July 7, 2010

A Day at the Beach

Today I took my kids to a "car beach." Shortly after I hauled out the cooler, assembled the beach umbrella, and got everyone lathered up with sunscreen, a car pulled into the spot next to us. After turning off the ignition, the driver of the car lit a cigarette and adjusted his radio. I know all of this because the man's car was invisible.


"Let's go build a sand castle," I said, shooing my kids to the water's edge.

I kept a close eye on the man from a distance. After his cigarette, he rustled through his glove compartment for a hard drink. Finding none, he began asking all of the people around him if they had anything extra to spare. One kind woman gave him a bag of potato chips. I offered him a juice box. He said that he would rather have $10. The woman took back her bag of potato chips.

The man spent the next several minutes singing uplifting tunes such as "Baby Got Back" to female passersby.

"Get in the car," I ordered my kids.

"But we want to stay at the beach!" they cried and stomped their feet in protest.

"Let's just moved to a different spot," I hissed.

The man overheard me. He asked me where I was going and if he could go too.

As much as I like company, I had my doubts about whether the man's car would make it.

It seemed more than a little unsteady.

37 comments

Kim Ginsberg said...

WOW! You're really getting to know your neighbors! :) This is just one more reason to add to my ever-growing list "Why I hate the Beach." It starts with 1. Sand in my swimsuit. and 2. I hate swimsuits. The list now ends with "Creepy Drunks".
Hope you enjoyed your new beach spot, once you were safely way from your 'friend'.

Gina said...

Lovely.

Kayla said...

Wow!

I hate those moments of being unsure about people and their intentions.

linney said...

lol! so happy you moved to florida!!!!! now i can hear great stories about my state!!

Aunt Crazy said...

OH MY GOODNESS no he didn't! What in the world is wrong with people! GEEZ

Shell said...

Total freak!

Anonymous said...

I know that you are sort of a private person about the "real" details of your life, but could you maybe sometime show us a little bit of your new house and stuff like that? It would be fun because we all are stalking you a little bit if you didn't know.:)

FabuLeslie said...

hahaha. I think you should have offered him the job of holding the umbrella, and then paid him $10 for doing that job. Win, win.

WackyMummy said...

Yeah, that sounds like a car beach for sure. I just moved into a fancy neighbourhood a couple of months back, where houses are half a mil and up... and our new neighbours are just like that! I'd like to complain, because hey, we were here first! ;)

Karen Mortensen said...

Oh my. Some people.

Darcey said...

Yikes! Way to ruin your day.

Vicky said...

Hey, they're not just in Philly; Welcome to our Florida Beaches!

Kelli said...

I love car beaches! To bad your "car neighbor" wasn't more fun!

Mindy said...

Only you, Jana!

The Mommy said...

It was probably your new bathing suit. Karma, or something.

Christine said...

Ha ha ha...reminds me of the time a couple of summers ago me and my friends took our kids to the beach down here in California. We set up our stuff and walked the kids down to the water to see a guy 1/2 clothed laying partially submerged in a dugout. A scruffy, old big belly guy with one sock on, shirt unbuttoned and 1/2 off and short shorts looking like he was dead.

There was no car keys or beach towel or anything that looked like he planned to be there at the beach. Was he dead?? Should we call the police??? It was about 11:30 in broad daylight with beachgoers loudly running around him, how could he be sleeping?

Eventually we saw him breathing. About 2 hours later he pops up and staggers away dripping sand from every part of him. He walked away without a word dragging one sock behind him.

Well at least he was the quietest beach neighbor we ever had.

adhocmom said...

Obviously this guy has no idea what the cost of a good juice box is today.

Taneal said...

It sounds like you went to Daytona Beach. I'd stick to the car beaches in New Smyrna Beach. Less chance of crazies.

Jen said...

You should have stayed and let him watch the kids while you took a dip. Like a little impromptu vacation.

It'll ensure the kids mind you from now on as you can threaten to "leave them with the man at the beach" at any point in the day. Or week.

meanest mom on the block said...

First of all, what on earth is a "car beach"?! Grew up in California and up and down this state I've never experienced this. Must add "East Coast Car Beach" to my bucket list now.

Secondly, next time ask my family to join you. I guarantee that my kids can outfreak any freak any day. We live in SF, afterall. Lots of practice dealing with the locals in Golden Gate Park.

Love your stuff!

Heather said...

Good times. That his hilarious. I mean other than the possible threat of a loony guy to your kids and all. I hope your new spot was freaky free!!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, sounds like he may be mentally ill. Jana, you're a gem of a blog-writer! Thank you for making me smile and chuckle each time I open one of your posts! With all the other opportunities for gleaning humor from life, why teeter-totter on the slippery slope of being perceived as not compassionate?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous again here.... maybe he was just plain drunk, or an alcoholic. No matter, I'm not perfect either and have no right to pass judgement on others, you included. I apologize. I really am a fan of yours!

Jean said...

Kudos on your stealthy picture!!!

Cheryl said...

Wow. Well. Um. Yeah. I would've moved too. Very, very odd. And kind of sad, too. I hope his "car" didn't hit anyone on the way out..

Megan said...

OH good gracious! You were being ANYTHING but "uncompassionate"! Not only were you humorous in your tale, but let's keep things in perspective: as a Mother of 4 kids myself, i KNOW the harrowing feat it is just to take them to the mailbox with you, LET ALONE get them dressed for a beach trip, only to have it derailed by someone who would not make it safe or plesant for your kids!

I am fully assured that, had your kids NOT been there, you surely would have bought him a drink and had a deep discussion on art history...cause we know that's all he really wanted :) (see "tongue in cheek" )!! Another great laugh for my day!!

Lisa said...

Yup. I was reading the comments thinking 'wait for it" and BOOM there it was. The compassion card. Luckily anon realized that by scolding YOU she was in fact not being very compassionate herself. It's all so complicated once you get started. Of course, then she reveals that she herself has no compassion for drunks and/or alcoholics. I guess we all have our lines that we just can't cross.

On the good news front, as least your new "friend" was wearing his real swimsuit and not his invisible one. Now that would have required some real compassion.

; )

Nolie said...

WOW! That is all I can say. I can't even come up with something more than that right now.

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JAY said...

I just detest when a person has no respect for themselves, that they have to be so obnoxious and disgusting in front of children...I would have been the Mean Mommy and asked him to go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe some of the things that happen to you, they are truly unbelieveable! I really don't know if I actually believe it all...

Kristen @ ladybug-blessings.com said...

Wow, I would have done the same thing!! Just found your blog and wanted to say hello!

oh & p.s. I have a giveaway that ends July 14th @ http://ladybug-blessings.com/?p=373

jp said...

Such a beach dweller newbie. Every seasoned beach dweller understands there has to be at least one "Mom Beach" around. "Mom beaches" have very little teenager population, unless they are with the whole family. A mom beach has a playground and outdoor showers to get the sand off the kids yet out of the car. A mom beach can have playgrounds. Yes, beach newbie, a "Mom Beach" has tons of bathrooms, and wonderful lifeguards.

jp-again said...

PS
Your husband may hate me for giving you a reason to buy a strange, useless, zany item. The rickity-rackaty old lady metel shopping carts? The ones Grammas use to bring bags from the grocery home in, or possibly wash to the soap and suds, in days of ole? Well they're amazing at bringing "stuff" to and fro the car. Buy cheapo lunchbags that keeps food cool, 5 of them. Pack each of you seperate snacks/drinks/lunches so each child-besides the youngest- carries his or her own. Old backpacks should carry one towel and sand toys for EACH child-what they can carry, they can bring. How am I on the mean-o-meter? Don't set the precident of Mom totes it all. You can even use last year's backpacks and lunchbags to trash them before you buy new.

Casey said...

That had to be New Smyrna beach, we ran into a guy doing the same thing on several occasions there. Ahhh the beach. I miss the beaches in FL.

Jo's girl said...

yep sounds like florida to me. we lived there for a miserable 4 years until i could escape and go to college.
man the people are just so creepy!

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