Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Vacation Papers

sunset 2008 001Even though I'm back in my upper lair, I'm still picking sand out of my cerebellum. If you think that's something, you should see my garage. It's like Jockey's Ridge in there. But I didn't log in to talk about my pet starfish. Rather, I'm came to extend my break, to relive my coastal sojourn even before I get around to spraying that dried up sea urchin off the lawn chair. That's right, I got vacation slides, No, WAIT!!! Don't go...

Dazed DadI said Sunset was soothing; I didn't say it was deserted. In our time there, we saw the island's tidal pools swell with suburbanites and all their detritus as the July 4th crowd rolled in. By week's end, there were more nuclear units on the beach than most reactor sites. With that level of distilled domesticity, it wasn't at all uncommon to spot the occasional father wandering dazed and irritated into the surf. Usually some older gentleman would break away from his bocce ball match and guide the poor sap back to his inverted beach umbrella, but twice I saw a babbling patriarch lunge into the drink with that certain suicidal look in his eye. Ya know, they really should post a lifeguard...

Surf at SundownBut then again, that might interfere with how folks enjoy the beach. And God knows there's as many ways to kick back on the shore as there are sandspurs in my tenderloins. There's the age-old practice of burying one's siblings in unwanted dribble-castle, there's Lounge Chair Chess - in which players move their encampments back just far enough to afford another six minutes of leisure before the riding tide makes them move all over again. Man, that never gets old! Of course heartier souls take to the breakers, where threat of jellyfish, twelve year old elbows and the occasional urine cloud make one yearn for the relative safety of the cement pond. Me, though - I scans the horizon...

Where's Bubba?Blame my hyperopia. Farsightedness, for those of you lunging for the thesaurus. Unlike my wife, who could walk for miles looking down through two feet of cloudy surf and still find suitable living quarters for the girls' hermit crab, my natural field of focus lies somewhere between here and Uranus. That's a hell of a thing for a guy who makes his living with a tiny TV screen jammed in his face. Speaking of which, I didn't see a single camera crew clamoring over this shrimp boat - no matter how many cups of Corona I poured down my sunburned gullet (No glass containers on the beach, don't ya know). Anyway, maybe the photogs were belowdecks. After all, if they weren't shooting some kind of reality show out there, what were they doing? Fishing? PFFFT!

Ship to ShoreOf course there's more to vacationing by the bay than sleeping with your eyes open while you pretend to read. There's getting there in the first place. See, unless your beach cottage has a giant gold Trump sign on it, you're gonna have to hoof it over a sand dune or two if you want to get wet. That's okay if it's just you and your toothbrush, but if you're like most of the Sunset bunch, you got a small living room to drag to the waterline. These days of course, they rent fancy carts like the one Junior has here, but back in my day we schlepped our crap to the shore on our backs! Our sunburned backs! With wooden chairs that wore splintery grooves in our shoulders while slathered head to bloomer in sunscreen made from castor oil! And WE LIKED IT!

Sunset HugA-hem. Sorry, slipped into Dad Mode for a minute there. I've been doing that a lot lately - perhaps because my kids haven't left my sight in nine days, ten hours, forty minutes and a half dozen bags of Cheesy Poofs - but who's counting? Not me! I'm loving all this generational interaction, even if the little crumb-snatchers do roll their eyes every time I launch into a tirade about we used to have to get off the couch just to change the channel! Okay, so perhaps it is time to go back to work. Sure there's probably a ribbon-cutting or cop car ride-along waiting for me, but at least I'll have fresh memories of all that saltwater togetherness to reflect upon while I'm babysitting the trainwreck - or factory tour - or meth lab - or marching band camp - or...

You get the idea.

3 comments:

Brad Weaver, BC Instructor said...

Now you've convinced me I need a fortnight at the shore.

Miami Fan said...

Fun post "slinger.

Nice pics too.

The vaca did you good!

You'll be seeing sand for weeks! And maybe that will give you a smile or too as well.

Anonymous said...

Stew:
You'll need to break out the wifebeater soon to kids those teenagers away from your daughter!