You know where lust leads? Straight to hell.
I have that on reliable authority, namely a fiery billboard along I-95 spotted shortly after driving through swirling snow showers in North Carolina and not long after lunch at a Waffle House in Lumberton where it took longer to choose $2 worth of songs from the jukebox than it did for the kitchen to make our sandwiches.
Destination: Sullivan's Island, South Carolina and a charming beach cottage rented by a friend to celebrate a big birthday. With cake and lots of good bubblies.
Obviously it's been raining a lot here lately because yards are completely underwater with flocks of unknown white birds with long, curved orange beaks mucking about in the giant birdbaths that used to be lawns.
A walk down to the beach involved ankle-deep puddles and shoes so wet they had to be dried in the oven, but it was worth it to get to the ocean in February, complete with a view of two lighthouses and gently crashing surf.
Dinner at Acme Seafood delivered the localest of seafoods: Isle of Palms clams, North Carolina shrimp and Clemson bleu cheese on a wedge salad. Also, this being low country, grit fries under melted Gouda, field peas, speckled butter beans and more grits.
But dinner came with a show, namely our 25-year old Texas-born server who informed us that there is no bad wine ("Or pizza or sex and I've known some men!") and that she recalls a childhood bringing her Dad beers while he watched Dallas Cowboy games.
"I licked the foam and it tasted good," she told us, leading to some oversharing about her drinking habits and how she came to visit a friend in South Carolina and never went back to Texas.
Her assessment of Texas was that it was hot and ugly, "And you can't be both."
True that. Turns out she also dislikes the Cowboys, an issue a therapist could probably go to town with.
After offering a recommendation for the best barbecue joint on the island, coincidentally where her boyfriend works, she began over-sharing about him, a 35-year old who's eager for marriage while she's still very much in the "enjoying life" stage.
"He moved down the street and not like far down, but like, we share a mailbox," she tells us. Ick, we groaned in unison.
I suggested she end that relationship as soon as her shift was over. She suggested the group of us come back tomorrow night and while she won't be there, her friend will, "But she's not as awesome as me."
Nobody could be, sweetie.
She also promised us no rain tomorrow and explained that meteorologists had the best job ever because they could predict anything and then when they were wrong, simply blame it on El Nino.
So next time the kitchen screws up, we told her, that should be her response to whose fault it was: El Nino's.
Unless, of course, lust lands her in Hell first. Which, I have it on billboard authority, is both ugly and hot.
I'm okay with hot...