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User is suspended until 6/1/4749 10:50:28 PM(UTC) Pinetar  
#1 Posted : Sunday, April 24, 2005 2:34:36 PM(UTC)
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Hey, it's funny.

Myrtle Beach: Touring the redneck Riviera
MICHAEL KORB, For The Saratogian
04/24/2005

This week I'm coming to you live from fabulous Myrtle Beach, S.C., home of absolutely nothing worth mentioning.

And when I say live, I don't mean 'live' per se (because this is a newspaper and we need time to go to print), but rather that I was alive when I wrote this. If, by some unlucky circumstance this column is appearing on the obituary page, the word 'live' will, of course, be a hyperbole.

Nevertheless, at this moment in time (re: Thursday, 10 a.m.-ish), I am alive in Myrtle Beach and, from the looks of things, so are you. In fact, it appears that the whole of New York state has taken the family truckster down the I-95 corridor to America's white trash Riviera to enjoy a week of sand, surf and scorching sunburns.

If you missed the bus and have never been to Myrtle Beach, let me assure you that you aren't missing anything. Yes, the beaches are terrific (find me a beach that isn't), but this is a city in conflict.

It is a city filled with amusements for young people even though it is inhabited primarily by the elderly. It has more golf courses than any other area in the country followed by a ridiculous number of miniature golf courses -- 115 to 50, respectively. (Yep, I looked it up.) And for every gargantuan bank (they build 'em big here apparently so the old people can find them), there's a pawn shop right down the street.

Then, once you've pawned whatever it is you bought with money you borrowed from the bank, you can pray for an economic upturn in one of hundreds of churches scattered throughout the area. In fact, you could attend a different church everyday for an entire year and not hit the same one twice.

And if, at the end of that year, you had confessed all your sins, there is a boatload of strip clubs to help you re-examine the hedonistic life you missed out on for the past year while visiting all of those churches. Frankly, their juxtaposition creeps me out.

Hungry? There are more seafood restaurants claiming to be America's most popular/famous/original/highly rated than you can shake a fishstick at and almost as many pancake houses and waffle huts. It is my dream to someday combine the two to give customers the gastronomic delight of putting syrupy boysenberry directly on their cod.

It is my belief that you could get so fat in this town that if you were to actually find your way to the beach, concerned conservationists would likely attempt to roll you back into the water.

Add to all that the charm of a house of wax, a Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum (and aquarium!), as well as numerous tattoo shops alongside an inordinate number of go-kart tracks, and this place seems like a combustible mixture just begging for a fight.

God, I hate it here. But I always forget that I hate it and I keep coming back. Plus, the bikinis on the 60 miles of beaches help take the sting out of my displeasure.

Did I mention the alligators? Yes, apparently there are alligators here just waiting to tear human flesh from the bone. I haven't seen any myself, but that's because I spent an inordinate amount of time passed out near a store called Sleazy Riders. (Beautiful quality stripper apparel at reasonable prices, conveniently located right off the highway.)

But my favorite part of Myrtle Beach, if I'm forced to have a favorite, would be Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, a place were you can relive history while authentic teenagers in ill-fitting Civil War uniforms serve you drinks in plastic 'souvenir boot mugs.'

Now I'm no historian, but I don't recall reading about ostrich races during the Battle of Gettysburg. But if Dolly says it's so, it must be so. Clearly, it is just one more thing they have removed from our textbooks.

As you'd expect, once you enter the 35,000-square-foot arena there's singin', there's dancin' and there's a rumblin' herd of bison. And on any given night, the South could rise again and actually win the war (depending on which side got the faster ostrich that night). Yep, it's history relived before your very eyes.

And let's not forget the food. While I'm not a big fan of eating dinner in close proximity of defecating horses, none of the other 1,000 diners seemed to be bothered by it. They each enjoyed an entire rotisserie chicken, smoked hickory pork loin, the Stampede's original creamy vegetable soup, a 'scrumptious' homemade biscuit, corn on the cob, an herb-basted potato, a specialty dessert (which I believe was an apple fritter, but since I am unable to define 'fritter,' I can't be sure) and unlimited Pepsi, tea or coffee served by the aforementioned Union and/or Confederate teenagers. It was as if General Lee had placed a to-go order at Applebee's.

Once the meal was complete and you watched a 30-foot video image of Dolly sing a lovely patriotic ditty and thank you for comin', you could go down and actually meet a southern belle or Civil War soldier and see if they want to go to the beach with you the next morning. That's right, the North and South co-mingling as Lincoln intended: by helping to apply SPF30 to each other.

You know, maybe Myrtle Beach isn't such a bad place after all.

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Offline flamo  
#2 Posted : Sunday, April 24, 2005 2:47:15 PM(UTC)
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Pinetar,

You need a real job or something.
I'm there, Old, Tired, Broke and Henpecked
Offline skydiver77  
#3 Posted : Sunday, April 24, 2005 8:09:09 PM(UTC)
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Speaking of Myrtle Beach, and for HUSSRainbow on here, my friend down in Myrtle Beach, Ken McMichael said the other day the Pavilion's Rainbow is back together and running better than ever. They finally got the sunshine rays back on and the face in the middle. Ken's in the process of building the Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster down at the Family Kingdom park, i'd say he's coming along pretty well!

~Ben
Offline HUSSRAINBOW  
#4 Posted : Sunday, April 24, 2005 9:53:04 PM(UTC)
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Ben, id really love some photos of this Rainbow, as ive only seen 1 gondola photo, with the very unique globes ON TOP of the actual rainbow.....

thanks

chris
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Offline MikeH  
#5 Posted : Sunday, April 24, 2005 9:54:00 PM(UTC)
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Brought a twenty dollar bill and a clean shirt....didn't change either one all weekend.Wink
User is suspended until 12/25/2100 12:00:00 PM(UTC) orphaned  
#6 Posted : Monday, April 25, 2005 1:29:40 AM(UTC)
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So I'm sitting in Phoenix last year, determined NOT to spend another summer in the hottest place on earth (dry heat?! Yeah, right! At 122 degrees, it don't matter!). So I do all kinds of research as to where I want to 'settle down.' Hilton had transferred me from New Orleans ('99) to Biloxi ('00) to Vegas (2001-2002) then to AZ ('02-04). So I do my homework - chambers of commerce, tourism bureaus, Sunday papers, I even called restaurants at slow times to get a feel about the 12 places that made my final list to open a little restaurant. I input all kinds of things into my equation: demographics, hospitality scene, labor pool, weather, culture, etc., etc. After all that, I moved to Myrtle Beach on July 5th. You know, at my age, I should know better...You could put that tourist trap anywhere in America and it wouldn't matter - it is what it is. Redneck Riviera?! You're doing a disservice to 'rednecks'... What a waste of real estate...Beach?!!? It's over-rated - the sand doesn't squish between your toes like it should, and the water is brown (i.e., 'dirty'). And all those 'four star' hotels next to 'zero star' flea-baggers.... Restaurants? How much low-quality buffet seafood can one eat?! Golf? You get tired of drunk, obnoxious northeastern prepsters pretty quick... Strip joints? The most popular place in MB is a strip joint that has BOTH MALE & FEMALE dancers!!! No thanks... Thank God my third choice was Charleston, SC. On the 90-mile drive from MB to Chucktown I actually cried..."What if Charleston is as bad as Myrtle Beach?! Then where do I go?!?" Luckily, Chas is great! (If only they would forget about who won the Civil War...)

Edited by user Monday, April 25, 2005 2:10:11 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

User is suspended until 12/25/2100 12:00:00 PM(UTC) orphaned  
#7 Posted : Monday, April 25, 2005 2:17:57 AM(UTC)
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Reminds me of the time I had a little joint in New Orleans, and the HUGE Baptist convention came to town every year...They'd each come with a ten dollar bill and the ten commandments, and wouldn't break eitherBlush
Quote:
quote:
Originally posted by mikehawkenballs

Brought a twenty dollar bill and a clean shirt....didn't change either one all weekend.Wink

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