Kenny Powers is not a liar. The Redneck Riviera is real. In fact, my friends Meg and Hossie can both testify that I managed to keep it wholesome in that hotbed of sin, up until stumbling upon a few teenage dreams and a guy that worked at home depot.
My time spent in North Myrtle Beach, SC was brief but highly educational. Southerners are a quirky bunch. Especially the coastal folk, God bless ’em. Most of the time I can’t understand a word they’re saying.
Speaking of cutting a rug, the dance moves are what lured me back not once, but THRICE to the hot mess capital of the southeast. Enter: The Carolina Shag.
At first glance, I thought these people were drunk or just super wiggly. Turns out they’re both. But on purpose.
Carolina Shag is a six-count partner dance done mostly to moderate tempo music (100-150 bpm). During the dance the upper body and hips hardly move as the legs do convoluted kicks and fancy footwork. The lead is the center of attention, and the follow’s steps either mirror the lead’s or mark time while the lead shows off with spins and other gyrations. Carolina Shag is the state dance of North Carolina and South Carolina, and is still popular amongst residents of both states.
There are no words that fully convey the spectacle at Fat Harold’s, or at the beach off Ocean Drive for that matter. It’s like Cocoon exploded into a room of cig smoke and jazz shoes.
One minor problem (and no, it wasn’t that I was the only Jew in 100+ miles) was being so dang pale compared to the baby oil-primed wafricans. I thought Beezus was a nut about getting some sun. Nopitey nope, not compared to these fine folk. The standard in Squirtle Beach is a deep russet brown. Totally normal to see tan little tots perched on the hip of an equally sunburnt mama, pack of Winstons in one hand and confederate koozie in the other. I can hear it now, What in the blazes do I need Water Babies SPF 90 for? Amber-Ann needs to get her base tan early, y’all!