I Went to the Outer Banks, Came Home with a Dirty Dick

September 14, 2007

Yes, it’s true.  I went to the Outer Banks with my family and we came home with a Dirty Dick.  Although it’s not nearly as obscene as it sounds, this conversation-sparking souvenir is causing this parent quite a dilemma.

Dirty DHere’s the deal:  Last weekend we went to the Outer Banks for a long weekend and the twins’ first trip to the Atlantic Ocean.  Of course, you can’t visit the Outer Banks without stopping for some seafood.

So we stop at a restaurant called Dirty Dick’s for lunch.  With a slogan like “Get Your Crabs from Dirty Dick’s,” we knew that this restaurant was full of double entendres.  But the twins can’t read yet and we heard the food was good here, so we stopped in.

Yes, my husband did get crabs from Dirty Dick’s — three pounds worth (an all you could eat lunch special).  Being a landlover myself, I settled for a hamburger.  The kids got shrimp and a delicacy I’d never heard of — fried macaroni and cheese.  Needless to say, the twins and I were done with our meal while the husband was still delighting in his second pound of crabs.

So the kids and I decided to peruse the gift shop.  I was very glad to see that despite the restaurant’s name, the children’s shirts were very innocent (the adult shirts were a different story).  They substituted the name Dirty Dick for DD.  The toddler shirts said “Aren’t I Cute?” and the youth shirts said “My First Dirty Shirt.”  Cute, but innocent.

Now I’m a big fan of souvenirs, especially when we are some place we’ve never been.  And I really like the kids to have something to remember their trip.  I like to let them pick the souvenir themselves (within a price limit), although I’ve been know to steer them to certain items.

I show the twins the shirts, but they weren’t interested.  (Yes, they do pick shirts sometimes, but usually it’s got some cute character on it.)  However, my daughter did spot a cute stuffed pelican.  I tried to sell my son on a pelican too, but he’d already spied another stuffed animal (not sure that’s the right word) more to his liking — a stuffed version of the restaurant’s namesake.

I tried my best to talk him into anything else in the store — football, frisbee — anything, but he had his mind set on “Dirty Dick.”

Now this has to be one of the creepiest toys I’ve every seen, but my son loves it.  It went everywhere with us that weekend.  And nothing has changed since we’ve come back home.  He sleeps with it.  He totes it around throughout the day.  It goes to the store with us, everywhere.

Herein lies the problem.  When are ready to leave somewhere, I always check to see if the twins have the toys they brought.  I ask my daughter “do you have your pelican?”  Do I ask my son, “do you have your Dick?” 

If the twins are picking on each other and take each other’s toys, I interfere.  I tell my son “give your sister back her pelican.”  Do I tell my daughter “give your brother back his Dick?”

DD’s BackSure, my kids are too young to understand the Dick can be more than just a man’s name.  But you should see the looks I get if I use these phrases in public.  What if someone asks me what my son’s favorite toy is?  Do I tell them “It’s his Dirty Dick”?

See the dilemma.

For now, I’ve been calling Dirty Dick “Crabby.”  But that’ll only work until my son learns to read since Dirty Dick’s name is on the back of his shirt.  By then he’ll probably have heard of the other meaning for Dick’s name. 

I can only hope that by that time, my son will have lost interest in Dirty Dick.  And this tale will be just a funny memory.