Risky, frisky Rolling Stone should stay put at the beach

Commentary

July 09, 2006|By ROB HIAASEN | ROB HIAASEN,SUN REPORTER

To: Keith Richards

From: A Concerned Fan

Subject: Suggested Beach Activities

Whoops is right.

You gave us a scare with your tree-climbing stunt in Fiji. Who knows what inspired you - a 62-year-old former heroin addict who some claim died years ago (leaving only your skeleton to walk the earth) - to scale, then fall, from a coconut tree after reportedly enjoying both vodka and rum.

You suffered a mild concussion and underwent an operation to drain blood from your head, and that's almost never a fun beach activity.

What were you thinking?

"Whoops," you said, chuckling and flashing that pirate smile in a "Video Message" on your Web site. "It was a nasty knock, but we got over it, and I'm ready to rock." Guess this will have to do for an explanation. At least it rhymes. The important thing is: You'll be back with the boys in Milan, Italy, on Tuesday, when the Rolling Stones resume their European tour. "My guitar is tuned, and I'm ready to go."

Very good.

Also good to read that it's official: You'll play Capt. Jack Sparrow's father in the next Pirates of the Caribbean. Filming of the third installment begins next month. Maybe you were just method acting - "finding" the character of Johnny Depp's movie father when you scaled that palm tree and fell on your head. Maybe we're just jealous because we'll never, ever vacation at Fiji's Wakaya Island Resort and have the opportunity to fall on our own heads.

Either way, the Stones tour is back on and you have movie work this summer. We don't think you can afford another whoops. But we also don't think you can resist another beach break (who could?), so please read the enclosed activity list.

As you learned the hard way, the beach offers visitors a variety of activities. Some we don't recommend, Keith. Although you may still lead the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band, you should never climb another coconut tree no matter your motivation. (Do we wish someone had videotaped your ascent? Of course.)

Here are your beach Do's and Don'ts. And we do this because we care. We do this because we don't play the guitar and we will never be in Milan or Fiji.

Windsurfing. Don't recommend. Involves a board, sail, mast, boom and wind; if combined with vodka and rum, can result in blood-draining operations to the head.

Kitesurfing. Absolutely not.

Parasailing. (See above, and above that.)

Bocce ball. *No. (*Unless rubber balls are used.)

Beach croquet. *No. (*Unless rubber mallets are used.)

Bicycling. Images of a helmet-less, cycling Ben Roethlisberger.

Ocean kayaking/canoeing. Sorry, too tipsy.

Jet Skis. (See: Roethlisberger.)

Keith, we're not saying you can't have any fun at the beach. You need to unwind; you've always needed to unwind. And you're a fun guy - we all know that. There's still plenty of safe beach fun is all we're saying.

Reading. No restrictions - except maybe Tuesdays With Morrie. Enough is enough.

Sleeping.

Resting.

Sandcastle building. Again, no limit!

Surf fishing. *Yes. (*If you remain in a sitting position and an expert casts for you.)

Beachcombing. Involves rudimentary walking skills, but we'll allow it.

Remaining perfectly quiet and as still as possible on your beach blanket until it is safe to move. Highly recommended. There's virtually no chance of suffering a concussion - unless beaned by an errant bocce ball.

Have a fun, safe summer, Keith.

See you in the movies.

rob.hiaasen@baltsun.com

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