“May Day. May Day. This is the S.S. Myrtle Manor. Our ship is taking on water. She’s sinking fast.”
I heard the distress call on my imaginary ham radio and responded accordingly. “Don’t reach out for me,” I said. “Can’t you see I’m drowning, too? A rogue wave of idiocy known as Welcome to Myrtle Manor has hit my town, endangering lives.”
Oh, this is all too real. Three cast members of TLC’s Welcome to Myrtle Manor — aka, Pretentious Pagans at Patrick’s Place — were arrested this past weekend after separate incidents. At this rate, Myrtle Beach will have to build a hoosegow annex out on Highway 15.
TLC producers came to town to document drama in a resort trailer park. They got just want they wanted. Thanks, assholes. And congratulations for prostituting a once-glorious network. Sadly, as we’ve learned from trashy shows like Jersey Shore, the more controversy the cast stirs up, the better it is for ratings. So, I don’t expect TLC to cancel Myrtle Manor any time soon. That doesn’t mean some us won’t continue to protest its putrid broadcasting.
“This is the S.S Myrtle Manor. May Day. May Day. Morality has already been tossed overboard. May…”
“Yes, tomorrow is May Day,” I answered, somewhat bitterly. “There was a time in this country in which we spent May Day celebrating our innocence, dancing around the maypole and crowning the May Queen. Now days, we offer our innocence and it gets repaid with scorn by people who would sell their souls for 15 minutes of ‘fame.’ Infamy, in this case.”
“S.O.S. Please, call the Coast Guard. Please.”
“Nope. I have better things to do — like watching shadows on a wall — than helping save rats from a doomed vessel.”
Mercifully, my ham radio went dead.
Here’s the skinny on what went down this past weekend. And I’m not talking about the Myrtle Manor grandmother who went skinny dipping in one of the show’s first episodes.
Cast member Amanda Lee Adams, 26, was arrested for DUI early Friday morning after her vehicle hit a utility pole near U.S. 501 and Broadway. Her blood alcohol content was 0.20, police reports said. The legal limit in South Carolina is 0.08
Lindsay Brooke Colbert, 21, was arrested Sunday morning on charges that include DUI and driving more than 15 miles-per-hour over the speed limit. She was stopped near Highway 501 and Fantasy Harbour Boulevard. Her blood alcohol content was 0.15, according to police reports.
She reportedly asked Myrtle Beach officers if they were giving “them” a hard time because they were on the surreal show. Worse yet, she apparently insulted officers while being transported to the city jail.
Some locals questioned online whether the arrests were publicity stunts. No, I responded, publicity stunts of this nature would take far more intelligence than these two girls could muster. Driving around town while marinated in alcohol isn’t cool, girls. You could have killed innocent people.
In the meantime, Taylor Jonathan Burt was arrested late Saturday night on charges that include criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The 15-year-old victim’s mother took her to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for medical evaluation after learning of her daughter’s alleged involvement with Burt. Burt was incarcerated on a $25,000 bond.
Let the conspiracy theories emerge. I’ve already seen people defending Burt online. Some say he was set up because the powers-that-be in Myrtle Beach don’t like the negative publicity Myrtle Manor is generating and they want the show cancelled.
In reality — pardon the pun — this city’s elected officials have bent over backwards (possibly forward, too) for Myrtle Manor. In late March, the city council approved a resolution designating Patrick’s Mobile Home Park as a “film district.” The designation permits commerce in an area previously zoned as residential, meaning the Patricks can sell souvenirs and concessions on the property. A hair salon is also allowed to operate from April 1 to June 29; the Patricks can re-apply for special events permits after 90 days.
Folks, a rhinoceros could have seen disaster looming when the council passed that resolution. A reality show based on a trailer park? And the city is going to allow them to set up shop? Come on. Who’s running this town? Mr. Magoo and his kin? I’ve always heard that morality can’t be legislated. But I reckon it’s okay for a local governing body to condone immorality.
Let me make this clear. Many good people live in mobile homes. I’ve known many of them in my nearly 14 years in town. I know a decent dude who lives in Myrtle Manor and he wants nothing to do with the drama, or, as I’ve described it before, the contrived, sensationalized, somewhat-scripted, highly-manipulated portrayal of day-to-day life in a mobile home park. Many upstanding citizens live in trailer parks. They are different to what is commonly referred to as trailer trash. Trailer trash is a term I save for those who spend their lives lost in substance abuse while avoiding responsibility, those who thrive on using foul language and insist on acting in ways that are far outside the norms of society.
To the Patrick family: I saw the newspaper article in which one of your family members bragged about selling t-shirts. He was so giddy as he said something about not being able to keep them in stock. I almost choked; I’m one of those guys to whom morality means something. I hope the money that you’re getting from the show and souvenirs is worth the embarrassment that you’ve brought to your family name. Not to mention Myrtle Beach. That money can’t buy back your soul.
Here’s hoping TLC’s Welcome to Myrtle Manor is headed for Davy Jones’ locker like the Titantic did so many years ago. Casualties optional for any alleged man who “allegedly” sleeps with minors.