Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When a Day at the Beach is Not a Day at the Beach

What perverse aberration causes people to go to a beach that is completely empty except for dog walkers and set up shop right next to me? Upwind and smoking. Why does my presence in a particular area make it the designated beach blanket spot?

1. I don't care how many tattoos you and your girlfriend have between you. You do not have the right to force me to move a mile or so down the beach to get away from you.

2. What kind of moron brings a boombox here to drown out lapping waves while birds soar overhead, calling to each other?

Scientists should study the magnetic force I exert on my fellow humans, (and I use that term advisedly,) who have no apparent interest in communing with Nature, and feel compelled to ensure that I can't either. I would like to know what spawns this behavior so I can fix it.

Beaches are the last frontier. They are among the few places that still have constant change and movement. Structures do not stand in sand, nor are there malls, offices or even Starbucks by this shore. What remains is rushing tide, egrets and gulls, native plants.

On beaches, I both forget and remember who I am, far from hungry eyes consuming all they light upon. I wear no labels by the shore. I could be anyone. In anonymity is freedom, a concept that has become suspect in our national life today.

I could gain weight here, for being outdoors makes me hungry. The simplest fare's a banquet when sitting on hot sand with cool breeze riffling my hair.

A small blue fishing boat sails in under a cloud of seagulls. It's obvious they have made a good haul.

A flock of pelicans swoops by single file, 13 in all, browsing the waves in search of supper.

I watch a dog sniff another dog's ass, then lift his leg and piss on the first dog.

No dogfight ensues.

There seems to be an unspoken rule of life here: The world is divided into two camps, the pissers and the pissees.

You know who you are.


la cubana gringa said...

What if I'm just plain pissed?

If I were in England, I'd be drunk.

[Scuttles off to make a Gray Goose Orange & tonic...]

meno said...

I think assholicness (is too a word!) wants us to witness it. 'Cause what fun is it be a flaming jerk, if there's no one to see?

The CEO said...

You need a sign saying that all men must be nude. Make sure the sign is professionally letter, so you can point to it when they come. Make it an ordinance, with a fine. Suggest they strip or leave. Want odds on them leaving?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

La Cubana,

Write a pissed-off post. That's what I always do. Then make a drink.


It's a GOOD word.

Descartes would approve of your reasoning. If nobody is there to see the flaming jerk, did he really exist?


Oh, no, no, no. I don't want to see any more than I have to of most people.

Maybe I could invent an ordinance requiring them to put ON clothing.

Voyager said...

Become one of the pissers. On the smoker's beach blanket.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


That's one way to put out the smoke.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Pissers and pissees -Lol. Very nicely illustrated by that last photos of the dogs, some of which seem to be very non-chalant and saying, "A pisser? Who, me?"

QT said...

I wonder what would happen if you and I went to the beach together, as I have the same magnetic properties? Would we actually repel the jerkoffs some how?

Ryane said...

Haha. You know, this theory also applies to parked cars for me. It seems that no matter what time of the day or night--empty lot or completely full...if I am headed towards my car, inevitably some moron comes and has to park rightnexttome, or both cars next to me try to leave at exactly the same time. hahahahaha. Maybe those fools on the beach are frightened of being out in nature alone, and so, feel compelled to sit really close in case the ocean reaches out and tries to capture them?

Anonymous said...
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furiousBall said...

I agree with you about the tattoo boomboxer. The beach is all about well, the beach. if you want to go clubin' go to a fucking club. The white noise of an ocean is the most beautiful noise ever.

Maurey Pierce said...

Funny. Cute dogs, though.

I am insanely jealous of your ability to go to the beach, period. If you must post coastal photos, please put a warning page out for any Midwestern readers.

Ian Lidster said...

The pissers and the pissees indeed. I love that. You should copyright it because it explains the entire history of humankind. You are one very smart lady.
We once went to a largely deserted beach on Kauai, picked our spot away from anybody else -- and a family came along and dropped their beach mats so close to ours they were touching. My first thought was to say: "Is there any part of 'fuck off' you don't understand?" Anyway, we just picked up and moved along.
Nice piece.

Anonymous said...

some days I'm the pisser, some the pissee.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I was swooning right up till the dogs. Ya lost me there, hearts.

The photos are great, and this piece has good rhythm. I could almost hear the birds...

Anyone who brings a boombox to a beach obviously doesn't understand the wonder of it all. That's too bad they spoiled the first part of it.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

thailandchani said...

The only time I have the fantasy of pulling out a gun is when idiots come to a quiet place and fill it with their wretched music through a boom box!

Anonymous said...

I like the reminder that "beaches are the last frontier." It is nice to remember how untouched they are. And we are usually our most "naked" there. That is a nice thought, that this place is where things are most free of manmade objects (due to that constant change and movement), where things are stripped away the most.

I am definitely a pissee. And that really pisses me off.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Dogs usually manage to look innocent. No matter what they have just destroyed, eaten or pissed on.


But what if we just attracted twice as many jerkoffs from farther away?


Parking lots are a special kind of lawlessness, but I mind a lot more at the beach. I have no expectations of solitude or quiet in a parking lot.

I think they ARE afraid to be alone out there, and I wish I could summon rogue waves for them.


I just don't get why anyone would feel impelled to bring music to a place that has its own. (And I love music, btw.)


You came back! Welcome.

The ocean is the main reason I don't live in the Midwest, or anywhere inland.

I've tried it, and although there are many other beauties like lakes and sometimes mountains, I get really homesick without an ocean nearby.

I'll try to warn you next time the urge hits.


The cluster mentality never fails to astonish me. It's just incomprehensible that they would want to be near me any more than I crave their company.

On Kawai, I would have to magnify my indignation to the thousandth power. It's just immoral.


You are a very well-balanced individual.


I deliberately changed tone at the dogs by using "ass" and "piss" to amuse myself after waxing kind of poetic about the beach.

Nothing gets by you.


Most of my mini-meltdowns are caused by having really loud music not of my choosing inflicted upon me. The worst offenders are at beaches, but I have also witnessed boomboxes on hiking trails in parks. (They're sooo cool, you know.)

It's really a good thing I don't carry a gun.


I am, too, but I'm working on it. Unfortunately, I usually take a stand at the wrong time. It's a curse.

There really should be a law against bringing noise to the few natural places remaining.

jali said...

I don't understand why people feel the need to be space invaders. Have you ever been comfortable at an almost empty movie theater and been upset that someone chooses a seat near you instead of one of the hundreds available and proceeds to be fucking annoying. (please pardon the language - "annoying" is such a strong word...hee-hee).

I think assholicious is a good word.

MsLittlePea said...

Oh man! Only a true beach lover gets it and says it just like you did, sister. I am so on your side with 'the smoking and loud music people' right next to me at the beach! That makes me completely crazy! We go to the beach for fresh sea air and the sound of birds and waves. Not cigarette smoke and crappy music!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Space Invaders sounds like a video game. And yes, I have had my space commandeered in empty theaters by folks who proceeded to unwrap salami subs in crackly paper, spilled Coke which splashed on me, and produced really unappealing bodily noises and smells of various kinds. I have moved away.

And you watch your mouth, young lady. "Annoying" is a fucking rude word.

Assholicious is great! As is Meno's assholicness. You guys are really improving my vocabulary.

Sweet Pea,

No kidding. If they are such clods that they don't get it, why are they even there?

I know that you share my love of solitary beaches, and I always enjoy the photos you bring back to share.

katrice said...

What a twist! You ended on such a funny note, just as I was feeling all whimsy! You rock with the written word, Heart. You really do.

I can't stand to be landlocked either.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Just remember: With every bit of whimsy, a little dog's ass shall follow.

It's the law.

seventh sister said...

I seem to have the same attractive properties to back up beeps. So annoying.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


There are no vacancies here. The voices in my head are already enough of a crowd.

Open Grove Claudia said...

I've spent most of my life at the beach - well when I wasn't at the gym. In my experience, in the expanse of sandy emptiness, people feel a bit lost, possibly a reflection of how insignificant they are, so tend to sit right next to someone, almost as if to say, "If I sit here, I'll never have to look into the abyss of my insignificance."

Fuck, I think that's the longest sentance I have ever written.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Maybe they should just fall into the abyss.

If they're agoraphobic, they might consider staying home.

James Burnett said...

Dammit, I wanna be a pisser. But I just don't feel right even saying that.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


No worries. What happens here stays here.

Molly said...

Fresh from a first visit to the Assateague Island National Seashore I agree one hundred percent---the beach is the last frontier---no assholes should be allowed. What a beautiful place. The shape of the island keeps changing, constantly buffetted by wind and crashing waves. This fortunate fact saved it from commercial development. Yeah for wind and waves.....

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I"m so excited that you were on Assateague. I was there and on Chincoteague with my youngest daughter years ago for the annual roundup of wild ponies.

Assateague was incredibly lovely, with ponies and the laughing gulls, which I've never seen anywhere else. I still wish that I had been able to record the gulls.

It is such a beautiful place, and thankfully will always remain so.