Strange day at the beach

Here’s one other story I previously told on Facebook that strikes me as kind of currently relevant, owing to a label I used in the photography entry from two days ago and the snowball assault mentioned yesterday. In this story, there are no snowballs being thrown, but there is an attack of a totally different kind.

Back in 2004, while still living on LI, I was in a pretty good running routine, and often ran along the shore at Jones Beach. In early September, I peaked, and ran from Field 6 to the West End jetty and back (about 8 miles round trip). Feeling good--and hungry--I decided to reward myself with a hot dog and soda in the concession stand. With the dog in my left hand and the soda in my right, I headed outside. Suddenly, I felt a solid smack on the back of my left shoulder and then two lighter hits, all of which caused me to raise the arm in an almost defensive motion as I whirled around to see who it was. In an instant, the hot dog was knocked away by the seagull that had been beating me with its wing, and about a dozen more then swarmed to the fallen food. I thought for a second about spiking my soda at them, but instead looked around, amazed and amused, but dismayed to not have a witness. Or so I thought.

An old guy, who was insanely tan, wrinkled, and unfortunately Speedo-d, and who obviously had not budged from his beach chair on the boardwalk since June, said "Those birds can count to 2, ya know. They just sit on the roof and wait for people to walk out with both hands full and then go for the food. If one hand is empty, they leave ya alone. I seen it happen a 100 times." He told me to go back inside and get another one, but I didn't think I had a chance at getting it replaced. Sure enough, though, I wasn't even back at the counter when the young lady who had served me said, "Awwww, did the seagulls just take your hot dog?" Sheepishly, I replied that they did. She gave me another one and suggested that I eat it inside or hold onto it tightly…

I didn’t have any camera with me on this day, but none would have done this scene justice anyway. No, this episode required video.


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