BADGES? I DON’T NEED NO STINKING BADGES!
I am down on the Jersey Shore for a two week vacation. What’s that you say? How can I be on vacation when I am retired? I am tired of doing nothing, so I am on vacation from doing nothing! Hey; if you work for 40 years you get to take a vacation from doing nothing!
Anyway, Mrs. Cranky, (she wasn’t cranky until she met me) teenage future cranky, and I are at the beach. We are renting the basement apartment of my wife’s aunt’s (who is loaded with future blog stories) beach house (hmmm a double possessive; is that correct?). It is a nice setup, and very reasonably priced for a two week stay. The nicest thing about this rental is that it comes with six all-season beach passes.
Free beach passes may not seem like a big deal, but a weekly pass costs $30. The three of us for two weeks would cost $180 for passes. Up against a typical 2 week rental price of $4000 to $7000 this does not seem like much, but we are seldom all on the beach at the same time. Naturally being a little on the thrifty side I usually only buy 2 passes.
This starts the beach-pass-checker dodge game, especially when guests drop by for an afternoon visit. Watch for the teenagers in the yellow bathing suits. These are the checkers. When you spot a checker, someone has to go in the water. The designated badge dodger or dodgers must swim until they get the all clear signal. “Look, is that a dolphin?” When the dodgers see a group of sun bathers standing eyes shielded from the sun staring out to sea in search of the non-existent dolphin, they can come in from the water.
Suggestion-SHARK!! Is not a very good all-clear signal.
When the beach pass checker sneaks up on you always be prepared to show last year’s badge. “What 2010? Damn I guess I left this year’s badge back at the house” Other excuses:
Always bring four dollars to the beach. A daily pass costs $5. “Gee, I’m a buck short, can I catch you later?”
“Oh, I’m just visiting; my badge is on my chair two beaches over.”
“Sure, it’s right here….ah….damn, did I change my shirt. The badge is on my other shirt back at the house. Some kid dripped ice cream on it and I had to change.”
“The passes are on the chair over….hey someone stole my chair. Did you see anyone with a blue chair with two badges on it?”
These excuses work, but now you have to spend the next two weeks at the beach wearing a fake beard and a long haired toupee.
I guess when you pay several thousand dollars to come to the beach you should spend the extra $60 a person to enjoy the beach guilt free. The problem is I save all year for a beach house and I always forget to account for the beach passes.
Ok, I am just a cheap bastard. Plus I am pretty sure those badge checkers are the same teenagers who egg bombed my house last Halloween; about 5 feet 7 inches, long hair, acne, and a strange low to high pitched voice inflection I’d know those kids anywhere!
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