Beware of Rip Tides is a short story I had penned a few years back as a departure from some of my more serious literary works. I had set out to write a fun story with slapstick (and slightly naughty) humor that takes place on a beach. I’ve performed it at several readings and it’s never failed to pull laughs from the crowd. So, to warm your winter bones with a sunny beach setting and hopefully give you a few laughs as well, I hereby present Beware of Rip Tides:
On a blue-skied, warm summer day, I found myself sprawled out on a lawn chair during a rare visit to the beach. Upon my arrival, I avoided the wild packs of obnoxious tourists, and secured a nice clearing near a lifeguard’s booth to establish my perimeter. Since I had been baking in the sun for nearly an hour, sweating like a boxer in the tenth round of a championship bout, I got up and made my way toward the rolling waves of the ocean.
The cold water shocked me at first, and I tip-toed in baby step after baby step until I waded in past my waistline. By then the cold ceased to bother me. It felt refreshing. I swam about, dodging waves from time to time, until the water was to my chest. Just as I turned to watch the surfers and body borders ride the waves, I felt a pull on my body. Then I remembered the warnings of rip tides. It didn’t feel too strong, but I began to swim a little closer to shore. Suddenly I felt a strange, yet freeing sensation as if my body became lighter, shedding itself of some unwanted burden.
My swim trunks.
I had wanted to replace them for years. Recently the drawstring came out in the dryer, and I was unable to feed it back into the waistline. But the waistband was elastic and fit snug enough, so I didn’t give it a second thought.
I stopped and frantically felt around the water hoping to snatch a piece of the fabric. I searched the water and sand with my legs, feet, and toes while junior and his two nutty pals swam freely, probably wondering what I was so damn worried about.
I had plenty to worry about. My swim trunks had vanished, sucked out to sea by deadly rip tides. And I floated in the middle of the ocean, naked and alone. Not a sole on the entire beach who even knew me.
I tried not to panic. I thought, maybe if I find large clumps of seaweed, I can use them to cover up long enough to run to my spot and retrieve a towel. If I do it fast enough, I may not even attract that much attention. But there hadn’t been any recent storms; the waters and beach were seaweed free.
Just then, when I thought I’d have to stay in the ocean until late at night when the beach was dark and vacant, I saw the lifeguard look my way. My instincts took over and I waved my arms back-and-forth. The binoculars went up, so I waved my arms again. I tried to think of how I could articulate that I needed a towel or something to cover up with, when she, yes a woman, leapt from the chair and rushed toward the water. Don’t know how it slipped my mind since I had only been staring at her from my chair less than ten minutes ago, but she was a young woman, a very attractive young woman. Her long brown hair, back in a ponytail, bounced from side-to-side, and something else of hers was bouncing up and down.
Good Lord, they were bountiful and magnificent.
But the toned and well-proportioned lifeguard’s best feature was her legs, and I am definitely a leg man. They were long, tan, and strong. I wanted to spread butter on those legs, dash them with salt, and eat them like corn on the cob!
She launched into the water with a light splash. And as she swam toward me at an alarming speed, those powerful legs propelling her through the water like a dolphin, I worked on my game plan. But she didn’t stop short, she swam all the way until nearly smashing into me. She grabbed me from behind and jammed the red flotation device into my midsection, knocking the wind from my lungs. I couldn’t breathe, let alone talk. I couldn’t let her know why I flagged her down.
“I got you,” she said and squeezed me against her body, those lovely lung companions of hers pressed firmly against my upper back, and instantly, I became aroused. In fact, as she began swimming us in, my stiff appendage probably created resistance slowing our advance. I looked down and noticed that it began to break the water’s surface like the periscope of a submarine.
“Wait,” I yelled when I regained my breath, but I caught a mouthful of salt water and began to choke. And for some reason, maybe the sun and adrenaline, or maybe just being in the buff in public, junior stood tall and proud like an attentive soldier waiting to be pinned with a metal.
Soon my legs scraped against the sand, and the lifeguard dragged me until I cleared the water. A crowd of people had gathered. They hovered over me and . . . began to laugh.
“Mommy, he’s naked!”
“Hey, dude’s got a boner!”
My savior pulled the floatation device from my grasp, and said, “What the—?! You little pervert!” I looked up to see the floatation device swinging toward my face.
When I regained my senses, the crowd had grown. They giggled, took pictures, recorded video, while junior remained upright like the mast of a marooned sailboat.
“This is going be awesome on YouTube!”
“Hey, she went to call the cops on you, boner dude.” Already, I heard the sirens.
I got up and ran back to my beach chair while cameras continued to snap away, video zoomed in on my pale white ass. As soon as I wrapped the towel around my waist and secured it, still pitching a tent, a Police SUV pulled up.
“Hands on your head,” a large cop shouted, one hand near his holster in case I was going to make a move. Another officer got out from the other side. “What’s under the towel?”
“What do you think? Nothing but me,” I said.
“Why you sick, streaking pervert. I oughta bash your face in. There are children around!”
“It’s not how it looks.”
“Well you can explain that downtown.” Finally, junior’s ego began to deflate. “On your knees and turn around, you piece of shit.” He slapped the cuffs on my wrists. “Do you have any idea what the penalties are for exposing yourself and conducting a sex act in pubic?”
I could hardly wait to find out.
Copyright © 2010 by Jeff Swesky