Monday, June 4, 2012

Old Man at The Sea

Mrs. Dude and I started taking the Little Dude to the beach last summer when he was a year and a half old.  We wanted it to be a fun experience for our whole family.  It costs about a million dollars less than going to Disneyland, which is a good start.


The coast in LA is usually very overcast in the morning before the marine layer burns off. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s usually cold and gray until after noon, which perfectly describes our visit. As a result, the beach was nearly empty when we arrived.  

We picked a spot near the lifeguard tower, and then set up our blankets, coolers and toys.  The only thing missing was the sun. Fortunately we brought sweatshirts because it was a brisk 62 degrees out.  It felt like being sequestered with Ben and Jerry, or rather in one of their freezers.


We met the young stoner  lifeguard who was hanging out in the adjacent tower on one of our 87 trips up and down his ramp, which he didn’t seem to mind. Or he may have just been a little too dazed and confused to notice on this early Saturday morning.

After a while I noticed a group of 8 teenagers come in with a stack of 8 pizza boxes and set up camp about 75 feet away from us. There were a couple dorky guys who were shamelessly trying to impress the girls in the group.  I had to watch them to see if the kid who looked like a 95-pound String Bean with bad acne would be swept away by a strong gust of wind.

Also, with such a small group I wondered what the deal was with all the pizzas.

After a while, Mrs. Dude and my Little Dude were off exploring the water when I noticed one of the teen girls wearing jeans, boots and a hoodie, lying on the sand trying to get comfortable.  It wasn’t sunny out, so she wasn’t going to get tan even if she hadn’t been dressed for the Alaskan apocalypse. Her friends then covered her up with a blanket.  What were these dopes were up to?

Once she was fully covered, they started covering the blanket with slices of pizza. I think they wanted to see if the seagulls hovering nearby were lactose intolerant. Surprisingly, after a few minutes no birds came. Then I noticed the pizzas were from Domino’s, so I guess it shouldn’t have been a big surprise.

So the String Bean Kid decided to kick things up a notch. He started tossing slices. He was throwing toward the water and a slew of birds flocked toward the greasy slice of goopy cardboard he’d pitched. Since his splotchy face closely resembled his flying objects, he had to try harder to impress the girls who were busy reading their US Weeklys. What would he do?

Their group was about 75 feet away from us, parallel to the water. A few birds had landed between our blanket and theirs and were gnawing on some crust when String Bean decided to offer them another slice. So he reeled back and with all his might threw the slice toward them. He must have had a burst of adrenaline as the slice way overshot the birds and landed about 2 feet from me, right on my blanket.

Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled. The teens all saw what happened. I think their first thought was “is this guy going to be cool or what?” The correct answer was “or what”.

I stared at String Bean who was frozen among his friends. I stood from my lounge chair, which is hard to look cool while doing, and sternly told him to come over. He started moving in my direction, but appeared to be taking his time, to show off for his friends. I told him that he better start running. His Marinara-face turned Alfredo-white as he moved double speed to my blanket, not sure what was going to happen when he arrived.
 
I ordered him to clean up his mess. His voice cracked as he nervously apologized. I think the fact that I was more than double his size and age may have caused him to wet himself. Fortunately he was wearing a bathing suit which provided good water retention.

My gaze turned back to his group. I saw his friends laughing at him as he moped back toward them.  His fantasy of impressing the girls likely squelched for that day. I smirked to myself, before a realization hit me. In an instant I had turned into every grumpy old man from every movie ever. All this time I’ve thought I was a fun young Dude. But today I became the Old Man at the Sea.  




I'm hanging out with a great community of writers at Yeah Write.
Come read some great blogs and vote for your favorites on Thursday:
read to be read at yeahwrite.me

71 comments:

  1. I know! So mean! You just postponed his losing his virginity by 5 years! Hope you're happy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what he gets for trying to show off!

      Delete
  2. YOU DA BOSS!!!!! I think you may even have some redneck in ya, and I like it- A LOT!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, JK! Redneck, hmmmm, not sure about that one. What makes you think that?

      Delete
  3. So what happened to the chick covered in pizza? Is this normal for SoCal beaches? Have a feeling we haven't heard the last of her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ironically, the birds never flocked to her. Probably because her friends were all standing all around her like idiots.

      Delete
  4. Hehhe good for you! And also, what a weird thing for them to be doing, no?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess it's actually better than eating Domino's pizza?

      Delete
  5. Bahahah...I like pizza...I probably would have just eaten it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Domino's pizza is pretty gross. Really gross if even seagulls won't touch it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You said it, 5T. They were not too interested.

      Delete
  7. What a bunch of clowns. Good on you for putting that dope in his place. Why would they throw pizza around like that, anyway? Even if it is Dominos?

    By the way, this exactly describes how I feel about Dominos: "greasy slice of goopy cardboard." I hate that crap-- the only time I've had it was when I was babysitting and the parents ordered it before I arrived. Nasssty. But the kids loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kids will eat anything gross. Except my kid who refuses to even taste pizza and would much rather eat rice cakes instead.

      Delete
  8. I am glad you said something. It makes me crazy seeing that kind of crap on the beach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These kids were idiots, Jack. You know how the beaches can be around here.

      Delete
  9. You have to speak up if something seems wrong and it's good that you did! Nevertheless, the whole thing was kind of hilarious to read and you just described it perfectly ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kerstin. Though I was pissed when it happened, I was still at the beach with my family so it wasn't a bad day.

      Delete
  10. Haha! I recently realized that I am not the "fun mom" in the neighborhood anymore. Now I'm the mom that yells for the teens to "get off my grass". Oh well, I had a good run. RIP Fun Mom. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a bummer, right? It happens to the best of us, Delilah :)

      Delete
  11. Did you every figure out what they were doing?

    (Kellie's World)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I knew I was officially old when I had no trouble getting after a teenager I didn't know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I was just missing my cane and newspaper.

      Delete
  13. Ah, we are our parents now, aren't we? Great story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cindy. It's more apparent each day (no pun intended).

      Delete
  14. Haha!
    Great story!
    There's a point in time when we all will become the crazy old neighbor who yells at kids to get off his lawn, and I love hearing stories about it. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dawn. Now will you turn that racket down already?!

      Delete
  15. those damn teenagers! I certainly NEVER did that kind of stuff...ok there was this one time....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I bet there was more than once, Robbie ;)

      Delete
  16. You know what word comes to mind when I read this? Macho. You are one macho dude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kim! I'd never thought of myself that way, but thanks :)

      Delete
  17. That moment when you turn into the "Grumpy Old Man/Woman" is unnerving, isn't it? I felt the same way when I had my first moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a very strange feeling, Kathy. Sigh.

      Delete
  18. Totally would have done the same thing. Damn kids. I would NEVER have acted like that. At least that's what I'm telling my kids anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ha. Funny, how I visited Malibu with a college roommate years ago -- and it was the same thing. Cloudy and cool till the sun burnt through. Loved seeing the photos.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love it. Whenever I see a gaggle of teens, I try to remember how much fun it was being that age, hanging out with all my friends, doing harmless stupid stuff...but then I can't get past how obnoxious those kids are and I want to tell them to bugger off!

    p.s. I don't have children. Guess I'm just old.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I so would have been the Old Women at the Sea. Good for you. Little punks!! (Pass me the Fiber)

    ReplyDelete
  22. When we lived in a townhouse 15 years ago, we obviously had small yards that were directly adjacent to our neighbors. The width of your house was the width of your yard. One day, a gaggle of boys was playing football across the yards. Long story short, one ended up crushing my flower bed AND snapping a sapling in two. I flew from the house to address the delinquent. To this day, my husband envisions me running out of the house waving a black umbrella above my head old granny style, yelling, "You little bastards." This may or may not be true, but I guess I lost my coolness a LONG time ago. Ellen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you pull out a switch to whack their fannies?

      Nah, you are still super cool, E.

      Delete
  23. Haha great story! I also would have been the old woman as I am definitely not the cool Mom I want to be. What happens to us when we become parents!?!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Please, I'm in my 20s, no kids, and that would still piss me off. Maybe I'm the grumpy bitch, eh? I say you did the right thing. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to have support from your demographic, Kerry. Thanks for reaffirming my belief.

      Delete
  25. oh. i love love love watching groups of teenagers out awkward each other. don't love flying food coming my way though...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Old Mat at the Sea---Ha! You crack me up with all of your wordplay--one of my favorite aspects of your style BTW. Yeah, you are an ole grump, but someone's gotta be---might as well be you! ; ) Erin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Erin. Now get off of my lawn, you whippersnapper!

      Delete
  27. What in the world?! Bring pizza to the beach and throw it around?! Kids these days, I tell ya. Don't know the value of a dollar and show no respect!

    ReplyDelete
  28. You've got this all wrong, Dude! You haven't morphed from cool young Dude, to old Dude at the sea, you are now the perfect combination of BOTH! A double-threat guy! If teens are being cool, you give 'em what the deserve -- cool Dude. When they act like tools, you give 'em what they need -- grumpy, old Dude.

    Evolution, my friend. Evolution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great way of looking at things. I'm sort of like Two-Face from Batman.

      Delete
  29. I love it! That so would have been me. And I'm so jealous of your west coast beaching, I can't even tell you. You should have thrown the pizza at the kid. That would have fixed his wagon! (See that, I'm actually an 80 year old woman.)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dude... you might have to change your blog title... to like "old man" of the house - or grumpypants of the house. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh! What a great last line.

    And I would have done the same thing. But, then, I was never cool.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Ha ha! I wasn't ever cool either really.
    PS: LOVE that "foot" photo - I take these all the time! "My feet at the beach," "My feet on the couch..." etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ado. It just hit me as I was snapping away. Just before the pizza almost literally hit me.

      Delete
  33. Haha, aw, that poor boy! It's not easy to impress a group of girls when all you've got is pizza and seagulls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the truth, Megan. The odds were against him to begin with.

      Delete
  34. Hahaha! WTH with the pizza toss?? I feel old when I'm annoyed by teenagers too. I recently even called the police like a miserable old lady!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You called the cops? You just took the cake, Granny Adrienne :)

      Delete
  35. Ha! It was hard not to be grumpy "Old Man at the Sea" when a pizza slice landed on your beach towel. That is crazy what those teenagers were doing. Teenagers. I'll have a couple in just a few short years. I better not let them read this post!

    (Thanks for linking up with us over at #findingthefunny this week!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was just very strange behavior. Don't give your kids any ideas, Kelley!

      Delete