Ocean City Today

Vacation? No thanks

By Stewart Dobson | Oct 12, 2017



printed 10/13/2017


A couple of weeks ago, I took off for my first vacation in 12 years. Now, I know why I waited so long.

To explain more clearly, we’ll give one point in favor of taking another vacation soon every time on this little sojourn that I got to do exactly what I wanted to do.

Conversely, everything that didn’t work out as planned would be minus a point and an inducement to avoid ever leaving home again.

To set the scene, the plan was to take an easy drive down to the Outer Banks for a wedding, a week of fishing, restaurant hopping and other touristy nonsense such as buying T-shirts that say “Duct Tape Can’t Fix Stupid,” which, of course, I’ll never, ever wear.

We will begin, naturally, with Day One and the easy drive. Didn’t happen.

After 140 uneventful miles hinted that this was all going to work out, we landed at the end of the thousand or so other cars camped out near the on-ramp to Route 64 in Virginia Beach.

Major roadwork? An accident? A parade of naked people protesting the use of synthetic fibers in today’s easy wear clothing?

No, it’s a guy whose car had a flat and he’s changing it on the shoulder of the road. Still, every driver of every single car ahead of us had to slow down for a long, long look as if this person was engaged in something never before witnessed by ordinary humans.

“My God, Martha, that man is changing a tire. Have you ever seen anything like it?”

Minus one point.

This was followed by a quick cheeseburger on the road around Coinjock, N.C. and a subsequent backup of a different kind altogether. Anyone pack the Rolaids? No? Minus one point.

The hotel was nice, so that’s a plus point. This was followed by a talk with the bride’s father while watching his head whirl like a salad spinner: one point for the amusement factor.

A check of the beach and surf conditions for fishing, however, revealed that the beach was approximately four inches wide because of rows of 12-foot breakers that apparently stretched back to England. Minus one point.

The Saturday wedding was good, with a short ceremony, good food: plus one point. Alas, this positive was zeroed out because the big boy pants I was wearing — as opposed to the usual jeans — wouldn’t stay up.

More disconcerting was my sudden realization that my trouser troubles were the result of the aging process as it sometimes affects older men. I call it “VRS” (vanishing rear-end syndrome). Minus one point.

Sunday dinner, however, looked promising, since it would be at a pricey restaurant that was described as “fabulous” by various diners.

It’s just a guess, but these happy customers probably hadn’t eaten since the last solar eclipse. Let’s just say if you bought two catch-of-the-day entrees, you could have added straps and worn them as flip-flops. Minus a point.

Monday debuted with a tropical storm warning, which means you had better like your hotel room, because that’s where you’ll be stuck for the next three days. Minus one point.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday —Noooo! I forgot the H2Oi cars were in town and was greeted by what you might call half the “V” for victory sign by a dweeb who was obviously the product of an out-of-wedlock union of two pocket protectors: Minus many, many points.

So yes, it’s great to be back at work. I also hope there’s something on TV at home, because otherwise I’ll be staring at my own walls for years to come.

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