In ran at Hilton Head this morning. And it was a fairly pleasant run. Humidity was only about 99 percent; temperature in the low 70s. At 6 a.m. that’s not bad. And yeah, I know. That’s mid morning. But when I’m on vacation I’ll generally sleep in until 4:30 or so and try to hit the road around 5:30 or 6. No point being a slave to your regular routine.
We’ve been coming to Hilton Head for nearly a decade. Good for vacations but not so sure about living here — or a lot of other places in the South — full time. One problem: way too many old people. On the drive to Hilton Head you pass one of those Dell Webb Sun City resorts. That’s where they give you a golf cart and a package of adult diapers along with the house keys. And it’s one of those places where you’re not allowed to be on the property unless you’re over 55 or 60. Wonder if that is what Dylan Thomas had in mind when he wrote:
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Also, I’m not sure I want to live in a part of the country where the only cultural advantage is right-turn-on-red. (Sorry, I shamelessly took that line from a Woody Allen movie. He was talking about California. We all have our quirks.)
But I do like the way they get right to the point in the South. Clear, honest, direct communication.
For instance, we took Snowbird Alley (I-95) from North Carolina to South Carolina. I stopped for gas in Santee and headed in to get a Diet Coke. A sign on the door said: “If your pants are hanging below your waist don’t even think about coming in.” Hmm. Thank God it didn’t say: “If your stomach is hanging over your belt, no Diet Coke for you.”
But back on the road again, as Willie Nelson might say, I was stuck in traffic. A moving van in the right lane. An old pickup truck blocking me in the left. Moment of truth. Could I pass the pickup truck on the right and squeeze by the moving van? I inch toward the pickup truck and notice a bumper sticker: “Gun control means using two hands.”
Dennis Hopper after all is now pitching ads for some retirement service on TV. Hope it’s not for adult diapers.