13.01.2016

Your Essential Beach Guide

These are the people to avoid at the beach

By Hugh Upsher

When it gets so hot that your brain feels like it’s going to melt out of your skull like soft serve, it might be a good idea to go to the beach. Everyone has their different reasons why they love being by the seaside. It may be the best way for you to wind down after a stressful week. You may enjoy eyeing the hot and shiny bods on parade. You may love the feeling of insignificance you get from staring into the ocean and realising how meaningless life is. Whatever floats your boat. Here is what to avoid when choosing where to plant your brolly once you get there.

The Activities Crew

For these people, the beach is not about quietly lounging about, it’s for being so active that they put Jack Russells to shame. Frisbee, bat and ball, and skim boarding all become olympic sports in the eyes of these people. If there are more than three of them in close vicinity to each other they’ll most likely attempt to put together a game of touch rugby, soccer or cricket within seconds. This is done with complete disregard of the actual space available to them. They’ll always act very surprised when their ball flies onto your towel, and follow up with a half-hearted apology as they turn back to their game.

The Family

They storm the beach and quickly set up a formidable base camp with a mess of plastic toys, cooler boxes and shade cloth. At first, they don’t seem like a threat, the kids might even make you laugh with their cheeky attention seeking antics, but this scenario rarely ends well. Kids have a tendency to take things to extremes, which means that whether they are having the best time ever or the worst time of their life, you’ll know about it. The relentless and hellish screaming will only end when the parents decide to pack up and retreat to the ‘burbs.

The Hangovers

You’ll be forced to listen in on the obnoxiously loud details of last night's rager if you are within earshot of this crowd. They participate in a type of outdoor theatre where each member takes a turn explaining how absolutely mad their respective night was. The volume at which they recall their stories could either be due to partial deafness from hitting the club til 4am, or be a desperate cry for the attention they never received as a child. Sometimes these performances can be genuinely funny and bizarre, but more likely it will be banal with some sexist overtones thrown in. Typical fodder includes:

“Bru, I swear, it was just like The Hangover!”

“Bro, I promise you, like, I lost count of how many shots I had!”

and,

“Brah, my oath, I seriously have no idea how I got home!”

Although it could be argued that theses are all essential elements of a typical beach ecosystem, I do suggest acting with caution when deciding on your plot of sandy heaven. If you are guilty of being part of one of these groups, please ignore everything I’ve just written. The quiet majority of tanners, readers and grape-eaters will happily work around your little scenarios.

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