Sunday, August 12, 2007


I think those snappy comebacks in Boston Legal are rubbing off on me

Even though it's almost mid-August, as of Friday, I hadn't yet been to the beach this summer. This weekend, E and I, after hitting up E's family reunion, zoomed over to Ocean City, NJ, for some brief fun in the sun.

Neither of us had ever been there (and we don't really do the boardwalk thing in Massachusetts), so we were quite dazzled by the stores, food options, and the fact that we had to pay 5 bucks each for the privilege of actually getting on the beach.

The beach tag guy appeared to be sleeping behind his dark glasses, and he didn't seem to be checking for anyone's tag, so I thought that the sign might have been a little "ha-ha you're on vacation" type of joke. So, I kinda loudly whispered to E, "I think he's asleep...let's just slip by."

Well, he wasn't. In fact, I think he had been watching us to see what we'd do, and he wasn't surprised when we tried to slither on by. Even though charging to go to a beach seems anti-the-ideals-of-our-Founding-Fathers, we coughed up the cash, because it was darn worth it to cross that barrier.

So we parked our stuff sorta near the jetty. I sprayed on the sunscreen, and chilled for a bit on my beach mat, letting the SPF sink in, or do whatever it is that it does. E parked next to me, straightened out her towel and laid down for some sunning and texting.

Little kids rushed past us to run to the ocean, and it all became too irresistible. I awkwardly walked down to the edge, and then plowed in, and kept heading deeper. The water was perfect. Cold enough to be refreshing, but not so cold that it made my legs go red and numb. And the sand was actually sand, not the small rocks/boulders that I'm accustomed to in Mass.

I went to up about my chest, doing little dives into waves and somersaults under the water. There were a bunch of people to my left, and I sorta wondered why no one was near me, but a) I didn't really care, b) I didn't want to look a gift horse in the face, and c) the waves looked kinda bigger over there. Naturally people wanted to be with the bigger waves, and I planned on splashing over in that direction soon enough.

I frolicked, enjoying life, soaking up all the joys the ocean has to offer. Laughing of carefree people, the sounds of the nearby amusement park, and the never-ceasing whistle of the lifeguard were the soundtrack to my perfect beach moments. I picked up a little shelled creature, and pondered its existence. Would the shell open up if I held it long enough? Were those grains of sand, or tiny poops in the palm of my hand?

The whistle was still going on ("WHO are these lawbreakers? Swimmers, be careful!", I thought!), and I thought I heard a "Hey!" mingled in there. I looked back, and saw a skim board guy waving at me, telling me to go to my left, away from the jetty, and closer to the clump of people in the waves. I was probably a good 45 feet from the jetty, but one has to be careful. So I swam about 10 feet closer to the people, then turned back to my own world.

The whistling started up again. I looked back, and there was a lifeguard standing at the shore, blowing her whistle and waving me in. I really didn't see the need for me to come in, but since I'm not one for civil disobedience, I started making my way in to hear her out.

I kept expecting her to, you know, come a bit closer, like actually stick her toe in the water, but no such luck. I finally got within speaking distance through a combo of swimming/wading/walking, and I was all, "Hey, what's up? I'm sorry, I didn't know I shouldn't have been that close to the jetty."

She responded, "Well, you WERE the ONLY one OVER THERE. What did you THINK?"

Whoa, Baywatch Bitch. I shot back, "Don't give me an attitude. This is my first time here."

She lamely recovered, and said in a slightly less nasty tone, "You should only swim between those green flags" (oh, where all those people are!) "There are rocks over there that you were probably stepping on."

I didn't stay to educate her on the fact that if I step on a rock, generally I do not linger for re-puncturing. No, thanks.

The rest of the trip passed uneventfully and quite perfectly.

The end.

I say we invade this $5 beach and take it back for the people.
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