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Close call with a can of beer trown by an agressive redneck

April 26, 2011

April 23, Seamist campground in North Carolina, “yall”

Myrtle Beach truly is the redneck Riviera. The bars had Bud lite, Coors lite, Miller lite and the cigarette smoke was thick. So I mostly stayed in my room while I settled matters of some importance with Blair (my sponsor and owner of Hybrid Marine) and I stayed a second day since the weather was terrible: a north east wind with heavy rain and cold temperatures. I could not go anywhere since the roads around the Hotel only led to closed businesses. In front of the hotel was what can only be described as a ghost mall. The mall was a mile long and had been closed long enough for grass to grow all over the parking lot. Nature was taking over. I kept thinking that this mall was probably full memories for the locals who had hung there or had their first jobs there as teenagers. Now, it would make a perfect set for a zombie movie.

The third morning the wind was from the south east. I could not feel it because of the high dirt walls on each side of the ditch. The smell of sewer was really bad. The current was going my way at around 2 miles per hour and my spirits were high. I already knew I could stay at the Sea Mist campground 32 miles further and the day was beautiful. I did not try to go fast but still made progress since the current was helping.

It was Easter Saturday, so there were boats everywhere. Here, even the better boaters do not care about their wake. Unfortunately, a lot of drivers were really drunk and seemed angry at something or everything. These boaters were a new breed. Their behavior stood in high contrast with the super well educated and behaved crowd of happy people I had been accustomed to see in Georgia and around Charleston. There were a lot of normal folks but the angry frustrated and almost certainly violent men that were making aggressive gesture, yelling at me or trying to scare me by swerving close to my boat, were sort of making me question how I felt about rednecks.

Once in North Carolina, I stayed on the sides in water shallow enough to keep even the meanest boaters away. While passing close to the docks I would sometimes talk to people and it was alright until I crossed a group of a dozen men drinking on a dock. The men were in their fifties. One of them asked me where I was going. I said Montreal. One of them said “good trip”. I said thanks and have a good day. As I was getting away, one of them mumbled “fool” loud enough for all to hear. I continued to smile and went my way until I heard heavy sploosh next to me. It sounded like a full can of beer. I did not go back to try to settle it with these drunks. I figured the gang probably included the town’s sheriff, the mayor and the judge. I’m sure the wives and the kids got a special Easter beating that night.

I got to the campground at 7. I was a bit apprehensive but everyone was very helpful and cheerful.

The people living at the campground communicated by mumbling really loud and finished most sentences with “yall”. Since I didn’t understand a lot of what they were saying unless the context made it really easy to decipher, my only recourse was often to nod after I heard “yall”. Since the most undecipherable campers were really drunk, they were often satisfied with my nod.

I also noticed that if you ask a question, they’ll give you the 1000 yard stare for about 10 seconds before answering. It’s ok if you’re on land but it makes asking a question to someone on land from a drifting boat really tricky.

  1. Mike C permalink

    You might look at it as… having a FULL can of beer thrown at you down there as a compliment – “dey a real fond o da ful wuns”. They might have been enticing you to try to come back… Hope the wind blows you out of Hazard County before you wake up with yourself “hitched” or worse. Thanks for the funny read… be safe

    • I was worried that they would get into a boat to get another shot. The folks around Surf City are mellow, thank god.

  2. steve permalink

    Man, I’m sticking with my little world, or at least packing some heat.
    Set you cell on 9-1, ready to go.
    Keep it fun, it’ll all be a distant memory soon enough.

    • There was no better option than to move on. Involving the police, other local rednecks, would have been quite a mess as they were a dozen and I was alone. Packing heat could have turned this little incident into a lifetime of regrets.

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