Monday, June 6, 2011

Lurking beneath the surface...

Dear God, what is that? We're going to die! We're going to die!

Doesn't this look like something out of a horror film? People just swimming and surfing along on a beach, minding their own business, and a wave suddenly rears up...filled with the most diabolical looking tentacles I've ever seen.

I'm not even sure what is portrayed in this picture: seaweed or underwater trees or maybe there's a coral reef a few hundred feet out that is magnified by the water, making the arms look bigger and a lot closer than they actually are in reality. 

Whatever the hell that stuff is, it's pretty creepy and terrifying to look at, and it's urged me to add another reason that I do not like beaches.

Reason number 7: there are many tentacled monstrosities lurking just beneath the surface of the water waiting to either scare the hell out of you, or drag you to the sandy depths of the ocean to be devoured like so much meat. Either way, I'm not getting in that water for love or money or the promise of a lifetime supply of chocolate. 

Not no way, not no how.

Am I being unreasonable? 

Did you even see that picture? 

Of course I'm not being unreasonable! That's the monster from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or some other book where there are giant sea monsters. I bet that's what the Lach Ness Monster really looks like. Between the tentacled horror, the sharks, the sand, the salt water, and everything else that was on my list that I can't remember right now, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that I am not going to be a fan of beaches ever. Oh, did I mention the sun, as well? Well, the sun.

And it's not that I don't like the sun. Like I've said before, I'm a big fan of being warm because I'm always cold. The sun helps to warm me up. When I'm home I like to turn off all of the lights and open the blinds and curtains to let the sun stream in and light everything up, then I like to lay on the chair by the window and soak up the rays because it warm and pleasant and comforting.

I just don't like the sun when I'm standing directly in it, because it might feel nice and warm, but it only take fifteen minutes of sun exposure for my skin to burn. It's not that I'm allergic to the sunlight. I just have pale, delicate skin that isn't made to be out in direct sunlight with no protection. Beaches mean lots of direct sunlight, and 100 SPF without Vitamin A isn't easy to come by, and it's only got a four hour life span for my delicate skin. Between that and the sand, and then the evils of the water itself (still thinking about that picture) I'm just...not beach material, but you can tell that by looking at me. It's painfully obvious to my beach babe sister that I do not spend much time outside while the sun is up.

Relly made a point last week of saying, "I'd rather get skin cancer than be pale. Pale skin is ugly."

"So, I'm ugly."

"No, sister, pale skin looks beautiful on you. I just think it would look ugly on me."

I swear, the tone she used it is the same tone you'd use to assure an overweight friend that she is not fat by any stretch of the imagination. 

She invited me out to the lake yesterday to hang with her and the Double L nephews, but unfortunately for her, I don't like lakes either. Lake Placid anyone? Or how about Blood Surf?  Croc even? And while I certainly know most people don't react like that to bad horror movies, I am not most people. I also have a logical reason to fear alligators in our lake. There actually was an alligator farm out on Lake Travis sometime back in the eighties that had a rather unfortunate accident when six of the alligators somehow played jailbreak and won their freedom. Animal Control and Wildlife Rescue swear up and down they rounded up all of the escapees. But...maybe they didn't really catch all six and they figured the last one would die and then it had babies. Or maybe seven escaped and they didn't realize it.

Either way, I don't like lakes any more than I like beaches. Lakes have rocks instead of sand, which is less annoying in the gets everywhere factor, but is just as annoying in the you-have-to-wear-water-shoes-or-be-in-pain kind of way. Those are you choices: wear water shoes and look like a dork, or go barefoot and walk over rocks and sharp pebble until you get to the water, at which point you'll have to stick your feet in the muddy, sticky, foot-sucking bottom. Which is actually less pleasant than sand. Sand under your feet in water feels nice. Not so with sticky, yucky, goopy mud.

"Well, we can go to the pool if you don't want to go to the lake," she offered.

Yeah. Swimming pools. We know my illogical fear of sharks appearing in the middle of the water while I'm swimming. Also, I don't like chlorine, and I don't want it on my hair. I certainly don't want it on my skin. And I don't like crowds, which is something you tend to find at public pools. No incentive there.

Let's not get this confused though: I am not afraid of the water itself. I'm perfectly fine in the water. I can go up to my knees if I feel so inclined. I can go in to my waist if the water is clear enough for me to see through. My fear if of what's in the water.  I can swim. I can float on my back. I don't mind deep water if I know for a fact that there's nothing in there, and I'm pretty OK until the idea of a shark appearing pops into my head.

I should really see a shrink about this...

But then again...I'm not to the point where I'm afraid to sit on a toilet seat in case a shark swims up the pipe and decides to bite my ass, so I'm not as bad off as other people. 

Edit: I now have another reason to hate beaches. Severe Jellyfish infestations. 


  1. I like the beach, although the sand drives me nuts and I also burn easily too.

    You know what really gets on my nerves? People that like to go to beach, but they never go in the water. The one and only reason I put up with all the other crap is to go in the water to swim. (I prefer a pool, but I do like the waves.) I wanna smack people who just want to go to the beach and "lay out in the sun" The freaking sun is everywhere. This is part of my larger irritation with people who...I'm not sure how to explain it. You know the kind of people that buy stuff they never use? They have pools that they never swim in. They have a home theater set up, but they never watch any movies in it. They get a three car garage and they don't park their cars in them. They go to restaurants and order lunches they don't eat. You know the sort of people? They act like they're too good to use their own stuff, or they act like it's all "for the kids". You know, they got a pool "for the kids". They're "Taking the kids" to the beach. Meanwhile, the kids don't use the stuff either. Me, if I get a pool, I jump right in like an 8 year old, or else I don't buy the pool. I'm not "too adult" to do anything. Anyway, I'm rambling here. Hopefully, you know what I'm talking about.

    As far as tans, I think they're highly, highly over-rated. I prefer lighter skin. A little bit of a tan might be nice, but a lot of women go way overboard with it. They get burnt dark brown and by their mid-thirties their skin looks like a wrinkled up suitcase. I'm not sure where anyone ever got the idea that tan skin was more attractive. I think lighter skin looks softer and smoother. As for that spray tan shit...that just looks stupid.

  2. The ocean's always fascinated me. Not in a "let's go exploring" kind of way, but in a "you never know what's down there" way. That picture freaks me out. I can go in a pool anytime; it must be because you can see the bottom or if anything is going to grab you. Swimming in the ocean (or lake) is like walking around in the dark.

  3. Bryan, I totally get what you're saying. And I promise I am not one of those people that just lays in the sand while their kids play. I just don't go to beaches at all, and if for some reason I am somehow talked (or forced) into it, I'll go in...up to my knees. Or if the water is particularly dark, mid-calf. There's no point in going to a beach for "sun" because you're right: it's everywhere. People who do that just want to show off.

    And just so you know, tan skin became attractive when Coco Chanel went to the French Riviera one summer and came back a bronzed, glowing goddess. Suddenly everybody wanted to be tan.

    Brent, that's exactly what it's like. Walking around in the dark in a big, strange place where you don't know who or what's hanging around. I suppose I'd be okay in a submarine or a glass bottomed boat to see everything...but then again, tiger sharks have attacked glass bottomed boats before. So maybe not.

  4. So your namesake is to blame for it all? Isn't that ironic?

  5. My BF calls me a plant because of how I react to the sun. If I'm in a bad mood and feeding me doesn't help he will shove me outside to stand in the sun for a few mins. Always works.
    I love water! Growing up in Fla I was in lakes and the ocean all the time. However since moving to Cali I will only go in pools. I am also frightened of what could be out there. *cue music*
    I'm sorry you are so terrified of the things that live in it. I honestly makes me sad. Have you tried saltwater pools? I have a friend in Austin that has one and its super cool. No harsh chem's or crowds. But that would require buying a house ect...

    Sorry about hijacking your blog.

  6. I hate sand. While my biggest fear in the navy was being eaten by sharks after abandoning ship. I don't think about them on the rare occasion that I visit the beach. I don't burn so the sun doesn't bother me. I should probably use sunblock, but I never do. I tan very easily.

  7. Bryan, it is ironic. It's an irony I've been very aware of since I first learned the origin of the tanning craze.

    Rebecca, I know California has a lot of Great Whites that hunt seals off the coast, but the water is so clear I can't see how you wouldn't see a Great White coming right at you. I haven't tried a salt water pool, but then I don't like salt water. It leaves my skin feeling dry and itchy. And it stings if I have a cut. And that probably wouldn't help my completely insane and yet inarguable fear that if a shark were to appear in the middle of the pool it could eat me. And my brain argues, "Well a shark is more likely to appear in a salt water pool than a fresh water pool full of chlorine..."

    George, how could you be in the navy and NOT think about sharks at a beach? You know there are usually sharks swimming between the swimmers, right? You've more than likely been sitting right next to a shark that was trying to decide whether or not you would put up a fight if he tried to take a nip. And just look at that picture! Whatever that stuff is, it wants to kill you. I'm sure of it.

    You should wear at LEAST an SPF 15. Skin cancer is a scary thing.

  8. You do know that bull sharks swim many miles into fresh water via rivers don't you? Salt water or fresh water, they can still get you.

  9. Yes, I do know that, but they can't survive indefinitely in fresh water. They can only live a day, two days tops in certain circumstances. And I don't get into rivers, either. Rivers feed into lakes. I'm in no way inclined to be eaten by things in a river either.

  10. Mrs. Cheese won't get into any water where she can't see the bottom, so you aren't alone in being a scaredy cat.

  11. I was gonna say, didn't tanning for the sake of tanning go out with the skin cancer of the late 80's?

  12. Doug, good for her! It's better to be safe than sorry. It's oddly comforting that I'm not alone in this.

    Brent, tanning with iodine and baby oil went out in the eighties. "Safe tanning" and spray tanning are still way in.

  13. Chanel I am so with you. I go in pools and I do love the sun and a tan but I have a fear (a healthy one) of oceans, rivers, and lakes. I only touch pool water and sprinklers! I don't like the slime and fish swimming next to you in rivers/lakes. I do not like oceans with their sharks! Oh hell no!

    George you suck (sharks in fresh water--ahhhh!)! Chanel, trust me when I say that I have done extensive research on this being a total shark-phobe (don't know the medical/scientific word) and bull sharks are mating and using fresh/brackish water for breeding grounds. Some have even been stuck above damns after floods, totally unconnected to fresh water, and they are still catching young pups there...they thrive still in water with very low salt content! So scary.

  14. Even more not alone! Though I should be happy someone else is terrified of oceans, rivers, and lakes...but's nice to not be alone.

    Great. There's nowhere safe from these stupid things. Sharks are taking over.

  15. I like beaches, but not swimming in the ocean, or lakes. I'm freaked out by it, completely. I'm not all that scared of sharks, but just THINKING about squid and octopusses (Octopi?) gives me the heebie jeebies. *Shudder* Subject change, please?

    Puppies? Unicorns? The fashion crimes committed by everyone that lived during the 1980's?

  16. When I was younger (and living near the ocean) I spent so much time in the ocean that I'm surprised something didn't get me. I've been bitten by critters (though not seriously) and stung by jellyfish and caught in rip tides and undertows and slammed up on barnacle encrusted rocks that sacrificed alot of my skin to the sea gods. I also spent countless hours in rivers, streams and mountain lakes. And all of my life I have had this fear of whatever might be lurking under the water. But my love of swimming and body surfing and the like was so strong I swept it to the back of my mind. I can just imagine the Kraken lurking on the sea floor thinking "You got away from me once. But you'll be baaaaaccckkkkkk...." I think, if it happens that way that I won't really mind it so much.

  17. You might not get a shark to come up from the toilet, but anyone who likes terrible monster movies knows very well that a Critter can easily come up through the plumbing and bite you in the ass. I am sure there is video out there of this.

    Secondly, why be so concerned about sharks and things you can't see that keep you from going to the beach, when there are obviously highly intelligent aliens among us, lurking in the invisible cloaking shields, waiting for someone to be alone and vulnerable. AND they go where they want when they want.

  18. I'm fair skinned, always cold, love the sun, but can't stay in it too long because I will look like a lobster. So, I can relate.

    Do I think you're crazy for not wanting to get into the water? NO!!!!!! I won't step in the ocean. Not that I don't love the water...if I'm looking at it and not in it or on it (i.e. boat--I saw what Jaws did to the boat).

    I came VERY close to being shark dinner when I was little--I've never forgotten a second of that evening.

    Heck, I won't get into a lake because I swear there might be a random alligator, croc, or, you know, a piranha (yes, I know they're not supposed to be in lakes, but who knows, right?).

    And, of course, there was the jellyfish incident, which I don't care to recall at the's too humiliating.

  19. Candice, you're afraid of the squids and octopuses? But...they're really not known for attacking people. I actually find octopuses rather fascinating in an abstract, appreciating their beauty and magnificence kind of way. Except for the giant octopuses with the giant beaks. Those are creepy...wouldn't want to tangle with them. If you want to talk fashion crimes during the eighties...Madonna?

    Darev, that means you're a good swimmer. Swimming would probably make the water less scary. Except that I really am not a good swimmer. In fact, I can do the required swimming techniques with no grace or style, except the backstroke. And what good is a backstroke when a shark is trying to eat you? Exactly. Poseidon is probably waiting for you, too, because his Kracken is VERY hungry.

    Scott, I think aliens have better things to do than hang around us simple minded humans. Logic prevails as far as aliens go. It's simple unreasonable to believe that if they had the technology to get here and hide like you describe they would want to abduct us for study. What could we possibly teach them? Precisely. I realize, of course, that arguing in favor of logic when I'm afraid of sharks appearing in swimming pools is pretty illogical. know. That's the way it is.

    Frisky, did the jellyfish somehow get in your swimsuit and sting your rear? Because that happened to my cousin when we lived in Florida and she did NOT take it well...

    I'm considering all of the information I've received on this subject as definitive proof that we are ALL a little neurotic on some level.

  20. Not Asha Just LazyJune 7, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Aha! But that is where your logic fails you. Who says we are abducted to teach them anything? Maybe they do it because they can, or because life in the galaxy can be long and boring, so why not pick up someone and probe them awhile? Have you ever seen a movie that cast them in a nice pleasant way? And I do not mean Men in Black, because that is far from serious on many levels. I think there is a Man Farm on a nearby planet encased in glass with giant alien beings fucking with us with their magnifying glasses. *gasp* Man Farm...hmm.

  21. Chanel you have inspired a new post for me. A list of reasons why I LOVE the beach. I'm not as much a fan of lakes or rivers because I feel the bottom is not as clean since it's mud instead of sand. Plus there are fish that can nip at your toes. My sister pointed out that it's illogical though for me to be more hesitant of freshwater than saltwater since there's more deadly stuff in saltwater. Oh well, saltwater is prettier. Anyway, watch for a post on loving beaches, you shall be linked in it.

  22. Not Asha Just Lazy, a race of higher intelligence would probably be above petty torture. Movies about aliens that are pleasant: Avatar and District 9 and E.T. Who's evil in those movies? People are evil.

    Jenna, there's more bacteria in freshwater like lakes, especially after it rains. I don't like the mud either. But that doesn't make me any more inclined to invite the sharks to come sniff me out.

  23. Chanel, I've never even seen that picture, and you still can't get me in the water!
    As for your skin, you'll be the one without the skin cancer 'cause you don't go in the sun. I'll be the old wrinkled one getting diagnosed with melanoma! Pale skin is a blessing...and I'm not saying that in a "you're not fat" kind of way!...but I'm certain you're not fat. Just making my point :)

  24. I think I'd have had a heart attack if I had been there when this happened.

    You won't get melanoma. Melanoma is what happens when you go out and get sunburned really badly repeatedly to get a tan faster. Since you're studying medicine, I really doubt you'd do that. You probably tan the safe way. And I don't think tan skin is unattractive. I think tan legs look better in shorts than glow in the dark white ones like mine. It's just a matter of weighing risks.

    But if you do like to go out tanning you should wear at least an SPF. You can still tan with that one. It's just safer than nothing. Skin cancer looks really gross when you have to start having lesions and moles removed.

  25. Chanel--it didn't get into my bathing suit, but it did sting my rear end...I sat on it. Don't ask. My Dad has never let me live it down. :/

  26. What!? Hold on, District 9 can not be in your argument because the alien started out as a human, thus part of his human goodness remained with him. (what a crazy movie, huh. I wonder if there will be a district 10?) Avatar was a movie that had a lot of cuts down to it, specifically the raucous explicit sex scenes with those tails with the genitals on the end, which they "plug" in to things like flying dragons and each other. That is just creepy.
    And ET was just a really long AT&T infomercial, which is diabolical in and of itself.

  27. All this talk makes me wish I was near the ocean again. Or at least had a large swimming pool nearby. One that wasn't hip deep in screaming brats, anyway. I do so need to win the lottery.

  28. Frisky, ouch...I can't imagine how painfully embarrassing and just painful that was. Seriously. I'm sorry. Sitting on a jellyfish...Soft and squishy at first, then not so nice...

    Scott, I see you signed back in. The aliens that were there without the human turning into an alien were good guys. Or most of them were. Like humans, some were bad.

    Avatar still had aliens depicted in a pleasant way, and they were connecting. Don't make it all weird. It's not.

    ET...I only remember it being a really long ad for Reeses Pieces. And it was a good movie.

    There's also Close Encounter of the Third Kind. Even better, actually, because those were MUSICAL aliens. There's also Xenon: The Xequal where the aliens communicate with music to borrow navigational equipment to get back to their own planet. There is also Superman, and Roswell.

    Lots of good aliens.

    Rev, there is a public pool out here where every two hours all the kids have to get out of the pool for thirty minutes for "Adult Swim" so that the adults can swim around without having to worry about brats getting in their way. I hope you win the lottery. And then I hope I win it.

  29. I'm not much of a beach person either. One word: Megladon. I have legs for a reason...because I'm supposed to walk on land.
    BTW, I have a face again so I can comment on your blog again. Yay!

  30. I don't know why squid and octopusses freak me out so much. I know they're not really violent, I guess it's just because they're so quiet and mysterious--sitting there at the bottom of the ocean, waiting for their hapless prey to come just close enough to...*Shudders again*

  31. Megladon would be pretty scary if you met him in the ocean while swimming, Asha. I should add that to my list. And congratulations on slaying the blogger demon!

  32. Candice, it might be all of those tentacles, too. Tentacles can be creepy, just look at the picture. That could be an army of octopuses...

  33. They are actually just your garden variety sea triffids. They won't spit poison at you or drown you and eat you unless you are actually in the water. It's perfectly safe. No cause for alarm.


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