"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Monday, February 01, 2010

the carp. and the ducks.

There's a place in Myrtle Beach called Broadway At the Beach. It's not Broadway. And it's not at the beach. But it's called Broadway At the Beach.

It's a collection of themed tourist shops and restaurants, all joined together, with boardwalks in between, and 50's music playing everywhere. It's amusement-park shopping, without the roller coasters. We were there alone, since it was off-season. Music playing, shops open ... and not another soul. Every now and then we'd see another couple meandering through the next block. But basically, we had the place to ourselves.

It was a little weird. It made me giggly.

You have to walk across a big long boardwalk bridge, over a man-made lake with ducks and fish, to get into Broadway At the Beach (which is not at the beach). We were almost entirely alone on the bridge, except for one business-like character who was on his way out. He had places to go, and passed us briskfully and purposefully, with barely an acknowledgement of our existence.

He was a duck. That made me giggly too. In my mind, he immediately became a cartoon duck, with a little bowler hat that he tipped in our direction as he passed by.

On our way out, we had to cross that bridge again. Enter the carp.

Oh my friends, these are the things of which horror movies are made. If you pause to look over the side of that big long boardwalk bridge, on which nary another humanoid can be seen, you will hear the sound of countless oversized fish racing towards your shadow. They will then look up at you from just above the surface of the water, and open their gigantic mouths over and over again. They will pile ON TOP of one another, all smacking the non-lips of their gaping maws, waiting for you to throw 25 cents worth of food in. The sound is one you will never forget. It will haunt you in your dreams.

If, in fearful apprehension, you THROW food in, the water roils and splashes furiously, like a pot boiling on your stove. And then instantly, the mouths re-appear, and the voiceless "mbop-mbop-mbop" sound of their mouths opening and closing sends you towards the edge of insanity. (Try making that sound - and then imagine a crowd of fish making that sound. Tell me it doesn't make you shudder.)

It made me REALLY giggly. I couldn't look away.

Then a few ducks came along, and sat on the pile of carp - who did not even seem to notice. I started having visions of those big mouths "mbop-ing" on my leg, and my giggling gained a hysterical note.

And that's when Spike let out a yell. Which made ME let out a yell.

We turned around, and while we had been frozen by the horrific scene in the water, apparently a few bridge-ducks had come along. They wanted food too. But we hadn't noticed them. So one of them walked right up and pecked Spike on the foot. He didn't even back up when Spike hollered, just looked up with a "hey buddy, that's the way it goes" expression.

We backed up, slowly. The duck and his friend advanced, at exactly the same pace.

We turned and began to walk away, glancing over our shoulders. They followed, never taking their eyes off us.

We stopped. So did they.

We sped up. So did they.

Next thing we knew, ten ducks were marching ominously after us, matching our pace, not looking to the right or the left, all the way across that bridge. Not until our feet hit solid ground, did their militia-like formation break up, and once again, they were just ducks.

And still ... not another person in sight.

But if someone had been there - they would have seen two Canadians, shrieking and laughing uncontrollably as they fled across the empty parking lot to their car.


MMJ said...

I would have loved to been a duck on a wall watching you two!!! LOL!

Anonymous said...

That sounds quacky! It was a diabolical plan.He carp decided to carpe diem while the ducks snu

Crept up behind you. Scary!