On this hellishly hot of suddenly hot days, some lucky folks got to take off for Long Beach where, not so luckily, one swimmer may have drowned and a sunbather was run over by a police officer rushing to the scene of another rescue. Sadly, the swimmer is still missing and presumed dead, and the poor sunbather suffered a broken spine and rib. This is not good, people! In fact, it really bums us out. Let’s go over the rules of summer. Once you have a handle on these basics, we’ll move on to higher level concepts like clothing you should never wear in public and offensive sweating.
1. The sun is hot. It will burn you. Burning is bad. Apply SPF frequently, reapplying after vigorous water ventures or excessive perspiration. Go inside now and again instead of frying yourself to a melanomic crisp. And if you get burned so thoroughly you look like one of those lobster-people, with your eyes swollen into terrible boils, at least have the decency to hide yourself in a cool, dark room until September.
2. Cops, we know you’re busy, but please, try to keep an eye out for those who may be totally chillaxing in the sun and not notice you until you drive over them. Even if you are on your way to a rescue.
3. Likewise, to those lying in the sun — if you hear something that sounds like a police rescue vehicle coming toward you, it just might be. If you feel the ground vibrating into the headphones of your iPod, your time is limited. Don’t say something, just get the fuck out of there.
4. If you can’t swim, don’t. Don’t decide to just test your luck with the ocean. It will win, and we and the people who know you will be sad. Plus, everyone will have to get out of the water while the lifeguards look for you. And there’s nothing for us to do then but peer out anxiously at the waves hoping to catch sight of your bobbing head, or go be really depressed and drink too many beers. I repeat: If you can’t swim, stay out of the water, unless you’re just putting your feet in. And in that case, bring a friend. (See Swimmies. Not just a look for tots.)
5. Hydrate frequently, and not solely with vodka and club soda. Inevitably, we’ll hear one of those horrible tales of someone who floated out to sea on a wave of inebriated bliss and was attacked by a shark, or someone who started sunbathing on May 31, disappeared during a sandstorm, and was only found again after Labor Day, by which point the booze (and then the gulls) had picked his brain clean as a whistle. We’re all for drinking, but do it sensibly. Take small sips of water in between every glass of the hard stuff, or save up your spit in your mouth for a while before you swallow, or something.
6. Summer flings are fun, but choose wisely. Just because it’s warm out doesn’t mean that con artists and street buskers are good choices, nor is that one-armed homeless man who’s always offering you tokes off his cigarette (no offense to his arm). Sure, your blood’s running hot, but employ the same people gauge that you would in the cold-weather months, which if you’re us is almost no gauge at all, but that’s how we roll.
7. If you’re getting out of town for the weekend, do your best to be as obnoxious as possible there. And don’t bring it back with you.
8. One word: Koozies.
9. At rooftop parties, steer clear from the ledge. Ditto for subway platforms and 5th-floor walk-ups. Or anything with an edge you can fall off of, really. And watch for chafing when you ride that banana boat. Its smooth edges can be deceiving.
10. No matter how badly you have to go, don’t do it in the pool. The ocean’s a different story. No one will notice with that BP shit going down.
Keep your wits about you, and this summer should be almost as fun as the long, cold, desolate winter. We really are sad about the drowned fellow and the guy who was hit by the police rescue vehicle, by the way. Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.