Thursday, October 25, 2007

The biggest sand trap in Ocean City, Maryland
(also known as "the state of Delaware")

What does it mean when a beachful of rednecks from the Delaware-Maryland border have the common sense to use SUVs with air let out of the tires for driving on the sandy roads, while two young gentlemen educated at a major northeastern university take a Honda Civic and end up spending an hour digging a two-foot-deep pit with the front-wheel drive until they're rescued by another redneck - this one armed with a truck-mounted winch - to pull them 50 feet to safety for the bargain price of $100.00?

I'll tell you what it means. It means I spent last weekend golfing in Ocean City, where such things are par for the course. Pun intended.

It also means that in the midst of 36 holes in which we managed to successfully steer clear of every on-course sand trap, my friend Laszlo and I got marooned in more than our fair share of beach on Saturday morning, which coincides oddly with the fact that, between the two of us, we had only one sand wedge. Perhaps it was the golfing gods themselves exacting revenge on us for such an act of hubris. "One sand wedge between two people? Blasphemy! Strand them on a beach access road in the hot midday sun in metrosexual clothing! Let them put those history and communication degrees to good use!"

The golf gods can be so cruel.

Basically, what happened was this: we golfed Friday and Sunday. Saturday was an off-day for half of the group, so Laszlo and I decided to drive up to Rehoboth Beach and check out the outlet stores at 11:30 in the morning. After a lively discussion about the distance from Ocean City to Rehoboth Beach, I yanked my iPhone (whose name is Knickers, by the way) out of my pocket and started doing some Google Maps work, made more complicated by the lack of included GPS.

I'm talking to you, Steve Jobs. If that is your real name.

I heard Laszlo say, "ooh, let's turn off here while you're looking." But, thanks to the painfully slow Edge network, I still had my eyes trained on Knickers when I heard him add, "this sand looks pretty soft. We should probably turn around."

I pulled my head out of my Knickers, but it was too late. Like a horny walrus errantly chasing after a PT Cruiser driving along a coast road during ebb tide, we were beached.

Here are some pictures:

This is after we had been digging for 45 minutes.

This is Laszlo operating the jack, while Knickers and I stand idly by, documenting the process for posterity. Before you go thinking I'm some sort of heartless jerk, though, take a look at the two men standing in the background. What you probably can't see from this resolution is that both of them are frowning, which is only because their facial muscles were so exhausted from laughing at us already.

This is the tow truck that came to rescue us. Laszlo claims he pulled us 20 feet, although it was really more like 50. 50 feet at $100 equals $2 per foot towed. I'm no mathematician, but that seems like a lot compared to, say AAA, which offers three miles of free towing for its initial membership fee of $59.95 annually.

This is a picture of Abe Vigoda.
$100.00 for 50 feet. And the friendly state parks official who didn't lift a finger of his sculpted muscularity to help us also informed us that we were lucky not to have gotten a ticket, which would have cost us $45 or $50. He said, "$45 or $50," which sounded an awful lot to me like he was just going to pull an amount out of thin air. In fact, a lot of the characters in the episode seemed extemporaneous and smug about getting us out, like the no-toothed gentleman in the teal GMC truck who showed up with a tow rope just after the hapless park ranger had committed us to using the towing service. The timing could not have been less sincere.

Incidentally, I spoke to Sarah after the show was over. Sarah is my new girlfriend, who just happens to be from Maryland. Her advice? "You could try letting some air out of the tires." So brilliant. So timely. I almost wonder if she wasn't in on the whole thing...

Update (10/25/07, 9:16PM)

Sarah wasn't involved. I retract that statement. See, there's no need to go calling your park police friends in Delaware, okay, sweetie?


Sarah said...

What exactly was he trying to do with the jack anyway?? Pry the car out? You could have just let some air out of the tires.

Oh wait...

Unknown said...

We DID let the air out of the tires. It didn't work. I was jacking up the car to pack wet sand back under the tires. The tires had pushed so much dry sand out that the car was sitting on it's chassis.

(I only comment on blogs on which I am fact, I only read blogs on which I am mentioned.)