Life’s a beach and then you die

Not only did a week at the beach provide some much needed down time, it also lent itself to some writerly reflections I’ve shared with you here. (Sorry/you’re welcome.) And while there is great beauty and majesty where the waves kiss the shoreline, there is also the ugly underbelly of life near the ocean. I speak, of course, of the seaside gift shop:

A world of capitalistic greed where sunstroke victims can easily be persuaded to part with their vacation dollars. Who among us has not at least been tempted to purchase a souvenir as proof that we were, in fact, at the beach? And nothing says “I’ve been to the Gulf of Mexico” like a coconut painted to look like a pirate’s head.


Really, I don’t object to the coconut head. I don’t believe an oversized nut really cares what happens to it after it falls from a tree. But what of sea creatures? Many of us look forward to Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. We marvel at these ferocious, single minded killing machines of nature. We fear them with awe and respect.

Which is why we feel compelled to stuff them in a pickle jar full of formaldehyde and set them on a shelf: to honor their ferocity:

Majestic, no?

Of course, if having a dead shark on your shelf proves too frightening, you could always opt for an alligator head paper weight:

Personally, I’d like to see them turn some of these into staplers. Form AND function.

The little pufferfish is a poor swimmer. In the ocean, its only defense against predators is to quickly fill itself up with water making it an undesirable meal with its sharp, pointy surface.

Alas, in death there are no such defenses against a hot glue gun, googly eyes and a little straw hat.

Not all pufferfish suffer the indignities of the little straw hat, some retain their former appearance

(Save for the googly eyes, of course)

There is no dignity in death, at least if you’re a gift shop sea creature. But what of dignity in life? The hermit crab, both sea and land dwelling, is virtually defenseless, and must seek shelter from its enemies via the abandoned shells of snails or other such creatures.

I suppose beggars can’t be choosers.

Have we learned nothing from the Spongebob Squarepants movie?

Perhaps not.

It’s good to be human.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go dress my dog up like a chicken…

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