Surf's Up

A day at the beach offers the chance for fun, sun, and being buried alive

Some people are able to enjoy a day at the beach stretched out in the sand, doing nothing. I have a hard time relating to these people—partially because the only way I can achieve that kind of inner calm is through heavy medication, and partially because I firmly believe that beaches offer far too many opportunities for amusement to waste a day working on one’s tan.

Though I’m naturally inclined toward beach activities, I learned during one summer several years ago while on a family beach vacation that sometimes simply relaxing is the most intelligent—and safest—way to spend a day in the sand.

One afternoon after a swim, I decided to dig a hole in the sand on the beach. I’m not sure why, but at the time it seemed constructive. (Dogs will relate to this train of thought. Most humans will not.) After digging for some time, I found that the hole was large enough for me to sit in. So, naturally, I did.

Around this time, my brother showed up. He eyed my work and then suggested that we pile the sand back on top of my body so that I would be buried up to my neck. As my schedule was pretty clear for the rest of the afternoon, I agreed that this could be fun.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take into consideration that the tide was rising quickly at that point. By the time we had completed my burial, waves were coming within inches of the mound that was covering me. I pointed this out to my brother and suggested that he help dig me out.

After digging for some time, I found that the hole was large enough for me to sit in. So, naturally, I did.

At first he was unwilling, mostly because I’d spent a large portion of our childhood attempting to kill him, and he saw this as an opportunity to turn the tables. But then, as the waves began to lap over me and the sand became heavier, we both began to panic.  When we pulled the sand away frantically, the waves promptly pushed it back onto me.

This was the scene that my dad encountered when he came looking for us. It wasn’t exactly his proudest moment as a father, and he definitely began regretting any money he’d spent on our education.
He hurried over and began to dig, yelling to my brother to get a trash can and a shovel. The trash can was thrown over my head to keep the waves from going over it. Fellow vacationers ran down the beach to help.

Eventually, with enough hands and the shovel digging, I was free. I stood up, covered in wet sand, and removed the trash can from my head, attempting to muster some dignity as I thanked everyone. It wasn’t an easy task.

These days, I still find ways to entertain myself in the sand, but most of them involve classic beach activities, such as reading books or magazines, or drinking tequila. And now when the tide rolls in, I enjoy the feeling of the water—on my toes.

Categories: Loose Ends, Opinion, The Buzz