There's a lot about Ocean City that's less than wonderful -- the crowds, the parking struggles, the kids with blaring radios, the prices.

But there's not much worse than Ocean City T-shirts.

LET'S DO IT IN THE DIRT. HOT FOR ACTION. SO MANY MEN, SO LITTLE TIME. TEACH ME TONIGHT. You've seen them. I've seen them. Let's just say that on a scale of one to 10, these shirts score zero for charm and minus three for taste.

But even worse than the T-shirts you can buy in Ocean City are those you can't.

William Beard of Hyattsville is the man who proved this -- the hard way.

Bill has a friend who spends eight months in Italy every year. The friend was heading back to the old country, and he asked Bill for a favor. While in Ocean City, would Bill please pick up a few T-shirts with the American flag on them for the friend to give to other friends overseas?

Bill said sure, figuring this would be a snap. But after three hours, and 32 blocks, of trudging along the boardwalk from shop to shop, what went snap was Bill's patience.

Not one store had anything with our flag on it.

They all had T-shirts bearing Japanese flags. And T-shirts bearing the Union Jack. And T-shirts with Dolly Parton and her remarkable anatomy superimposed on a flag.

But when Bill asked about the stars and stripes, he was told:

"It's not popular."

"Who cares?"

"Go ask the Army."

And so on.

Bill finally found one shop that sells Old Glory T-shirts. It's Pattee's Surf Wear at 604 South Boardwalk.

That shop deserves rosebuds. The others deserve raspberries.