It wasn’t too long ago that the reality show, Wife Swap, sought after Amy Shirley, co-owner of Lizard Lick Towing. Producers of the hit show were interested in Shirley because of her incredible story of being a world champion powerlifter, a mixed martial arts fighter, a licensed mortician and mother of four. After careful consideration, they simply didn’t feel it was the right path for them.
Instead, Lizard Lick Towing became one of the anchor segments for a new reality show, All Worked Up, on TruTV. From that point on, Lizard Lick Towing’s popularity grew, which spun them into their very own show. Lizard Lick Towing exposes all of what the crew does and what they deal with on a daily basis.
The show is currently in its third season and can be seen every Monday night at 10:00 PM (EST).
Lizard Lick Towing‘s popularity stems from a few elements. It’s taped in a real southern neighborhood -something many people can relate to. Also, the show’s lovable cast, with their “real” and “charismatic” personalities that we fall in love with, make each episode delightfully entertaining to watch. And, of course, there is plenty of the usual day-to-day drama that confronts the Lizard Lick team.
Ron Shirley, the co-owner of Lizard Lick Towing, takes his best buddy Bobby Brantley on some amazing adventures, deep into the North Carolina backwoods and repos cars from people, including the Army rejects. You never know what they will encounter next.
Throughout the years, the folks from Lizard Lick Towing have been threatened numerous times with various weapons- guns, knives, and even the occasional flame thrower. Under an extreme circumstance once, the crew was even held up in their office with a hand grenade. They’ve repossessed everything from high-end collectible cars to surfboards and even deer.
In Season 2 we saw an ex-fiancé of Bobby Brantley’s, Micky, return and woo Brantley away from Lizard Lick. Her first run-in with the team, even before the show aired, she stole thousands of dollars from Lizard Lick and broke Brantley’s heart.
When she came back, she put a real kink in the friendship between Brantley and Ron Shirley. Basically, Mickey tried convincing Brantley that he was better off without Lizard Lick. Brantely was eventually given an ultimatum by Shirley, and he chose to leave the team. That choice cost Ron and Amy Shirley a dear friend, and nearly their business.
“Me and Bobby are tight as a frog’s butt and that’s water tight,” says Ron Shirley, and with that statement and an act of friendship, Shirley accepted Brantley right back into the Lizard Lick family. They are now trying to save their ailing business.
One of the greatest aspects of the show is that it’s real. The Shirleys and Brantley are not paid actors. Lizard Lick Towing actually exists in Lizard Lick, NC. Unlike many other reality shows out there today, what you see is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
TruTV also allows the Lizard Lick crew to just “be themselves”. “When you see us bickering, it’s real, and when you see us loving, it’s real,” says Ron Shirley about the show. The owner adds, “I really like that TruTV allows us to be ourselves.”
That means that when you watch this show, they are not acting and it isn’t scripted in any way. The crew of TruTV tapes Lizard Lick as they are, as if no cameras are present.
Life of a Repo Man
Unfortunately, we’re in tough economic times. Even some of the most well-off individuals find themselves in tough times, struggling to pay their bills. When that happens, you may see Ron Shirley and Bobby Brantley come to your home, to take your ride.
“At one time, we were one of the most hated people in the community,” states Shirley. He recalls a time when he had to check over his food to ensure it was only food he was eating, and walking down the street meant being glared at with powerful stares. However, he didn’t blame them because his job requires taking from people at their lowest times.
Since the show, that has changed. When he pulls up in their driveways, he generally is met with a handshake and is asked for an autograph, especially at the local watering hole around town.
From episode to episode, we’ve seen many life and death attempts on their lives. Shirley states that what you see is the bad end of his job, but not all jobs are like that. Sometimes he’s in and out before the owner even knows the car is gone.
What you may not know is why Shirley and his team don’t pull a gun or taser out on these whack jobs that attack them when they are confronted. Well, the answer is quite simple. In North Carolina, repossession companies can’t carry a gun or knife in their car. The insurance company takes it to another level and says they won’t cover them if they have a bat, pole, taser or any other kind of weapon. So to avoid being blacklisted, they rely on their intelligence, a skilled plan, and a friend who can fight!
Because of the fact they are not allowed to carry protection, and Ron Shirley has a family who depends on him, he has no problem saying that he’s pulled back a bit. A few years ago he would have gone into location like a cowboy riding a tornado, without much care, but not when others are counting on him. You could say, his family has helped tame his wild side.
When I asked Shirley about the situations he’s run into he replied, “It’s not the people who wave guns and knives in our face and the loud ones that we really worry about, they are usually all smoke in the mirrors; instead, we worry about the silent ones who give you one warning and walk off.”
The repo business is a tough profession that takes a certain personality to master. It has its good days and its bad days, and what you see on Lizard Lick Towing are the days that we should be thankful we’re safe behind a desk!
If you want to see a true reality show, portraying the real lives of repo men in totally unscripted situations, then I encourage everyone to turn into Lizard Lick Towing on TruTV. It’s probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.
If the Shirleys and Brantley show up to your residence, you can bet …. “You’ll get licked!”