Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Ballad of Bobby Earl

Due to this Summer of Discontent, this blog has been quite somber as of late. It is time to talk about something festive, like my trip to Myrtle Beach. This is the Ballad of Bobby Earl.

Bobby Earl got married on Saturday 9th August. I never thought B. Earl would get married, but there I was, on a trip to the seaside city, preparing to witness what I thought I would never witness.

I met Bobby Earl in college. You know how there are a few people in your life who you meet and you automatically know that they will be friends forever? Yeah...not Bobby Earl...That didn’t happen until about a year after I met him. When I was in college, when it came to new friends, I was much like a cat. I would be somewhat cold to new people, but then there would be one day where everything clicks, and all of a sudden I’m sitting on your laptop and giving you dead animals as gifts. I can’t tell you what the event was, but some time a year later, Bobby Earl, Nix Hazard, Al Black, Monty “Monty”, Jeff, and a few more friends were thick as thieves, and it had nothing to do with our membership in a non-Greek fraternity. We were brothers already. I should not forget to mention Harlemface and D. though not from the same school, brothers nonetheless.

After college, we were still close, and Bobby Earl remained one of my best friends. We all went through some trying times, and were were there for each other. We all had our relationship problems, mostly because we were idiots. We were in our early 20s, after all. Let me just tell you, if you are in your early 20s, you are a relationshidiot. Live with it. You may not think you are, but you are. It’s okay. You’ll get better. This is why I thought I wouldn’t see the day that Bobby Earl would be married. He is a mensch and a catch for anyone lucky enough, but I only remembered the drama of our twenties.

One day while I was traveling, Bobby Earl called me up and told me about this woman that he met at a club where we used to go. Her name was The Mysterious CeCe, and she was just as sarcastic and deadpan humourous as he was. He talked about that first meeting for nearly an hour. So I asked, “So are you dating her now?” and he said, “Nah, we just met. But she’s cool.” Riiiight…

A few weeks went by, and The Mysterious CeCe came up in conversation again. Ask asked him what she looked like, and his description was that of some ebon version of Aphrodite, an “Afrodite”, if you will. So I asked again, “That’s your girls now, yo?” And again, he said, “Nah, we’re just hanging out.” Riiiight…

A few months went by, and I got a picture text from Bobby Earl. It said, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Bobby Earl & [The Mysterious] CeCe!” They were definitely together, and I finally got to see The Mysterious CeCe. Only one problem…

One of my favourite things about Bobby Earl is that he is not a materialistic. Sadly, this meant that the phone by which he sent the picture of him and The Mysterious CeCe was not so much a smartphone with a nice camera as it was a Nokia from 1989 with a Polaroid duct taped to it. The photo was very small. I couldn’t tell who was who. I didn’t even know camera phones could take 8-bit resolution. It may as well have been Mario and Luigi in Milli Vanilli wigs. Oh well; as long as he’s happy, I’m happy.

A few years went by, and I got a text from Bobby Earl in May. It just said, “Would you like to come to my wedding?” Wha...? I HAD to call him. He explained that he was engaged to The Mysterious CeCe, and they are getting married in Myrtle Beach! What great news! I am so there! It will be a family reunion of sorts. Jeff, Monty “Monty”, Nix Hazard, Al Black will be there as well. There WILL be shenanigans!

Sure enough, shenanigans abound. First, i completely forgot that Myrtle Beach is in South Carolina. for those of you who failed US History, SC was the first state to secede from the Union, and some residents are still a little bit butt-hurt over losing the civil War. I will give it to them; there has been much progress. They got rid of the American Swastika in their flag and replaced it with a palm tree and a crescent moon. However, I noticed that everything was called “plantation”. The timeshare in which we stayed was a golf resort called Wachesaw Plantation. So they named the place where they forced people to work to death after the people they forced off the land. Oh, and Wachesaw means “Place of great weeping”. Oy. Besides the golf resort, shopping centers, plots of land, and empty lots were call plantations.

“Say, what is the nearest grocery store?”
“Oh that would be the Food Lion.”
“Oh, come on!”

In general though, the vibe of the area was very pleasant. The most oppressive thing there was the humidity, and there was an ocean right there to cool off. Everyone should go to Myrtle Beach at least once, wedding or not.

On the first day, we went to the Boardwalk and almost immediately jumped in the water. I hadn’t even checked in at the Plantation [shudder]. We went straight from the airport to the beach. The water was quite refreshing, even if the tide knocked the sunglasses off my head, never to be seen again. there is a shark somewhere off the coast of South Carolina who is styling right now. All that frolicking in the ocean made us hungry though, so Monty “Monty’s” wife, Natty Blizz, promised to make some food for everyone.

What she did can only be described as The Chickening™. She apparently got every chicken in the state, ripped off their wings, and fried them. It was delicious, but there was SO MUCH. If those chickens were people, they would have nicknamed Natty Blizz "the Myrtlosevic". Fowl from all corners of the region shudder at the mention of her name. Little chicks freak themselves out by saying Natty Blizz’s name in the mirror five times. Still, SO DELICIOUS. I regret nothing about The Chickening™.

The next day, we schlepped around and had a mini bachelor party. Man, what a night. We REDACTED REDACTED salmon steaks REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED goat REDACTED REDACTED human slingshot REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED off with a warning REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTEDREDACTED REDACTED REDACTED never been propositioned by a human shark!  REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED So REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED sunglasses at night REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED good night's sleep.

The day of the wedding, we were taking bets on whether Bobby Earl would cry or not on his wedding day. Since we all knew that B. Earl would definitely cry, it wound up being all of us betting Bobby Earl that he would cry. Because that is what best friends do. Bobby Earl had never been to Waffle House, and most of us thought that every black man needs to experience Waffle House at least once in his life, and what better day than the day you are to be betrothed? Al Black, however, did NOT want Big Box food, so he looked up a local place nearby that he said would be better. We obliged.

This place did not look open. It looked as though it was made entirely of driftwood and gator teeth. there were license plates from nearly every state except South Carolina hammered on the facade. Inside was darker and dingier, except for the chalkboard advertising their “famous BBQ”. We took a picture of all of us in front of the place, and we noticed in the second floor window that there was a stuffed negro staring out at us. It turned out that they didn’t serve breakfast, but I had an idea what they DID serve: Yankee BBQ. You cannot convince me that the drivers of all the cars from whence the license plates came were not in the stew. The brother always dies first, and we were ALL brothers.

We got lost looking for another place. I thought that getting lost in SC would mean we either get eaten by alligators or residents of a swamp who did not know that the War of Northern Aggression was over. Instead, we came upon a place called Studio Cafe. Perhaps it was our hunger or relief that did not make a wrong turn and become the “black angus” special at a backwoods barbecue, but that may have been the best breakfast we’d eaten in a while. Good call on Al Black to spurn big box food. We had a good gastronomic adventure.

The wedding went very smoothly. Bobby Earl & The Mysterious CeCe looked great together. Bobby Earl didn't cry, until at the reception when he had the traditional Mother/Son dance. Then it was waterworks, which was fitting, because it looked like it was monsooning outside.

Everything was good There was much line dancing, and then suddenly, the storm outside produced a bolt of lightning that hit the hotel! That set off a fire alarm, and we had to pause the reception dance party for a bit. One of the maintenance men insinuated that one of us pulled the fire alarm. Here’s a little note for all of you: just because there are a bunch of black people in a room, it doesn't mean they will be up to no good. A bolt of lightning HIT THE BUILDING. If that doesn't set off a fire alarm, then you have a terrible alarm system. None of us pulled that alarm! It was Thor Odinson.

The after party in the prep room was fun. We basically drank, listened to old school hip-hop and, listened to some of The Mysterious CeCe’s cousins from Mississippi argue about sports. I must say, there is nothing like listening to three southern gentlemen debate while you are intoxicated. it’s like listening to foreign sportscasters commentating in Eastern Klingon. Unfortunately, the neighbours did not appreciate the noise we were generating, but we fortunately had enough pretty white girls in the room that we could just send them to the door to ease their worries.

When we thought that we were too tired to do anything but sleep, one of the pretty white girls suggested that we jump in the ocean one more time, because nothing bad can happen when you mix a raging sea with alcohol soaked milestone celebrators! Nothing did happen. We just had a really good time on the beach. The pretty white girls jumped in fully clothed. They looked like mermaids coming out of the water. It would have been funny if one of their names was Darryl.

On the last day, we decided to see a schlep around a mall and watch a movie. We saw the Michael Bay version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I would not call it a cinematic abortion, but I will say that the best part of the movie was the ending credits.

It was a very fun trip, and I was happy to see Bobby Earl find happiness, and I’m glad it was with The Mysterious CeCe. I had not met her until two days before the wedding, but I could tell she was already part of our family. there was no need for me to spurn her for a month. I will gladly sit on her laptop any day of the week. Congratulations, The Mysterious Cece and Bobby Earl.

...Also, Bobby Earl, you owe us each $20. Pay up, motherf***er.

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