Don’t be THAT GUY!
A few weeks ago, I visited an old friend who had a vacation house on the beach in Avon. We sat on the back deck enjoying lunch. The conversation was flowing as we were catching each other up on life. I casually mentioned there was a riptide just to the left of the house. No one was around it on the beach, so we didn’t think too much about it. Riptides happen. Especially on the coast of “The Graveyard of the Atlantic.”
An hour or so later, a group of about 5 kids hopped on one of those large, thin rafts that looks more like a mattress than it does an ocean toy. My instincts kicked in after spending a large part of my youth as a swimmer and lifeguard. I kept a watchful eye on the group.
It didn’t appear that any others were in trouble. However, it didn’t take long for me to become uncomfortable. Though not near the rip (yet), the kids kept drifting further and further out. Finally, I mentioned to my friend that even I, an experienced swimmer, would unlikely go that far out on such a flimsy float. Soon after, the kids started flailing their arms, screaming for help. My friend ran back into the house, and we called 911. Hatteras Rescue came out, and the kids were brought back in safely.
The moral of the story? Don’t be that Guy! Don’t allow your kids to get themselves into trouble in the ocean. Instead, keep an eye on them. Call them back in when they start getting too far out.
While on the subject, there are more “Don’t be that Guy” moments that everyone should be mindful of while vacationing on the Outer Banks. Here are a few:
Don’t be that Guy who digs holes on the beach deeper than knee level. And if you made a hole, fill it back in before leaving. The lifeguards patrolling the beach on ATVs for our safety would appreciate it. As would anyone walking the beach not paying attention to the sand in front of them.
Don’t be that Guy and leave your trash on the beach. Again, from personal experience, I recently went to Jennette’s Pier to enjoy a quick 45-minute sit on the beach. Unfortunately, I didn’t get past the parking lot. So instead, I spent the time picking up trash. Yes, locals at times are guilty of this offense, but I will tell you that most of the garbage was found on the ground next to cars with out-of-state plates.
Don’t be that Guy and leave your tents, chairs, towels, and toys on the beach. It makes it very difficult for the towns to clean up the beaches each day.
Don’t be the Guy that climbs the dune line. The Outer Banks is a very fragile ecosystem and those dunes are what protect our area from flooding.
Don’t be that Guy that feels the need to blast your music so loud the entire county of Dare can hear it! I like my music. You like yours. Don’t feel the need to have to share yours, however.
Don’t be that Guy that flips your cigarette in the sand. Sit your butt in the sand, yes. But don’t flick your cigarette butt into it.
Greg Smrdel, while his physical body lives in Ohio (for now), his soul will always remain on the Outer Banks.