Setting a Five-quart Limit on Beach Coolers No Big Deal – I Rarely Put Down More than Three or Four Quarts of Tequila Anyway

I don’t understand why everybody is making such a fuss about a new ordinance banning coolers larger than five quarts from Old Lyme’s Sound View Beach. What’s the problem? Three or four quarts of tequila are usually enough to tide me over. Anything more than that really does tide me over – I drift off, don’t realize the tide is coming in and wake up with waves lapping over my lounge chair.

In case you missed it the blankety-blanks on the Old Lyme Board of Selectman approved the rule last week because they thought too many people were stashing the wrong kind of beverages in their coolers. Here’s the letter from the Sound View Commission to the selectmen that started it all.

“The Commission has been reluctant to suggest a complete ban on coolers, citing inconvenience to our residents, particularly families with small children. However, this year we are seeing coolers of enormous size, toted by groups of day-trippers. These large size coolers also make it difficult for our Rangers to conduct a proper inspection and the general conclusion is that alcohol is often buried within.”

Ya think? What else are you supposed to put in a cooler? Lemonade?

First of all, that letter is totally bogus. Personally, I’ve always felt that parents shouldn’t be letting their kids take a sip of anything stronger than Bud Light, so throwing in that crack about it being such a hardship for families with small children just doesn’t make sense. Right from the get-go they’ve lost all credibility, as far as I’m concerned.

You know what I really wish they’d ban? Those weeny beach chairs that stick up only about three inches from the sand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tripped on those damned nuisances, especially after I’ve been dipping into the cooler all afternoon.

You’d think the people you’ve stumbled over would have the decency to apologize for making you fall, but no. Instead they yell at you like it’s your fault.

Here’s another thing I’d do away with: Spoil sports who ask you to turn down the speakers on your iPod. I go to all that trouble to lug a portable sound system to the beach, you think everybody around me would show some appreciation when I crank up the volume and share my favorite play list with them. I guess some people are just plain ungrateful.

These are the same people, mind you, who complain about my cigar smoke, or if just one empty Cheetos bag happens to blow onto their blanket.

Honestly, it’s gotten to the point that going to the beach just isn’t that much fun any more. You can’t let your dogs run around, or grill hamburgers, or drive your 4-wheeler down to the water without somebody blowing a whistle.

For a while I was pretty excited because I heard they were planning to build a bikeway at Sound View, but then, come to realize they were talking about a special lane for those things you pedal.

Just what I need – more guys in spandex telling me to watch where I’m going when I’m doing wheelies with my chopper.

“And get a helmet!” they shout.

“Get a life!” I shout back.

Anyway, as I said, I’m pretty sure I can live with the five-quart limit on my cooler.

But if anybody tries to stop me from bringing my cherry bombs, Roman candles and M-80s, that’s where I draw a line in the sand.




Reader Comments


The Continental Divide Trail: 'Overall It's Amazing, But You Have To Be OK With Getting Lost'

After tramping more than a month some 700 miles along the fabled Continental Divide Trail, Mystic native Hilary Sueoka and her boyfriend, Dan Stedman, who started hiking April 22 at the U.S.-Mexican border, finally rambled from the...

The Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon: Racing Is The Easy Part.

By the time Phil Warner and I hit the water in his lightning-fast tandem kayak last Sunday for our team’s leg in the Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon in Lenox, Mass., we had already spent a good part of the morning lugging gear...

There’s No Accounting For Taste When It Comes To Favorite Mountains, Or Tacos

En route to a hiking expedition in Nepal’s Himalayas a number of years ago, my wife and I took a detour to India and spent a day bouncing along on a bus from New Delhi to Agra to tour the Taj Mahal.

Mount McKinley Renamed Denali: Better Than Mount Reagan

Three cheers for the Obama Administration’s decision this week to officially restore the name of North America’s tallest mountain to Denali, which is what early inhabitants called the 20,310-foot peak in the Alaska Range.

The Endless Summer: Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Remember when you were a kid how your mom wouldn’t let you have ice cream every day even though nothing in the world tasted better on a hot day than a double scoop of butter crunch?

My Favorite Kayak Race: The T.I.A.G.A.T.I.N.M.R. In Rangeley, Maine

Paddling like the dickens last Sunday on Maine’s Rangeley Lake, we competitors had two choices: steer clockwise or counter-clockwise around Maneskootuk Island.

Selden Island: Once A Bustling Quarry, Now A Quiet Haven

More than 40 years ago, Dave Wordell of Salem took his then-10-year-old son, Dave Junior, on a boat ride up Selden Creek, a narrow, secluded tributary of the Connecticut River in Lyme.

Life As A Lumbersexual

I can never remember – do you apply facial cleanser before or after the exfoliating scrub, and then finish up with healing balm and moisturizer, or should you start with the scrub, work your way through the cleanser and then top...

R.I.P. Cecil the Lion: Let's Make the Trophy Hunter an Endangered Species

The international outrage sparked by an American trophy hunter’s killing of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s beloved lion, justifiably vilifies the despicable practice of slaughtering wildlife for sport – but it also exposes the human...

All Who Wander Are Not Lost: Searching For The Elusive South Bog Stream In Rangeley, Maine

"Head for that tree stump," I instructed authoritatively one afternoon earlier this week, as if I knew for sure where we should be heading. I have learned to exude confidence when giving directions on any expedition, even...

Scott Jurek's 'Reward' For Breaking Appalachian Trail Speed Record: Three Summonses

When internationally celebrated speedster Scott Jurek scrambled last Sunday to the 5,269-foot summit of Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, he broke the record for the fastest assisted hike of the 2,189-mile...