In search of the weird, the wonderful, and the tasteless on Center Street 

Shop Talk

click to enlarge Babes, sexual innuendo, and paradoxical patriotic plates await you.

Jonathan Boncek

Babes, sexual innuendo, and paradoxical patriotic plates await you.

Beach stores are notorious for having collections of weird stuff, and we're here to tell you that the Folly Beach boutiques have more than their share of the weird ... and the obnoxious ... and the avert-your-eyes-Ethel offensive. A few weeks ago, we decided to hit up some Edge of America shops. We were not disappointed.

click to enlarge We still have no idea about what to do with "beach beans" - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • We still have no idea about what to do with "beach beans"

We started at 20 Center St. for Mr. John's family-friendly fare and worked our way to Palms for more randy items. On the way out of town, we swung by Treasure Island, where you can get plenty of practical beach gear and a few off-color license plates. Read on.

Mr. John's
20 Center St.
Folly Beach
(843) 588-9150

Mr. John's store has a lot of stuff. We almost tripped and cracked our head heads open on a miniature model ship. This shop offers entire beach wardrobes, hemp-style bags and backpacks, and decorative housewares, such as a small canvas that read "Life's too short not to go shelling." Indeed. We left Mr. John's with a hula skirt set ($6.95) and three "beach beans" ($1), which we're hoping are magical.

Don't bring your Big Sipper mug to work or risk a sexual harassment suit. - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Don't bring your Big Sipper mug to work or risk a sexual harassment suit.

Aqua Beach Store
17 Center St.
Folly Beach
(843) 633-0066
aquabeachstore.com

At Aqua, a few beer koozies ($1.99) caught our eyes. We knew we had to have the ones that featured scantily clad bikini gals .What the family-friendly beach stores lack, Aqua has in spades. As our helpful cashier put it, the shop carries a lot of "sexual stuff." For $9.99 you can walk away with your very own "Big Sipper," a coffee-cup sized mug with a nipple-shaped spout. At $4.99 each, you can add a shot glass to your bag of goodies. Our recommendation: "The Perfect Man," which features a pair of legs and a credit card head, and "Makin' Bacon," which shows one pig enjoying the company of another.

If you prefer to let the masses know you have a dirty sense of humor, check out Aqua's graphic tees. We think we came out on top with the "My Pen Is Huge" tee, although we were equally as impressed with the "I Like Skinny Girls But I'd Never Turn Down a Fattie" tee, featuring a curvy lady with what we believe to be a fat blunt. Each shirt can be yours for the low price of $16.99. Oh, and for $12.99, you can buy a baby-sized tee that reads "I drink till I pass out." We like to think of this as a companion item to the adult-sized T-shirt featuring a stripper next to a pole and the words "I Support Single Moms."

Don't let DSS spot your tike in this tee. - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Don't let DSS spot your tike in this tee.

Treasure Island
1959 Folly Rd.
James Island
(843) 795-7455

click to enlarge So that's how bacon is made. - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • So that's how bacon is made.

Seeing as how we're in the South, you can also expect to find more than a few Dixie-minded items around. Over at Treasure Island, we made out with a $5.99 steal of a deal ­— a license plate featuring both an eagle and the Confederate flag. Heritage, not mixed messages, right?

Over at the buy-one-get-one-free magnet basket, we scooped up two bits of refrigerator wisdom. The first left us just a little baffled, "69 Going Going Gone," while the other, " I Gave up Drinking Smoking and Sex. The Worst 15 Minutes of My Life" will make an ideal stocking stuffer at Christmas time. And that means, you, Ya-Ya.

For $3.99, we grabbed a sign featuring a little boy and girl that read, "No you can't touch it. You already broke yours off!!" We think it will make a lovely edition to your child's playroom.

As we began to walk out of the store, we stumbled upon a real gem, $4.99 handcuffs, nestled among the children's toys and Playboy bunny lighters. Apparently, the Folly crowd is more Fifty Shades of Grey than Fifty Shades of Sunburnt.

Without snarky magnets, how would you ever hang your child's artwork on the fridge? - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Without snarky magnets, how would you ever hang your child's artwork on the fridge?
click to enlarge Real women have curves and smoke blunts? - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Real women have curves and smoke blunts?

Palms
13 Center St.
Folly Beach
(843) 588-0081
palmsresortwear.com

Over at Palms, the items ranged from the practical — a shell bag (life's too short not to go shelling) — to incense to something called "growing pets." Like most stores, Palms stockpiles weird stuff near the counter — metal toy cars that probably don't fare well in salt water, plush toys that will undoubtedly meet a soggy fate, and gooey, stretchy things that we like to call "sand and dirt collectors." In the end, we opted for a plastic alligator ($5.99) for no other reason than we thought it was cute, and, well, we just might slip it into our roommate's bed.

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