Friday, June 15, 2012

Column: An open letter to beachgoers

Welcome to the beach! Your comfort and safety are of primary importance during your visit here, and with that in mind, we ask that you follow these simple guidelines in order to ensure a memorable stay for all visitors.

1) Blanket location: We value togetherness here at the beach! Feel free to put your blanket as close as possible to the people next to you, even if there’s plenty of space around. If you’re not sure whether you’re close enough, take this simple test: If you were to roll over, would your head be in the lap of the person on the next blanket? If not, you’re not close enough!

2) Music and talking: If you bring a radio to the beach, make sure to play it at top volume. Otherwise, it might be difficult for the people around you to determine whether you’re a fan of punk, hardcore, ska or adult contemporary selections, such as “Escape (The PiƱa Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes.

Similarly, if you’re using a cell phone, please talk as loudly as possible so as to best share your conversation with your beach-mates. Having a fight with your significant other? Need to discuss your prognosis? Like to swear? We want to know! If possible, please also try to gesticulate wildly.

3) Swimwear: First and foremost, we want you to be comfortable during your time here. That might mean wearing a bathing suit one, two or three sizes too small — the choice is yours! And gentlemen, remember: The lo-rise Speedo is not just for remote Greek islands anymore. (We’re talking to you, Grandpa!)

Also, please keep in mind that you didn’t get all those tattoos so that nobody could ogle them. We’re just saying.

4) Children: When you bring your children to the beach, that’s a great time to take a break — your blanket neighbors will be more than happy to police your youngsters. Also, beachwear is optional for the little ones: A soggy diaper is fine, or just let them go au natural. That means naked!

If your children are playing with recreational items such as Frisbees, baseballs or Jarts, we ask that they try to yell out a friendly “heads up!” before throwing or hitting those items into a throng of sleeping beachgoers, at least every third time.

5) Sand procedures: When running on the beach, kick those toes in deep to best propel sand into other beachgoers’ blanket areas. This is essential to ensuring that visitors go home with soothing ocean sand in their eyes and food and lodged deep into the recesses of their bathing trunks, among other places.

6) Food: Whatever you may bring to the beach to eat — be it grapes or Cheez Doodles or a tremendous sausage sandwich that drips peppers and onions out of the bun onto your bare torso when you take a bite out of it — make sure to leave it unwrapped. That way all your fellow visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature up close when hundreds of seagulls swoop down to devour your leftovers, squawking how you might imagine a thousand burning souls would scream in hell. Fun!

7) Horseplay: When you pick up your girlfriend to drop her in the water and she squeals and squeals and squeals? We love that.

Thank you for your cooperation; by following these simple beach procedures, we’re sure you’ll have a fine and relaxing stay here by the water! As for the rest of us, we’ll be at the movies.

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