Are we New Yorkers ready for some summer fun? You bet we are. The sun, the beach, the…SHARK ATTACKS?
Last week, two 18-foot sharks were spotted lurking just off a Long Island beach. The ominous, dah-dah-dah-dah Jaws theme swirled around panicky sunbathers’ heads as they stared slackjawed at the dorsal fins whipping across the Atlantic Ocean surface off the West Hamptons Dune Beach, then disappearing. Soon after a mauled seal carcass washed ashore. Then the fins reappeared.
“My bet is that they’re sharks,” said West Hampton Mayor Gary (Mr. Obvious) Vegliante. “My hope is that their not predatory sharks.”
From the Hamptons to Coney Island, the alarm went out. Fortunately sharks haven’t been spotted for the past few days, so hopefully they swam out to sea and the beaches are safe again. Of course if you do spot one, just alert the nearest lifeguard. Wait a minute–THERE ARE NO LIFEGUARDS!
For the past few years, long stretches of Coney Island have had empty lifeguard chairs, with red flags up on 90+ degree days when the water is perfectly calm. Anyone who dares try to take a dip and cool off will find himself dragged out of the water by brown-shirted Parks Department employees and tossed off the beach. I wish I were kidding.
Has it occurred to the New York Parks Department that the salaries of these employees might be better spent hiring a lifeguard or two? I tried to call the Parks Department to find out, but no one answered. Hopefully they were out at the Hamptons.
But maybe you’ll get lucky and place your blanket down on a stretch of public beach that actually has a lifeguard. Ok, no sharks in sight, lifeguard at the ready–time to relax. But wait, what’s that new sign? NO SMOKING!
Terrific, you say–it’s about time the city passed a law making it unlawful for someone to make you breathe in their second-hand smoke while you’re trying to have a healthy outing at the beach. And yes, the new law does carry a $50 dollar fine. There’s only one tiny problem: city officials say they don’t plan to actively police it, but are counting on “social pressure” to discourage people from lighting up.
Once again, these are people who clearly don’t get out much.
“That sucks!” said beachgoer Anthony when told of the new regulation. “Everyone should be allowed to smoke outdoors. Screw ‘em!”
This week a nitwit pulled out a handgun and started firing wildly on the Brighton Beach boardwalk because someone looked at him the wrong way. Imagine the scene when a public spirited citizen on a blanket next to Anthony exerts “social pressure” and tells him to put out his damn cigarette?
Sharks, no lifeguards and gunfire. Sounds like no day at the beach, you say?