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Jeff Whitten: When the wife is on vacation
editor's notes

My wife is in Hilton Head this week. In fact, by the time this week’s paper hits mailboxes and birdcages, and barring some sort of fortunate disaster like an attack of scabies, I’ll also be in Hilton Head. Or is it “on?”

In, on, either way there I’ll be, thinking dark thoughts whilst sitting on a beach surrounded by people with too many ways to play their terrible bro-country at me.

You see, I don’t like Hilton Head. And, because I’m on deadline and need to hustle, let me quickly count the ways in which I do not like it.

1. For starters, it’s full of (rhymes with yankees). I can take (rhymes with yankees) in pretty good doses and know many (rhymes with yankees) I consider to be fine people, but when (rhymes with yankees) band together in large herds and take over an entire island in my home state of South Carolina, well, it seems a bit much to ask me to get in the middle of it. It’s almost as bad as going to Krogers on a Saturday.

2. There’s also the Hilton Head traffic, which should be illegal. It’s kind of like being stuck in a loop where you drive from Pooler to Richmond Hill to Rincon and back again, over and over and over again, with some nebulous idea in mind you’re supposed to be enjoying the fact traffic is backed up 47 miles and you have to go to the bathroom.

Sure there’s a beach somewhere, but by the time you get there you’re a nervous jerk and in no mood to see some 4-foot-2, 280-pound 43-year-old mortgage lender from Akron in a thong. Nor his wife.

So, I believe I’d rather have my tonsils pulled out through my nose with a pair of needle-nosed pliers than go to HHI. I just go there because I love my wife and she loves going to HHI because she loves the beach and gets to spend time with her grandkids, who spend most of their time in a pool or shopping or eating, the savages.

Meanwhile, I’d probably rather do so many things than go to Hilton Head I’m thinking of starting up a line of dumb bumper stickers.

Here’s a sample. I’d rather be locked in a shed than go to Hilton Head. I’d rather be poorly fed than go Hilton Head. I’d rather be painted UGA red than be on Hilton Head.

And, as a last result, I’d rather be dead than at Hilton Head, he said, in the shed while painted red. OK, maybe not that one.

Sure, everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody’s in a hurry to die, me included. Especially since no matter how long you live, you’ll still be dead the same amount of time, especially if you’re on Hilton Head. And one day, Lord willing, I’ll be too old to go to Hilton Head.

At least I sure hope to make it that far. I’ll have it stenciled on my bib.

Next: You learn some weird things on the world wide web. For example, I did not know there was a professional eating league until Tuesday, whilst I was researching something about people and places named Brian versus Bryan for no particular reason and came across Major League Eating.

It is, as near as I can tell, a league of professional eaters and includes such eating legends as Joey Chestnut and Richard “The Locust” LeFebre.

The latter is a 77-year-old retired CPA currently ranked No. 20 in professional eating. Among his records is wolfing down six pounds of SPAM from the can in 12 minutes on April 3, 2004 in the SPAMARAMA.

Chestnut, on the other hand, is No. 1 and has a list of records a mile long, according to Major League Eating’s website.

Here’s a small sample: Joey has eaten 141 hard boiled eggs in eight minutes; 12 pounds, 8.75 ounces of deep fried asparagus in 10 minutes; 55 glazed donuts in eight minutes; 45 pulled pork sandwiches in 10 minutes; 53 soft beef tacos from Taco Bell in 10 minutes; 75 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes; 182 chicken wings in 30 minutes; 103 Krystal Burgers in eight minutes; 47 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes; 257 Hostess Donettes in six minutes; 9.35 pounds of whole turkey and 81 Eggo-style waffles in eight minutes.

Wow. I’m thinking I might try something similar Friday while I’m on/in/at Hilton Head, just to make the trip worth the trip. I’ll stop at Walmart on the way up and buy $100 worth of Vienna sausages and a thong.

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