(Psst. This is a parody from our 2018 SEWE issue, in case you were wondering.)
Walking down King Street in the quaint cosmopolitan town of Charleston, I became lost in thought and senses and direction and all meaning, blinded as I was by the town’s unabashed finery and finesse and fine living and even finer looking people.
This, I said to myself, well not really out loud exactly — although if you were actually within a shag partner’s spinning radius you would have certainly heard my exclamation — this, this, a thousand times this, is what God must have created when He clocked back in on the eighth day, after a seventh day of rest in which He surely, sipped Scotch on the veranda and discussed the weather with the angels, Michael in particular, and for no particular reason than Michael is the name that immediately comes to mind, since, well, raised a Southern Baptist, my only real understanding of the hierarchy of angels comes from romantic comedies from the 1990s.
Of course, this wasn’t my first trip to the Holy City — Lord, Lord, Lord … I’ve been here so many times I’ve finally learned to scoff at the Trip Advisor tourists standing in line outside of Jestine’s, where, it’s worth pointing out, in 2007 I first meet Cary Ann Hearst, the alt-country Dolly to her hubby Michael Trent’s greaser-meets-Tin Pan Alley Porter Wagner in the muy perfecto duo Shovels & Rope — but it was my first trip to this Atlantic Coast colonial oasis slash culinary amusement park for lard lovers and fish fans to attend SEWE, the concise acronym the locals here call the rather exhaustively named Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, which, as anyone who was in Mrs. Littlefield’s 11th grade English class — and that would be yours truly more years ago than I will admit without three mint juleps in hand and three more waiting in the wings like an eager suitor calling on Miss Scarlett O’Hara — should be SWE (yes, SWE), but this is Charleston and Charlestonians, an ever proud and provincial lot, are prone to do however it is they please, even if however it is they please runs contrary to the grammatical logic of the real world, rules that have been carefully constructed for us by the Yankees in New York City, our seemingly betters (or betters for worse).
Get a room please, far away from this charming city and its charming people … especially that Cary Ann Hearst.
Her sweet Southern twang sparkles like a La Croix with a splash of Dom Perignon and water in Icarus’ eyes as he approached the sun in a dare that not even Evel Knievel or Johnny Knoxville would have taken, no matter how many percocets softened the eventual — and inevitable — fall to the cold hard earth … or in the case of Charleston, the cobblestone streets that seems to extend everywhere, even to streets and sidewalks where they exist only in spirit.
The Holy Spirit and the Holy City? Aren’t they truly one and the same? That’s what I think, and it’s what I first thought as I made my way down King Street to the Birds of Prey demonstration — or was it a Lee Brothers cooking class (they, like the Holy Ghost and Charleston are of a kind, soaring, soaring, higher and higher, as they do up in the heavens where the air smells of pluff mud and boiled peanuts) — during this, my inagural trip to SWE … sorry, SEWE, which, my granddaughter kept calling “seaweed” when I told her that Ya-Ya was going to miss her fifth birthday party — which, wasn’t the actual celebration of her turning five years old, but was, in fact, the fifth birthday party her doting parents had planned for her in celebration of her fourth — yes, fourth — birthday. It boggles the mind … somebody give me a fifth of Jack, WITH A STRAW.
Then again, I suppose those are the wants and customs in this age of precipitation trophies, you know, those worthless little trinkets they give to special little snowflakes so they won’t melt down and ruin the day with a thousand-year flood of tears. P.S. It’s a good thing my granddaughter doesn’t read this column; I’m pretty sure, her parents don’t. I do love them dearly despite however much it pains my ego. Read me, dammit.
But SEWE, oh SEWE, and Charleston …. The Holy Spirit of the this Holy Ghost of a Holy City, the whole host of which is a whirlwind wealth of wispy dreams and whimsical intentions and whiskey-soaked intermissions … this is my kind of town.
And for three days at SEWE it was.
Next year I’ll be back. So many memories.