Let’s Go To The Beach

I am not dead! Sorry it has been so long. Work and life has been a real pain as of late but that is neither here nor there. What does “here nor there” mean anyway? I say that all the time but until I wrote it I just never thought about it. “To shake a stick at” is another one. I have never shaken a stick at anything in my life, much less many things.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, so life has been a bag of dicks but that’s not your problem. I am going to share a feel good memory about the beach because I miss it and I want to take a virtual trip. You are invited so don’t forget the beer, sunscreen, blanket and alkeselzer tablets for the seagulls. Just kidding.

So here we are at the beach house in Sea Isle City, NJ. I have to admit that right when we arrive the clock will be ticking for the trek down the street to the shore. But I know that we will have to do the lame job of unpacking the car, putting away all the food, making the beds, and opening all the windows to air out the vacant home. But little do you know that I have already cracked open the first of twenty Budlights that will be consumed before the end of the day. I am sorry but it is already half way done and I can’t stop the cold flow of alcoholic vacation goodness.

Finally it is beach time! We will be in our respected suits, yours much cooler than mine I am sure. But it’s fine because you can walk far ahead of me. I will take the a chair, the cooler, the radio and you can grab the other chair , blankets and bag full of the extra items like books, magazines, lotion and my emergency swim trunks. It’s a long story but one time I lost mine in the waves. The beach house never seemed so far away. I’ll take the heavy stuff because I am already on beer number four and that’s about the time when the term heavy means nothing.

The walk to the shore is less than a block but it’s a tough one when you refuse to wear flip flops. I have a thing about having sand rub in between the flip part of the flop. So that means my virgin feet will be scorched from not only the black topped road but also the loose sand at the beginning of the trail over the dunes. You will be behind me watching my high steps that would embarrass even Rick Moranos. But soon all the pain in the feet will fade as we peer over the top of the dune and the breeze from the ocean hits the face and the crashing waves muffle all the sounds of pedestrian traffic. We made it.

Finding the perfect spot to set up camp is always a challenge, especially when the feet are hovering around 400 degrees Celsius and possibly full of shells. It’s important not to be down wind of cigar smokers, away from possible football game outbreaks, at least 50 yards from any kid and not around old people who don’t like beer drinking and the tendency for impulsive dance. On top of all that, I am the type who will be there until the tide comes in so we will have to find a lunar gravity friendly zone. It takes a minute but when the perfect spot is found, all will be right with the world.

Off comes the shirt and on comes the suntan lotion! Most people will use a generous amount of SPF 70 for their first exposure to the summer sun but not me. I don’t believe that putting on a liquid shirt everyday of vacation will give you the true sense of the beach. I like having a little sunburn to let me know the next day as I take 15 minutes just to put one leg in the shower, that I have gone 100 percent in my relaxation. Just call me melanoma head.

Well, the blankets are laid out, the chairs are unfolded, the cooler is set, we are lathered with SPF and sun attractor, and the radio is on. Now for the pivotal moment when I introduce you to my mixed tape that has been with me on many beach vacations. This tape signifies that summer is here, we are on vacation and at the beach. If I ever lost it I may go camping in the woods for the rest of my life and never see another ocean again. Here is a sample of it. It’s a must for the beach and you have to listen.

The Monroe’s “What Do All The People Know”. My god I love this song. It will cause me to dance so if there is any shred of dignity that you may have, you may want to take that time to hunt down the Lemon Ice cart.

“Tenderness” from General Public is such a feel good song. Don’t know why this symbolizes summer but it does.

I wish this wasn’t the theme song for Look Who’s Talking because I love this song and I hate Kristy Alley. I can’t put my finger on it but I believe the synthesizers in this song is a symbol of 1985 at the beach. Or Pete Townshed’s huge nose. It must be murder when that guy has a head cold.

So the tunes are set and now it’s time to soak in the rays. This will last for approximately thirty minutes before I am compelled to run into the surf as if I was on fire. I won’t get out until either I have ingested too much saltwater or I need another beer. But I am guilty of not paying attention as I swim around the surf and before you know it the tide has pulled me 100 yards down the coast. This is a little confusing when trying to find the beach blanket. Last time I had to actually go out on the street to figure out what avenue number I drifted to. I may need you to keep an eye out for me. I’ll be the grown man with one arm floaty so it’ll make it easier for you.

There is one thing about salt air, it induces quite a hunger. I think a couple hours of beach fun will work up an appetite for turkey sandwiches, chips and Hi-C Echto Cooler. There has to be a break in the copious amount of Bud Light. The only problem I have with eating at the beach is that no matter how hard I try, I will always get the crunching of sand grains with whatever I am chewing. I will almost always touch something sandy and put my hand in the potato chip bag. It’s just a fact. I will also have sand on my beer can rim. Blech!

After we eat our sandwiches like they were our first meal in weeks it’s nap time. I can dig taking a nap on the beach. There is something that is so soothing and lulling about the ocean waves. But never far from my mind is a seagull shitting on my face. You may think this is an irrational fear but I saw it happen to my uncle. Yeah it was funny as hell but it could have been anyone of us. From then on I sleep with a hat on.

So the restless sleep is finished and it’s time to crack another beer. I think by that time it should be at least beer number 11. That sounds about right. Do you know what else it is time for? Velcro catch! I know this is sissy catch but with the wild pitches I have been known to throw, it is far better to hit an old lady in the head with a tennis ball than a real baseball. I’m kind of like a high strung dog. You will have to decide when this game is up. I can throw pretend pop ups all day.

I think by now it will be time for one final rinse in the ocean to clean all the sand from the suit’s waist line and pack it up. There is still dinner to go to and a boardwalk to walk. It will be a good possiblity that I will shake the blankets and towels up wind causing another trip to go rinse off. But that is a lesson that is easily forgotten over a whole year. By now the first sign of sunburn starts to show. I always check by pressing my hands to my stomach to see the print. Yep. I’ll be sunburned.

The greatest thing about the beach house is the outside showers. I love showering outside. Actually being naked outside is a good thing. This is the only time I can get away with it, legally. I’m sure the familiar sting on the thighs from the sun exposure will be apparent but that can be combated by two more beers, a shot of Patron and a little aloe. I know I committed to the sunburn but shit, I’m not trying to kill myself.

We will have to pace ourselves for first night because there is still a few more to go. I think after a great dinner, buying shot glasses and airbrushed shirts on the boardwalk we will go back and crank up the stereo. Then sit on the front deck with a few beers and meet the neighbors by playing Billy Idol way too loud. It has always been an ice breaker for me. Hopefully this time it will not include a police introduction as well.

So that’s our virtual beach trip. I say we do this for real. How ‘boucha?

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