A guy with a chip on his shoulder dropped by Insider’s house the other day. He heard the old guy was the world’s greatest expert on everything to do with Ocean City. He was a writer for one of the daily newspapers (disappointments) in Washington and was sent here to do a story on the desolation that is Ocean City in the winter. The fact that the desolation was not easily findable upset him quite a bit and he took his frustration out on the entire area known as Greater Ocean City. After all, Ocean City is supposed to be deserted this time of year and he wanted desertion. If he couldn’t find first hand, it seemed he was going to make it up.
The resort isn’t much of a municipality compared to Washington, he said early in the conversation and often, and the old guy agreed with him because that is what he wanted to hear. He didn’t care, or wanted to see, the thousands of homes and home developments that abound here. He didn’t want to hear about the scores of retirees evacuating Washington for the easy-going life in Worcester County. He wasn’t interested in dinner at any one of the smart restaurants open here year-round, and an offer of a tour of our nightclub circuit positively offended him. He wanted desolation because that was what his editor told him the story was to be about. It appeared the headline was already on the page.
He wanted people wrapped in bearskins, huddled over an open fire. He wanted boarded up buildings with signs saying, “C U Next Summer.” He wanted deserted beaches and empty streets and traffic lights blinking incessantly. Insider tried his best to help the young fellow but just couldn’t. As he left the house, the old guy handed him a current copy of ‘The Dispatch’ so he could read page after page of Ocean City as it really is, not as pictured by the metropolitan prisoner. Little did he know government still meets in the winter, bands still jam at the watering holes, criminals still lie, cheat and steal and traffic lights are still on All that jailbird had to say was ‘cool seal.’ Insider will be interested to see what kind of story actually makes it into the paper. It will probably be something along the lines of, “Long gone are the long waits at area restaurants, gone are the people on the beach and Boardwalk, all that remains is a sleepy little fishing town,” … blah, blah, blah. Of course, the article would be wrong, but it will be read by thousands and assumed as gospel.
Many speakers can rise to the occasion, but few known when to sit down.