Um. How Fierce?

, , , , , | Related | December 29, 2020

I am the author of this story, and this story features the same sister. I do not know how old she is at the time, but she is pretty young, probably about two or three, and we are at the beach. She has made it clear that she does not want to go into the ocean, and the following conversation ensues.

Mother: “Well, the ocean is a force to be reckoned with.”

My sister crosses her arms and glares at the ocean.

Sister: “I don’t like to be reckoned with.”

That one’s certainly been told many times!

Um. How Cute?

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Bench This Beach Bum!

, , , , | Working | November 23, 2020

During the summer, I regularly visit the shore. I buy my seasonal beach tag at the town hall and walk to the boardwalk. As I approach the stairs down to the beach, I am immediately stopped by the guard there.

Guard #1: “Sir, you can’t enter the beach without a valid beach tag. You do not have a valid beach tag.”

Me: “Yes, I do have one.”

Guard #1: “You can’t come in without a beach tag. You do not have a valid beach tag.”

Me: “It’s on my shirt. I just bought it fifteen minutes ago.”

I point to the clearly-visible tag.

Guard #1: “You can’t come in without a beach tag. You do not have a valid beach tag.”

Me: *Pulling the tag off* “Then please tell me what this is.”

I hold the tag practically in his face. The guard studies the tag for a moment.

Guard #1: “You can’t come in without a beach tag. You do not have a valid beach tag.”

I give up at that point and go to a different entrance further up the boardwalk.

Guard #2: “May I see your beach tag, sir?”

I show her the tag.

Me: “Is this a valid beach tag?”

She studies the tag and then hands it back to me.

Guard #2: *Confused* “Yes, of course. This is perfectly valid. Why would you think it isn’t?”

Me: “The other guard told me it wasn’t.”

Guard #2: “No, you’re fine! Like I said, this is perfectly valid!” *Pause* “Wait, by any chance, that wasn’t the guard at [First Entrance Location] was it?”

Me: “Yes, it was.”

Guard #2: “You know, you’re not the first person he’s done that to. I’m his supervisor, so I’ll talk to him when I get a chance. Here, I’ll also give you the customer care team’s number if you’d like to file a complaint.”

I called the number on my cell and explained everything to the rep on the other side, who assured me that he would be dealt with. When I left four hours later, a different guard was stationed at the entrance where the supervisor was. As I walked past the entrance where the first guard was, I saw him, his supervisor, and what looked like their boss in a heated discussion, which ended with the first guard storming off. I assume that he was fired, because it’s been three years and I haven’t seen him once in several trips to the shore since then.

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What A Strange Salad

, , , , , , , | Related | November 3, 2020

My uncle is relatively nearsighted. Our two brothers both inherited my dad’s stocky build but my mom’s fair and easily sunburned complexion, while the older brother also inherited Dad’s thick crop of chest and back hair. My sister and my uncle are hanging out on the beach on a family vacation.

Uncle: “I can see your family out there in the water, but I can’t tell which one is which.”

Sister: “Oh, that’s easy.” *Points at youngest brother* “Tomato.” *Points at older brother* “Hairy tomato.” *Points at Dad* “Bear.”

And that is how new family nicknames are born.

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Your Sister Sounds Like A Doll

, , , , , | Related | September 26, 2020

My sister and I are on vacation in Haiti, and we go down to sit on the beach. I spot it first.

Me: “Hey, there’s the beach. I’m going to it.”

I figure that she’ll be right behind me, but when I turn around, there’s no one! I figure that she went to the bathroom or got some drinks, and I spread out my towel. Many minutes go by, and I’m wondering where exactly is she. We don’t have our cellphones in this country, so I can’t text or call her.

Finally, she emerges, looking frazzled.

Sister: “There you are! You disappeared!”

Me: “I told you I was going to the beach. Where were you?”

Sister: “Looking for you, and then I got jumped on by a group trying to sell me a doll for voodoo!”

Me: “What?! Seriously?”

Sister: “They dragged me into this shop full of potions and creepy demonic masks. It was horrible.”

Later, I asked her to show me this shop, and she did. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but it did have statues of fornicating animals. I couldn’t help laughing, and the women were very offended and shooed me out! We won’t be going back.

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That’s Some Real Crappy Parenting

, , , , | Right | August 25, 2020

I’m working at a closed beach advising people against swimming since the water quality is unsanitary. There are signs, but most people are shocked when I tell them they shouldn’t swim since they ignored the signs; others just don’t care.

I approach a woman with three little kids — between three and five years old — and give her my usual spiel.

Me: “Excuse me! Hi, I’m with [City] Parks and Rec! I’m just here to let you know that the [County] health department determined the level of bacteria in the water is unsafe and is advising against wading or swimming.”

As I’m speaking, she turns away like she’s only half interested in what I’m saying; meanwhile, her kids are splashing around in the water.

Mother: “Okay, thanks.”

Realizing I’m being brushed off, I move to a pair of kids in the water. I give the same spiel and they start asking questions, as kids do.

Kid: “Why can’t we swim?”

I can’t really enforce anything.

Me: “Well, it’s not that you can’t swim, but there’s gross stuff in the water and it’s better if you don’t.”

Kid: “Like what, though?”

Me: *Pause* “Sewage.”

The mother from before sees me talking to more people and approaches me, her kids still in the water.

Mother: “So, what is it that’s going on with the water?”

Me: “Well, there’s a sewage leakage nearby that frequently affects the water quality here.”

Mother: “So, when did they decide that it wasn’t safe to swim?”

Me: “I think the decision was made sometime last week.”

Mother: “Oh, well, we were here four days ago and it was fine.”

Me: “The health department decided that it’s not ideal for swimming at the moment.”

She kind of just nodded and walked off. Later, I looked over and noticed she had joined her kids in splashing around in the sewer water. She even dunked one of them under. The internal facepalm was real.

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