Life’s a beach and then you cry

I’m all beachy keen thanks to the Occupy Summer movement that replaced that other Occupy thing over the past few days. So why not a beach post? Huh? Hmm? Huh? . . .

This story is from back in the day, when I’d last minute a road trip to anywhere. Ocean City, New Jersey was an idea that became a late afternoon hop with no hotel room promises attached. Oh for those days when I didn’t worry about confirmation numbers and a king size with extra pillows.

Last minute road trips are the slackers of vacations, since it doesn’t take much to score a passing grade. Based on a generous curve, Ocean City was running a soft C+ by late afternoon of my second day. The place had a predictable form- The boardwalk bounding with trinket saloons and sweet tooth shops and Palm Readers. Here’s some advice should you get your fortune told at the beach. If Lady Esmerelda tells you you’re gonna meet someone who will leave you breathless? Umm, beware the undertow.

My last night in town, I had my mind on a crab dinner and crab dinner on my mind. Y’all dig? I had slotted my beach escape perfectly up to that point. Romance and junk food, tchotchke run, sandy walk and invigorating swim. All that was left were crabs and brew. As far as dinner, I’d asked around, settling on the place with the most popular votes. The setting had my pulse quickening and my stomach rumbling. The signature checkered tablecloths, maritime decor and lobster tank had me reaching for my inner bib.

I ordered crabs, following this up with a request for the beers on tap. Which is when the waiter, whose name I can only guess to have been Charles Ingalls, informed me that Ocean City was in fact . . . a dry town. If he would have been talking humor, I could’ve lived with it. But liquor? Really? Jesus, Mary and Joe Kennedy really?!

To my way of thinking, not having beer with my seafood is like holding the peanut butter in a PB&J . . . and the bread! I mean . . why bother?! Little known fact about The Book of Genesis . . . God’s biggest regret was not using the eighth day to create beer. You can look it up . . if you don’t have a life.

Now, I’m not a difficult customer. Or an alcoholic. But the experience was altered considerably, and not for the better. A beer with my meal was all I was asking, and my foamy dreams were rebuffed by these beer Nazis.

How in the name of Hemingway’s liver can a beach town go dry? Doesn’t it run antithetical- both literally and figuratively to the whole shore destination thing? Why would you waste a perfectly good location on a teetolaism regime? Move out and let a town with some alcohol content take up shop . . . please. Go park yourself somewhere outside Provo, and open up a Latter Day Saints burger joint where you can substitute whiskey with sweet tea in your signature creation.

The Atlantic Ocean is one big drink, so how can you not follow suit?


5 thoughts on “Life’s a beach and then you cry

  1. Hah! Love that bit with Lady Esmerelda and the undertow–you clever boy! Here’s the scoop on OC–I work there and live across the bay from it. It’s strictly a family resort which means the food is generally lousy except for a few hidden gems. You have to go across the bridge to the Crab Trap for a good seafood meal–just in case you attempt a second visit. Some of the restaurant owners want BYOB, but the citizens are fighting it? Go figure . . .

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