Friday, July 16, 2010

Zany Bands

...And the vacation wrap up.
 Another week in August and my LFG holidays for yet another summer will be in the memory bank. As the little princess settles into double-digithood, the giggly moments and fun antics remain abundant but the ten year old is vetting things more thoroughly. That’s code for “we are entering another phase”. It’s all good, don’t get me wrong…but I can see a more discerning little gal evolving. Growing into a young lady who doesn’t necessarily think that everything daddy comes up with antics-wise, is a home damn run. The five consecutive years of that reality were fun to say the least. I bet inflatable hair won’t make the cut next summer and assuredly, the craze will be something other than Zany Bands.
Why can’t I come up with one of these supernova uberfads and then cash out? I remember coming home from business travel, road weary and just plain happy to walk in the door and see my baby girl. She’d be giggling and drooling…happy baby style…blue eyes and no hair…I love bald babies. Hell I love bald women.
But LFG wasn’t giggling at me…she was watching the Wiggles. Your remember the Wiggles? Antipodean boys in pajamas, dancing around singing twee little songs and making millions…millions…millions. Damn. Then of course there was/is Webkinz…another stroke of genius.
 But character shaped rubber bands? They are all the rage and of course, we are fully engaged in the boondoggle. And I’ve got one—surprise I know—on my left wrist that none of you or your kids have. So there.
Next week I’ll be back on the road, blessed to be schlepping through another few airports, preaching to a bunch of sales and marketing folks about competitive positioning and why their “valued partner” strategy ain’t a strategy at all. Blessed, blessed, blessed…Jesus are you reading this?…that’s a hat trick gesture to once again let you know that I’m not complaining. But what I really need to do is invent that next big thing…for next summer. Any suggestions? Jesus?
So just a few more updates on our beach trip. FunLand…for me is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The Rehoboth Boardwalk reminds me of the quainter beachside hamlets of my South Carolina youth. Before S.C. became known as the ground zero stinkhole of conservative politics. Ahh…but sweet revenge might be in the wings.
I love the fact that Nimrata Randhawa, a daughter of Sikh parents may become the next S.C. governor and good on her for it. She’ll get votes from both sides of the aisle simply in response to what has been some of the basest mudslinging ever. South Carolina, heal thyself…and Nikki Haley might just be a good first step for a state that is usually forty eight in SAT scores and number one in gonorrhea. Yay. 
Oh that’s right, we were talking about FunLand. The canary thing for me is this… I’ve always said that when the family that owns FunLand sells out—like the inevitable paving over of the South Carolina Grand Strand—manifesting in Kmart by the Sea, we’d not go to Rehoboth anymore. But I’ve adjusted the coalmine-canary index. This might have been our last time staying in Rehoboth. Maybe time to return to Bethany Beach.
I wasn’t kidding when I said in a previous post that I give everyone the benefit of the doubt regarding character and value as a child of God and I stand by that assertion now and forever. I also said that I hope that others would give me the same benefit of the doubt. So I don’t think I’m being hypocritical one bit when I say that the FunLand Rehoboth crowd has become trashier than ever. Surely if I got to know some of these people, I’d be pleasantly surprised. Hard working, strong moral construct, raising good young’uns…some of them probably yes. But I don’t know them and won’t be in circumstances that induce acquaintance. There was a time when the FunLand trad-yuppie/white trash ratio was an interesting one. Not no mo.
So until I’m amidst a three day get-acquainted retreat with you people, my conclusion is that you are trashy. That you don’t care to set good examples of basic deportment and fundamental breeding that teaches…shirts and shoes. You don’t have to be a Country Clubber or Mensa member to get that. And I’ve never seen so many bad tattoos in my life. Of all the things not to bargain hunt for is a tattoo parlor that prides itself on being the low cost provider of said service.
You might think it unfair for me to include the fella above in my rant. He’s heavy…there’s no crime in that…I agree. Even though the back of his neck, if he gained ten more pounds, would look like a pack of hotdogs. Shame on you ADG for picking on a heavy guy. I agree. The reason I’m singling this guy out is that while waiting in line ahead of us, his profane spewing ‘caused me to shield LFG’s ears from his “f-word rebukes”…and he was talking to his child. I’m no prude. I’ve long since reconciled with God and others that my lack of writing skill is clearly illuminated by the use of coarse language in my blog. But there’s a time and place for everything…almost.
I do have something in common with this winner. And it ain’t the nipple ring. We are the fathers of daughters and God herself only knows what kind of FunLand memories his little gal’s gonna have.
Hey cat daddy. It’s nighttime. Perhaps you shoulda left your ersatz designer shades in the truck. After all, you’ve got your Hour Eyes reading glasses hanging from your nose so the hat-shades rig is obviously for show. And what you are showing us ain’t pretty. I woulda given you a pass on my scathing sartorial and deportment rant but you too, Mr. Trash Mouth Daddy…used words my daughter shouldn’t have to hear.
Ok, back to the fun stuff….Inflatable Hair. My cousin MegTown gave us the lead on this B52-Baltimore Hon hair back around Christmas time. Only problem was that I’d have to have the hair shipped from the UK. 
No worries, I’d be over for a week pretty soon and I promised LFG that I’d get it for her. No deal—nadda…couldn’t find it. So imagine our surprise when LFG found the dippity-do flip curl air-hair. 
Eleven bucks later and we’re in business.
But wait, our favorite tchotchke shop had a couple of other things worthy of report. On the sartorial front, the Bacon Tuxedo jigsaw puzzle pert near kilt me to forego.
And this is just plain-ass wrong. Trolls…my older sister collected them when we were little and LFG always looks for one to send her…do not have boobs.
There’s one Trad Oasis in the midst of all the beach kitsch and therein, I found two shirt swatches from Individualized…the bespoke maker for J. Press and I think Brooks Brothers too. I’ve always felt that they were excellent shirts for the money and I’ll have a buddy back in S.C. make these up for me. Green awning stripe…button down collar…two button barrel cuffs…no pocket…ADG monogram opposite the 5th button…in white thread.
Ditto the above configuration. But the oppo 5th button ADG monogram thread will be green. Shut up.

Love-Structure-Discipline…I believe that this trifecta is the secret sauce to raising kids. And every child needs a different blend of each component, at different moments based on a plethora of reasons. And I’m a stern disciplinarian where LFG is concerned. I sat her down before leaving for the beach and told her in unwavering and no-uncertain terms that we would NOT be getting Hermit Crabs this year.
 Onward. Amidst a post rant endorphin flush.

ADG…with crabs. Hermits.


Anonymous said...

Good post. As someone who grew up going down to Ocean City, and then fled to Rehoboth to escape the tattooed hoards and Boardwalk Elvis (actually, I old miss Boardwalk Elvis and hope he met his idol in the Great Graceland in the Sky), I realized about 5 years ago that Rehoboth had become just about as redneck/obese/pierced/tattooed as OC. And I agree that even Funland and Playland have changed. It used to be that if you went early in the evening, it was all young families enjoying the rides. Your pictorial has confirmed what I have been fearing the past several years that times have changed. I am not sure Bethany is the solution, but who knows. Glad you had a good vacation.

Suburban Princess said...

Love the Jane Fonda troll doll!

K.S. Anthony said...

You know, I've probably seen those bracelets a thousand times and until you started blogging about them, I've never noticed them. Now I'm always curious as to what they are. I don't dare ask. Seems wildly inappropriate. I've even seen them on 20-somethings. Nope. I don't ask them either.

Every time I attempt discreet photos of the local cretins, I fail. Maybe I should lose the flip phone. It's a little obvious.

Be well.

Gail, in northern California said...

Like putty in her haven't a prayer, Dad.

Preppy 101 said...

Is it ever in the future {as she approaches the teen years} for you to allow ADG to bring a friend with her on vaca? She may never want to, but if she did? You'll need my expertise when those days {teen yrs.} come :-) xoxo

Main Line Sportsman said...

Yes..the Boardwalk...a veritable petri dish of mutts and meth heads...white trash and carneys....fat broads and guys with bad physiques and worse clothes...and even worse diction and vocabulary.Funnel cake and french fries and cheesy denim shorts hanging south of the crack...accompanied by slouchy dumpy wenches with jailhouse tats twixt their titties...creosote smell from the boards and pizza odor from the shop...and wanna be bikers and 13 year old white kids from the suburbs acting like Compton Gangsters...bad T-shirt slogans and glittery tennis visors that say "who farted" or " Hot mama"
Yes year take that fine young lady to another spot..spare her further elbow rubbing with the doomed masses of Americas most embarrassing...I will suggest the Adirondacks..or maybe The Homestead ...or Bay Head NJ..or Glacier Nat'l Park.

ADG said... are spot on...dead on it...I might want to use your comment in a post--with your permission. BTW...we always do one "nice" week each summer and LFG had, as her mother and I pondered it, been on airplanes more often at age two then her mother and I had at the age of 21. Thanks for the suggestions...I just hate that one of our fun traditions has come to an end. Wildwood...Crest? Oh, and "titties" of the worst words but every time I see it (not them) or say it, I laugh...couldn't be more appropriate.

Preppy101...Maybe one more year sans friends but that's prolly it.

KS...Crazy/Zany Bands...not inapprpriate unless you try to put them on your wanker. Otherwise harmless. flipphone? THAT'S who that is. Where are the legwarmers?

Annonymous/Ocean City...yep. You got it and I hear you. Myrtle Beach and especially North of Myrtle Beach...Ocean Drive, where my folks had a house, was great when I was a kid. It's all paved over now and is one big ass Ocean City. What I miss though, and I don't think I'm communicating it that at one point, there was a mix of smarm and posh that was good/fun...once or twice a three day flurries. Not anymore.

Gail...I've been a goner since that moment I held her...her little eyes wide the delivery room.

ilovelimegreen said...

ADG, you are one handsome man in that inflatable hair - wow! I am sure the Rehoboth you and LFG know is a far cry from the Rehoboth I knew in the 70s and 80s...when my parents did everything they could to keep me away from Ocean City!

LFG has great taste in shoes, ESPECIALLY in the last photo.

(Main Line Sportsman - Love your summation of the Boardwalk!)

Pigtown-Design said...

Ugh. Rehoboth is looking like OC. That's a shame. Love you all in the big hair. You shoulda brought LFG up for the HonFest a few weeks ago!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I have been hoping and praying for the return of big hair. Not sure I will be able to go with Haley in November...she will have to convince me that she is not going to be another Sanford in regard to support of public education.

Marianne said...

I'm a little nauseous after the pics of your fellow funland crowd. I think you should consider a few days on Cape Cod for your next vacation. It would be a preppy cleanse for you. Chatham would charm you and you can still get a bit of trash in Hyannis if you needed a fix.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Next vacation spend part of it building a house for Habitat followed by a few days in Quebec.

Main Line Sportsman said...

ADG....Permission granted Sir.I am flattered..

Mal said...

ADG, sorry to hear about Rehoboth but as Southerners, we have seen too much of our everyday lives fall to this way of life. I know I walk a fine line with that statement, inferring class distinctions but much of our civility, our manners is just gone. I completely understand about the changing mentality of growing children--just went through a vacation with my 12 year old son. Geez.

About the pink fabric..what about a tab collar?

All the best-

SouthernProletariat said...

I always thought you to be a zany band snob. Exclusive, eh? Do tell. Thankfully the craze is ending around here. Like all fads, it overstayed its welcome.

And I am afraid that MLS and Mal are sadly correct with much of the south these days. I avoid any place like Funland like the plague, for the reasons you mentioned. Plus olfactory issues.

Anonymous Texan said...

Jam Up & Jelly Tight post about the hoi polloi.Familiarity breeds contempt or understanding. Consider it a fine object lesson.
Enuff said.

Anonymous said...

Now I know where those folks I see at the airport each week are headed, looks like the same crowd. I often wonder....."do these people have mirrors in their homes or hotel rooms?"
There is no excuse for the poor behavior. It seems that more and more people can not get a sentence out unless they use profanity. Everyone can demonstrate good manners regardless of income.
People should be on their best behavior as you never know when you will be caught by ADG's iPhone.

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - That hairstyle makes you look younger.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Southern Prole...That descriptive stream of consciousness I penned about the boardwalk was based on Wildwood NJ and Point Pleasant Beach NJ and similar Jersey horror shows...hence it in no way impugns the South or Southeners...on the hammers the Garden State.

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Surely taking the loafers out for a spin in such an environment qualifies as Belgian abuse...?

ADG said...

LAgunaTradMon...yes indeed. You are spot on re Belgian abuse.

MainLinerSport...The South owns an equal amount of culpability. Trashy ain't a regional thing, even though Wildwood is a poster child for it. oughta see me in it with my Bacon Tuxedo.

AnonRTS...Everyone CAN demonstrate good manners and better clothing considerations regardless of income. Well said.

AnonTexan....never enough said. That's why I keep talking.

Marianne...yes. We used to spend a week each summer on Nantucket.

Belle...I have another friend who did big hair really well and she too prays for its return.

SouthernProle...Olfactory issues...funny. collar? I don't wear ties often enough anymore. 12 year olds? ...It' comin' for me....soon.

AnonHabitat...great suggestions.

MegTown...yep. It's over...Rehoboth.

LimeGreenGal...I wore the hair to church last night.

Anonymous said...

Always used those boardwalk types of experiences as a learning moment. Same with the potty talk at the movies. "You, Son of Pgh, know better than to talk like that. Your parents and your grandparents and our friends don't talk (behave, dress) like that" Don't forget the people closest to LFG will be her biggest influences. Our beach vaca is secluded and dull, forcing family frivolity.

Enjoy all the sweet and sour moments ahead with your baby.


Murr Brewster said...

Oh my sweet Lord. Maybe it was the Rehoboth Beach forays of my teen years back on your coast that got it whirring, but the memory engine is all cranked up now. Trolls with breasts? We got trolls in the first wave, I'm thinkin' 1964, and If I didn't have breasts then, I'd be danged if my troll could have them. Then adolescence rolled in like the stench from a bay bottom, and we wore pants we couldn't zip up without lying down. Followed by a particular "angel" (a misnomer) dress I tried to sneak out of the house in, and mom said I wasn't leaving until I put more fabric on it. On the bottom or on the top, either way. I was peeved, but looking back, it wasn't much more than a voluminous cumberbund, and if I had a daughter dressed like that I wouldn't let her back in the house until she turned over some of the profits.

lisa golightly said...

Very sweet ( and salty ) post ! You had me with the father/daughter shoes with a view and bacon tuxedo. Now off to find an inflatable hairdo of my very own.

Summer is a Verb said...

LFG wouldn't have a pink pig she'd be willing to part with would she? I have searched high and low for that elusive band. Rumor has it, it's Butt Policia kryptonite...XXOO

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Ouch! Fond memories of going to Rehobeth when we were Stateside. My grandparents live about an hour and a half away on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I think that we spent every day of the summer of 1970 at the beach when my dad was in Vietnam. I've still got the scar on my knee (matched my grandfather's) from the jetty that summer. There used to be an Izod outlet that supplied me with shirts for the summer. Irregulars. But who isn't?

The Yellow Submarine was my favourite sub and pizza joint. We knew the Greek owners of the fries and taffy place on the corner. I forget the name. Still there I think.

Funland (I thought it was called) was skeeball, bumper cars and the biplane thing for me.

And so much for introducing my kids to the beach I knew. Thanks for the warning.

Young Fogey said...

This post reminded me of how disgusted I was by the apparel I saw on my last trip to Disneyland: black T-shirts with non-family friendly graphics; facial piercings; tattoos; underwear hanging out of the top of low-slung pants; the morbidly obese; and men wearing sunglasses that Liberace would have dismissed as being "too femmy."

Your reason for "picking on" the heavy guy is appropriate, of course. However, while we should not make fun of the grossly overweight, it is OK to point out that they are engaging in one of the "Seven Deadly Sins": gluttony. Gluttony encompasses not just food, but also alcohol, drugs, and even pornography/fornication, because the abuse of these things is fundamentally the same thing: indulgence. This is often due to a lack of self-control. We may judge these actions freely; the results of overindulgence are plain to see, and plainly harmful.

I am fortunate that I know some places (including beaches) that are still safe for my family. For how much longer--that's the question.

ADG said...

Michael....the HORROR of brand poaching and counterfitting. my goodness. we're gonna throw ALL of them away and start over. always...or at least most of the time...your provocative comments are worthy of their own posting. Don't get me started on the personal accountability thing. The balance between personal accountability and freedom/liberty needs to be recalibrated. Why? Because you and I are going to be footing the bills for each and every one of those people who deliberately decide to kill themselves via gluttony. Thank you. This concludes my remarks.

EasyElegantist...don't bother going back. That version of Rehoboth is long gone. It will only break your heart to see the remnants. Up until this year, there were enough of said remnants to keep us going back. Not anymore.

AllieVonPinkPig...I'll drop one in the mail to you but...the Butt KGB seems to be flanking said krypton talismans every day. It might be impotent by the time it arrives so please--keep the butt expanse at neutral.

lisagolightly...we are already tired of the hair. i'll mail you ours. cracked me up! about the profit turnover thing. And my sister and I used to giggle at the Trolls' little butt cracks. Most butt cracks I see now make me wish that I'd not seen them.

StacyPitts...sounds like your family vaycay is the right kind of beach trip.