With Memorial Day Weekend upon us and summer quickly approaching, many Texans are beginning to look forward to spending some quality time soaking up the rays on one of our area's beaches. Most visitors to Texas beaches seem to behave appropriately when in these public spaces, but it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the fun for everyone else. Here are a few things anyone should avoid doing at the beach so others can enjoy themselves too.
8. Don't Crowd Others When There's Plenty of Room
Sometimes on a crowded beach, it's impossible to put a lot of space between oneself and others. Still, almost no one enjoys it when other people stake a claim to the area right next to them when plenty of room is available elsewhere.
7. Follow the Rules Regarding Pets
Fortunately for pet lovers, our four-legged friends are welcome on many Texas beaches as long as they're kept on leashes and their owners clean up after them. Letting a dog run free at the beach is a recipe for disaster, or at the very least can be a nuisance to others, so it's a no-brainier to keep Fido on his leash the whole time he's there.
6. Know Where Alcohol Is Allowed
Some areas in Galveston allow drinking on the beach, and as long as folks stick to those designated areas and don't cause problems for others, there's nothing wrong with enjoying their adult beverages. Saying that, no one wants to deal with some drunk idiot staggering around like a zombie in a part of a beach where alcohol isn't allowed, scaring kids and puking in the dunes. Like a lot of things in life, drinking on a beach is best done in moderation. No one wants to see a sloppy drunk dude heading toward family or friends. It should be noted, though, that getting drunk and then swimming in the ocean is a stupid thing to do, and a good way to end up a "death by misadventure" statistic.
5. Pick Up After Yourself
This should probably be a no-brainer, but some folks must be short in that department, because they still leave trash behind when they leave the beach. Discarded cigarette butts and other garbage don't fit well in any natural ecosystem, and have no place in the sand. This is especially true when it intersects with the next item on this list.
4. Don't Take Glass to the Beach
Seems like most people would understand why taking glass containers or bottles into a sandy environment where people tend to walk around barefoot is a bad idea, but I still see numbskulls breaking this rule relatively often. No one wants to have his or her trip to the beach end with a ride to the hospital to get stitches because some nimrod left broken glass behind for a hapless victim to step on.
3. Don't Be the "Beach DJ"
As surprising as it might be to some folks, many of us just enjoy the sound of the ocean more than their choice of crappy music. Impromptu beach DJs are a particularly unwelcome pest, and among the many good reasons headphones were invented. No, I don't want to listen to some person's selection of Manowar tunes at near-concert volume while I'm trying to relax, thank you very much.
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2. Don't Be "The Creepy Guy"
You know the one. "That guy." The dude who stares at women for an uncomfortably long time, and who acts like he's stumbled into a party in his honor at the Playboy mansion. This person is almost universally despised, but will stalk some beaches like a slimy thing that washed up at high tide. It's doubly creepy when these middle-aged geezers start checking out high-school girls. If these wannabe "Woodersons" can't control themselves, they should stay at home and watch old Girls Gone Wild VHS tapes and cry themselves to sleep afterwards.
1. Especially Don't Be an Aggressive, Xenophobic, Racist Jackass
Earlier this month, a chump from Connecticut caused a disturbance after engaging in an obscene, profanity-laced anti-Muslim tirade directed at a family trying to enjoy themselves at South Padre Island. I don't know what it's like to wake up and be filled with the kind of vile hatred that, when mixed with alcohol, makes it almost certain that dildos like this will end their day with a tearful mugshot — and I'm glad I don't. Whatever causes a person to be a weird racist xenophobe...avoid that.