Like the myriad of disgusting headlines my friend sends me or I discover in my own local news, I’m sharing another one I haven’t seen beaten to death (yet). Not that it’s not out there by any means, but I haven’t seen it circulating in print or TV.
Here you go – Death by beach umbrella.
Many accidents and injuries involving errant beach umbrellas go unreported, but you should know that between 2008 and 2017 at least 31,000 were reported and required emergency medical treatment. Several deaths by beach umbrella have even been reported along with quite a few maimings, including loss of eyeballs, feet, appendages and abdominal parts.
What a fucking great setup. PI or Bounty Hunter Barbie on the beach with Hunky Ken. After the fashion observations and minute accessory descriptions, the wind kicks up.
“Damn!” She exclaimed, pissedoffedly. “I paid twenty dollars for that hat.”
“Hat?” Ken said, absently studying her perfect buns that sported a confectioners dusting of sand.
“Yes, my white straw sun hat with the blue and fuscia Kate Spade knock-off bandana. There it goes!” She pointed into the mess of tumbling, rollicking beach umbrellas, picnic baskets, beer coolers, plastic starfish and towels piling up against the pier and tourist gift shop.
“Isn’t Kate Spade like, dead?”
“That’s why the knock off is so valuable, moron.”
“Check that.” Hunky ex NATO superspy Ken tapped his temple saying “Be right back.” He dashed recklessly into the melee. Upon grabbing her fashion statement hat he stopped in his tracks and began blocking incoming beach debris with his forearms like Wonder Woman in a speedo. The wind abated as suddenly as it started.
“What’s wrong?” Bounty Hunter Barbie asked.
“This one has your name on it, Barb babe,” he shouted, then muttered “or is it babe Barb…?”
When she arrived, he pushed the upside-down umbrellas and coolers aside to give her a clear, yet disturbingly grim view.
“Jeez, Hunky Ken. It’s Benson Ekoreck, the witness protection skip I’ve been looking for.”
“With a beach umbrella stuck in his chest.” Ken reached to remove the umbrella.
“Stop!” Barbie screeched in that shrill voice she hated but just came out when she was upset or orgasmic. “That’s my umbrella!”
Well, of course it is. Was. Whatever. Anyway, there you go, a free plot device. Remember, you heard it here first. Evanovich owes me five-spot if she uses it.
Seriously – Umbrella deaths and bodily damage are a reality. So much so that several Democratic Senators, two from Virginia and one from New Jersey on a day with nothing better to do sent a letter to the Consumer Safety Commission demanding the effects of errant beach umbrellas be looked into.
Well no shit, Sherlock.
Can’t help myself – If the fictional scene started above had gone on, it might have ended this way –
“That cop thinks you whipped up the windstorm with your hoo-ha somehow so you could get the Bail Bond on that dude refunded,” Hunky Ken said, disaffectedly brushing sand from his glistening bicep.
“He’s just a hairy scrotum in a cheap suit looking for an easy way out. I didn’t do it, so he can kiss my ass and go pound sand. Hey, what’s that on your shoulder?”
“Souvenir? You can’t just take things from a closed crime scene just because it started out as an Act of God, Hunky Ken.”
“Ohh… But the cops said to pick out what we wanted…” Hunky Ken stopped, looked glumly back at the pile of beach crap being picked through by once happy beach goers. “I guess I better take them back.”
“I guess. Wait. Them?”
“I got you one, too.” In a quick move based on years of training and reflex perfection, he whipped two beach towels off his shoulder, snapped them out in front of himself before handing one to Bounty Hunter Barbie.
“Oh my God!” She inhaled a big breath. “A Versace beach towel! You don’t see many of these.”
“Or these.” Hunky Ken held up an oversize Def Leppard towel. “This is major killer.”
Bounty Hunter Barbie rolled her eyes. “What’s so special about a Def Leppard towel?”
“It’s a collector’s item, babe, Barb, uh Barb — ”
“Never mind.” Barbie pouted, unaffected by his enthusiasm.
“No, really. Check it out, Babe, uh, Barb uh… In this picture?” Hunky Ken palmed up the silkscreened band photo on the towel for her. “The drummer dude still has both arms!”