going away present to an intern.

        • Jafafa Hots

          I worked briefly at a prestigious ad specialty company in the financial district in SF… clients like Larry Ellison, etc.
          When I left they told me to help myself to as much as I wanted from the storage closet… I dragged home so, so much stuff… all of it high-end promo awards, etc.

          That was when eBay was first taking off so I made some good cash selling it off.

    • Neely OHara

      Sawdust fits nicely into tight spaces…

  • bkmn

    Send the bowl back filled with shit. It is what those NC GOP assholes deserve.

  • Rex

    I could suggest that they should have filled the bowl with something disgusting before returning it, but I’ll just leave it to your imagination.

  • Michael R

    If it auctioned for 500 million you’d be about even .

    • skyweaver

      Awesome, thanks for the laugh (also love your pup gazing at you adoringly in your pic)

  • crewman

    That doesn’t make North Carolina look petty and bitter at all.

  • RGG

    Laser focused on the people’s business.

  • Rex

    They were going to use it as a fruit bowl, but some nuts tried to sneak in and ruined it.

  • CA2016

    Mail it back C.O.D. c/o the Governor’s Office.

  • Silver Badger

    Classless and petty. How typical.

  • sherman

    I have a small wooden bowl my brother made for me in shop class in high school.

    It’s a prized possession all these decades later.

    Glad it doesn’t have a petty story attached to it like this one.

    • Marti386

      I know what you mean. I have a wooden sconce my brother made for me while in shop class. It’s still hanging on my wall. 🙂

      • sherman


        I have a little wooden lamp my dad made in high school too.

        • Acronym Jim

          I have a little wooden boy made by a couple of Producers.

    • I have a wooden burl-bowl that I found; it was in perfect condition – have no use for it so I put all the things I find in it (this stuff is in perfect condition); since the only thing the items have in common is being found – I hope to confuse anyone having to deal with my estate “what do these things have in common?” So far it is an home-made slingshot, some polished stones, some crystal pendants and so on).

  • canoebum

    PayPal should have told them to fuck off, “We’re keeping the bowl”.

  • delk

    They are acting like three year olds–watch out for Josh Duggar.

  • Uncle Mark

    Wow…those folks do seem a might obsessed with bowls…whether they’re wooden or porcelain, as well as who has access to them

  • DumbHairyApe

    I hope PayPal won the auction, and then they burn that ugly ass bowl.

  • Blackfork

    So give ’em back their bowl…in sawdust form.

    • teeveedub

      Or with termites.

    • zhera

      Or with a note saying a transgender Paypal employee have used it as a toilet.

  • M Jackson

    A wooden bowl. Seriously?
    Priorities like “the mic was rigged”, born out of utter desperation.

  • olandp

    I’m glad that North Carolina doesn’t have any real problems and can spend so much time on this.

    • Traxley Launderette

      PayPal could have said it was a gift and refused to return it.

      NC, being all mature and shit, would have then gone to court to sue them.

      For a stupid bowl.

      You know they would.

  • Uncle Mark

    I’d happily given back their sad little bowl, since the whole lot of them won’t even have a pot to piss in soon enough

  • Rebecca Gardner

    Can you get more petty.

    • Sam_Handwich

      they sure can!

  • Blake Jordan

    Rethuglicans are like hardcore bigoted toddlers!!!

  • Halloween_Jack

    Holy crap, that cheesedick who’s holding up the bowl looks really proud of himself. This is your future if you don’t kick these losers to the curb, tarheels.

  • Traxley Launderette

    That’s such a petty, white trash move.

    It’s like driving over to your girlfriend’s place at 3 in the morning and demanding she give back the mix tapes you made for her.

    • Todd20036

      Burns has better business sense. He would have been against HB2 because it would have cost him money.

    • nocadrummer


  • JellyDonut

    Why they give their dishes away? They can just get another one at the Dollar Store.

  • Cboulder

    Whiny fucking babies!

  • BobSF_94117

    A begging bowl might come in handy in NC…

  • JellyDonut

    That’ll teach ’em!

  • Marti386

    Now if governor McCrory had a 10th as much concern for trans people’s rights as he did for a stupid wooden bowl…

    • Priorities.

    • Sporkfighter

      It isn’t trans people’s rights, it’s people’s rights. If we acquiesce to the subjugation of one group of us, none of us are safe. I’m not gay or trans, but my rights as an atheist hang by the same thread as yours.

      • Marti386

        True. But trans people were made the specific scapegoat of HB2. We were the ones who were sold as “predators” where passing abusive restroom laws to keep us out was “common sense”. So while it does effect everybody, it effects us in particular.

        • Sporkfighter

          But as long as people see this as an attack on trans people, and that we should help the trans people fight off this attack, we’re helping the right divide and conquer.

          If they attack a drag queen’s rights, a gay man’s rights, a trans teen’s rights, a black man’s rights, they are attacking my rights.

  • Clive Johnson

    Fill the bowl/”basket” with pictures of deplorables and return it.

  • Ernest Endevor

    What a triumph for democracy.

    • skyweaver

      Inspiring, isn’t it

    • It’s no wonder we’ve become the laughingstock of the world.

      • Ernest Endevor

        Let’s not forget that the UK actually did vote for Brexit. I think that makes them the official laughingstock. My (tiny) UK pension has lost 10% since and it’s going to lose more.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I think the race in North Carolina is about tied.
    Many I hope we pull this one out and defeat this A-Hole!

  • Elsewhere1010

    Before returning it, they should have filled it with chicken salad, made from thigh and leg meat.

    You might have to actually be from the South to understand the insult.

    • Tiger Quinn

      Oh you’re terrrrrrrrible. 🙂

      • Elsewhere1010

        Bless their heart…

    • The Milkman

      I’m in Atlanta, but don’t get it. LOL

  • zhera

    #winning. That’s how you do it!

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Send ’em back a basket woven from poison oak, and call it equal.

  • PhallicMetaphor

    Good job, getting your bowl back that didn’t come off as petty at all. Think about how many kids in North Carolina went to school hungry that day and now think about the fact that people in their government spent their day making phone calls to Google to get a fucking bowl back.
    Awesome, you know what won’t be in that bowl, programs to help the needy or education reform.

  • Tiger Quinn

    Oh man, it’s so small and tacky. I thought it might be like a really huge bowl, or have a plaque on it – no, it’s literally a small bowl like you’d get from Target.

  • Dan

    Remember. This is what equates to a win in these assholes’ book. No wonder the world is passing them by faster and faster.

  • Stubenville

    I hope someone at PayPal uses it as a latrine first.

  • Paula

    Return the bowl. Just don’t tell them what you are filling it with.


    So in North Carolina a massed produced wooden bowl less than 2 years old is considered an artifact. In WV we consider that a cheap house warming gift.

  • kirtanloorii

    You keep your bowl, and we’ll keep our rights.

  • kareemachan

    So what’s the big deal, NC? They returned the bowl, according to the article, and you promptly sold it. BFD.

    Also, wood that green is gonna split and warp, I’m thinking.

  • Mark McGovern

    Not sure why any bowl for brains official would want the publicity around negative consequences of their ridiculous legislation.

  • David F.

    Hey, they need the bowl. Unless HB2 gets rolled back and they stop bleeding cash they won’t have a pot to piss in – they’ll need that bowl as a replacement.

    • Friday

      As long as it’s not a unisex piss bowl. 🙂

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    I’m confused. Did PP give it back?

    • Phil2u

      Apparently, it came back.

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        I suspect it coming back had nothing to do with the request to give it back.

  • Matt

    They have no clue how stupid they look, and are. Sad.

  • greenmanTN

    I bet Pay-Pal was really embarrassed since they’d already re-gifted it and had to ask for it back too…

  • david fairfield

    They’re probably wondering what bowl they are talking about…”oh that thing?, I thought it was a bribe to make us change our minds. I took it home where mother uses it as a bed pan. I’ll bring it back tomorrow….”

  • Sometimes the bride keeps the engagement ring, even if she cancels the wedding.


  • jimbo65

    So petty. This is what you’ll get NC if you reelect him. A governor only interested in settling scores.

  • justme

    Burn it and spread the ashes on the

    • edrex

      or burn the NC Capitol and keep the ashes in the bowl.

  • Vermeercat

    Aside from the pettiness, it also just seems like bad politics. Like, “hey, we’re in the middle of a tough election, let’s remind EVERYONE how we drove business away from our state.” What could possibly go wrong.

  • TexasBoy

    So wait…the state said the bowls are only for companies that are relocating or expanding in NC. They got it back from PayPal….and rather than saving wood and resources by keeping it, and giving it to another company (if they can find one) that is expanding or relocating to NC, they gave it to a charity auction, that sold it for money. And they don’t see just how petty and childish that is?

  • Friday

    Wow, it’s a magic beer-gut-exposing bowl, too. They should send it back planted with whatever the language of flowers is for “Bye, Felicia.” 🙂

  • RealityBass

    As if Paypal really wanted that stupid fucking bowl! I’m sure they had to rummage through their attic to even find it. “Uh here’s your bowl, bigots.”

  • Jafafa Hots

    I used to have a ceremonial bowl. If I had to send it back to where I got it, I’d first have to clean the resins out.

  • jsolar13

    Take this bowl and shove it.

  • TheManicMechanic

    As petty as could be expected from the crybabies in the NC government. Small, small people.

  • mikeinrkfd

    I’m sure this story will attract even more companies to the state.

  • SilasMarner

    I’d have sent it back as sawdust or at the very least, broken pieces.

  • karmanot

    White trash Aunt Petty Pat wants her Gawd Damn Tupperware back.

  • Silver Badger

    If it had been me, North Carolina would have received a box of oak ashes and a note that said “oops”.

  • LeeCMH

    Maybe NC can glue the bowl to Jesse Helms’ tombstone.

  • David Gervais

    If they want to be really petty, someone should point out that asking for the bowl back because PayPal did not follow through on their part means that it was part of a quid pro quo deal, or in English, a bribe. A subpoena form might be a suitable place to write out the reminder.

  • Todd Allis

    That is the weirdest headline I’ve read in a long time.

  • JoyZeeBoy

    So, let ’em have their shitty bowl back. Who cares?

  • 1Truth1

    What about their CDs and college sweater? Did they get that back??

  • SFHarry

    This says a lot about the state of our nation when beautiful handmade treasures go to corporations for coming to a state rather than to actual people who could use/display them for all to see.

  • lattebud

    Ship it Greyhound and force the governor to go to the bus station to sign for it.

  • dcurlee

    Wish I could have bought it the set it on fire in front of all of them

  • LibreV

    I am betting that PayPal put the bowl on eBay.

  • nocadrummer

    As Judge Judy would say, “It’s a GIFT! It’s YOURS. You don’t have to give it back.”

  • D. J.

    Should have painted it in rainbow colours before returning it.

  • ericpayne

    Now PayPal (or any other business that left NC because of HB2) should get back every penny they’ve given NC, right? That would just be fair, wouldn’t it? After all that money was an artifact of people working for PayPal (or whomever) that would have loved to have kept their jobs in NC…

  • ‘Til Tuesday

    Oh the things I could think of to troll North Carolina! Like, put a sign over the bowl that says “piss pot” and send them a pic and say “sorry, but it’s being put to good use”. Or hold the bowl over a wood chipper and send North Carolina a pic of it with a ransom note (“Repeal Amendment 2 or the bowl gets it!”). Or send it on an around-the-world tour and send them pics of it in China, Bolivia, etc.