...I penned the following belly-tickler a few months ago, upon returning from our family get-away to the Gulf Coast. Mainly intended for family & friends, it's since been deemed "Blog-worthy," and has been fielding requests. As a starving artist, I aim to please. Enjoy...
It had been over twenty years since I'd last experienced the pearly sands blanketing Florida's Siesta Key Beach.
I could still remember the ocean. Crystal-blue bath water, a pinch of salt teasing the humidity, and seaweed thinned down to no more than a lonely blade or two if searching.
Sand like sugar, soft and endless. A beach as wide as a football field is long. Plenty of room for volleyball, a frisbee toss, or an afternoon bar-b-que.
Twenty-plus years and I'd finally returned. I turned to my wife, a tear escaping down my cheek as together we watched our kids dash for the sea, and said, "I like what they've done to the place."
"Great," she mumbled. "But look at all these people."
I directed my attention away from The Gulf's gentle tide, and allowed myself a moment to absorb the not-so-perfect feature that my wife had quickly discovered. The people.
Some were young. Others old. Some robust, and others thin. A few were tan, but most were burnt. Thousands of them. People. Basting in the sun. Bobbing in the surf, or strolling along the tide's wake. Half-naked and glistening. Everywhere. At some point during my twenty year absence, Siesta Key Beach had been discovered.
...and unfortunately for me, wherever there's a scantily clad population numbering in the thousands, Captain America is sure to be somewhere in the vicinity.
I spotted him while returning with my younger son from a dip in the waves. I couldn't help but notice...really I couldn't.
He stretched to roughly five foot ten, probably one-eighty soaking wet...and at the time, he was.
He was of foreign descent, Italian or maybe Greek. His olive complexion was utterly hairless, except for what covered his scalp. Obviously an avid bodybuilder, his trimmed physique apparently permitted him the right to prominade the sands of Siesta with elbows bent outward, his biceps ever bulging, as if to say, "No really, I'm not clenching...they're just like that."
Despite the impressive ensamble, what caught my eye had nothing to do with his male pleasantries. It was instead the outlandish American-Flag-Loincloth plastered, or perhaps painted, over his mid-section.
Our very own Stars and Stripes...as never seen before.
One could only guess at the type of material needed for such pressurized abuse. Stretchy polyester? The thinnest form of cotton South Carolina's ever harvested? Something from Nasa perhaps? Whatever the cloth, I found myself thankful of it's powerful elasticity. For the slightest clinch of his sveinter muscle could've resulted in disaster.
And bumbling along on either side of the modern day super hero, his crime-fighting comrades, Bill and Ted. Because for them, this was no doubt one excellent adventure.
For a moment I found myself able to stifle the giggle which had risen up in my throat, as my son and I crossed their path en route to my sun-bathing wife and our awaiting towels.
That's when I unfortunately noticed the one star on his super suit which had been strategically placed directly over his "Italian Stallion."
One can only guess which U.S. state that star was supposed to represent, but their residents have my condolences.
The following events were the result of my discovery of that cursed, crotch-shielding star...
Captain America noticed.
Dragging my nine year old in tow, we stumbled out of harm's way.
I made the mistake of glancing over my shoulder.
Captain America and I gazed upon one another.
He then arched an eyebrow, threw me a scowl, planted his fists upon his hips, and flexed his pectorals at me, like two fleshy mounds of jello.
My grin pulled downward.
My son's jaw dropped. "Dad, did you see that?" he asked, raising an index finger.
"Don't point," I instructed. "Come on."
We made it back to our towels, my son staring down at his own chest, his thoughts running rampant.
"What's wrong?" my wife asked.
"Didn't you see that guy in that...suit?" I exclaimed. Then a thought occured to me. I leaned toward my wife's burnt earlobe. "Hey, why don't you go take a picture of that moron for my blog."
"What? I'm not sneaking up behind..." That's when she spotted him.
I watched as her eyes widened from behind her tinted lenses. Her nose twitched, as if smelling a peculiar scent in the air. Then before I had a chance to come to my senses and rescind my earlier request, she snatched up her Cannon Rebel, slung it over her shoulder, and padded across the sand. The clever wolverine tracking it's prey.
She disappeared in the ever-moving mass of glistening bodies patrolling the coastline. I shook my head, disgruntled.
A few minutes passed. My irritation grew. My son, still for whatever reason, concentrating on his upper torso, finally turned to me and asked, "Dad, why can't I make my boobs wiggle like that?"
"Because they're not big enough yet," I mumbled.
From out of the horde of beachcombers, my wife suddenly appeared, plopping down at my side, a mischevious smirk upon her face.
"Got you a good shot," she proudly announced. "I got pretty close."
"Hmmph," I grunted. "I bet you did."
"So Dad, can you do that?" my son persisted.
"Would you not worry about it please?" I huffed.
"Worry about what?" my wife asked.
"That guy," my son explained, again pointing. "You know, the one with the flag on his butt. He wiggled his boobs at Dad."
"He did what?" my wife yelped.
I released a sigh.
A minute or two of precious silence was shared between the three of us, thoughts wandering in three different directions, before my wife finally asked, "So...are you sure one picture's gonna be enough?"