It was a semi-sunny day at the beach. In the south, they call it the beach but in Jersey we say down at the shore. We found a clear spot next to a young family. As we were spreading out our towels and setting up our chairs my sister-in-law saw a cigar butt lying in the sand. I too was kicking away cigarette butts. To some people the beach is just one big ashtray. Ugh.
The ocean was rough and tumble and the Regazza and her cousin were getting thrown around on their tubes. I made the Mom call and told them it wasn’t a good idea to use the inflatables. The day before I told the girls that there was a strong undercurrent and with their teenage eyeballs they sent beams of disgust my way. They silently let me know that they can’t take me seriously when I’m afraid of everything and they’re young and superhuman.
It’s true I really don’t want them to go out in water above their ankles even though my daughter is on her high school swim team and she’s lifeguard certified. Why can’t they be content to frolic in two inches of water? I just read that someone, somewhere was standing in water up to their knees and a shark attacked them. Anyway it turns out that I was right about the rip current because cousin K got caught in it. Thankfully, she stayed calm and swam out of it.
So we decided to stay out of the water and soak up the sunrays that could penetrate the clouds. My sister-in-law and I took our chairs to the end of the water to sit and watch the waves. Now that’s acceptable ocean wading. We were having a nice conversation when a strong smell invaded our space. It wasn’t a fishy, ocean odor or a sun tan lotion smell. Wafting towards us was the noxious stench of a cigar.
The offender stood about ten feet away from us in water dangerously up to his thighs. He had his hands on his hips, his belly was sticking out, and he was puffing on what looked like a big turd. At least he was wearing a shirt and long swim trunks.
Where does he flick the ash? Where does he dispose of the cigar butt? I think we solved the mystery of the sand cigar. We waited for a wave to knock him over but the ocean was nice to him. I thought about how I would like to put that cigar out using his forehead, but I’m a proper northern woman so I would never do such a thing. Instead we packed up our stuff and headed back to our beach house, because that day there was more than one kind of butt on the beach.