If you missed it, I wrote about my trip to Tampa and Disney World in a three-part series recently. We hung out mostly with Charlie Campbell, this site's senior NFL Draft analyst, and his wife Amanda. While my girlfriend and I were on the St. Pete's and Clearwater beaches with them, Charlie asked me how the Jersey Shore beaches compared to those in the Tampa Bay area.
If you've never visited both places, you might be wondering this as well. Let's compare and contrast, shall we?
The water in Tampa is a pleasant greenish-blue hue. The water at the Jersey Shore is black and disgusting.
The sand in Tampa is mostly white and feels nice to walk on. The sand at the Jersey Shore is dark brown and coarse.
The water in Tampa is warm; it was in the low 90s when we went this year. The water at the Jersey Shore is freezing (low 70s for us).
The people in Tampa, save for the bums in Ybor, seem to be nice. The people at the Jersey Shore are obnoxious a**holes.
You can swim anywhere at the Tampa beaches. You are restricted to thin swimming strips at the Jersey Shore, and if you venture outside of the area, or if you venture too far, the lifeguards who think they are cool will blow their whistle at you. If you don't listen, they'll kick you out of the beach.
It's free to go to the Tampa beaches. The Jersey Shore charges $5 for beach tags. You'd think the better beaches would cost more.
You are allowed to have fun at the Tampa beaches. You are not permitted to have any sort of fun at the Jersey Shore beaches.
You may think I'm joking about the last point, but I most definitely am not. Here's a prime example:
Remember those beach tags we had to buy for $5 each? Well, at one point during the afternoon, this 16-year-old douche bag went around to almost everyone - I say "almost" because he skipped us for some reason - and demanded to see people's beach tags. It didn't matter how old they were; both the young and the elderly were accosted by this a**hole.
You might be thinking, Walt, this guy was just doing his job and seeing if everyone paid the $5 to be on the beach. See, that would be fine if he went around and harassed teenagers who might have snuck onto the beach without paying. Going up to older people with children, however, is just stupid. And that's not the worst part. This chode even hounded people who were asleep. There was a couple to the right of us - probably in their late 20s - and both of them were passed out. The 16-year-old POS stood over them and shouted at them until they woke up.
I had a huge problem with this worthless piece of s***. There really was no reason for him to take his job so seriously - unless he happened to own this particular beach. Since an owner of a beach (or his son) wouldn't be asked to do this sort of grunt work, I think we can assume that he didn't maintain any sort of ownership. Hence, why would he care if someone snuck onto the beach? It's not like he's the one losing money. And again, if he questioned shady teenagers, that's one thing. But to harass a couple that was enjoying a nice nap on the beach is just pure douchebaggery.
This stupid kid wasn't the only beach employee who annoyed me. This fat beach cop sped past us in his buggy every 15-20 minutes. This was frustrating because his buggy was loud and sometimes sprayed sand all over us. But he didn't care; he contently kept riding back and forth. I suppose ruining a paying customer's experience at the beach is inconsequential when there could be major trouble afoot.
Major trouble being football players. The fat cop, who sported a buzz cut and a constant stern expression on his face, continuously leered at a group of 20-year-old guys playing football on the beach. I suppose he wanted to kick them off the beach if they accidentally hit someone with the ball, so good for him for paying attention to that instead of a potential thief who could be stealing stuff from people who happened to be in the ocean. I guess beach cop school teaches that 20-year-old guys playing football are infinitely more dangerous than thieves.
Speaking of the football players, I watched them play for a while to see if they were any good. My girlfriend noticed this and said that I should go ask if I could play. My response: "I can't. I'm too old, and I'm too fat."
Most of the players sucked anyway. There was a tan dude with a backward Duke baseball cap - wearing it backward made him look so cool - who kept throwing touchdowns to a tall pale guy, but everyone else was terrible. Every pass that didn't go from the tan dude to the pale guy fell incomplete because the other receivers would either drop the ball or watch it sail over their head. There was one guy in particular, an Asian, who was absolutely horrendous. He dropped every single pass thrown his way - he failed to catch a single pass all afternoon - and he would constantly trip over his own two feet and fall face-first into the sand.
This Asian dude was so bad that even my girlfriend noticed how poorly he was playing.
Girlfriend: Wow, that guy sucks!
Me: Yeah, he's playing like he's blind.
Girlfriend: Nah, he just can't play sports because he's Asian.
I was ready to counter that statement by telling my girlfriend about Yao Ming, but then I recalled that Yao Ming couldn't play sports either.
If the 16-year-old douche and annoying cop weren't enough, our afternoon was further ruined by a storm. It began drizzling while I was in the ocean. I was lying down for a while and got pretty hot, so I decided to suck it up and go into the freezing water. I thought the people on the beach might applaud me for being so brave, but I quickly noticed that there were plenty of women, children and elderly people already in the ocean. Whatever. They probably all rubbed themselves with numbing lotion so they didn't feel it. I was brave for going into the cold water, OK!?
As I walked into the ocean, I overheard an exchange a 10-year-old kid had with his dad:
Kid: Dad, I have a joke for you!
Dad: What is it?
Kid: A guy walked into a library and the librarian asked him, "What do you want?" And the guy said, "A cheeseburger, fries and a Coke!"
Kid: Get it, dad?
Dad: No, I'm not sure I do.
Kid: Because you can't get a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke at the library!
I wanted to interject, "That's gold, Jerry! Gold!" but I was too preoccupied with being frozen to death. I guess it's easy to tell jokes when you're all lathered in numbing lotion.
The ocean was a disappointing experience. Outside of it being cold and black, the waves were conspicuously absent. It began drizzling after about 10 minutes, so I went back to our setup. My girlfriend already covered everything with her blanket. I sat down, and that's when the skies really opened up. It began pouring, and most of the people on the beach who didn't bother getting an umbrella packed up their things and ran toward the boardwalk. My girlfriend asked if we should go too, but I replied, "What's the point? There's no cover anywhere close, so we'll get wet anyway."
Sure enough, the rain stopped after 10 minutes, and most people who sprinted toward the boardwalk came back. I don't know what they were thinking, but whatever. One of the families that returned featured an ugly mother and her two children. One of the kids began crying after some time. This prompted the following exchange:
Mom: IF YOU DON'T STOP CRYING, WE'LL GO BACK TO WEST CHESTER!
Mom: I'M NOT GOING TO BUY YOU A TOY!
Mom: GOING TO THE BEACH IS YOUR TREAT! YOU SHOULDN'T GET A TOY ON TOP OF THAT!
Wow, just get your kid the toy he wants, you b***h. Your kid really wants it, and what are you going to spend that money on, more dildos to stick up your a**hole? Then again, maybe your kid is whining so much because of the prospect of going back to West Chester. If I had to return to West Chester after a pleasant day at the beach, I'd cry and vomit all over the place.
It began drizzling again after a while, so we decided to abandon the beach. I talked my girlfriend into going to the waterpark before a possible thunderstorm. It wasn't nice out, but that's the best time to go to a waterpark because there won't be any lines. Sure enough, I was able to go on each ride without waiting more than one minute.
It was a perfect balance. There weren't enough people to get in my way, yet there were just enough to gather an ample amount of writing material. The first person worth making fun of was an 8-year-old Asian kid who obliviously walked into a wooden stair post and began crying. I was initially perplexed about why he wasn't able to notice it, but then I recalled what my girlfriend said. Had he not been Asian, he could have used some of his athletic ability to avoid the railing. Instead, he had no choice but to collide with it.
As he was crying, some fat white lady ran up to him and consoled him. "There, there, it'll be OK," she said. The perks of being a math tutor for some woman's children, I suppose.
Two other kids got into trouble. They were carrying a couple of tubes that they retrieved from the lazy river. They had to walk down a flight of steps to get where they wanted to go, so they opted to roll their tubes down. In doing so, the tubes hit a 6-year-old Mexican boy, who toppled over and started crying. The father, a mean-looking bald man with a handlebar mustache, grabbed the two boys and yelled at them, repeatedly dropping the F-bomb in the process. Hearing that was worth the price of admission itself.
My girlfriend and I floated around the lazy river for a while after we got tired of the rides. It was pleasant, except for the instances in which stupid kids splashed us. I wanted to yell, "Hey, douche bags, this is a f***ing lazy river, where you're supposed to be lazy, so f*** off!" Unfortunately, there were lifeguards everywhere, so we would've gotten kicked out had I done that. I think that's bulls***, but whatever. My mood brightened when the sun suddenly came out. After such a crappy morning, weather-wise, it looked like it was going to be awesome for the rest of the day.
We traipsed around the boardwalk after we finished with the waterpark. We shopped a bit and had some delicious food, including a hot dog with Cheese Whiz on it and numerous slices of pizza and ice cream at Prep's Pizza. All of this sent me to the bathroom the following day for five diarrhea sessions, but it was all worth it.
The only person worth mentioning on the boardwalk was this chubby 12-year-old kid. He looked absolutely ridiculous. He sported curly hair, Joe Paterno-like glasses and braces, and he had a huge mole on his cheek. My girlfriend and I made fun of him the entire evening based on three words that he said as we walked by him. He looked at a sign that said "Go Kart Racing" and exclaimed in a squeaky voice, "OOOOOOHHH GOOOOO KAAAARTS!!!"
I burst out laughing as soon as I heard it. It was so funny. I swear, if someone would have caught him on camera, he'd be plastered all over YouTube today, and it would eventually become one of the most famous memes of all time. Unfortunately, my girlfriend and I were the only people on this planet to witness, "OOOOOOHHH GOOOOO KAAAARTS!!!"
I suppose we earned that sort of amusement after everything we had to deal with that day. OOOOOOHHH GOOOOO KAAAARTS!!!" was totally worth the freezing ocean, annoying rain and douche bag beach workers.