The frenzied July 4th crowds began Tuesday evening. How could they not? The weekend had just ended, so it seemed that people were on simmer and waiting for an opportunity to really get going on their summer vacations. We could see them as we drove through the beach area on our way to the ball game many others decided would kick off their holiday as well. Lots of traffic, people hustling to get somewhere — anywhere — even if it meant getting stuck at the place where Interstate 8 ends at the Pacific Ocean. On that evening, there wouldn’t have been a glorious sunset to keep them entertained as they swore at each other, trying to squeeze from four lanes into two.
I’m such a party pooper. For some reason, I’d rather be an observer than a participant. People watching is far more interesting to me than putting myself in a place where I could become the object of another’s scrutiny. I’m quite capable of making an ass of myself given the perfect circumstances, so best I avoid those situations by enjoying others while they are in their element — or not.
Being one of about 46,000 at a ball park guarantees superb opportunities for people watching. But we were fairly early, so dinner was in order. The expected fish tacos never materialized. Instead, we tried the sushi restaurant. Sushi? At a ball park? The MoH has baseball in his veins, so seizing the opportunity to sit in a restaurant with a view of batting practice is seriously his cup of tea. Er, ah, beer. With edamames, please. Nope. The RT was completely unimpressed with the California Roll because he most likely had boi-gahs on his brain. But the view was very relaxing and a great way to begin the evening. Unfortunately, the MoH is a jinx, so the home team lost. Again.
The 4th was a very quiet blur with little or no fanfare. An excellent dinner with friends, with no celebratory songs of being glad to be Americans, and very little Souza. And why is it that the older one gets, the less important fireworks are? I won’t apologize for the bah-humbugging I’m doing because I’ve seen some fairly amazing fireworks shows and unless someone is interested in taking me to see the pyrotechnics competition they hold in Monte Carlo every year, then I’ll only feign interest. Actually, the view from our friends’ home is quite spectacular on a good night. But Monte Carlo?
Sadly, no Monte Carlo for me. I was more interested in heading down to the beach to walk early the next morning because I had to see with my very own eyes what the local paper had published the year before. I had to see the mountains of trash that others feel no discomfort in leaving behind after they’ve had their one day at the beach for the year. I had to see.
It was early enough by the time we had stopped at Kono’s to get our coffee that beach rental folks were barely stirring, and there was nary an officer in sight at the SDPD Mobile Command Unit trailer. But many others had already been up for quite some time. Junior Lifeguards were congregating to pick up trash; the Surfrider Foundation was organizing the clean up event; kids in summer day camp programs were collecting even the tiniest pieces of litter; men in skip loaders were gathering what the cans had held. It seemed that everything was under control. By the time that we walked by, compared to the ugliness of last year, the beach was relatively clean and it was only 8:30 am. Amazing. The greatest aspect of this was seeing people walk up to do their part just to help out.
How might it be if people took the responsibility of not leaving trash to begin with? My evil side imagines for just a second, what people would do if a garbage truck removed the trash, drove it to a neighborhood where the once-a-year beach goers live, and summarily dumped it, leaving it for others to clean it up. But that wouldn’t be kind, would it? I wonder what their thinking is? Well, it’s only a bit of trash. Someone will clean it up. Or, everyone else is doing it, so what difference does it make? People are willing to carry very heavy bags, boxes, and coolers through the sand, but can’t think for 5 minutes on how to remove something that takes up less space in their SUVs, Trucks, and MiniVans, than when they arrived. Lazy? I’m thinking it’s something more subversive, but I’m not in the mood to stir that pot right now. Think about it. I still have the Black Beast sitting in my garage right now. I could have rolled it down to the beach and left it there, right? Take some time to see what last year was like and watch this video clip .
Enough. Hope your 4th was relaxing if you celebrate declaring independence from an overbearing monarchy. I could let you in on all the tourismo “stuff” we’ve been doing since then, but I’ll spare you. At least for now. The perspective I’m attempting to employ at this point is along the lines of working to appreciate the city I have lived in since 1968. The one I often say I don’t appreciate.
The one I often consider leaving.