I Like Pina Coladas And Long Walks On The Beach…

…But Hold the Vasectomy…

There are certain formulas that are immutable no matter the time, place or situation. 1 + 1 = 2. Boy meets Girl = Hope. Cold climate + vacation time = Beach resort.


Regardless which side of the ocean, gulf or reef; when staying in a beach resort expect to encounter fruity cocktails with paper umbrellas, jockeying for the best poolside chairs, wallet numbing menu prices and enough flabby flesh that makes you wonder if people at nudist colonies are legally blind.


With the cost ratio of sun: accommodations, airfare, food and the occasional tip; it’s no wonder that some people never leave the grass huts of the resort. These are the folks that get up at the crack of dawn and scurry over poolside, marking chairs with Hello Kitty beach bags and second hand copies of Stephen King paperbacks. After breakfast when the first wave of guests drift in, the pool deck looks like an abandoned garage sale with beach toys, books, and towels flung over lounge chairs; their owners nowhere in sight.


As relaxing as a day at the beach sounds, there are trials involved as well. Few words induce as much hand-wringing, fad dieting and sleepless nights to a woman than the three syllables: bee-kee-nee. Even though she may look like two rubber bands strapped across an egg, opting for a one-piece swim suit at poolside practically screams: A) I’m only here to do laps B) I’m a member of the Lawrence Welk fan club (circa 1948) or C) I paid a week’s salary for this gut-binding, hip-disguising, diagonal striped Wondersuit that hopefully hides the double cheeseburger and fries I gobbled down at lunch.


Men have it easy. They can choose among dozens of tie-up surf shorts. Why then, given this comfortable and manly suit, do some men insist on wearing Speedos? Exposing the outline of a woman’s buxom may be attractive, a man’s package on the other hand, is definitely not. Even worse is the favored proclivity of overweight, hairy men of eastern European descent, for the G-string. I vote for the addition of emergency burquahs at every lifeguard station for cases like these.


But staying within the confines of the hotel can get after a few days, boring. Luckily there are enterprising locals with endless options to part ways with your money.


“Massage? Very cheapah, you try?” Why not you wonder, as she spreads a threadbare blanket over the hot, grainy sand. A few minutes pass. The scent of the ocean is quickly drowned out by the smell of the massage oil; like two parts baby oil mixed with one part Hawaiian Tropic tan lotion and leftover kitchen grease. Unexpectedly, the flyweight masseuse channels the spirit of El Diablo, the legendary Mexican pro wrestler and suddenly she’s got you in a heel to elbow limb lock, your cries of pain only egg her on to push harder. Stopping the round mid-way, you gingerly stand up, brush the sand from your mouth and other crevices, and pay her. “Friend, I come back tomorrow. OK?” You smile and nod your head while making a mental note to stay out of her wiry reach.


The deafening roar of “I Love Rock and Roll”, “Wild Thing” and “Another One Bites the Dust” draws curiosity seekers to the collection of ramshackle sheds at the water’s edge. After signing a liability waiver in non-sensical legalese, the safety instructions are given “Don’t fall”, and seconds later you’re 300 feet in the air, parasailing over the seas. The initial delight is soon given way to a crushing pain in your lower regions. Noting that you didn’t sign up for a bonus vasectomy, you pull up on the harness and try to be as still as possible as the wind tosses the parachute about. Your young daughter meanwhile, bounces gleefully up and down in the reigns. With each kick she increases her chances of being an only child.


The night before you depart, you look over your mementos; coconut-husk monkeys, seashells found washed up on shore, “I’m Crazy for CoCo Joe’s” coasters and plastic souvenirs made in China, a newly bought bottle of Aloe Sunburn gel. It’s fortunate memories aren’t weighed in gold, after all, you only have a 20 kilo bag allowance.


Dinah Chong Watkins has been around since the age of Methuselah – oh no wait, that’s her husband. Still a child bride (it’s all relative), she escaped the cold, snowy winters of Toronto for the cold, smoggy winters of Beijing. She likes Pina Coladas, long walks on the beach and is counting on her husband’s 401K to provide all that. In the meantime, she hopes you’ll get a chuckle or two out of her writing because laughter is priceless or at least that’s what her editor said when she asked for a raise. Enjoy more of her writing at http://aletterfromabroad.wordpress.com

2 responses to “I Like Pina Coladas And Long Walks On The Beach…

  1. Thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the mental images you created in this piece. I had to contain my laughter or risk waking my just-drifting-off-for-a-nap little one. Keep it coming!

  2. Finally finally someone says my piece about those speedos… Thank you thank you.. I really enjoy reading this…so much I read it twice… ok maybe just one more time 🙂

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