Please, limit the beach exposure

July 09, 2008|By Kevin Cowherd

I have just returned from a few days in Ocean City, which confirmed my belief that what this country needs is a national campaign to get people to cover up on our nation's beaches.

This campaign could begin in the form of public service announcements on TV.

I envision a PSA showing footage of fat guys in Speedos walking along the shore, or large, tattooed women in string bikinis rising with a great jiggling of flesh from their beach towels.

Then a voice-over intones: "Please ... put on a shirt. Don't ruin it for others."

Then the whole thing fades to black, and in small print at the bottom of the screen you see: "This message brought to you by the Council to Prevent Beachgoers From Being Grossed Out."

From there, I could see the campaign moving to highway billboards and bus placards and full-page newspaper ads, if there are still any newspapers left.

But the point is, we have to do something. Because there are simply too many people exposing way too much flesh at these beaches than is good for society as a whole.

Look, don't get me wrong here. I am not someone you want to see in just swim trunks, either, unless you like seeing a fat guy with the kind of pasty Irish skin that turns a soft translucent blue when exposed to direct sunlight.

But at least I have the good sense not to wear a Speedo, and so should every other male above the age of 10.

European men have ruined the beaches over there with their skimpy, tight swimwear, but that doesn't have to happen here.

And it won't if we get the message out via these PSA's, bus placards, billboards and the rest.

The fact is, though, that it's not just fat people who need to cover up on our nation's beaches.

The same applies to the overly skinny, especially the bony, and those with an overabundance of body hair.

In fact, if you are a fat guy in a Speedo with too much body hair, well, that's simply something that no one should have to tolerate, especially on vacation.

Vacation is a time for all of us to relax and unwind, but how could you relax after seeing something like that? You'd be on edge for the rest of the day and probably wouldn't get a good night's sleep, either.

A hairy fat guy in a Speedo, why, he should be escorted from the beach by armed police officers and given some sort of citation that carries a heavy fine.

Then he should be told not to return until he has the decency to cover up with a T-shirt and long sweat pants, or whatever it takes to reduce the amount of exposed flesh and body hair to the level that others around him can endure.

The thing about so many beachgoers is that they think they look better in swimwear than they actually do.

They become totally delusional - maybe it has something to do with the sun.

For instance, you'll see a bony-looking woman in a stylish bikini, OK?

And you just know when she picked it out and tried it on in front of a mirror, she thought: Boy, I really look hot in this !

But really how she looks is bony. In fact, now she looks even more bony than she ever did in her life.

Bony women always think they look hot in bikinis.

But actually, they look like you want to walk up to them with a pepperoni pizza and say: "Here, eat this. Then we'll get you some pie a la mode for dessert."

Another thing you notice at the beach is that a lot of people don't seem to have gotten the message about skin cancer.

I thought it was in all the papers that too much exposure to the sun is bad for you.

But at the beach, it's like 1958 or something. It's like Eisenhower is still president, and they're shooting another beach movie with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.

You look around, and there are all these young people still slapping on the Coppertone and broiling themselves for hours in the hot sun.

And you see all these old people walking around with dark, leathery skin, so leathery that if you peeled it off their faces, you could make yourself a nice handbag or pair of boots.

Oh, well. The Sun Gods and Sun Goddesses - I can handle them.

But the fat guys in Speedos and the bony women in hot-pink bikinis, they make you uncomfortable in a whole different way.

kevin.cowherd@baltsun.com

Online

Read recent columns by Kevin Cowherd at baltimoresun.com/cowherd

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