I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, sometimes, comedy gold falls into your lap and who am I to deny it? That being said, I’ve been in Myrtle Beach for under 24 hours and at times, felt like I was in an alternate universe. We’re here for my son’s college orientation and this will be the last time I stay within 7 miles of the beach.
Day 1- Rental Car
I was prepared to use my sandwich trick and score a convertible or upgraded automobile in an effort to show my son that I’m not completely lame. It turns out, I didn’t need to. The manager’s special was whatever car they had the most of and that car just happened to be a $60,000 mega truck. Regardless, I played it cool and pretended it was indeed my negotiation skills that got us the car.
My son and husband decided to get the luggage while I arranged the rental car. They weren’t there yet so I took a seat on an empty sofa positioned in front of the check-in desk. When I had been checking in, there had been 2 older people fumbling around. What about, I didn’t know or care. Now that I had a birds-eye view, one of them walked away while the other sat on the ground. I couldn’t tell if it were a man or a woman so we’ll call it Pat. Pat had a cigarette dangling from its mouth, the entire time. It wasn’t lit and surprisingly, it never fell out.
“Ugh, I can’t do this,” Pat grunted in a raspy voice, while looking in its bag. “I have to get up,” Pat told itself.
Pat rocked back and forth several times before finally getting up and almost falling forward. Pat was either drunk or on something. Picture a Southern Ozzy Osbourne.
‘Please tell me that person isn’t going to be driving,’ I thought to myself.
Once my family met me in the rental car area, we walked to the stall that held the truck. It was obnoxiously huge, to say the least. I suddenly regretted my decision, wanted to return to the front desk and ask for a toned-down car, like a smart car.
‘Maybe I’ll get used to driving it,’ I said to myself, shrugging my shoulders.
I unlocked the door and when I realized I couldn’t just step inside, I reached up to the handle and pulled myself in. Was this what it’s like to drive a semi-truck? Surely this vehicle was too wide to be in just one lane.
When I accelerated, we would lurch forward, all our heads bobbing simultaneously. When I breaked, the opposite happened. It was a short drive as the condo was only 5 miles from the airport.
In my head, all condos and hotels have some sort of lobby. It can be as simple as a check-in desk or as grand as a palatial gathering area, complete with a baby grand piano. Our condo’s “lobby” was Mike’s Convenient store. Flashing green lights blinked in the window, next to boogie boards for sale. My husband saw an older man standing outside so he got out and asked him where the parking garage was.
“I’d show you but I can’t leave. She’s using my phone,” he said, motioning to a girl with purple hair, sitting on the stairs to Mike’s. She looked very homeless.
Luckily, the garage was right across the street. It was probably built in 1980 and under no circumstance, did the architects dream that a vehicle this huge would ever need to park inside.
“I don’t think I’m going to clear the roof,” I said hesitantly.
“You’re fine,” my son said, not even looking up from his phone. I rolled my eyes. There was roughly 1’ between the truck top and the garage. By the grace of God, I didn’t hit anyone or any columns.
I decided I would be returning the truck the next morning for something more my size, like a bicycle. When I got out of the truck, I would literally have to jump out, not knowing when my feet would hit the pavement. Until then, we decided to walk to a restaurant.
When I was very young, my mother, grandmother, 2 sisters and I would vacation in Myrtle Beach. I always thought my mom was a snob because she would never let us stay in the heart of the action (where I am now). We always had to stay very north, in these quiet, well-kept hotels that surely didn’t have the action that the central area had.
Now I know why….
As we walked South, the people that came out of the woodwork were unbelievable. Was I in a Skid Row documentary? Many were rail-thin and zombie-like. There were tattoos in places I had never seen tattoos. One girl had the back of her neck pierced. I looked over to see a couple screaming at each but it was interrupted by a monster truck that made deafening sounds as the owner revved the motor. These types of “statement” cars seemed to be everywhere and could range from a purple glow from the bottom, all the way up to hummers with skulls doors.
Then there were the clothes. Obviously we weren’t in Nice or St. Tropez. I get that we’re in a “love you’re body, even if you’re morbidly obese and one Twinkie away from death” culture right now, but come on! You cannot weigh 250 pounds and wear a mid-drift shirt, without a bra, especially when you have National Geographic nipples. Not to mention the multiple rolls of fat hanging over the daisy dukes. Likewise, unless you’re a stripper, leave the plexiglass heels for the gentleman’s club.
After walking to dinner, I decided I felt as if I was in the Back to the Future scene when Marty comes back to the present time. Biff is a millionaire and aside from his casino, it’s a complete wasteland. That’s Myrtle Beach.
Day 2- Myrtle Beach’s Finest
I’m sure I’ll have more to write but I’ll leave you with this. After returning the truck (for a Dodge Charger), I punched in the code to get back into the building. When I approached the elevator, a old rail-thin black man, was leaning against the wall. Swaying back and forth, his body debated on collapsing. He wore a navy blue jogger suit with gold writing all over the arms and front and an actual sailor’s cap. He held an empty orange cup in his left hand as he staggered onto the elevator. How could he be this loaded at 9 a.m? Did he literally just stop drinking?
I have 2.5 days left in this shit hole and I’m not looking forward to it. If I’m not shanked in the laundry room tommorrow, perhaps I’ll have more to write about. Wish me luck!