Swinging at a curve ball

By Clint Younts

Dang, it’s been a tough year, and we have another six months to go. Sure 2020 was horrible and last year wasn’t much better, but for many of us, these past few months have been brutal. Too many heartaches, too many funerals. You’re at the plate with a 3-2 count, thinking you’ll knock this pitch into the stands, but life throws a wicked curveball. Strike 3. Some folks might call it quits and hang up their cleats, but not me. I just swap my shoes for flip-flops and head to the beach.  

I don’t know exactly what magic the gulf coast holds, but the salt air and crashing waves can definitely help wash away the blues. The second I plop my sore butt into my beach chair and wiggle my toes into the warm sand, I start my therapy session and immediately feel better. And cracking open the first beer of the day, I toast with my wife, saying “Life is good today”.

Once the gulf breeze clears the cobwebs from my skull, and often after a second beer, my mind is no longer stagnant, stuck in second gear. My brain double-clutches and shifts into high gear. Reaching into the beach bag to grab my notebook and a pen I swiped from the doctor’s office, I start writing another column.

There’s so much to see at the beach, and so many questions to ponder over. Like, do you ever wonder if pelicans complain to each other about eating nothing but fish every day? Do you suppose one pelican looks back over his wing and says, “I don’t know about you, Gus, but I’d die for a pepperoni pizza right now”?

I’m still not real fond of covering one’s body with tattoos, but it’s their body, their choice. But when I see a guy with a huge swastika etched in his chest, I’m thinking he won’t be invited to partake in a game of beach volleyball.

How do fifty seagulls know you just opened a bag of sunflower seeds? If their sense of smell is that good, why doesn’t the border patrol use them at checkpoints instead of drug dogs?

Who else still finds sand in the back of your Tahoe three months after returning from the beach, even after thoroughly vacuuming the car six times? Where’s it coming from?

Has any old coot ever sued the manufacturer of flip-flops after having a blow-out and breaking your hip on the boardwalk? I had plenty of close calls in my younger days, so now, in my twilight years, my beach attire consists of a sombrero, a Speedo and Justin boots. I believe in being careful and fashionable.

Speaking of flip-flops, don’t y’all think they should be outlawed if you’re doing yard work? For years, I’ve been warning my wife about wearing those things while chopping weeds in her flowerbed. I’m pleasantly surprised she still has ten toes.

Why won’t the city of Aransas Pass put Port-a-potties along the road to the ferry landing? I can’t tell you how many times that Big Gulp I bought in Beeville is ready to exit my urethra while I’m sitting in line for the ferry. There should be an express lane for emergency vehicles and old farts with weak sphincters. Just saying.

You’d think after 50 years of going to beaches across America, I would’ve learned how to cover every bit of exposed skin with sunscreen. I still manage to get sun burned on some part of my body and have to hear my wife say, “Why didn’t you apply sunscreen there?” There’s nothing attractive about having dead skin hanging from your ear lobe like an old spider web.

It’s been a few weeks since we were in Port A, and I’m still pouring sand out of my boots, but I’m not complaining. My sunburn has stopped peeling and has turned brown. My mind is clear and soul has healed. Even with the chaos that is all around us, I am ready to step back up to the plate in the next inning. Life could throw another curve ball, but I’ll be ready. Sure, I could strike out, but then, I might just knock the ball out of the park. Life is good today.

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