This weekend was my wife’s birthday and so I did not object when she suggested spending the day with the kids at the beach. I do not like the beach. I do not like the beach at all. Why? For starters, sand. If I had to rank substances upon which to eat a fun picnic lunch, sand would rank near the bottom, right above lava. Sand and eating do not mix, and yet eating seems to be one of my family’s two primary beach activities (the other is complaining about the heat). No matter how much plastic wrap you swaddle your food in, it is pretty much impossible to avoid getting some sand in your mouth, which is roughly the same as putting a horseshoe crab shell in a blender and then eating the result. Plus, sand always works its way into my butt crack. My entire ass region has enough problems without adding sand to the mix.
Swimming at the beach is also terrible because of the disgusting saltwater. It hurts my eyes, it tastes terrible, and when I get out of it, I feel as if I’ve been brined. Plus, no matter how hard I try to keep it out, like sand, it always ends up in my mouth. Remember that old Reese’s peanut butter cup slogan: “Two great tastes that taste great together?” Saltwater and sand are not like that.
Then there are jellyfish. Jellyfish are God’s “No swimming” sign. People have no business swimming anyplace where stinging tentacles may come into play. In fact, I will go a step further and say that “stinging tentacles” and “summertime recreation” are mutually exclusive terms. Actually, tentacles as a whole are a category of noun that I did not want to interact with when vacationing. No vacation was ever improved by the presence of tentacles.
Also, I don’t boogie board. I don’t “boogie” anything.
Sunscreen has also evolved into something atrocious. When I was a child, we did not wear sunscreen. The sun’s rays were not to be repelled. They were to be celebrated and absorbed. Our dermis was there to be roasted like a marshmallow over a campfire. Just as that marshmallow becomes evermore delicious when tickled to a golden brown, so our young bodies made delicious by the sun’s friendly ultraviolet love. This, of course, was before science. Now most of my time at the beach is spent slathering myself and my “loved ones” in white sun blocking paste. It takes forever to put on, it stings my eyes, and it’s impossible to remove from your hands without getting them caked in sand. Honestly, I would rather just allow my kids to get skin cancer than spend another second of my life smearing on that shit.
Another horrible aspect about going to the beach are the other people who go to the beach. I’ve never seen anybody at the beach and thought to myself, “I want to hang out with that person.” Everybody at the beach seems like the worst kind of person in the world. Either they’re sunburned parents yelling at their shitty kids, or they’re grotesquely overweight people with Long Island accents, or they’re playing that game with the wooden paddles and a ball that really isn’t a game because it doesn’t have rules and you don’t keep score. Where are the topless sunbathing European models? Probably in Monte Carlo, where I don’t go because Monte Carlo doesn’t have skee-ball.
The only way I have found to make the beach tolerable is to create beach conditions that make the beach as much like being indoors as possible. This requires folding chairs, huge beach towels to spread on the sand, a large cooler of ice cold soft drinks, massive sun-squashing umbrellas, a radio, food that doesn’t involve soggy bread or mayonnaise, somebody to watch my children for me, access to pornography, and preferably a house. In other words, the best way to enjoy the beach is from the comforts of home. So maybe I should buy a beach house? That would be fun. Especially if my beach house were located in a major metropolitan area like Manhattan.
I hate the beach, but I love my wife. So when she suggested the beach this weekend I did not object. Instead I prayed for rain, and when that did not come I sucked it up like a good husband and father, drove to the seashore, and then waited in the car with a lukewarm can of Dr. Pepper and contemplated suicide.
Happy birthday, sweetie.