I get to work ten minutes early and swipe my card at the time clock. I’m supposed to wait until my shift begins to clock-in but I’m slowly bilking this place. After punching in, I have to scan the parking lot to see if Doc is playing today. Most of the people who play golf here wouldn’t leave a tip at a circumcision, except for Doc. Continue reading “A Twenty-Dollar Story”
There are two types of people at the Sunshine Home for the Elderly. Those well enough to ride the activities bus and those that are not. The ones that are not well enough to leave are done. Finished. It is all over for them. The ones that can still participate in the daily excursions have some hope left.
They call themselves “The Rolling Oldies” and they are an organized band of thieves. They love going to the Zoo and to the Indian Casino, but the only thing you can steal from those places are trinkets in the gift shop. A refrigerator magnet or novelty pen will do if you have to scratch an itch, but the Rolling Oldies are into stealing the good stuff. Stuff like brand name stool softener and Metamucil are valued items. Liquor and lube are also popular. If it is expensive, name-brand and helps you use the toilet, it is better than money. They steal reader glasses by the shipment. If you could pay for prescriptions with stolen readers, the Rolling Oldies would be like the geriatric version of El Chapo. Continue reading “The Rolling Oldies”
Last Saturday, I received an email from Side Splitters comedy club in Tampa announcing a “very special event.” I am on their email list because I have attended a few shows there over the years. Most comedy clubs start their emails with some sort of baloney pumping up the announced act and I didn’t think much of it until I saw the name “Louis” before the email preview cut off. I love Louis Anderson, but he wouldn’t be a “very special event.” No, they were advertising that Louis C.K. would be appearing “next week” for 5 shows. For me, that is like announcing Paul McCartney was going to play “The Poor House” in Charleston, SC. I jumped on the opportunity and decided I would at the last minute drive to see Louis in a small comedy club six hours away. Louis has to do business like this now because if he gives too much advanced notice, people who wish to do him and his career harm would be there to ruin the shows. The show was fantastic, it was a chance of a lifetime and I’m so glad I did it. This blog post is not about Louis C.K.
I am an unapologetic fan of cults. I am also a fan of Leah Remini’s show on Scientology. Maybe those two things are correlated but my lawyer has advised me to let you figure that out for yourself. The most recent episodes of Leah’s show were about Scientology’s involvement in Clearwater, Florida. L. Ron Hubbard wanted a place for Scientology like Utah is for Mormons. He picked Clearwater as that place. Clearwater is about 20 miles outside of Tampa. The show made Clearwater out to be some sort of ghost town where all the main attractions were owned and controlled by the Church of Scientology. I had to see this place for myself and since I was going to be in Tampa anyway, I went. Continue reading “Creep in Clearwater”
I thought I knew the day I quit smoking. “September, 21 2012.” I remember the things that happened that day. The Carolina Panthers lost on the road to a 50-yard hail mary thrown by that stupid Matt Ryan and the United States Ryder Cup team lost a huge lead to Europe at home. It’s been dubbed, “The Miracle at Medinah.” Not smoking for an entire day was “The Miracle on Felix Street.” I didn’t sit down. I paced around my living room all day. I said to myself, “If I don’t smoke a cigarette today, I’ll never smoke again.” I didn’t. And I never have since. I discovered I had the date of those events wrong. For six years, I’ve been donning my “Another Year without Cigarettes” party hat nine days early. September 30th, 2012 is my official quit date. But that is not the point. The point is, I have never smoked again.
Today, I’ve gone 365 days without consuming alcohol. Well, there’s a trace amount found in kombucha. The stupid state of North Carolina requires ID to purchase “Gingerade” because of it. I drink six ounces of kombucha a day. That amount of alcohol couldn’t knock a no-see-um on its ass. Continue reading “One Year Later”
Beep, beep, beep. They are building a 300-unit apartment complex outside my apartment window. Every piece of heavy equipment must beep. In the 90’s, they only used to beep when they went backwards. But now, some of them beep when they go backwards and forwards, side to side. Continue reading “Beep”
On a recent trip out of Charleston, I noticed a celebrity on my flight to Atlanta. None other than TV’s Jack Hanna was standing with his wife, waiting for his boarding zone to be called. I didn’t bother him. I like the man and I appreciate his work, but he’s not exactly the Crocodile Hunter. The odd thing about the encounter was that “Premium” was already boarding and I was next in “Sky” (because I foolishly paid more for the extra leg room and the free banana) and Jack and his wife weren’t in my boarding group. They were in coach with all the other people who weren’t international TV personalities or frequent Late Show with David Letterman guests. Continue reading “Jack Hanna Flies Coach”
Charleston, South Carolina used to have a tourist season. Tourism would begin to ramp up during the weekend of “SEWE,” which stand for the “South Eastern Wildlife Expo,” and continued until Thanksgiving. But after major travel publications like Conde Nast and Travel+Leisure named Charleston the “Number 1 tourist destination in the world” (good lawd, y’all) there is no longer a tourist “season” in Charleston; tourist flock here year round.
I am not one of these “poo-poo the tourists” locals. In fact, I’m not even counted as a “local” by the poo-poo people. Your family has to have lived in Charleston for 2-3 hundred years before you’ll be welcomed at any Battery-addressed soiree without at least one disapproving glare as you walk through the door. I’ve lived in Charleston for 15 years, but in the eyes of the Blue-Bloods, I’m closer to a tourist than a resident. Which is why I believe I am most qualified to offer this list to tourists because, basically, I am one who simply hasn’t left since 2005.
There are hundreds of “Charleston Tourist Guides” on the internet. A few years ago, I wrote a piece called the “Ten Things I Hate about Charleston.” Not my finest work as it was an attempt to be different in the realm of Charleston lists, but worth a look if you’re interested. What I didn’t find on the internet was something that prepared you for being a tourist in Charleston. So instead of telling you what to do and where to go (I’ll do some of that), hopefully this piece will prepare you for being a tourist in Charleston and give you an idea what to expect while you’re here. Continue reading “Charleston Tourist Season”