Ocean sound… Existential echo…Ocean sound… Bird squawk…

Welcome to the Hamptons.

You don't seem rich, why are you here? Ah yes, moochy mooch much? Well good on you for surviving that beach trip group text.

Truth time: Your outfit is not quite white enough.

Yeah, yeah, yeah I’m one of those “tells it like it is,” conches. Lucky for you I’m not some snooty, comes from money, conch!

My story? Well, I used to live in the front yard of a seaside rental home in Ocean City, New Jersey, but then a wealthy five-year-old boy named Fawkes begged his mama to take him to a pauper beach town that had Ferris wheels. He found me on the boardwalk, and placed me in his anagrammed satchel, vowed to keep his loose 50s in my crevices, and promised to love me until his death. After his anthropological but ultimately joyous stint at the Ocean City amusement park, he took me back to his family beach mansion-palace here in the Hamptons. The place had a fountain and a very long, manicured lawn crawling with domesticated llamas and ostriches, (livestock tax deduction, naughty, naughty…) I felt right at home with Fawkes-y boy. THEN, his mama bought him a conch shell made of ivory for his sixth birthday, which I’ll have you know, isn't a real conch shell, so he threw me into the waves, sea trash that I was, and now I am alone again.

Nice to meet you. Anywho, you’re a liberal, aren’t you? Bla bla bla, you hate capitalism because you’re poor, right?

I wouldn’t mention your politics at the beach club yuppie mixer. Save yourself the embarrassment.

Don’t worry, I’m not one of those Republican conch shells.

Why not? Well, this one time I sat in on a South Hampton Social Club Board meeting, and, needless to say, it got a little uppity. I ended up on a marble mantel next to a diamond-studded candelabra, and out of nowhere, a silicon-looking, puffy-faced board member noticed this brown birthmark on the tip of my shell. (You can actually see it yourself… it’s right next to your ear…) She became fixated on it. “Who brought this stained conch in here?”, “Hang on now, can we wipe this brown spot off?”, “I’d rather have blood on my hands than a brown conch on my island!”, and “We should kill this shell, no?” Before I knew it there were three social club maids scrubbing me down with Seventh Generation solution, Windex, and hydrogen peroxide. They couldn’t get my dun birthmark out, so they threw my brown conch ass back into the waves, my shell all cracked and ruined from the elbow grease.

Anyway, you look young. Do you like cocaine? Cocaine is like, a thing here. It's pricey!

Between you and me, there's a private nude beach full of celebrities and cocaine just beyond that jetty. You should go check it out. The password’s the same as that Eyes Wide Shut password. Hmm, what was it…fellatio? Ha! I’m one hack of a conch. But yes, exploreeee, you under-cocaineized peasant, you!

No, no, NO, silly, I’m not one of those drug-pushing, sex-crazed, conch shells.

Was I once? I wish. When I was a snail, I watched hetero-normative couples make nasty hate on the sand, missionary only, woman crying, linens everywhere (very Hamptonian). You’d think I would’ve jacked one of their quaaludes after witnessing that trainwreck of a hookup.

One time I was forced to watch my snail body get boiled, made into a ceviche soup, and served to a family of blondes on their backyard tennis court. Those Van Damns don’t speak but boy do they like to volley. I should have stolen some of their matriarch’s Percocets.

Another time, some teenage idiot started to use my shell as a wind instrument and tooted on me whenever he needed his housekeeper to bring him a bag of spicy Doritos. I should have ransacked his ecstasy stockpile. Darn.. looking back… I would’ve done everything differently. What was I thinking? I really am a failure of a conch. Oh god. Is this too much? Anyhow, are you having fun in the Hamptons?

Probably not. It’s just, you’re so clearly an outsider, as am I. All right, it's clear I've alienated you. I’ve alienated everyone I’ve ever interacted with. I’ve alienated myself.

“Welcome” to the Hamptons. HAVE “FUN” HERE IN THE HAMPTONS.

Ocean sound… Bird squawk… Ocean sound… Existential echo echo echo… Ocean sound…


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