Posted by: dharmabeachbum | September 17, 2013

Money doesn’t talk, it swears

I was happier than a shark swimming through chum as I stood at surf’s edge kicking up shells. The Redneck Riviera was resting in the tranquility of another in a long stretch of sunny, comfortable mornings. The ocean looked like an emerald mirror, rolling gently to the pale blue horizon. Fossil sharks’ teeth were abundant in the vein of crushed shells that I’d unearthed.

I wasn’t dodging stray beach umbrellas or ducking Frisbees (search Wham-O! DBB beaned by Pluto Platter, July 2012). People were returning my greetings. This was my idea of heaven.

“That’s some shark tooth you have around your neck.”

Two middle-aged women smiled at me when I lifted my head. Their southern drawls were so pleasant. I felt like I had just been invited into one of their living rooms.

“Thanks. Found it a little south of here.”

“That’s wonderful. We never have much luck.”

“My collection’s online if you’d like to see it. I’ve found a few this size.”

One of the women looked at me as if I had just passed gas upwind of her. Disdain doesn’t begin to describe her expression. So much for being invited into her living room. “So you’re trying to sell them?”

“Pardon me? Oh, no ma’am. I don’t…”

“You sell sharks’ teeth online?” the other women asked.

“No, no. I don’t sell ’em. This is a collection I’m talking about. I have a blog and…”

“People are always trying to sell things on the internet.”

“My blog is writing intensive,” I said, forcing a smile as I offered them dharma beach bum cards. “Would you like to see my site?”

“No thanks.”

“Have a nice day,” I said, as they trudged silently away.

I was tempted, at that moment, to cup my hands around my mouth and shout, “You might want to have those hearing aids checked. Those cataracts must be a bummer.” Does that make me a bad guy? Seriously, I love chatting with people on the beach; just don’t impose your values on me.

I’ve only ever sold sharks’ teeth once — at the annual city yard sale. I sold about ten teeth that day, while giving away roughly a thousand smaller teeth to fascinated children. I’ve happily given away 25,000 of them now.

It’s mighty hard for me to put a price on fossils. Neptune’s kept them hidden for millions of years.

And I’m a dreamin’ man. Money is of little importance to me idealogically. I defer, in closing, to the late author Jack Kerouac, from whom I borrowed two-thirds of my blog’s moniker. This is a passage from his novel, “Dharma Bums.” The quote is a reflection of Kerouac’s naivety at the time, but I can relate.

“See the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn’t really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume. I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of ’em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures.”

Dig it, y’all?



  1. i don’t understand
    so what if you did sell them
    is it a sin?

    crazy ladies..

    i would invite you
    into my living room
    if i had one. lol
    ( i think i have one living room left).

    • You should see my place, Miss errinspelling. No furniture except tables and my computer desk. It’s a long, insipid story, and I plan on writing about it upon moving. It has to do with a problem widespread on this beach. The big secret. I’d be homeless if I touched on it. But I will. Those ladies were really nice at first, then really rude. I swear. They didn’t even say goodbye when I bid them a good day. Strange.

      • you have to tell me. you don’t sit ? i think you live close…..the other day when it was cloudy & the moon was right & i had enough water & the tide was….i went for a walk to 40 b.. longest walk…started at 46 or 1…& i wanted to ask you:

        do those #’s mean anything on the boxes with the chairs inside , on the beach?

        lol. there were 2 signs in the ocean that said don’t block emergence vehicle access.

      • I’m laughing, miss errinspelling. Those numbers are supposed to mean something. But often they don’t. Sometimes they have the chairs with appropriate numbers right near the avenue. Sometimes they don’t. I’ve never understood it. Sounds like a good idea for a blog sometime. The emergency signs. You wouldn’t believe this. One day I was on the beach with a girl and two sons. One of her sons was laying between the emergency signs. A city truck refused to proceed past him even though the beach was desolate (fall). They made him get up just to be spiteful. I felt like making asses of them in a blog, but I thought at the time that I had done enough spewing. If it happens again…. well, you know me.

      • lol. they made him move…the signs weren’t in the water yesterday. i guess it wasn’t low tide, the other day… so you are close,if you know where the signs are… i’m at 1 then next door at north beach it’s 46.

  2. You meet so many nice people on the beach and then it only takes one or in this case two to ruin that warm fuzzy feeling.

    • I couldn’t believe it, Miss Cindy. They were nice at first, then terribly rude. Can’t believe I bit my tongue (for once). Part of the reason I go to the beach is to interact with people. In general, people are really, really nice. I just like to write about the strange ones (lol). You hear older folks talking about the lack of respect among our young, but the young have very rarely been disrespectful to me on the beach. It’s the older folks and their “trust no one, live in fear” mentality that strike me as weird. I may live an unconventional lifestyle, but I LIVE. Peace, as usual.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: