July 2011 home page


Rich Simons | 11th Street

Every month, Rich Simons answers readers’ most perplexing questions.


Photo illustration Art Olson

Q: Now that summer is here, thousands of visitors will be using our beaches and our lifeguard services. Isn’t there some way we can get them to share in the costs involved? - g.m
This is definitely an idea whose time has come! And here is how we can do it: At conveniently placed kiosks along the beach we can offer our visitors policies providing them with different levels of lifeguard service commensurate with their abilities to swim and . . . er, pay. The following are examples:

  • Platinum Level: (Our Executive Package) Insured will be outfitted with a bracelet which, when held out of water for fifteen seconds, will activate a loud claxon and send a multi-colored beacon spinning into the air. Service will be guaranteed to arrive within two minutes, in the form of a twin-engine Zodiac with warm seats bearing two lifeguards and a paramedic, warm blankets, and a flagon of Courvoisier. Or, optionally – a warm, dry puppy. During the rescue, the Zodiac driver will videotape the adventure for later viewing in the insured’s home theatre.
  • Bronze Level: (Popular with families) Insured is equipped with a metallic bracelet that reflects sunlight brilliantly. A kayak paddled by a lone lifeguard will appear in “a few minutes”, with no blankets but with a bota bag half full of cheap burgundy. Sorry – no puppy option at this level.
  • Mahogany Level: (Our budget package) Bracelet is constructed of premium hardwood, guaranteed to float for a bit. Lifeguard, after finishing his or her smoothie, will paddle out with one of those floaty board thingies and haul the customer’s sorry butt back to shore. No pooch, no

Skinflint zonies who refuse to purchase a lifeguard policy will have to rely upon the kindness of strangers, such as the passing dolphin or surfer.
In our next issue – Reserving Your Space on the Beach!

Q: If, as you have suggested in recent columns, we are able to free ourselves from dependence on foreign GDP’s (Gross Doggie Products), will we be able to make it up from domestic sources? – s.p.
An excellent question! It may be necessary for the government to make some releases from its strategic stockpile of Boston Terriers and Coonhounds.


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