Connect with us

Opening Remarks

A Nice Place to Visit, and Who Wouldn’t Want to Live Here?

Published on

As Mayor for Life of Beachcomberland— which includes, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Navarre, South Walton, parts of Mossy Head, and all of 30A except for the properties that have NO TRESPASSING signs written in blood and affixed to fences with NRA stickers—I deal with lots of tourists. And I generally do not have a problem with them, except when they decide they want to move here permanently.


Which is why I’ve developed the Beachcomberland Citizenship Test, a simple written exam that will determine whether or not you have what it takes to live in our little slice of paradise. It’s not based on your income, race, sex, sexual preferences, religious beliefs or whether or not you like to listen to Nickelback. Here are some sample questions:


1. You’re dining in a moderately upscale restaurant in South Walton. You receive exceptional service, and your food and drinks are delicious. The bill arrives, and your total is $139.45 before tax. How much should you tip?

A. At least $28.
B. Whatever’s left out of the seven 20 dollar bills you slap down on the table.
C. Nothing.


The correct answer, of course, is A, unless you’re Steve Buscemi in Reservoir Dogs. If you are, then C is an acceptable answer. But you will be required to deliver a witty, profanity-laced monologue about why you don’t tip.


2. You’re enjoying live music by one of our fantastic musicians on the deck of a popular bar in Destin. During the break, you ask him to play “Wagon Wheel.” He politely refuses. What course of action should you take?

A. Thank him, drop five bucks in the tip jar and hope he changes his mind.
B. Thank him, buy his next round and hope he changes his mind.
C. Snatch the guitar away from him and sing the damn thing yourself.


In this case, A and B are both acceptable answers, and you might seal the deal if you do both. But probably not. You should never, ever opt for C, especially if your name is Darius Rucker.


3. You’re sitting in traffic along U.S. 98. You see a car attempting to work its way in, and you know the person is local because he actually looks like he knows where he’s going and the front of his car isn’t covered with smooshed insects. What do you do?

A. Give a courteous wave and let him in.
B. Flip him off and pull right up to the ass end of the vehicle directly in front of you.
C. None of the above.


The right answer is C, because no local ever drives on U.S. 98 between Memorial Day and Labor Day.


Anyway, if you think you might be qualified to relocate here, email me at and my staff will send you the complete 500-question test along with guidelines for the 10,000-word essay you’ll also be required to submit. Good luck, and maybe I’ll see you at the beach.





Amazing article, Nikki (“Thrive On, Downtown FoWal,” June 16-29 Beachcomber). I was stoked to hear about the hospice-TreyCat connection. I never knew! Thanks for putting such a balanced light on the music and the cause.

Rachel Mayew, Fort Walton Beach



Rachel Mayew is the Donor Relations Manager for Covenant Care, the beneficiary of this year’s Thrive Music Fest.

Preston knows there is only One Way to Rock (“The Beat Profiles—Kickstand Jenny’s Preston Morelock,” June 16-29 Beachcomber)!

– Jay Rodriguez, via Facebook



Kickstand Jenny’s Best of Vol. 1, produced by our pal Chas Sandford, is available now. Check out the review on page 13.

The three stories by Sean Dietrich were great (“Happy Father’s Day,” June 16-29 Beachcomber)!

– Steve Ingram, Santa Rosa Beach



Sean Dietrich’s books are available at Amazon, and you should buy them all. Note to Sean—send us more stories!



We’re always on the lookout for stunning artwork for our cover, any “15 Great Something-or-Other” listicles to tie in with The Beachcomber’s 15th Anniversary, photos from recent events, and reviews of live music performances (local or otherwise). Email

Spread the love
Click to comment
Please Login to comment
Notify of