Memorial Day Beach Etiquette

Noodle thievery is unacceptable.
Noodle thievery is unacceptable.
Photo by Ian Witlen

Memorial Day is here, and there are currently thousands of South Floridians making their way to the beach. It's a Sunshine State tradition as old as meth and guns.

But just because you don't have to wear a shirt doesn't mean you can treat the beach like your own personal property. There are other people around you, so don't be a dick.

You might be wondering: But, how do I not be a dick?

Well, if you have to ask that question, you're not off to a good start. But if we can teach monkeys sign language, anything is possible. So here are some basic beach etiquette tips to make your Memorial Day (and those around you) more pleasant.

6. Don't be a moocher. Fine, you can have a palmful of my sunscreen, but now you're eyeing my unattended chair, and, great, now you want to borrow some charcoal, and a towel, and, Jesus, just take my girlfriend while you're at it, too. She knows how to cook ravioli and doesn't talk during movies.

I mean, did you not know you were coming to the beach? What are you, a dog? Do you just hop in a car and hope for the best?


Secure that umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh.
Secure that umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh.

5. Secure your umbrella. An umbrella is a fun, practical thing to bring to the beach. Right?


An umbrella is a death device that can turn a pleasant day at the beach into a scene out of Game of Thrones.

Tie it to grandma if you have to. We all know she's not moving from that chair anyway. Just make sure your umbrella is secured. Or else you'll have to explain to little Timmy's mom why her son is a human shish kabob.

Memorial Day Beach Etiquette
Photo by Dori via Wikipedia Commons

4. Follow the 7-seagull rule. We know beaches can get crowded, especially on Memorial Day. But that's no excuse to not give folks their space.

If you're not sure if you're placing your towel at an acceptable distance, just use the 7-seagull rule. If seven seagulls can't fit between you and your neighbor, you're too close.

If seven seagulls can fit between you and your neighbor, you're golden. And probably covered in poop.

Memorial Day Beach Etiquette
Photo by Xavigivax Wikipedia Commons

3. Shake your towel responsibly. When the sun has turned you into a chicken wing, and the salt has transformed your tongue into a slice of beef jerky, you'll want to collect your things and go home.

But please -- please -- don't just grab your towel, give it a shake, and head home.

Do you realize what you're doing to your neighbors?

One minute they're relaxing, listening to the sounds of the waves, and the next minute they're getting shot-gunned in the mouth with your hot sand bullets.

Here's what you do. Slowly pick up your towel as if it were a newborn hedgehog, walk it to an unpopulated area (cross the goddamn street if you have to), and then -- and only then - you may give a couple gentle shakes.


Memorial Day Beach Etiquette

2. Don't be a sunglasses pervert. Just because people can't see your pupils doesn't mean you're allowed to stare at every half-naked person within your seven seagull radius.

People come to the beach to relax. Yes, they're not wearing a whole lot of clothes and you're very lonely, but try to contain yourself.

This goes for you too, ladies. We're not just pieces of meat.

Memorial Day Beach Etiquette
Photo by Christina Mendenhall

1. Easy on the holes, Shia LaBeouf. Hey, um, your son and his ragtag group of little friends just dug a 14-foot hole in the middle of a very populated area, and that elderly woman is heading right for it.

A sand castle is cool, but an Indiana Jones booby trap is manslaughter. Calm down, Hector Zeroni.

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