Tremors rattle NC beach restaurant

Tremors rattle NC beach restaurant

It's hot. It's sticky. Let's go to the beach.

I love the ocean air, the cool beach shops and hanging out at Bogue Inlet Pier. I do not like crowds, traffic, or humidity. See the dilemma? 

Fred Durst

Fred Durst

In a perfect world, The Dawson Family Unit would hit the beach during the spring or fall when all of outdoors isn't hotter than a bag of lava, every Fred Durst-impersonator within 500-miles hasn't descended on the beach and US-70 doesn't look like a parking lot. I guess when the kids are grown we'll be able to visit the beach during the off-season. Then again, by that time a trip to the mailbox may be all I can handle.

Last weekend we were able to stay with family in Cape Carteret. What made the deal even sweeter was that said family offered to take both of our Tax Deductions out to supper each night so The Wife and I could go out on a date. It took a while for us to remember how to chew, talk or act without a kid on either side of us, but eventually, we got there.

Our Friday night date occurred without incident at a bistro on the White Oak River. We had a nice view of the waterfront, good music, and nice food. Thursday night was equally great, but it provided several paragraphs of material. Come to think of it, methinks Neuse News Publisher BJ Murphy should allow me to turn in that receipt on my expense report.

We were seated at a booth and within minutes I felt what I thought were tremors. Not the type of tremors I get when I see footage of Neuse News Editor Bryan Hanks attempting his Macarena/Robot/Sprinkler dance medley in public; a paramedic who had to revive Hanks the last time he did his dance told me what I was experiencing was called dyspepsia. But what I felt at the restaurant was the real deal. How real? Whitecaps developed in the glasses of water sitting on our table.   

I looked around to see if anyone else felt the small earthquake I'd just felt, but everyone was acting as if nothing happened. Fearing this was stage one of my exit from this mortal coil, I grabbed a nearby napkin and hastily scribbled together a last will and testament. Just as I was about to bequeath my A-Team commemorative plates, I realized the tremors were being generated by a highly-caffeinated individual in the booth adjacent to ours.

Realizing the earth wasn't about to crack open gave me some relief, but the teenaged dynamo sitting directly behind me had apparently been on a Red Bull drip for several days. The father in the booth looked like - you guessed it - Fred Durst's angst-ridden cousin, while the mom in this scenario seemed to be scanning the room for some foreign diplomat to flee the country with.

The Dad rarely looked up from his phone, except once when he asked his daughter to stop shaking the booth. His annoyance seemed to make his daughter happy, as she just giggled and did it more frequently after he asked her to stop. 

After 10-minutes of this, I did something I've never done and swore I'd never do. I stood up, walked to The Wife's side of the booth and sat beside her.

All my life I've made fun of couples who sit on the same side of booths. I always figured there was either a yearning to show off or one of the two were so promiscuous they had to be corralled to keep them from hitting on the waitstaff.

Now I was part of a group I'd mocked for decades. I could tell other people in the restaurant were judging me. Even the waitress seemed aghast at my migration to the other side of the booth.

"We don't get to go out very often," I told the waitress. "Her husband gets back in town tomorrow."

While I still have a bruise on my arm where The Wife punched me, I thought the look of horror on the waitresses face was very funny.

Our meal was great, and I have to say by the end of the meal I'd almost gotten used to the same-side seating arrangement. All of that changed when out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy I work with entering the dining room. He looked at me sitting on the same side of the booth as my wife and rolled his eyes in the great Liz Lemon tradition.

The following week I saw my co-worker in the hall and tried to explain what happened, but he wasn't buying it. By the end of the day on Monday, the entire City of Kinston dare I say most of Lenoir County knew me as a Same Side Booth Sitter. 

Although my reputation is tarnished, it was worth it. That hopped up kid could've shaken my vertebrae out of alignment. Also, The Wife is a cutie and I like sitting next to her, so go run tell that.

Contact Jon Dawson at and

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New Lenoir  County corporations for June

New Lenoir County corporations for June

Photos from Saturday's East Coast Invitational

Photos from Saturday's East Coast Invitational