Wednesday, April 15, 2009

what's coal?

I'm disappointed in the strip for this quote, but I got tired of trying to find a better one. I've usually been able to find a strip where the quote fits or adds some sort of absurdist humor to the situation, and where the original punchline gives a twist to the quote itself as the title. This one just makes no sense, sorry.

On to the story.

For a few years my family and those of two of my dad's high school buddies would crash my grandparents' vacation home for a week or so. The males would all go fishing balls early, come back smelling of dead shrimp and beer around 1p.m. and take a nap. Then around 5 they'd fire up the pit for dinner and start pounding beers again. I typically spent the day either stretched out on the porch swing reading Louis L'Amour or Douglas Adams or with my mom over at Grandma's.
At least two or three days of the week (often more) the men would curtail the morning fishing and we'd head out to either Sunday Beach on Matagorda Island or Decros Point. Sunday Beach was seeing more traffic and I think we were looking to change things up a little, so this time we went to Decros.
We had the place to ourselves. It was like heaven. Gulf of Mexico rolling in, just enough wave action to body surf a few feet, hot sun, cool wet sand (and scorching hot dry sand further back), and no interlopers. It starts to get close to lunch time, which means that probably 20 beers and two packs of cigarettes had been consumed among my dad and his friends. My dad had been walking the beach looking for rocks or fishing from the beach or something. The rest of us were chilling on lawn chairs waiting for lunch after frolicking in the surf for a couple hours. We saw another boat come up and choose the spot 200 feet from us out of the several miles of open beach available to them.
I think there were three or four people. The guys were wearing cutoffs and baseball caps with motor oil stains on them over their dirty blonde mullets. Shortly after they started unloading their coolers of Natural Light my dad wandered up. "Who are these Seadrift-looking shitheads?" he asked in tone suggesting interlopers were not welcome in his domain. I think either they left or we did shortly thereafter.

As an aside for those who may not be well-apprised of the local bay community hierarchy, Seadrift is a town on the intercoastal waterway much like Port O'Connor, only dirtier and with more Vietnamese immigrants (two unrelated qualities, I'm pretty sure). Now, in full disclosure, most of my knowledge of the hierarchy stems from my cousins based in Port O'Connor. What they tell me is that Port Lavaca fancies itself the top, followed by Seadrift and Port O'Connor in no particular order. Port O'Connor considers itself above Seadrift, and Seadrift seems to disagree. According to them, POC folk are Bay Rats, Port Lavacans are Wharf Rats, and Seadrifters are just Rats. I think this view informed my dad's comment, and, Will Waghorne notwithstanding, I think it's probably correct.


Ojo Rojo said...

My recollection of this is a bit different. We were on one of the "high school buddy" weekends, but those two particular friends don't fish. The standard routine for those weekends was to get in Friday night and the men would drink as much beer as they could on the roof. The women would drink margaritas and see who could talk the fastest. I, in my teenage hormone crazed state, would try to figure out how to get a stinky pinky with the daughters without getting caught. Saturday we'd load up and go to the Gulf beach. The men would be nursing pretty severe hangovers. This particular time I think we did go to Decrow's Point, which was favored by Dad for reasons I don't agree with. (As opposed to Sunday Beach, Decrow's was uninhabited. To me though, Sunday beach is perfect because I like looking at girls in bikinis and seeing people I might know. Plus, you can park the boat with ease on the bay side and walk to the Gulf side. At Decrow's you have to drive the boat between the sand bars, which is hard to do, and then anchor in the surf. That normally requires someone to actually get out of the boat and set the anchor manually. I guess when you have a fourteen year old boy (me) to do that dangerous and difficult job, Decrow's is more appealing on balance.) Anyway, there were a couple of attractive females in our group who looked pretty good in bikinis. Just as Llogg described, these scruffy looking assholes pulled up next to us on an otherwise deserted beach. Dad knew that these turds were scoping the bikinis and picked that spot for only that reason. This pissed him off and thus he accused them of being from Seadrift and being shitheads.

On the Calhoun county hierarchy - this is a more complex topic than one might imagine. For locals, Pt. Lavaca probably holds sway simply because it is larger, it is the county seat and it has the Wal Mart. For tourists, though, Port O'Connor is by far and away the most prestigious. The main reason is that there are passes to the Gulf that Seadrift and Pt. Lavaca do not have. What this means is that deep water offshore fisherman can harbor at POC. Offshore fishing requires boats and equipment that is several factors more expensive than bay equipment. This means that a higher level of gentry tourists make POC their getaway. That has had far reaching effects on the local economy - there are nicer restaurants, better bars and the property taxes are higher. POC is a proper Texas coastal resort town (and still undiscovered enough not to be as cheesy or trashy as Port Aransas, Galveston, Rockport and South Padre). Seadrift is a sorry excuse for those folks who can't otherwise afford to vacation in POC. Pt. Lavaca is just a dung heap that whores itself out to big chemical companies.

Snake Diggity said...

Is it really spelled "Decrow's"? I never knew that. I could've sworn I have seen it spelled "Decros" on an aerial map somewhere.

llogg said...

When I looked at maps online all the ones that had it marked spelled it Decros.

I still like to think that dad called them that simply because they were Seadrift-looking shitheads, regardless of their lechery.

Ojo Rojo said...

I've seen the spelling both ways. I think the origin has been lost to time. However, I use Decrow's because in my research for the documentary and general reading on the history of the area I've seen it as Decrow's Point, named for a man with the surname Decrow who lived. (Or possibly De Crow, or De Croix.) Apparently he lived on the peninsula and had some sort of building there. The word "Decros" doesn't mean anything by itself and it is not possessive or indicative of a person's name. Decrow's just makes more sense to me. (But I had always assumed it was Decros Point before too.)

roy said...

shithead is second only to dipshit as my favorite curse word.

good story.