The 10 Idiots You Meet Every Year at the Beach

From Seagull Whisperers to Beach DJs to Muskrat Trappers, these are the jerks we all grudgingly tolerate down the shore.


I have been going down the shore, Ocean City to be exact, since before I can remember. On the beach, an instant community is formed of all types — including outcasts. The outcasts are the ones who engage in some perverse, imposing and inconsiderate activity that breaks the serenity of the day for everyone else. I call these selfish bastards the “beach idiots” — blunt, not very clever, but appropriate.

A day at the beach should be void of confrontation and the stress it brings, so most tag-wearing, well mannered folk put up with the beach idiots without saying a word, knowing their annoying behavior can usually only last so long.

As a public service, I am here to call out the beach idiots in the desperate hope that they will see the error of their obnoxious ways.

1. The Seagull Whisperers

They stand in self-amazement as if they have a supernatural power over the flock of seagulls that hover at their command. Drop the French fries, Doctor Doolittle, and watch your powers evaporate. If your beach suddenly turns into a scene from a Hitchcock movie, it’s because one of these beach idiots finds the flying rats cute as they create a gooey hailstorm for their neighbors.

2. The Sand People

It’s as if they delight in a windy day when they can get up and wave their towels and blankets. You can follow the sandstorm they’ve created by watching the poor, unsuspecting beach dwellers one by one rub their eyes and jump from their chairs.

3. The Hillary Clintons

These parents believe it takes a beach village to watch their children. You and I may see a crowded beach — these idiots see free babysitters. They bring their kids to the beach and then they fall asleep, walk the boardwalk, and seemingly do everything else but watch their kids.

4. The Ankle Busters

Speaking of kids, it’s great that they dig holes for no reason. It keeps them occupied. But those holes turn unto booby traps for runners and couples strolling the beach at sunset. It’s simple. If your kid digs a hole, fill it up before you leave.

5. The Beach DJs

God and Steve Jobs created ear buds for a reason. Use them. Why do the people who feel the need to share their music library with the world have the worst musical taste? Neither I nor my kids —, nor humanity for that matter —need to hear Waka Flocka Flame.

6. The Blind Body Surfers

They put their hands out in front of them, put their heads down, close their eyes, and ride the waves, turning themselves into human torpedoes. Watch as women and children fall like bowling pins as the blind body surfer speeds toward the beach.

7. The Muskrat Trappers

Now, I don’t usually complain about skimpy bathing suits or bad bodies at the beach. Part of the charm of the Jersey Shore is that the out-of-shape and unattractive fit in. Let’s put it this way, this ain’t South Beach. However, I do think the men, mostly European, who wear marble sacks for bathing suits must groom a little more. It looks like they’ve trapped a muskrat between their legs with the wiry hair sticking out in all directions. I know I don’t have to look, but once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it.

8. The Sand Jocks

Football, Wiffle ball and Frisbee are fine, if you can find a place where you aren’t within 50 feet of anyone else. The Sand Jocks are into their games with little regard for the rest of humanity. It’s as if everyone else on the beach paid tickets to see them play and should be happy when a foul ball or a long pass hits them in the face.

9. The Space Invaders

You get to the beach early, find a great spot and set up camp. Someone then comes along much later and decides the five feet between your family and the neighboring family is plenty of room for their crib, umbrella, three chairs and four kids. And what joy, they brought music, fries to feed the seagulls, and daddy trapped a muskrat.

10. The Shin Boarders

When are they going to outlaw those Skim Boards that turn adolescents into accidental beach terrorists? They throw these boards down and jump on, skimming across the area where the ocean water is the thinnest. You know, the same area where dozens of people like to stand, talk and watch their kids. Every three or four “skims,” the rider loses control of his Skim Board, which becomes a shin-seeking missile, or a Shin Board. There is nothing better on a beautiful beach day than someone projecting a plank of wood at the boniest area of your leg.

These are my 10, but there are many more. Please feel free to add to the list in the comment section.

Here’s an idea. Instead of charging for beach tags, start fining inconsiderate behavior on the beach. It will more than make up for the lost revenue.

Or if you insist on tagging, how about an Animal Planet like tagging of the different species of beach idiots so we can track them and see them coming before they ruin our day.

Follow @LarryMendte on Twitter.

Previously: The Five Most Annoying Jersey Shore Characters (No, Not From the Show) 


Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Marhar

    Larry, you’re snarky, slightly mean-spirited kvetching is welcome here! I never knew this side of you, but I love it. Keep it coming!

    • TPath

      Agreed. Love THIS Larry Mendte. Very funny. “Muskrat Trapper” LOL

      • Larry Mendte

        Thanks both. Yes, I will try and let the inner snark out a little more.

  • sisterwayne

    Sitting next to you on a beach would be enough to insult me.

    • JaJaBarrett

      Give it a rest. Mendte is talented. If you don’t like the man, don’t read his stuff, but you’re missing out.

      • Larry Mendte

        Thanks. No worries. I’m sure I wouldn’t want to sit next to “Sister Wayne” either

  • disqus_JjYnU5MRNk

    They have the Hilary Clintons on the cruise ships, too! I watched a kid with a plate of french fries cover them in soft serve ice cream! And they run all over the place unsupervised. It’s like the parents are on vacation and don’t want to watch their own misbehaved kids!

    • Larry Mendte

      Yeah, and at the mall too.

  • OC south

    The Smokestack – just because you’re outside on a breezy day doesn’t mean everyone upwind wants to enjoy your fine collection of Cuban cigars…we come for the smell of salt air, not the scent of the back-room at Caesar’s.

    (I know…they passed an ordinance…good luck with that…)

    • Larry Mendte

      Good one. A lot of people on the beach HATE the smokestacks. I haven’t seen many luckily.

  • rich

    I agree on all of the comments .Another thing I get a kick out of even though its not really annoying but amusing is the people that bring enough stuff as if they are setting up camp for 2 weeks, and its usually some guy with a tribe of kids an he is wearing black socks an sandals.

    • Larry Mendte

      Good one. What should we call them? The In-Laws? (Because they plan to stay for two weeks), the Land Barrens, The Land Grabbers, The Encampment People?

  • Maria

    How about the people who can’t seem to control their umbrella? If it flies out of the ground once, and almost impales some innocent bystander, let’s not try for round two.

    • Larry Mendte

      YES!!! Man I hate that. The Scarlet O’Hara’s – Gone With The Wind

  • camille

    How about The Canoodlers? This is The Jersey Shore, not From Here to Eternity. Get a motel room, before I whisper to some seagulls and dump a bag if doritos over the two of you.

    • Larry Mendte

      Love that…I think we have the start of a new list

  • My goodness, what a bunch of Whiners. It appears Everyone in the Mendte world is offended by something. Does all this ‘offensive’ behavior start at the Shore After YOU turn 50, or does it happen only after You have kids. You know, the ones that don’t do anything wrong Ever. We claim to want to live peacefully in a Benetton world, until ‘those people’ come to our beach, in particular the rich folks beaches of Ocean City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, etc. Youse guys are the reason for the ‘No Fun Allowed’ signs on the beaches. And I guess the parents/adults that sneak a few adult beverages onto the beach should be locked up? How about cigar smoking after 5pm, That work for you Lar?
    I never thought I’d say it, but Man, them folks down on the free beaches of Atlantic City and Wildwood are the best beach neighbors Ever, compared to you restrictive knuckleheads. Now turn down that boombox, and when I get home I want youse Off My Lawn!

  • OCNJ Lover!

    Great article and very funny, Larry!! Just spent a week with the family in OCNJ, and I think we saw each one of these people. A few more we saw, the “Lost & Never Found”…the guy that wears his expensive sunglasses body surfing and then gets upset when they are swept away by a wave, the “Diana Nyad”, people who swim out too far, or outside the green flags and then ignore the lifeguards incessant whistling, the “red lobster”, the 400 pound guy that is dead asleep on the beach, and apparently never heard of sunblock, is so red he’s glowing. You and Dawn need to be back on local news, it’s just not the same!!!

  • Hate beach holes

    For me its the people that dig holes than walk home leaving them for others to break an ankel in . Fill your damn stinking holes back in !!!!