just as i had mainlander notions of what an american parade is, so too had i mainlander notions of The American Beach. my beach experience is admittedly pretty limited. it consists mostly of virginia beach, ocean city (maryland), coney island, venice beach, and the jersey shore. that said, to me, a beach is always fronted by some kind of walkway—usually a boardwalk. this, in turn, fronts hotels, eateries, souvenir shops, and game arcades (or even entire amusement parks). this is what The American Beach is all about, right? boardwalk fries and diversions. oh, and seagulls. lots of seagulls.
well, of course this is not the case in hawai’i. i say this not only because i haven’t seen a single gull here but also because those American Beach things are not at all what the beaches here are about. nope—the beaches here are about, of all things, the water! oh, how folks love the water here. in their defense, it is a bit different out here, some 1,600 odd miles away from the mainland in the middle of the ocean. for one thing, it’s blue. not greenish, not brownish. just blue. and it must be something special for surfing because they do it here in droves.
as for me, i don’t understand all that ocean frolicking. it’s filled with sharp things to cut you and animals to sting or bite you. it’s so much bigger than you and so much stronger—with an unpredictable nature to boot. how can you trust it? loving the ocean is like taking a tiger as a pet. you might think you’re in charge, but out of nowhere, it can lift you up in its powerful jaws and slam you, maul you, even take your life. if you don’t believe me, read the signs, suckers:
READ ‘EM, i say!
look at all the ways that little guy just got jacked up! he got killed like four times on this one sign alone! (maybe even five—i’m not at all sure what a man-o-war is, but i’m certain that i don’t care to personally find out.) well, anyway, you don’t have to tell me twice. to my mind, the ocean, much like a tiger, is indeed beautiful but is best viewed from a safe distance. if i feel like petting something or immersing myself in water, that’s what TDC and the swimming pool are for.