Pass the Giant Eagle sunscreen, it’s time for Uncle Jerry’s Points of Interest.
A heat wave struck da Burgh this week, and I gotta tell ya, I can smell the Myrtle Beach saltwater already!
Like shark tooth necklaces inside of Waves, there’s thousands of yinzers that flood the shores of the Redneck Riviera every summer. “Why Myrtle Beach,” you ask? The answer is very simple: I know what I like, and I like what I know.
I like tradition! For instance, every second week in August, I know I’m gonna be loading up the nerd top (luggage carrier) full of beach chairs, blankets, boogie boards and Tommy Bahama knock-offs from that swindler dahn on Grant Street.
It’s tradition to head dahn 79, avoid the speed traps through that hoopie tahn in West Virginia (Summersville), stop in Wytheville (which nobody knows how to pronounce - is it WITHville or WHYth-ville?), jump on 74, ride that dahn to 501, unpack the Dodge Caravan and head straight dahn to the water to pee in the ocean. Tradition.
I hear it all the time: “Jer, why don’t you try aht Virginia Beach or Ocean City?” Look, I’ve been to Ocean City. You can’t play bocce on that sand and the water is too cold. Plus, gettin’ across that Bay Bridge is like trying to get through the Squirrel Hill tunnels during rush hour. I ain’t goin’ to Virginia Beach because my neighbor, Dave, used to go there every year, and I don’t need him telling me where to stay and where to go. He talks enough already.
I wake up at Myrtle Beach, I walk dahn to Dunkin Donuts, I get the paper and read it before those loud kids start asking about going to the waterpark. I tell ‘em, “Hey, you see that whole ocean aht there? That’s your waterpark! Besides, we got Sandcastle back home. We ain’t got no ocean back home!”
Even bad weather didn’t stop us from goin’ dahn Myrtle! Remember when Hugo came through and the whole place was a ghost tahn? That was the best year we ever had! We got a hotel for 15 bucks a night. The vending machines had all the good candy, and I saved so much money, I let the kids bring home two hermit crabs and two boxes of salt water taffy!
For years we’ve been going dahn Myrtle Beach, and every year we go to Hibachi. I swear I’m like the Limus Sweed of trying to catch that damn shrimp. It’s tradition to load up on some fried rice and teriyaki chicken and then hit up the mini golf course. Myrtle Beach got the best courses with dinosaurs, volcanoes and plenty of slow pokes! Geesh! Line up your shot and putt it! You gotta Rock, Paper, Scissors for the green ball and the loser pays for ice cream. You know who ends up paying for the ice cream? Ol’ Limus Sweed over’ere.
And you can’t go anywhere without finding fellow Yinzers in Stiller jerseys and those fancy 412 t-shirts all the kids are wearin these days. It’s like the whole dang tahn comes down here in waves all summer long. Haha – that’s a good one!
We finish aht the week spending a bunch of money I don’t have at Broadway at the Beach or Barefoot Landing. I’m more of a Broadway guy. I went barefoot one time back in ‘85 and let’s just say, I should have bought stock in “Boom - Tough Actin’ Tinactin”
It seems like every year the family agrees that “next year we should stay for two weeks.” Seriously, though… who has the vacation time to give up two weeks? I mean, the Dunkin guys already know my name!
Safe travels dahn to Myrtle this year, yinz… and if the drive gets to be too much, just remember: At least you’re not a Browns fan.