Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beach Etiquette 101

Ok, people, it's the time of year when we need to review our beach etiquette.

Raise your hand if you've ever been to a beach and seen annoying behaviors?  Who hasn't, right?  This is my public service announcement as zillions of us load up our minivans and head towards the seemingly endless sea.

I've been paying attention to my fellow beach-goers, and I'm going to list some of the more egregious beach behavior I've seen in recent summers.

10.  You know that feeling you get when you are just nestling into your seat in a nearly empty moving theatre and some dipstick comes and sits in the seat right in front of you? "You have the entire dang theatre and you're going to sit on top of me?"  Same obnoxiousness exists on beaches up and down the coast. Miles and miles and miles of sandy beaches. Must you really put up your beach umbrella right in front of my beach chair?  Sure, I'm nearly passed out, but when I come to I would like to catch a glimpse of the water.

9.  I'm sure you're a lovely family, but I'd rather not know the names of all of your children as a result of you bellowing their names every 7 minutes. I'm going out on a limb here, but repeatedly yelling "Johnny, stop throwing sand at Emily," from 50 yards away is having no effect on Jonny. I, on the other hand, am thinking about how much enjoyment I would have throwing sand on you.

8.  Speaking of throwing stuff, everyone loves to throw a football on the beach. Sure, you're not in the NFL so you're prone to miss nearly all a few catches. When your ball hits me for the third time within five minutes, move away from me. I am thinking evil thoughts about what I'm going to do with the ball the 4th time it hits me.

7.  Shake out your towel in a location other than your neighbor's face.  You were just giving Johnny grief about throwing sand and then you stand up and shake sand directly into my face? Hello?  I'm about ready to get all public beach in your face. My airbrush tattoo may be 100% fake, but with just enough alcohol and this tattoo of a flamingo on my shoulder, I'm feeling kind of bad ass.

6.  Everyone pees in the ocean.  I get that. To the lady in North Myrtle Beach who, on at least two occasions, walked with her Budweiser can into inches of ocean water and blatantly squatted down to pee, I just want to say, "Really?  Squatting?  In inches of water? With your beer can?  That 7 foot walk to the ocean urinal really left you so parched you couldn't ditch the can for a moment and have the decency to at least get waist high in the water before emptying your bladder?"  For those of us debating about whether or not we want to go for a dip, please act like you're NOT peeing.

5.  Don't walk on the dunes. Seriously.

4.  Litter, and my children will totally call you out. At a volume that suggests the beach is on fire they will shriek, "Mom, that fat guy just littered!" Yeah, I'm trying to get them to find other ways of describing people, but since you're a litterer I'm letting the fat comment go.

3.  Nicotine is addicting, but I'm going to argue so is the smell of ocean breezes. If I can smell your addiction, it means I can't smell mine. If I wanted your second hand smoke, I would ask for it. Please go smoke somewhere else...or do your lungs a favor and quit.

2.  I love to fish! I see you love to fish, too.   See those kids on boogie boards? They are my kids, and you've decided to fish right next to them. You can either move to a safer fishing area or risk becoming bait. Seriously, don't fish near swimmers!

1.  See those seagulls you just fed? Amazing how it started as just two seagulls and within moments it now looks like a scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds."  Funny how two seagulls look enchanting and 50 seagulls looks like a gang of rats with wings. Please don't feed seagulls near my towel. It causes me to shriek and run, and I DO NOT WANT TO RUN IN MY SWIMSUIT.

Enjoy the beach and enjoy your summer!!

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