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A Hitchhiker's Guide to Myrtle Beach

So you're going to Myrtle Beach. You've rocked the Myrtle Body Sculpting and Toning Program, using the last of your food points on Fro-Yo and salads at the Loop (number salad wone twainty sheven). One small problem--you're a Myrtle virgin. Problem solved. We have a not-so-special guest helping with the column today. He's gonna tell it like it is.

His name is Brian, and he's the average Duke student. A premed econ major from northern Jersey, Brian can count to 43 before he needs to take more Ritalin. His screen name is BrianDuke03. He came up with it himself. First try. Really. In his free time, he likes to argue with his fraternity brothers over who had the coolest freshman dorm. Bassett always wins, because they had Andre Buckner. Now, we'll pass the mic to Brian and let him analyze this like a bad reference to a Billy Crystal movie.

"Who am I? BrianDuke mothaf---a!! That's right y'all, exams are over and it's time to put the dirty back in Dirty South. If you're not down with this plan of action, maybe you belong at Penn. I would have gone there myself, but some administrator named Madonna (or something like that) ruined it for the students. Anyway, I'm Brian, and I'll be easing your transition from the Gothic Wonderland to White Trash Heaven. I volunteered for this position as Myrtle Advisory Counselor so that I could meet eight randomly assigned freshmen coeds like yourselves and show you the ins and outs, so to speak, of Myrtle. Plus I get a free T-shirt. Keep your hands and arms inside the boat and please don't feed the locals. Wheeeeeee! I am now pleased to present the Duke University Post Office OKeys to Victory.' I guess they have lots of keys, or something.

"The first key to enjoying beach week is not being able to remember your own name. This establishes plausible deniability. The excuse, OIt happened in Myrtle and I was drunk' is accepted at more locations worldwide than Visa and Mastercard combined. If you've had enough of Old House CC's purple passion, every hotel from the Rockin' K to the Marriott looks like yours. You know what that means: It doesn't matter where you sleep. It's like that one time freshman year when you went home to Jarvis instead of Aycock and woke up with no pants on and no idea what happened. Stats 101 projects have proven that 40 percent of 3 a.m. beach walkers are just trying to remember which hotel they're staying in. Most of the rest are trying to figure out exactly when they became Othat guy.'

"The second key is not getting arrested. The original plan was to put in some joke here about getting busted for pot twice in one day. After some thought, this in itself is funny enough and needs nothing to support it. Talk about being a couple nugs short of a dime bag, damn!

"The third key to Myrtle should be obvious to you brilliant PoliSci and PPS majors. Unless you are attempting the sympathy hookup, definitely do not let anyone know that you are affiliated with DSG, under any circumstances. If you don't play your cards right, admittance of said affiliation could result in considerable bodily harm at the hands of disgruntled crazies or former head line monitors. As Dickie V. says, OLive by the three, die by the three.' On a side note, Vik Devisetty picked this as his favorite tip. He's jealous because DSG is currently the most popular useless campus organization."

Thanks to Brian for those tips. Here is some actual news. It's not true this year, but THE SECOND GUNMAN has been known to predict the future. He learned this from Owen Astrachan. That guy knows everything.

Larry Moneta has taken Myrtle planning to a whole new level this year. The newly appointed vice president of screwing over the Class of 2004 took time out of his busy schedule to phone all hotels in North Myrtle Beach to ensure that rising sophomores would have first choice of rooms, followed by seniors, then juniors. He has e-mailed said students with housing info.

Fortunately for the Class of 2005, all dorms but one were linked to the main strip (Southgaters were assigned to the Motel 6 in "nearby" Wilmington). A bus will shuttle residents to debauchery ground zero each morning from 6 to 8:15 and each evening from 7 to 8:06. Buses are scheduled to depart every 15 minutes, but will actually travel in groups of three, leaving every 50 minutes. And you better not stand in the yellow.

See you next year, and remember to let go of the fireworks after you light them.

THE SECOND GUNMAN is sad to see senior Matt Christensen go and also look forward to it.

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