Friday, May 30, 2008

Overheard: Terrapin Creek, Piedmont, AL

"You ain't got a hair on your ass if you don't flip it."

-Terrapin's a slow float. You can rent canoes and kayaks from an outfitter, the Terrapin Outdoor Center, whose #1 rule is "If you wanna float it, you gotta tote it!."

But the truth is that all you need is an inner tube and a ride home when you get off the water.

Last sunny Sunday, slap in the middle of Memorial Day Weekend, we shared the creek with lots of other small boaters. Some were proficient with paddles, like the guy who yelled the above overheard. Some weren't, like the guy he was yelling at who was trying futilely to bale water out of his canoe.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Overheard: The PIT, Pawleys Island, SC

“I’ve got your KY in my pocket.”

-If you’ve been to the Pawleys Island Tavern more than once, you know it by its abbreviation, The PIT. It used to have a sign, but according to Mary Margaret Chambliss and Jason Rogoff, my friends who overheard this delightful line, the sign is gone. Taken down because it had been put up on someone else’s property.

Now you know you’re there when you see the mailbox with the letters PIT painted on it. Or you know it by the old wooden floors, dollar bills tacked to the walls, and the patrons dousing themselves with bug spray. “It’s kinda in the swamp,” says Mary Margaret. The bugs might get you when you’re listening to live music on their outdoor stage.

Speaking of abbreviations, I don’t think the above speaker was referring to Kentucky.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Overheard: Liberty Tap Room, Columbia, SC

“If I would have killed her when I met her, I would be getting out about now.”

-Photographer Gary Clark overheard* this uttered by someone in a wedding party in the Liberty Tap Room in Columbia, SC. Interesting. I overheard a gem at the Liberty Tap Room in Myrtle Beach. Connection?

*I sure ain’t the only one overhearing. When you happen to find yourself the indirect recipient of a nugget of brilliance, please tell me about it.

I’ll post it and enter your name into a drawing. I like to do drawrings.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dancing Leaf: Summerton, SC

"You want to see the most beautiful thing I've ever filmed?"

Thus begins the famous scene from American Beauty where the character of Ricky shares his footage of the plastic bag dancing in a swirling wind.

I was reminded of it while walking a trail that skirted the edge of Lake Marion in the Santee National Wildlife Refuge in Summerton, SC.

A leaf was spinning in the air right in the middle of the trail. Dangling from a long, near-transparent strand of a spider's silk.

It was one of those natural moments you pine for when you're traveling. The bird chirps. The shadowplay on the ground.

In the movie, Ricky goes on to explain how the video of the bag helps him remember that, "sometimes there's so much beauty in the world." I won't bow out tritefully and say I had the same thought. But I did think this was pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Overheard: Town 220 Bistro, Madison, GA

“Let me finish, because this is how I feel.”

If I’m directing the film starring this couple, a man and woman I'd clock in their 60s, I open with a tight shot of the woman's hands. Especially the right one. Makes a fist; clinch, release. Then she pinches her ring finger; middle; fore.

Repeats the cycle.

The audience only sees hands, but it hears her voice shake as she reaches the summation.

“I can’t focus on your interests for hours. For one hour, maybe, but not for hours.”

I saw them smiling at each other when I first sat down. Two glasses of pinot noir deep, and she starts winding up. As she gets more direct, he delicately lays down his fork. Wipes his mouth. Crooks his right arm and rests his cheek on his knuckles. He is a poised cat. Tail slowly swaying. Patient. When she makes her definitive statement--her plea--and winds down, he raises his head from his knuckles, uncrosses his legs, and leans in.

While he talks--a monotonous mumble--she resumes eating. Darting her eyes from peas to him to steak to him and back to peas.

Repeats the cycle.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Overheard: I Could Overhear Her All Day

"I'm gonna drop him like a sack of potatoes down a hillside. He is like a grandpa. I may not have any money, but I have my pride."

-Disgruntled employee of the half Sam Adams, half Nathan's hotdogs stand near Gate C37 in the Tampa airport. This is a groundbreaking, slightly controversial Overheard in that I'm including a picture of the speaker. To preserve some ethical integrity, I won't reveal which woman I heard. But she has a small audience, and in the span of 7 minutes, she also dropped these gems.

"We know you love food more than your girlfriend, don't you. You can live without a girlfriend, but you can't live without food."

"I eat 24 hours a day, and I am still hungry. I am still this size. I have been this size forever.

"I may work out in other ways, but I don't go to the gym." (She gets a 'That's right' and 'mmm hmm' from the small congregation.) "I still sweat and burn calories--mostly at night--but you won't find me on no treadmill."