8 Things You Must Know if You Don't Want to Die at the Beach

#4. Nostalgia

Even Getty paused to ogle this one
Here, enjoy some bikini girls before things go dark again

Many people's happiest memories are of playing at the beach as a child. If you didn't have the experience, it's not too late! Many children would happily describe their fun day to you for a price as low as a candy bar. Simply walk up to any parent at the beach and ask where you can find some children.

Of course they may be suspicious, even after you explain that you're trading candy for their innocence. To avoid an ugly misunderstanding, go to the beach in a clown costume. Everyone loves a clown! Clowns just want to make children laugh and play and would never tell a young man that the things he did in a Dairy Queen bathroom back in 1991 were his fault, so don't tell anyone or you'll get in trouble, Brendan.

... Oh my God.

#3. Packing for the Beach

The great thing about the beach is it's so uncomplicated. Here are some useful items you can bring:

Thank you, God and Getty, for this dame
Tragic, but didja see that knockout blonde? HOTCHA!

#2. Beach Hazards

-- Stay safe; avoid the ocean an hour after eating. You'll be fine if you don't, but Mother worries so. To be honest, drowning is way overblown. It's just a way for big government to insert itself into our lives with more lifeguards, police helicopters, satellites and listening devices to monitor whale chatter. You're way more likely to be killed if you get into a car that's going to crash, or if you take aspirin for your ulcers.

-- Sharks regularly kill over two people a year, so it's important that we slaughter those bastards first. Cut off the fin for soup and dump the carcass back into the sea as a warning to other sharks. They'll get the message.

Getty is aghast!
People win again! We are the greatest!

-- Lightning can strike anywhere, anytime. Oh man, that would be such a badass way to die.

-- Beneath the South Pacific, the monstrous octopus-dragon Cthulhu slumbers. You will know if you have swum too close to Cthulhu as your skin erupts in boils, your thoughts burn with impossible geometries and the clacking, clattering language of the dead rushes in your ears.

HP Lovecraft was a disturbed man
Many beaches put out yellow flags if dead Cthulhu stirs dreaming

-- Though not a direct hazard, lifeguards are fit, young people who run in sexy slow motion. Fake a drowning to get one to notice you.

-- If you are attacked by Soggies, alert Cap'n Crunch immediately. He is there for your protection, and will provide a hearty breakfast that only slashes your mouth a little bit.

#1. How to Develop a Beach

The allure of the beach is, in some ways, its seediness. The deeper we stride into its inhospitable waves, the less the laws of man can bind us. It was Thoreau who said, "We are all anarchists where the surf meets the sand, bros." Or possibly that was an original quote from Randy, who is a guy we know from the beach.

Either way, this casual lawlessness fosters an easy trust. Before we jump into the waves, we ask strangers to keep an eye on our stuff. While we're in there, we expect teenagers to pay attention to our toddlers' safety in a crowd full of half-naked people. And after we come out, we believe the guy running the clam shack when he says deep frying can make shellfish taste like food.

Or as we called them growing up in New England, water lice and sea-roach

The question any vacationer relaxing on a sunny shore must ask, naturally, is "How can I make money off of these saps?" And the answer is simple: develop, develop, develop! People are in a trusting state against all common sense, so throw up a boardwalk where they can play lots of rigged carnival games for cheap tchotchkes they don't want and can't use. Lure them in the same way you would flies: with loads of sugar. Better add some fried food and old meat for good measure.

Now that you've got them all in one place, trap them on some vomitous carnival rides till they're hungry again. But how are you going to make sure they stick around after sunset? A crappy jazz band, obviously, busking for their dinner. Better add a hotel to that boardwalk, too, so you can fleece the herd again tomorrow. Uh-oh! Some of the guests want a section of the beach to themselves now that you've made it so crowded. Crapburgers! You'd better cordon off a part of it for the hotel's use only.

Is the beach at full capacity? Excellent! Where once there was naught but useless, gentle tides, there is now a thriving mecca of recreation operating at maximum efficiency! The principals of capitalism have triumphed yet again! Until ... say, where's everybody going?

Wikipedia weeps for Dreamland
Behold! The perfect beach

Er ... it seems beach attendance is dropping because we optimized the fun right out of things, and not even the deepest-fried meats can change the public's mind. Where teeming crowds once ... uh, teemed, now nothing remains but a lot of litter and empty buildings. And they slouch, slowly crumbling under the ever-encroaching tide. Foolish man! To think thou couldst tame the sea! In time, all is washed away, save for two trunkless legs of an Ozymandias statue by the ruins of the Watchmen theme ride roller coaster.

And there, over the course of a thousand years, your boardwalk empire will crumble back into a pristine beach ... where human beings may yet again venture to feel surf foaming on their ankles, sun baking their skin anew and sand irritating their genitals as they have sex under the boardwalk.

Brendan recently outlined How Bacon Is the Secret to a Healthy Marriage and Why Mr. T Is a Great Man.

And be sure to check out more of his stuff here in To My Unborn Son: Stuff I Won't Have the Balls to Say and 5 Ways the '90s Made Us Strong .

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Brendan McGinley

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