Everything that God made is good.
God made land, and it’s awesome. God made the sea, and it is also pretty cool. But He didn’t say anything about creating the hellish mess of horrors that happens when the two meet.
Ah, yes. The beach: One location that makes up about 80% of Australian ‘culture’. A terrifically wet and sandy place, home to seemingly infinite hours of ‘good times’ and ‘joy’. A place that provides so much hysterically delicious fun that at the mere mention of its name, thousands of Australians squeal with delight and get semi(if not mostly)-nude in preparation to run into its loving arms of laughter and cheer.
I watch all this insanity from a safe distance, feeling similar to how Neo must feel as he watches millions frolic ignorantly around in the Matrix. Am I truly the only Australian male that feels this way? Does this make me some sort of mutant? Or perhaps the long lost son of some random Japanese family? I DO kind of like rice … And sushi is just downright amazing.
I didn’t always hate the beach. Truly, I didn’t. Once upon a time I was a mindless ignoramus just like you. This may be too difficult for you to fathom, but it’s factual. I would willingly join the masses as they piled themselves into the place that I now know as the best simulation of hell on earth. And I would do all the things that they all seemed to love doing: I would surrender my body to the giant ball of death in the sky, swallow salt and sand until my throat very nearly said ‘screw you’ and left its place in my anatomy to beg a smoker to adopt it - I even did that thing where you stand knee-deep in the ocean and wait until it tells you to get lost by slapping you in the face with a giant wall of water.
But as I grew older, I began to develop a strange feeling. This feeling would often cause me to stop for a moment and suddenly realize that all of these activities were actually rather uncomfortable. At first, I would shrug these thoughts off as ‘insane’ and go back to cramming sand into every crevice of my body that had the ability to develop a rash. But as they began to occur more and more frequently, I found it harder to dismiss them. I eventually began turning to my friends and asking OUTLANDISH questions like, ‘Do you ever feel like coming to this place only ever ends in discomfort and an irritating level of pain?’ to which they would always reply with a large smile and a ferocious nod as if to say ‘Yes! Isn’t it great?’. That’s about the time when I got curious. I took a giant step back and looked at the whole ‘beach issue’ as a whole.
It didn’t take long after that for me to have my first Neo moment, to break free of the illusion. It was in that moment that I realized that the beach was a giant torture chamber and I was the only one that knew about it. A great burden fell upon my shoulders that day. I was a lone wolf and I knew what I had to do. I had to save my entire nation from the evil clutches of the beach monster.
I then procrastinated for years during the classic teenage phase of ‘what will all the cool kids think?’ and now I’m writing a blog. Less ‘lone wolf’-like, but hey what can I say, I was always too masculine for masculine things anyway. So here you have it: my earnest plea for you to awake from your mindless slumber and see your favourite summer destination through my eyes. My marvelously wise and charming eyes.
Let’s begin at the beginning, because quite frankly no matter where we begin, it will be the beginning. That’s just common sense:
THE SUN. The sun is a giant ball of fiery death in the sky. While it leaves most other first world countries relatively alone, it tends to hang out here in Australia pretty much all the freaking time. This results in distasteful things such as sunburn, glare, melanoma and random, unexplained shirtless men with rats tails (who seem to find the sun more comfortable when it is beating down directly upon their helpless skin cells). So where does our nation flee to in order to remedy this solar overload? Why, the beach of course! Which is ironically the only place I can recall apart from the Sahara that EXAGGERATES all of the suns most undesirable characteristics. The beach generally has no shade with which to escape the UV invasion, white sand and glistening water to worsen all existing glare as well as sand and cement as its main terrain, both of which absorb heat and fling it back at your feet, causing you to leap around like a whale impersonating a dolphin with nowhere to stand. Now if this wasn’t stupid enough, when do you suppose is the time of year in which people attend the beach the MOST? SUMMER! When the sun is at its PEAK of destructive capability and havoc-wreaking activities. The result is hordes of Australians with full-body third degree burns, blistered feet, headaches from eyestrain and deadly amounts of UV bouncing around in their shell-shocked bodies staggering in circles and going “THIS PLACE IS AWESOME!” … Matrix, much?
THE WATER. Humans are creatures of the land, but the ocean can often act as an enjoyable enough home away from home. I once went snorkeling, that was fun. I once went fishing from a boat … I suck hysterically hard at fishing, but that was also fun. The ocean is not a bad place. If it were a person, I’d be super happy to be its friend and invent secret handshakes with it in our very own secret clubhouse. I like the ocean (and if I AM Japanese that’s saying something), many people do. The problem is, it doesn’t like US at ALL. It’s a gigantic body of water stuffed with deadly creatures that’s a little rough around the edges. Literally. Any piece of ocean within 200 or so metres of land is a really, really bad place to be. What you do in the water at the beach is NOT swimming. It’s trying not to die while the ocean tells you get the hell out of it in a thousand different ways. A disturbing percentage of which involve sharks, jellyfish, sharp rocks and other fatal allies of the sea. Waves at the beach are essentially giant ladles full of salt that the ocean pours down your throat and into your eyes after prying both open with sheer aquatic force. And then there’s surfing. Which is kind of like teasing the ocean by saying ‘No matter how you try to get rid of me, I’m going to have fun by turning it into a game’. This is stupid. You don’t mess around with the ocean. It will end you. One day you’ll surf straight into the mouth of a giant squid and die. Steve Irwin, arguably the greatest Australian wildlife explorer in history, survived countless deadly situations. Until he got in the ocean. So if you want to swim/cool down, use a private pool and leave nature alone.
THE SAND. If I invited you somewhere to have fun, and one of the things I said to advertise this place was ‘Come on! There are zillions of these tiny little needles there that blow around all over the place and whip your legs and sting your eyes and then lodge themselves in great numbers in all of the most inconveniently unreachable places of your body!’ would you want to come? I’m not saying that sand is essentially a collection of tiny needles. Sand is sand. But in combination with WIND, which there are copious amounts of at the beach, a grain of sand becomes a tiny, evil man with a giant sword that runs around everywhere in a panicked attempt to cause you not harm, but frustration and irritation. No matter where it first makes contact with your body, it WILL make its way into the contents of your underpants, and it WILL cause you immeasurable suffering. It will then haunt you for days afterwards by depositing itself everywhere you seat yourself within an hour of being at the beach, in order to come at you a second time. Sand and satan are very, very good friends.
THE NUDITY. I may be the only Australian to despise the beach, and I can deal with that. But if I am truly the only one who cannot find sense in this particular trend, I give up on belonging to this planet. Read carefully, for herein lies my opinion… The fact that you may get wet does not in ANY way give cause for you to strip down to something that covers your body somewhat LESS than the average underwear does, before presenting yourself in full view of hundreds of people. Maybe I’m missing a very important detail, maybe there’s a gap in my logic somewhere, but until someone can provide me with the magical missing link between ‘getting wet’ and ‘99% nudity’, I am at a complete loss. Surely the entire point of it all is NOT just so that men worldwide can kick back and objectify women as less of a person worthy of respect and more of a pleasant view for their life-dictating libidos. SURELY. And surely, if this is the case, the female gender does not comply to such a dress code just so that they can provide these men with what they seek and therefore FEED said objectification?! Because that in turn would cause them to look at each OTHERS bodies and begin to feel incredibly inadequate about themselves and how well they can carry out their new job of being a pleasurable sight to the male gender. Feelings that would naturally lead them into insecurity, depression and eating disorders. But surely that’s not the case! Surely! I mean, that would be very, very stupid and depressingly disgusting so there’s no way that could be the reason … Right?
After all this, one would assume that there is nothing that I like about our great Australian beach. But one would be wrong. There is something. I love that I hate it. It makes me feel alive. Think about it: life’s no fun if you just go around liking everything. So for that I love it. But I still hate it. And I hope that after reading this far into my drawn-out, passionate gibberish that you might just hate it too … Right?
ME contain it? Housing my awesomeness leaves the UNIVERSE panting for breath, BROSEPH!
Contains the first TEN!
This is what my mind does to words.
Being the person that takes the photo makes you the person with the power to make everyone in it look like frozen morons to everyone passing by, for as long as you desire …
The longer you tarry, the more of an absolute tool poser they appear to be …
On Jesus’ birthday, everyone EXCEPT for Him gets gifts, there are billions of big family dinners, most of to which He is NOT invited and an ancient fat dude dressed like a giant red panda gets most of the attention.
… We’re lucky He’s such a nice guy …
If seasons were people?
Spring would be a very tiny blond chic with almost unrealistically huge blue eyes. She would spend all day doing delightful things like skipping, giggling, whistling and squealing to the point where everyone just thought she was super annoying. Kind of like a rainbow that shines directly into your eyes.
Autumn would be a very scrawny and very socially awkward nerd. Nobody would particularly notice him because he would never really do anything worth noticing. Except perhaps climb a few trees to pluck the leaves off one by one. People would be like “What the @#!*% are you doing?” and he’d mumble something like “Uhm. Uhm. Uhm. Uhm. Uhm. Uhm.” and everyone would be confused, throw small rocks at him, and leave.
Summer would be a repulsively hairy, sweaty and obese man. He’d yell obnoxious things like “BLAHHHHAHAHAHA” and waddle up to people to throw salt and sand in their eyes. And yet, he’d still have a way with getting people to wear less clothes. And somehow, everyone who wanted to be cool would claim that they like him the most. A bit like a highschool bully.
And Winter … Oh, boy … Winter would be a beautiful, marvelous woman. Winter would be the most wonderful of them all. Winter … Winter would be my wife.
A lot of people talk about being marooned on a desert island. What items they would wish to have, how they would escape, how they would cope. But unlike me, most people haven’t ACTUALLY figured out a plan of escape …
Having woken up on the beach of a deserted island, alone and probably freezing my assets off, I would begin my survival by having a complete mental breakdown. This is good for the soul, and allowing my tears to fall into my mouth prepares me for the taste of salt water.
I would then proceed to do the usual ‘I’m totally marooned’ sorta stuff. Like exploring the island, building a shelter and trying not to be naked. Even thought it’s a deserted island so I should probably just be naked. I’d be naked.
Then I’d look for a monkey. Yeah, a monkey. I would set a trap for this monkey using my hand, a banana, and calls like “Here, monkey, monkey, monkey.” When the monkey grabs at the banana, I will inject it with a tranquiliser I made out of my sweat and some palm tree leaves (a completely theoretical brew but it’s way too cool not to work.) I will then take the monkey and tie it up in my shelter and begin to teach it English. I will keep it alive using my own food rations so I’ll slowly be starving to death, but monkeys are apparently quite smart so he or she should be able to pick up on the language in like 10 days, giving me time not to die. Once the monkey is fluent in English, I’ll convince it to stay with emotional blackmail. It would probably tell me at that point that my nakedness is so not cool. I’ll make pants out of wild hyena faces, and as such my relationship with the monkey will decrease in awkwardness.
I will name the monkey Sally. As that is my mother’s name and I will want to keep my social interaction with the monkey as close to home as possible. I will ask Sally if there is a dump of radioactive waste anywhere on the island. He will say yes because there is a dump of radioactive waste on every island. I will emotionally blackmail him again until he leads me to this dump which will be inside a cave because that’s awesome. I will attach a weight to Sally’s legs and throw him into the dump until he shows signs of mutation. I will then apologise to Sally profusely and make up some crap about how I knew his grandparents and it was what they would have wanted. Sally will believe me and give me a big hug which will be weird because … Sally will have eight heads at this point. I won’t know how to tell him so I’ll just tranquilise him again and wait for him to figure it out himself.
Over the next week I will catch a butt-load of fish. Flying fish. Half will go to feeding Sally’s heads, and the other half will be thrown into the radioactive dump. Eventually one of the flying fish should mutate into a giant eagle. This will be my escape vehicle.
I will train the giant eagle to fly with passengers by forcing it to watch the giant dog thing in ‘Neverending Story’, which I will undoubtedly have on DVD at the time because I keep a copy in my pocket at all times in the tragic event that this entire scenario ever takes place. Hopefully a second flying fish will mutate into a TV so I don’t have to build one. But that’s a convenience.
Sally will become jealous over how much time I spend with the giant eagle. He’ll call it my ‘New best friend’. I’ll reassure him of my dedication to our friendship. I’ll even promise to rename him if he just trusts me. This will be adequate bribery.
Once the giant eagle is ready, Sally and I will jump upon it’s back and fly from the island in a random direction. I’ll keep the eagle energised by feeding it Sally’s extra heads. He won’t know about this because I will have tranquilised him again.
Eventually we will reach civilisation and I will suddenly become very grateful that Sally talked me into the pants thing. I will send Sally to an ancient tribe in South America where he will be practically worshiped as the two-headed monkey (the other six having become eagle food). I will sell my eagle to a zoo for billions of dollars.
I will use the money to buy the island and build a school there for monkeys who wish to know English.
… And humans who would like to know how to tranquilise them.
I have been working in an ice cream store for a little over a month now. Here are just some of the observations I have made in this time.
1.If you work in an ice cream store, people will ALWAYS immediately judge your masculinity. Immediately. Even if you’re a girl.
2. There are two types of fat people that order ice cream. The incredibly over-excited ones, and the shame-ridden guilty looking ones. I like the excited ones. They’re fun. Mainly because they jiggle.
3. 10% of all of the people in the ice cream eating world are absolute morons. 89% are overweight and awesome. And then you’re the 1%.
4. No matter how large the scoops that you serve people may be, they will always appear disappointed and confused at their serving. Unless they’re under 5. In which case the whole experience is just freaking awesome no matter what happens.
5. You can judge the IQ of a person by their flavour of choice. Stupid people tend to gravitate towards the colourful looking ice creams in preference to the ones that actually taste good.
6. In the mind of a customer, when the store runs out of something, it is the fault of all employees working at the time, who must then be shunned by all mankind for their evil workings.
7. The customer is pretty much never right.
8. For unknown reasons, only Asians ever ask for a copy of the receipt.
9. When someone forgets their change, it’s awesome. Because you get to chase after them valiantly and then get your face thanked off like the freaking employee of the millennium.
10. Arabian people are the friendliest people in the known universe.
11. Large burly men with tattoos always seem slightly insecure about the fact that they’re inside a pink-themed ice cream store. Let alone actually buying some ice cream. A justified feeling.
12. Usually when couples come in, the guy will pay for his girl’s ice cream. But when things happen the other way around, the entire transaction process is awkward for everybody.
13. Smiling and saying “Enjoy!” will forever be the ultimate way to release a customer.
14. Generally, people are fascinated by blenders. If you make a drink when the store is full, there will be at least 15 people standing mesmerized around the blender … It’s a blender.
15. People are even MORE fascinated by blenders when you forget to put a lid on them. They’re also kind of afraid. Of you.
16. If you crack a customer’s cone whilst placing the ice cream upon it, the funniest thing to do is give it to them anyway and watch as they discover this crack and then, after experiencing a moment of confusion and sadness, blame themselves for it.
17. Nobody sees it when you lick your fingers. Nobody. Only God. And He just kind of chuckles and high fives an angel.
18. Old people are literally split 50/50 when it comes to being complete jerks or the best customers of all time.
19. No matter who it is, if someone calls you ‘mate’, ‘bro’, or ‘buddy’ during the course of their order, you will subconsciously get them bigger scoops and have an undeniable desire to shower them in free things.
20. The ‘Can I have a taste of everything? LOL’ joke is really not funny. But I’ll laugh for you. Trying my best to hide the sympathy I have for your seriously abused sense of humour.
I am aware that probably none of these observations are helpful to you in any way. But my hope is that one day you’ll walk into in an ice cream store, remember this blog, and act accordingly.