I love the beach, you love the beach, we all love the beach, but without rules, we’d have anarchy, and the beach is no different. Now I’m not talking about lame lifeguard “Don’t go in the water when…” rules. I’m talking about social rules, those unwritten rules that we all must follow so we don’t ruin beach day for everyone else. So, in order to ensure that we all have a good time at the beach this summer, here are nine rules of the beach that everyone needs to know.
Don’t Feed the Birds
You see this every damn time you go to the beach. Some newb gets all excited because, uh, because I guess they’ve never seen a goddamn bird before? They start throwing Doritos at seagulls and pretty soon the entire beach is swarming with them. They’re like mean, angry rats with giant wings. How is this fun for anyone? They scrap over the stray Dorito like they’re in bird Fight Club, then they fly away and shit all over everyone. Good times!
Don’t Leave Food Lying Around
This is when shit gets completely out of hand. One bird gets a sniff of your half-eaten sandwich and pretty soon it’s a goddamn Hitchcock movie. But even if the birds don’t miraculously devour all of your food, chances are the wind is gonna grab it and then the beach becomes a dump, with litter blowing everywhere, stale hotdog buns and pizza boxes (yes, people have pizza delivered to the beach because this is America, y’all) attacking you, and for god’s sake, this is how you get ants, people. Do you want ants? Did your mother teach you nothing?
Look, man, I know there are a lot of girls running around in barely-there bikinis, everything hanging out for the world to see, but don’t just stare like the town pervert, okay? You don’t want to make everyone else uncomfortable. You see, the social ecosystem of the beach exists in delicate balance. It works because everyone is half-naked. You fuck up that balance and make people overly aware of that fact, and everyone just ends up uncomfortable and contemplating the joys of Victorian Era swimwear and no one needs that. Go ahead and look – I’m not asking for the impossible – but keep your eyes moving. Be like a boxer, stick and move, stick and move.
Dress and Groom Appropriately
I don’t mean to be indelicate, but… some of you need to hear this. I’m glad that you feel comfortable with your body, but no one needs to see a sloppy dude wandering around in a banana hammock, okay? The same goes for string bikinis that disappear into folds of fat never to be seen again. Just practice some self-awareness. That’s all anyone’s asking.
You also don’t want to look like Chewbacca in a fucking thong. I’m not just talking to the ladies here. I’m talking to all you dudes with back-hair and ass-hair and every other kind of hair. No one needs to deal with wet-dog smell whenever you decide to go for a swim.
Finally – this is an important category, okay? – you also don’t want to be the one who shows up to the beach in fucking jeans. That is just awkward for everyone and throws that whole social ecosystem of half-naked people out of balance and people will think you are a creeper.
Act Like You Belong
This is sort of a combo of “Don’t Stare” and “Dress Appropriately.” Basically, don’t be that dude who shows up in jeans and just wanders around staring at everyone. I mean, come on, goddamn, at least have a little shame in your perv game. At best, you come across like a mentally ill hobo, just there to grab a few stray pop cans while you, uh, stare at a few stray cans. And that’s the best case scenario!
More likely, you just look like a seedy pervert who doesn’t even care anymore about disguising himself. Nothing’s scarier than a dude like that because he’s got nothing to lose. He obviously doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him, so who knows what he’s capable of? I’m not saying that this is you. I am saying that people will think this is you.
Mind Your Own Business
There’s always that one jackass at the beach, that one loud uber-bro who feels the need to get into everyone else’s shit because he’s trying to disguise the fact that he’s just an insecure fool with a severe cases of ADHD. He’s the loudest dude on the beach, he thinks he’s hilarious, he hits on anything that moves and he gets off on fucking with everyone around him. Naturally, everyone hates him. Don’t be this dude. The beach is the most chill place on the planet – if you let it be. If you don’t, you just ruin it for everyone else.
Control Your Pets
Look, I know you love your dog and I’m sure he’s a very good boy, yes he is, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be cool with him coming over and licking on me while I’m lying there trying to get some sun. I’m just saying, it’s at least mildly confusing to be lying there with your eyes closed and suddenly some hairy beast is on top of you, slobbering and rutting around. That’s the sort of thing that will put you in therapy if you don’t realize what is going on quickly enough.
If you have to take your special boy to the beach, at least make sure he behaves. And whatever you do, don’t bring some exotic pet to the beach with you because you think it will help you meet girls. You don’t even wanna know what kind of mayhem a goddamn monkey will cause.
Control Your Kids
At least I can pet your dog and maybe give him some treats if he wanders away. That, uh, that won’t really work with your kids. Not without police involvement anyway.
No, you’re completely and utterly screwed if someone’s kids decide to start harassing you at the beach. You can’t do a damn thing. You just have to sit there and take it, and the worst part is that most parents will think it’s cute, and that you should think so too. It isn’t.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: your kids are horrible. They are annoying little disease monsters and you should probably keep them on a leash. They stare at everyone, they feed the birds, they get into everyone’s business and are responsible for 75% of all the awful shit I’ve already talked about. On the bright side, sometimes they drown.
Keep Your Junk Covered
This is pretty simple. I came to the beach to relax, not to see what appears to be Yoda peeking out from Grandpa’s Speedo. There are just some things that you can’t unsee, and some old dude’s dick and/or balls falls into that category.
Of course, this, like most things in life, applies on a sliding scale from “Emily Ratajkowski just showed up in a bikini and it doesn’t want to stay on”, in which case to hell with the rules, to “Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill just showed up in matching banana hammocks and Jonah’s just ripped and I am digging my eyes out with a spoon.”
It may not be fair, but to hell with fair, I do not want to see your taint, Jonah Hill. And that’s why we need rules at the beach.
Girls on the beach image by Shutterstock