Off The Motorcycle: Oysters, Beer, the Beach and Your Grandfather’s Pipe Tobacco


I decided to spend another day and night in Myrtle Beach. I wanted to walk the beach, eat some oysters, have some craft beer and people watch. But most of all I still needed to dry out. Having spent 16 years in Northern Ireland, believe me I’m familiar with rain. The Irish have tons of words to describe their raining experience: a dry rain, mizzling, a skift, spitting, a wet rain, a slop, raining stair rods, rotten, pissing, bucketing, pelting, hooring, and lashing, to name a few. (See  note below). There’s the old joke about the American who came to Ireland for a three week holiday in which it rained every day. He’s leaving to return to America and spots a boy outside the hotel standing in the rain. Exasperated, he says to the boy: Does it rain every day in Ireland? The boy nodded his head. “Aye, I think so. But maybe you should ask someone older, I’m only 12.” Or the one where the man dies and he goes down to Hell. The devil’s standing beside a deep hole with flames shooting out from it. He’s pushing people into the fiery pit. Every once in a while instead of pushing a person in he tosses them to the side of the pit. When “your man” gets up to Satan he asks about the people tossed to the side. “Oh” Satan replies, “They’re Irish. They have to dry out before they can burn.”
I got up the next morning, paid for another night and began walking the few blocks to the restaurant. On the way the rain started bucketing. This time I had the last laugh because I had my Harley rain suit on. (All my other clothes were wet!)
Afterwards, I went down to the beach for a walk, came back and wrote my blog, then back to the beach, steamed oysters at Dirty Don’s Oyster Bar, a drink on the outside deck at the 8th Street Tiki Bar watching people saunter by on the boardwalk, and one more walk on the beach. I’m always lucky in that I fairly easily meet people when I travel. I guess despite the biker gear I don’t come across as particularly intimidating. It’s more likely that I seem fatuous and avuncular, or maybe grandfatherly. I met a nice woman on the beach who was from Utah and who was in town for a wedding. She’d spotted me staring at the clouds (I was practicing trying to read the weather) and she liked the smell of the cherry tobacco from my pipe. I get that a lot from women. I don’t get much else from women but at least I get that. Oh, and I get told that the tobacco scent reminds them of the grandfather. I need to switch to smoking a younger, sexier man’s pipe tobacco.

See: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-18492240

(Rainy weather forecast for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

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