Monday, August 20, 2007

The Beach - Day 1

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Monday's Rain

In this my life , I walk in light
You are my love so baby I'm all right
Don't let me down , baby
Don't let me down

I have divested my orifices of most of the sand that offended. My clothes are washed and put away. My toiletries are back in my, well, toilet. Buddy is back in his crate. The color I so carefully cultivated on the beach is already fading.

Back from the beach. Back to work. Back to life in real time.


We headed out Saturday morning at 5am. My daughter, never an early riser by choice, was only moderately bitter. She craved Dunkin' Donuts. Our little slice of northern Virginia suburbia has a half dozen Starbucks but no Dunkin Donuts. I had awakened at 3:30 am and walked Bud-Man. Since I am not a night person, I packed the bag, made the bed, washed the dishes, turned off the main water valve, unplugged the computer, shut off the air conditioning, brought in the lawn furniture and packed food. And was ready dead on at 5am. I was already sweaty.

The beach train left at roughly 5:15 am when my cousin Colleen and her children pulled up in their van. Meg and I turned on the Sirius radio and, as tradition dictates, we turned on Radio Classics. After finding a Dunkin' Donuts to satisfy Meg's craving, we shoved off for real.

Meg and I were vastly entertained by "The Shadow"; one of the most popular shows in radio history. Titled "Spider Boy", this particular episode centered on a lonely fella who liked to sew. Having no friends he keenly laments his bad luck. He befriends a spider who is weaving her silken web of death in the corner. Spider Boy later preys on the one hapless female who enters his field of vision and further haplessly makes eye contact with him. He wants her to become his girlfriend, and he loves her. She continues to be hapless.

After having haplessly killed his arachnid-lady-friend, our girl escapes Spider Boy's clutches of peril, but lands in a hospital bruised and catatonic. The Shadow (wealthy man about town, Lamont Cranston) eventually finds out where Spider Boy lives and tells him he's insane. Completely mad and in an effort to "Show them!" Spider Boy grabs some yarn, spins it out the window believing it is the iron yarn of victory and falls haplessly to his death.

Best line of the program was when Lamont Cranston and his gal pal Margo Lane go to talk to the catatonic girl's father. It is apparent by his sleazy Bronx accent that Dad has smacked is daughter around in the past, just as a matter of course, and is rather braggadocios about it:

"Your daughter is the hospital, sir, and it looks like she has been beaten to death!"

"Oh yeah? Well maybe she needed a beatin'."

Meg and I are still repeating that line. And we laugh every time.

It was probably the best part of the trip down. No air conditioning makes for swell mileage, but a very long 7 ½ hours. We all stopped to fuel up (I was only at half a tank, but what the hey) and utilize the facilities in some section of the country that I'm pretty certain is called South Bumf*ck. Practically in the middle of a pasture just off the highway, this little convenience store was obviously not being visited by secret shoppers. There were a couple of large men towing a trailer standing by the ladies' room door, causing my daughter's paranoia radar to ping. I went to the ladies' room first. I was not raped, but my other senses were violently assaulted.

Now I grew up on a farm. I actually love the smell of cow manure; it reminds me of my dad (so does freshly mown and baled grass). We had pigs on that farm and "Nothin' smells worse than a pig," to quote my cousin John. My point is, I can tolerate bad smells. The rank stench hovering at the level of my mouth inside that hot bricked up excuse for an outhouse was vile and seconded only by the filth covering the toilet seat. I stood up to use the facilities and warned others of the restroom of menace. I wanted to vomit. I walked Buddy while the rest of the crew utilized the stink-barns and we were back on our way.

My son Adam was bringing down three friends as sort of a last fling before their senior year of college started. We were in close contact as they had started the long journey from upstate New York at 11pm the evening before. Yeah, no, don't ask. I don't want to talk about their decisions. I just kept telling myself that they are young and it was an adventure for them. They had virtually no issues on the trip down.

We arrived at the beach houses at about 12:30 pm. We eventually checked in and unpacked. My version of unpacking is opening up my suitcase. It keeps it simple.

The evening turned out fabulously; Colleen had made several gallons of her famed sangria and she was partnered with Billy. Red wine was uncorked and the Bud Light flowed pretty freely. We played cards; Pitch to be precise. I am really a very poor card player, probably because of the math that is involved. But I lucked out with my partner Tommy. I learned a few things from my ex-husband; one of them was to always bet two when you have an ace, and the other was if you have more than 2 cards in the same suit, bet three. No matter what. I made a couple of great plays, Tommy made a bad decision when he outbid my three, and we lost four, but we eventually came back to win the game.

Having drained the sangria, the crew feasted on "Booze Fruit" and Colleen declared Billy her b*tch.

It was a wonderful start to the week.


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