I hate bills. I hate receiving, opening, reading, and calculating bills. I hate rent bills, cable bills, electricity bills, water bills, duck bills, Barbecue Bill's and I've even got a growing distaste for my neighbor, Bill. If Bill is reading my column right now, this really shouldn't be any surprise to him, as he spent the better part of yesterday morning scraping 200 slices of baloney off his Honda Accord.
I hate traffic jams. Specifically, I hate unfounded traffic jams. If a guy crashes his 18-wheeler into a redwood which then falls onto the highway, breaking the safety doors off a van headed for the National Zoo, then I'd understand a little delay while the road crews cleared away the mess and chased down a few adolescent ostriches. After all a hyper, adolescent ostrich can achieve speeds well over 20 mph before getting tired and can taunt zookeepers for well over 20 minutes before getting bored. However, there is nothing more frustrating than waiting through inching traffic only to realize that the cause was a tiny fender bender on the shoulder which everybody has stopped to gawk at long enough that they might as well have fixed the crying teenager a sandwich and given her a few driving tips.
I hate when all five local radio stations synchronize their commercial breaks so that, for the longest four and a half minutes you'll ever experience, there is nothing coming out of your radio except ads for fast food, mattress stores and lasic surgery. There are few things more aggravating than not having music to distract you from that mini-van's "Jesus loves Bush who hates Gays" bumper sticker. I said few things are more aggravating. One of those things happens to be the voice of a man claiming to be some sort of mattress royalty shouting about how insane his sale is. On a side note, it seems that these mattress guys always go insane in a way that is financially beneficial for the customer. Just once I want to see a guy go "I've gone craaaaa-zzzzyyyy!! Twin-sized mattresses, a hundred thousand dollars! Queen-sized, twenty grand!! We're not slashing prices, we're doubling no! tripling them from their original factory prices! The Sleep King has gone insane! He's been chasing his tail for over an hour! Now he's rubbing mayonnaise on his nipples!!"
So, when the hustle and bustle and fussing and cussing of the working world becomes so skull-poundingly aggravating that a golf ball-sized lump of frustration forms over our brow ridge"" and it does, annually, sometime around August"" we as a nation head to the beach. We do this for two reasons. First of all, we'd like to catch some rest, relaxation and sun rays. Second, we need to reaffirm our hopes that we're not the only ones with golf ball-sized lumps of frustration swelling over our brow ridges.
So, I went to the beach. However, my luck didn't change much once I got there. For instance, in one day of beautiful, sunny relaxation, I stubbed my toe three and a half times. I say three and a half because I'm not sure the last one can be considered a toe stub"" it felt more like some sort of primitive surgical amputation. I hate stubbing my toe. I've had toe stubs that squirt carnage like a Monty Python skit gone awry. In fact, most of the toes on my feet are horribly mangled, many no longer have toe nails and, if you listen closely at night, you can just barely hear them whimper. Ever stubbed your toe so hard that you actually have time enough to contemplate how badly you stubbed your toe before the pain verifies your suspicions? I don't know about you, but during that brief interval, I find it helps to think of a curse word as loud as it can be thought before it's actually audible by the human ear. I said human ear"" dogs, on the other hand, think I have a mouth like a sailor, and I frequently get letters pleading me to clean up my act.
I hate overpriced crappy beach stores. Sunsations, Waves, Boards, and Coastal Palace dot the boardwalks of the beaches I visit. I'll admit, I am not familiar with the actual market numbers of the hick beach-going buying power, but apparently that demographic demands an enormous amount of pot leaf clothing and bathing suits with flames going up the side. I can't even imagine when the opportunity to wear these clothes appropriately would present itself. I suppose if you're ever invited to a formal that requires you to explicitly state your opinions about marijuana, the confederacy, or big johnsons on an article of clothing, then these stores are your tailor du jour. And this isn't one shop either, there are hundreds of them. Everywhere. These shops are so numerous that if you walk down any shore for a period of time, your surroundings begin to look a lot like an early LooneyToons episode in which the background repeats itself every twenty steps: Sunsations, henna tattoo shop, Candy Kitchen, Sunsations. Sunsations, henna tattoo, Candy Kitchen, Sunsations. Rinse and repeat. And if there's a growing prostitution problem in this country, I place full blame on crappy beach resort stores for starting "'em off young"" where else can you find a pair of shorts with "Bootylicious" on the ass in children's sizes.
I hate bodysurfing. I'm even fairly good at bodysurfing. However, nobody is so good that they aren't, at least at some point during the vacation, picking sand out of places they never knew could hold it. It doesn't matter how good you are, there will come a wave every half-hour or so (they are surprisingly punctual) which will take your leg, loop it over around your head and tie it back down to one of your wrists before slamming you directly into the shoreline and coughing you back up into some overweight man's lap. Furthermore, if you don't blindly careen into a couple skim-boarders while bodysurfring, you're not doing it right. The way I see it, bodysurfing was invented as a way to break the knees off little, 11 year-old boogie boarders while maintaining a faÃ§ade of innocence.
Lastly, I hate sea glass and anybody who collects it. I hadn't heard of sea glass until recently. I'll define "sea glass", for those of you who don't know what it is. "Sea glass" is old shattered glass that has been deposited in the ocean and washed back ashore. That's a pretty optimistic outlook because, last I checked, it's the same definition I use for the word "pollution." I wish I could use that euphemism for everything: "No, son, that's not trash, that's a Oceadermic Needle. And that one you have in your other hand is a Sea Condom. Ya know, if you put it up next to your ear and listen really closely, you can catch the Clap."
You see, what many people refuse to recognize about summer getaways is that troubles similar to or greater than the ones that lead you up to the beach in the first place follow you there. After all, annoying pet peeves have to get out once in a while too.
× Share with friend