I may live in Atlanta, but I’m at home by the ocean. My favorite beaches happen to be along the Gulf Coast: Destin, Pensacola, Panama City, and Mexico Beach. I love the emerald green shallow surf close to shore, and the sapphire blue of the deep Gulf waters.
The only thing I don’t like about the beach is some of the stupid things people do. I’ve listed a few below, and by the way, many of them are illegal, too.
Don’t put on any sunscreen because you want to “look like you’ve been to the beach.”
Not to worry. You lay out on the white sands of the Gulf without sunscreen. You and everyone around you will know you have been to the beach. You will sizzle faster than a fajita in Mexico. Ah, the brilliant red “tan.” Here’s a word for you: You aren’t tan, you are burnt.
Subjecting your skin to the searing rays of the sun, without an UVA or UVB protection is not healthy. Can you say “skin cancer?” Have you seen the leathery old faces of men and women who warn you about staying out in the sun too much? They spent time in the sun without protection. The sun and salty air drained the moisture and elasticity from their skin. Find a good sunscreen, I recommend Coppertone Continuous Spray, and slather it on. Re-apply after sweating or swimming.
Every time I get in the sun now, I have a harvest of freckles on my back because in the ignorance of youth I laid out drenched in olive oil…in Cancun. Second degree burns from the sun cannot be cooled. On the other hand, when you have sunburn of that degree, you cannot get warm. I suffered. Burn upon burn. Blister upon blister. I couldn’t even stand aloe on the burn. No sympathy. No cure. It took a lot of time to heal.
Everyone knew I went to the beach. They still see the signs of that trip.
Feed seagulls from the balcony.
If you have ever been pooped on by a seagull, as you lay peacefully by the pool, I’ll bet you don’t feed seagulls. If, however, you are young and naive it might seem neat to attract a flock of seagulls to your balcony. Trust me; your neighbors don’t like it. It is illegal in some places. It encourages seagulls to depend on man for food. It’s not a good thing.
Don’t feed them off the back of a boat either. I’ve been on a boat in the Gulf, without a seagull in sight. One chip was tossed in the air behind us. A sole seagull glided in and caught it. The bird came out of nowhere. Then, they all came. Flock after flock following the watercraft vying for a salty potato chip.
Seagulls, like other birds, have incredible eyesight. They can spot prey farther than your eyes can see. They can also spot your bread crumbs, potato chips, and cheese curls. Fast food, though a staple of the pigeon diet, is not nutritional for seagulls. Please, allow them to pursue their protein among the fish of the sea.
Drop things off the balcony for laughs.
From sixteen stories up, it might look funny to rupture a water balloon on some unsuspecting vacationer below. It’s not so funny if you are the one intercepting the water balloon with your noggin. It also isn’t funny when you get kicked out of the hotel or condominium.
The same is true for pennies. Yes, they can dent the roof of a car if they gain enough momentum on the way down. This has been proven beyond a doubt. We’ll call it a scientific law. Therefore, you don’t need to retest the theory.
Finally, there is no hope for you if you empty your cooler off a balcony of any height. I can’t even discuss this, because if you do this, you are a moron.
Leave your butts exposed on the beach.
Enjoy your smokes. It’s your arteries and lungs, but cover your butts. How lovely to walk out in the morning and find a nice spot in a public ashtray to lie in the sun. Do you sleep with your head in your ashtray at home? What makes you think the rest of the world wants to wallow in your butts?
Cigarette butts are also ugly lying there among the glisten seashells. Parents are constantly chasing down their children crying their weary mantras, “Don’t touch that….Don’t pick that up….That’s not a shell….I don’t know why it is in the seaweed. I guess the seagulls had a smoke after their morning potato chip.”
Please, dispose of your butts properly.
Take glass bottles on the beach.
I guess the worst offense in this category is to break glass on the beach and leave it. Shoeless thousands wait to find the shards of your stupidity with their tender heels. If you leave broken glass in the ocean, you are a double-dipped idiot. You should be banned from the ocean for life, or made to walk a glass pathway to your next vacation destination.
Glass bottles shouldn’t be on the beach in the first place. If you don’t break it, but instead leave it lying around someone else may accidentally break it. Won’t it be romantic for a newly wed couple walking the beach at night to find your bottle grinding it beneath their innocent steps. Maybe she’ll be strong enough to carry him across the threshold of the condo after he is crippled by glass shards.
Besides being a safety issue, glass bottles on the beach are an eyesore. Littering at the beach makes no sense to me. Why go and pay several hundred dollars for a Gulf front view that you then litter with glass bottles? Perhaps you should find a hotel by the garbage dump. Then you would have the same view you are leaving behind for others to enjoy.
Steal beach towels.
Do you have any idea how long that child begged their parent for their Nemo beach towel? Didn’t you see the ordeal in Walmart?
If you can afford a trip to the beach, you can afford a beach towel. If you can’t, then drip dry. Theft is still a crime, even if you are at a beach party.
If you are dumb enough to leave your towel on the balcony at night, especially on a lower floor, then your towel will be stolen by another dummy. Many hotels and condominiums will no longer allow you to drape towels over the balcony. In the case of Panama City, I think they are trying to drop the “white trash” motif. Nonetheless, if a towel is outside on the balcony railing or chair, and you did not purchase it, do not use it.
If you are a surreptitious towel thief, because you would rather save your last five bucks for a drink, I hope you get a yeast infection, aka jock itch. Did it ever occur to you that towels draped outside are there because they have been used and not been washed? I hope you like crabs.
Mix water and alcohol.
I don’t mean in a glass. Alcohol and water don’t mix. A few cool beers may make you feel better, but your body is being punished. Alcohol contributes to dehydration. A combination of sun and alcohol may lead to heat exhaustion.
A man walked of the beach into Schooner’s, a Panama City beach-side bar and grill. He started to sit down with his family for dinner. He never hit the chair. He hit the floor. A physician dining nearby dashed to his side. The man’s wife called 911. Once the man regained consciousness the EMT’s were there. They and the physician told him he had a heat stroke. He had been drinking all day at the beach. He was severely dehydrated and didn’t even know it. He had to be taken via ambulance to the hospital to be given fluids intravenously. A Schooner’s employee remarked that they see the same thing all the time because people don’t understand what alcohol and heat are doing to their body.
Everybody loves a good time at the beach, but there is a time and place for everything. Drink plenty of water when you are out in the sun. Save partying for evening. Besides, all beach parties really begin at sunset.
I hope you head to the beach soon, just leave stupidity at home.