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August 19, 2009
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Jerry's Ink


Beach Walks and Other Disgusting Things


Last Sunday I went down to the beach for the first time this year. I think beaches are overrated. I spent my youth at the greatest beach of them all: Coney Island. Nothing could hold a candle to Coney Island.

Maybe it was all about my being 16 years at the time, with long blond hair and looking like a Greek God instead of the bald, pudgy, overweight slug I've turned into.

Once they got me onto the beach, my family talked me into going into the water for the first time this year, because they were in and said the water was "refreshing."

I should have know that "refreshing" is a euphemism for "frigging ice cold" and this meant one would freeze one's testicles off if one ventured in. Foolishly, I went in.

The water felt ice cold and slimy. I lost all feeling in the lower part of my body. Then something pinched my arm.

"Crab!" I screamed. "Don't be such a wuss," my wife, the beautiful Judy Licht, scoffed. "It's probably just a sea lice."

"Sea lice!" I screamed. "I would rather take a crab bite," and I scrambled out of the water, vowing never to go back in again this year, if not this lifetime. I decided to watch the beach walkers. I can once again safely proclaim that this walking on the beach stuff is as overrated as ever.

I've written this before, but I've got an incredibly accurate picture of those people who beach walk. If they walk alone, fast, with their fists up on their chest, staring straight ahead like zombies, they mistakenly believe that this is exercise and they are walking away from death.

Get this! They're walking in soft sand, which is putting a strain on their heart. They have the sun unmercifully beating down on their heads and they're perspiring like Bernie Madoff walking into a crowded prison shower where his new, nude, 300-pound friend Bubba awaits him.

And they think this is healthy?

Another thing I can't understand about beach walkers is why they're so damn friendly. They're always smiling! People who have lived in the same apartment in Manhattan for 25 years and haven't so much as nodded at their next-door neighbors even once, are walking on the beach with these goofy smiles on their faces saying, "Hi. How are you? Great day isn't it?" too perfect strangers upon whom they will never set eyes again.

It's like they think we're all part of this big happy stupid family walking on the beach. Everyone looks real silly because there is not one single part of the beach that is level, so everybody has at least one foot sunk in the sand and is smiling and limping and looking like Chester from the old "Gunsmoke" TV series.

Couples walk on the beach each with a different idea in mind. She's talking about a new avocado dressing that she wants to try at lunch. He's mentally undressing his new assistant Velma.

You rarely find two guys walking together on a beach. Women, on the other hand, love to walk on the beach with each other. They walk in twos and one talks and the other listens.

I imagine that the conversation is about the men in their lives. I imagine there has never been a beach walk in the history of beach walking where both women were happy with their lives. What you get is one woman who has just broken up or is contemplating breaking up with her boyfriend or husband, and is miserable. She is the one walking closest to the beach side. The other one, walking on the ocean side, is talking to her, listening and steering her to keep her from walking out over her head into the ocean like James Mason did in A Star Is Born.

It is a sad commentary on life that by the next beach walk, the woman who is miserable one week will have met Mr. Right, and the women who was happy the week before will be pouring out her troubles.

The last time I had a walk on a beach that I enjoyed was when I was 16 years old and prowling the Coney Island beach looking for girls.

My friends and I would walk from Bay 10, which was the "Italian" beach, for about two miles to Bay 4, which was the "Jewish" beach.

We walked because the word was, "The Jewish girls are easy." On our way we hardly noticed all the 16-year-old Jewish boys walking past us to Bay 10.

Why? Because they had heard, "The Italian girls are easy."

We were all wrong.

I've hated beach walks ever since.

If you wish to comment on "Jerry's Ink," send your message to jerry@dfjp.com. if you would like your comments to appear in the newspaper let us know.

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