The Fertile Myrtle Experience: All-American Beach Vacationing

The summer vacation is one of the quintessential American experiences. The beach. The salt water swelling and coating your skin like some piece of sausage being preserved on the Oregon Trail. Noticing that you’re on the fourteenth floor, then realizing that there is no thirteenth floor, which means you’re on the thirteenth floor. So, because I’m a lazy American and like things boiled down to their most basic structure, here is a list of things I encountered on my South Carolina Odyssey.

1. Large men screaming on elevators are scary. A tall man tried to break the awkward silemagicsmile The Fertile Myrtle Experience: All American Beach Vacationingnce of the elevator by shouting at the top of his lungs, then saying with a wry grin, “gotcha.” My gut instinct was to shove him through the glass window and watch with self-satisfaction as he plunged to his shocking, well-deserved death. Instead we all enjoyed an exhausted laugh. There hadn’t been that much relief in a confined space since Magic Johnson’s doctor informed that rich people can’t die of A.I.D.S. (Don’ be so sensitive. Why do you think he’s always smiling?)

wave The Fertile Myrtle Experience: All American Beach Vacationing2. Alcohol buzzes don’t last when battling six foot waves. After you’ve been drinking, most any idea sounds like a great one. Here are some responses that you might normally hear from people who are a bit inebriated:
“I don’t know, I think he/she is pretty hot.”
“What could one more hurt?”
“As long as it doesn’t explode, we’ll be fine.”
“You’re right, I am tired of living in Texas. I think I’ll run for president.”

This beach trip, I christened a new one:
“Undertow? I don’t believe in undertow.”

Needless to say, after a few mai-tais, and half an hour of battling for my life in the Atlantic, I kind of felt like a cross between Lindsey Lohan and Mark Walberg when he was staring up at the sun in The Perfect Storm. You know, when he was trapped in the eye of the hurricane…just before he drowned.

3. Putt-putt is taken way too seriously by my family. While I like to take my time working out a shot, I do realize that this is still a game where the only necessary skill required is the ability to smack a little white ball into the mouth a mountain lion or clown, and hope that fate spits the ball out somewhere near the cup and not into the tiny stream of dyed-blue water.

My mother and father, however, view this as the U.S. Open. Between my father’s painstakingly intense analyzation of every hole, to my mother’s Tiger Woods like ability to finish off every cup in two strokes, I was too intimidated to compete for even second place.

4. My brother, who for some reason was driving faster than Ted Kennedy after a date, genuinely believes he can defeat a wild bear in hand to hand combat.madgriz The Fertile Myrtle Experience: All American Beach Vacationing

 The Fertile Myrtle Experience: All American Beach Vacationing
versus The Fertile Myrtle Experience: All American Beach Vacationing
As we were careening through the mountains of Ashville, North Carolina, the following conversation occurred:
Brad: “If Al Cowlings had driven this speed, O.J. would have made it to Mexico. You’re missing all the pretty scenery. Like those mountains up there.”
Kyle (deadly serious, glaring from the corner of his right eye): You think there are bears up there?
B: I imagine so.
K (still Tom Cruise intense): I could take one.
B: Take what?
K: A bear. Like a grizzly bear.
B: You mean like in a fight? If you had a gun, or maybe a giant sword?
K: No. With my hands. (Slowly lifts BOTH hands off steering wheel.)
B: Put your damn hands back on the wheel! And that bear’s claws would rip off your lower jaw and eat it in one gulp. With your freakin’ hands. You’re out of your gourd.
K: (shakes head in disagreement) No. I could take him.

5. Toilets may also double as bidets. Emergency bathroom visits can be categorizedbidet The Fertile Myrtle Experience: All American Beach Vacationing into levels. One day, when I don’t have a manuscript, or manny in Wrangler speak, to revise, I’ll blog that one out for both of my readers. On the way to a putt-putting destination, I was hit with a level 8—The Sickness.

The Sickness is when your stomach writhes, and it feels that everything below your waist is in imminent danger of spontaneously combusting. I imagine this is what it feels like to swallow a helium balloon. As I have made it a personal goal to frequent every toilet in the southeast, I chose the Food Lion. And my time on the porcelain throne went well. Until I depressed the shiny metal lever.

cryptkeeper The Fertile Myrtle Experience: All American Beach VacationingTo say that the toilet erupted would be an understatement. Like saying that John McCain’s oratory style reminds me of the Crypt Keeper bin Tales from the Crypt. It didn’t erupt, it detonated. As my bare behind was drenched in toilet bowl water (yes, you should feel nauseous right now), I tried the retreat and hover technique. But the geyser’s strength knew no limits and followed me the six inches into the air.

Needless to say, I did not enjoy my Food Lion enema.

But I did enjoy the game of cutthroat putt-putt afterwards.

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