We visited North Carolina last week to see my son graduate from Marine infantry training. He is now qualified as a machine gunner, which means I can probably trust him with the lawnmower.
It’s always interesting to go down south; here are a couple of observations from the trip:
One of the things I enjoyed on Emerald Isle was going for an early morning swim after my run. By early, I mean before 6am, so it was still relatively dark. It was a great way to start the day — and fortunately I enjoyed it before the beginning of shark week on Discovery. Did you know that sharks love to feed at dawn. Neither did I.
There’s always been a tiny part of me that still craves a cigarette — and this was never stronger that when I saw that you can get a pack ofÂ Marlboros in North Carolina for only $4.50. It’s unfair that New Yorkers pay twice that amount for a pack of cigarettes. Is the cost really a deterrent to smoking? I’m not convinced. The smoking rate in North Carolina is less than three percent higher than in the Empire State.
The people down there are noticeably friendlier and more polite. Even the little children at Waffle House address the waitress with “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am.”Â It may not be genuine, just a case of people who have learnedÂ better manners, but I’ll take it.