This essay might also be entitled, “How to Send an Email That No One Will Open”. A few years ago, I began to meet a friend semi-regularly at Haulover Beach in North Miami Beach, FL. Warren was a fellow professor at the time. We often had similar schedules as well as a shared love of the beach. Both my wife and Warren’s partner worked regular full-time jobs, so we took the opportunity to meet occasionally during the week for a beach day.
The biggest problem was that Warren lived in Miami and I lived in Coral Springs, just north of Ft. Lauderdale. We needed to find a beach somewhere in the middle. Haulover was a about an hour drive for each of us and Warren had been there often in the past. We both drove to past the Golden Glades interchange, a confluence of several major highways and met at a Dunkin Donuts, where one of us would leave our car and we would carpool for the remaining few miles. This would also save on parking.
One thing that Warren failed to mention on our first meeting at Haulover, was that it is a nude beach. I do not mean a topless beach, but a fully nude beach. While nudity is not required, it did seem as though not ‘joining in’ would be considered bad form. I considered several factors. While, I wear a size fourteen shoe, I probably do not ‘measure up’ to the stereotype that might convey. I am well past the age of worrying about a lack of control with regard to the relative erectness of my junk, if you will. I guess the tipping point for me was that I had developed a waistline that rendered the view of myself exactly the same, were I wearing pants or not. I figured anything there was about me for people to look at was completely their problem.
The next several years at Haulover provided a wide variety of stories, sights, and experiences which I will describe in more detail in subsequent essays. Sometimes, we provided our own fun. I’m not sure where I got this ridiculous idea, but one day, I took a washrag, a camera, and three of my kid’s naked dolls to the beach. Taking a camera to a nude beach can be considered tasteless, so I was quite careful not to point it near any other patrons. Warren and I tended to go early in the day and sit on the less populous end of the beach, so we had no issues.
We took the dolls and posed them in several positions typical of beach-goers. Before your mind goes into a dark place, Haulover is a relatively non-sexual place. Barbie and Ken did nothing inappropriate. After taking the pictures, we sat the dolls out in front of us on the washrag as though it were a blanket. Many people walk back and forth along the beach, but it is also a place where few people make eye contact. It was quite hilarious watching people make sidelong glances at our miniature friends while passing by.
Upon my return home, I loaded the pictures on my computer and was pretty pleased with how they came out. Not being satisfied exposing myself (get it?) as a nutjob to naked strangers, I decided to email the pictures to several friends. I attached the pictures and tried to decide on an appropriate subject for the email. I decided on “Nude beach pics”. I sent the email and waited for the usual snarky responses.
None were forthcoming. After a few days I reached out to a few of the friends I had sent it to. I reached my friend Tyrone at work. He is my best audience and I expected to hear his roaring laughter from 1700 miles away about thirty seconds after I hit “Send”. He told me he didn’t open it. “I don’t want to see your naked ass at the beach”, he said.
“Trust me, Ty. You won’t be offended. I promise you won’t see any part of me.”
“Well, I can’t open it at work.”
“Dude, it’s a bit. Just open it.”
This was pretty much the story with everyone including friends, kids, in-laws. Apparently they were not offended with nudity per se, only the thought of my nudity. Tyrone eventually came around and laughed so hard at work that he had to slip into a faux coughing fit. It seems that laughter in his office is frowned upon. He later told me that it took him three weeks to get a friend to which he forwarded it to open it.
Ultimately, if you want to send an email that no one will open, I recommend this or at least a similar subject. Tyrone continues to open every email selling Viagra or from Nigerian princes, but treats mine as though he’s on the bomb squad.
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