Tonight I took a run along the boardwalk here in Ocean City, N.J.
Ocean City is a fabulous place to spend Memorial Day weekend. Great beach, wonderful boardwalk, ice cream galore, a big bucket of Johnson’s Caramel Corn, lots for the kiddies, etc, etc. Yet we come here every year, and every year I am reminded of the jarring lesson that comes with summer beach getaways.
Namely, that teenagers are unoriginal buffoons.
I know … I know—tell me something more obvious. You’re right. There’s just something about a boardwalk overrun by kids in NICE STORY, BRO T-shirts that cracks my jaw. So, in no particular order, here are my beefs …
1. Why the fuck do 18-year olds get tattoos? And who is the parent allowing such a thing? When I was 18, my mom wouldn’t let me buy jeans without her OK. Yet today I saw a kid—18, at the oldest—with a love poem tatted to his chest. Love is beautiful, love is kind. But you’re friggin’ 18!? What the hell do you know about love?
Along those lines, the tatts are just outrageous. One female today (definitely not yet 20) had angel wings tatted below her bellybutton but above her vagina. She was also smoking a pack of Newports, which prompted me to turn to the wife and ask, “What’s more egregious? The cigs or the strategically placed vag tattoo?” She didn’t answer. Personally, I vote for the tattoo. As I’ve always said (when asked why I would never, ever, ever allow my daughter to pierce her naval, “The bellybutton is the gateway to the vagina.” And a sub-bellybutton tattoo is an open gateway.
2. I am itching to ask a kid—any kid—why he leaves his sticker on his hat. It’s the most irksome thing I’ve ever seen; even worse than the 29-sizes-too-big jeans that dangle a foot below the ass crack. I mean, these stickers, literally, exist for corporate identification. That’s all. They don’t look good, they’re supposed to be pealed away. Yet today I must have seen, oh, 100 hat stickers, unremoved.
3. Guys are asses, but teenage guys together on a beach are ridiculous asses. Quick hits on this point:
A. She’s not watching how you throw the football to your buds. I promise you—she’s not.
B. Your “Don’t be a fag” comments, coupled by the way you put your friends in headlocks, do not suggest manliness. It all only reminds the world that you’re struggling with some latent homoerotic feelings that will, soon enough, come to surface in therapy.
C. The vendors along the boardwalk make a killing off these guys with a very simple formula: Take the hottest MTV reality show out there, screen print a couple of lines onto a muscle shirt and sell for $25 a pop.
Admittedly, there’s a part of me that’s jealous. I wish I were 18, cruising the boardwalk, hoping to meet some girl and, to ripoff Grease, make out under the dock. I love the overall innocence of the scene; the maturation process under the sun. I get it, I get it, I get it.
I just find it funny.