There are plenty of reasons to go to the beach: to cool off on a hot summer day, to read a book in the sun, or to track sand into your enemy’s car. But unfortunately, there are those that want to ruin everyone else’s beach day. I am of course referring to beach bullies. And you may be one of them.

I know what you’re thinking; “I certainly can’t be the beach bully because I’m not a shark. Those are the mean guys at the beach.” What if I told you that sharks aren’t the only mean guys at the beach? Another mean guy might be the one staring back at you in the mirror.

One thing we all like to do when we get to the beach is to find the biggest dweeb there and kick down the sandcastle they are building, right? Wrong! That was a test to see if you’re a beach bully. Kicking sandcastles is exactly what a beach bully would do, regardless of whether or not the person building it is a dweeb.

You may be thinking, “Well it doesn’t count if it’s a little sand castle, right?” This is a common misconception. No matter how small the sand castle is, if you kick it down, you’re being a big beach bully.

What are the things you bring with you to the beach? A towel, sunglasses, and a package of thumbtacks? If you’re thinking of putting some tacks on the big lifeguard chair so the lifeguards will sit on them, you should think again. We get it; you want to humiliate the lifeguards by causing the beachgoers to call the strength of their rumpuses into question. In reality, you’re just making a fool of yourself. Lifeguards deserve our love and respect. In a lot of ways, lifeguards are the beach’s moms and dads. And if you are mean to your friend’s mom and dad, you can kiss another play-date goodbye.

Another thing I am absolutely disgusted with is when I see beach bullies bring chairs that are bigger than the lifeguards’ chair and place it right in front of them. Not only is this incredibly disrespectful to our bronze-skinned, golden-hearted heroes, but it also causes a lot of people to die because the lifeguards can’t see swimmers drowning in the water.

“Going up to the waves and trying to punch them is classic BBH (beach bully behaviour),” says marine biologist Roy Cowabungason. “Most people accept that the waves are the result of winds transferring their energy to the water, but beach bullies think the waves are slapping them… And they want to get even.”

In kindergarten, children learn to share their toys. So why is the concept of sharing so difficult for some full-grown adults to grasp? How many times have you seen this: some jerk starts trying to drink all the ocean water because they don’t want the fish to have it. They’ll be saying, “Hey fish, this is some nice water you got here. Too bad it’s mine now.” And then they’ll pull out their comically oversized straw and start slurping. Here’s a quick fact for you: 700 tons of the ocean’s water disappear every single year. Where is it going? Straight into the bellies of beach bullies.

The unfortunate thing is that they don’t even like the taste of the saltwater. As soon as these bullies take their first gulp, usually, they will scrunch their face up in disgust. But they need to pretend that they do like it to avoid looking foolish, so it’s not uncommon to see a beach bully drinking saltwater, saying, “Mmmm, I like this, it’s really good,” to convince everyone they do enjoy it. Rest assured, they are lying.

The beach is no place for bullying. It’s a place for good vibes, good times, and to feel insecure about your body. So next time you are planning your beach vacation getaway, do a little self-reflection. If any of the above describes your behaviour, it might be better for everyone if you just stayed home.

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