Many years ago I accepted an invitation from my ex-father in law to go on a deep sea fishing excursion out of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. My wife (now ex) came along and we woke up way before dawn to make the drive to Shem Creek. Because of a fuzzy memory, the name of the boat escapes me. I do recall that it was 50 feet or so and could accommodate around forty customers as well as a small crew. We didn’t have to bring our own tackle as that was provided as part of the excursion package.
All of us found seats in a fairly comfortable cabin below deck as the boat made its way out of Charleston harbor. The captain came down to greet us and give us a quick rundown on the rules and regulations of the boat. It was all standard safety stuff for the most part, but he did spend a few minutes telling us about their seasick policy. Stated briefly, he said that if you (or any member of your party) get queazy, under no circumstance would the boat turn around and head back to port. Also, he said that if you do puke, please use the bags provided. The crew, he emphasized loudly, will not clean up after you.
Not five minutes after he gave this speech, a kid about twelve years old started projectile vomiting in every which direction. His mom screamed for the captain. He came down, looked at the puke covered kid, and listened to her demand that he turn the boat around “right this minute”. The captain didn’t say a word. He just shook his head in disgust and went back up to his post as we continued the long journey out to sea.
This boy and his parents (as well as a slightly older sister) stand out in my mind because, before the journey began, they loudly pronounced to everyone within earshot:
“We’re From Ohio!“
Upon arriving at our first fishing stop everyone went onto the deck, grabbed a rod and reel, slapped some bait on the hook, and proceeded to try our luck. We stood shoulder-to-shoulder from bow to stern and, because of a strong tide, it was difficult to avoid entangling the lines. I was on the port side bow, about third in line, and the family from Ohio was on the starboard side, directly opposite from me and only a few feet away.
I really wasn’t paying much attention to these folks and didn’t say two words to them until they involved me in an incident. The father kept getting his line tangled up and, about the third time he did so, he hollered for somebody to help him. By the time the deck hand made his way to the bow the guy was furious. He was whipping his rod all around and sputtering unintelligible obscenities when, all of a sudden, he turned around, pointed at me and hollered: “My line is tangled up and it’s all his fault!”
The deck hand told him to give up his rod and reel so he could check it out. After he did so the deck hand told the guy that he was not tangled up at all. In fact, he had a huge fish on the line. The rod was bending at an impossible angle in his hands and the guy from Ohio demanded that he give it back to him. The deck hand refused to do so, telling the jerk that he had “lost the right” to land this fish. I had to chuckle under my breath at this.
The deck hand finally managed to pull a trashing seven-foot shark alongside the boat. After a few minutes, he handed the rod back to the putz from Ohio and, while he stood there tugging on the already tired shark, the deck hand jokingly asked him if he wanted to land the shark so he could take it back to Ohio with him. I added my two-bits to the hilarious scene: “Land the shark! You can strap it to the roof of your car and show it to all your friends in Ohio.”
He was in the process of arguing with his wife on the logistics of riding back up the Interstate with his trophy when the crew member whipped out a pocket knife and did what he intended to do all along…cut the line and let the shark go.
Now, I don’t really have anything against folks from Ohio. I am sure that, like South Carolina, Ohio has its share of really smart people mixed in with the knuckle-draggers. I have noticed, however, that tourists from other states don’t seem to spend a lot of time telling disinterested locals: “We’re from Montana!” or “We’re from New Hampshire!”
I am sure that many former Ohioans now make their homes in the Carolina Lowcountry and I suppose that, for the most part, they are honest, decent, hard working folks. Although I was born in South Carolina and my descendants have lived in this state for around 200 years, I am not a Yankee hater by any stretch. Until now I very rarely wished that somebody would go back from whence he or she came.
The Sunday, June 24 edition of the Post and Courier featured a front page article by Glenn Smith about an Ohio transplant by the name of Kyle Rogers. Here is a link to Glenn’s article:
Mr. Rogers is a notorious white supremacist who has decided to make Summerville his home. The picture posted by the newspaper shows an angry, hateful, and probably very lonely man who has found dubious recognition in the world of hate. You can look up the photo online if you wish. I am not going to post it here. I will, however, post my photoshop commentary along with my wish that Mr. Rogers will decide to take his dog and pony show back to the hole from which it emanated.