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Saturday, July 7, 2012



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) and teenage future cranky are at the beach.  We are renting the basement apartment of my wife’s aunt’s 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...A LOT... 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 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 disguised with 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! 

Badges? I don’t need no stinking badges!


  1. I am in between books and I am thinking of getting yours. I could do some ranting about catchpas - I hate them.
    I have enjoyed blog hopping today. I have joined your site and hope you visit and join mine. Thank you so much, Katie

  2. This is the first I 'm hearing about beach passes. We don't have them on the west coast, to my knowledge, but most of the time the water is too cold to swim. You do provide some clever ways of getting around them.

  3. We used to do this with show passes. The person who used the pass to be a both workers turns into a regular "gate-payer" on the other side of the turn stile.

  4. hahaha! Hubby went down with a few of his buddies this past week to the beach. While trying to decide which town they were going to visit I heard them talking about different beaches being "free". Now I know what he was talking about. Thanks!

  5. Dude you guys get charged for using the beach? WTF is that all about? We don't have that here on the West Coast.

  6. Ah... look at the folks gloating because we don't have to have beach passes on the west coast

    ...except where they've turned the beach into a State Park and they charge a day use fee

  7. This "pay to lie in dirt and sweat" concept is new to me, too. I just don't get it.

    Tell 'em you're somebody famous like Denzel Washington and see if they'll comp you.