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Editor's Notes: Festival Time
editor's notes

Boy howdy, the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival is here, or will be tomorrow.

In the spirit of the thing I should probably slap an exclamation point at the tail end of the sentence preceding this one, because the Great Ogeechee Seafood is every bit as great is it’s name. And that greatness is why I’m here as a weekly newspaper hack editor in a dying industry to tell you it’s great, whether you want me to or not.

Sure, I know chances are you already know how great it is. It’s a big big big deal around here. Every TV station and social media web page and paper and radio station from here to Bluffton has been on about it and the thing has about 500 more sponsors than I got friends because I don’t have any friends.

Anyway, there are Oyster Sponsors. Snapper Sponsors. Lobster Sponsors, and so on. There’s probably even a Tadpole Sponsor and Plankton Sponsor out there somewhere, loitering about in the mud puddle section. The GOSF is so big it’s got room for the little guy.

“There’s got to be a reason, for all this fuss” say you skeptics who’ve never been to a GOSF.

Of course there is. For starters, the GOSF has got mouthwatering seafood. Not just any seafood, mind you. We’re not talking mystery fish sticks in bags of 40 you buy frozen at Wal Mart as soon as you can leverage the wide shoppers out of the frozen food aisle. We’re talking mouthwatering seafood.

Don’t just take my word for it. Things I read about Seafood Fest seafood always say “mouthwatering seafood.” So obviously if you want your mouth to water, go to the Seafood Fest. Hey, maybe the GOSF will have GATOR ON A STICK again this year, also known as REPTILE CORNDOGS.

Disclaimer: Being way too dumb and ugly to be a banker or lawyer or sell real estate to transplants desperate to get out of Ohio or Michigan or wherever, I have no idea whether gator is technically seafood.

In fact, I wouldn’t even know if it’s really gator on that stick. It might be sea urchin, or some kind of amphibian that once had hands. It could be mystery fish sticks.

My own experiment with dining on gator was unhappy, by the way. I kept thinking that thing was related to a komodo dragon, and there’s no way in you-know-what I’ll eat komodo dragon. Or iguana. Just looking at them gives me the heebie jeebies.

But I do eat lots of chicken, and it’s related to bats, and I’m not going to go down that road unless I’m a prisoner of war and that’s all they have on the menu.

Bottom line is I’m all over the place when it comes to my status as an omnivore. I eat crawfish and I don’t eat bugs. I eat crab but not spiders. And we’re off topic anyhow.

Catfish is certainly considered seafood, even though catfish, which I enjoy fried crispy golden brown and served with tarter sauce and coleslaw and hush puppies and French fries, start life in freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers, not the sea. This is obviously before they, along with other fish, happily volunteer to become menu items at Love’s or down at Fish Tales or over at my wife’s favorite restaurant, Carey Hilliards. Only she doesn’t like catfish. She likes shrimp, preferably fried, and can almost eat her 100 pounds worth of weight in the things. It’s like she’s part otter.

Still not convinced you want to go? Trust me, you can go to the GOSF and not eat a thing and still have a great time, because this thing is more than just a seafood fest. It’s also got pirates, or it did the last time I was there. Not real pirates, probably. Just adults, dressed up like pirates.

That’s evidently fun, you know, wandering around in pirate costume. You get to wear pantaloons and eyeliner on one eye and a patch on the other and say “Argh matey” a lot, and one suspects a certain amount of alcohol is involved.

Pretend pirates like to drink, after all. That’s why they’re pretend pirates.

But if you don’t like pretend pirates, or shrimp, or crafts or vendors, the GOSF still has something for you, like live music on Friday and Saturday night that’ll make you wiggle your 50-year-old booty (in a family friendly way, of course) like there’s no tomorrow.

Given the size of J.F. Gregory, that’s a lot of booties out there fixing to get wiggled, probably of all ages. There’s apparently no ordinance against it, you see.

And since this year the main act is country and western there also might be some country music line dance 50-year-old booty wiggling, which really should be illegal but 50 is the new 20, they say.

Finally, a cautionary note. Remember to make sure you don’t eat too much mouthwatering seafood, because, well, your cousin Earl might be raring to come up to visit after you get slung around a few times on the carnival midway.

If he does show up, try not to let us know. We’ll have photographers there.

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