Since our move to South Carolina, we have been to the beach at least once a week. Various beaches to be sure, but a beach nonetheless.
As I walk along the shore I pass several men my age or older wearing … um … it’s difficult to describe it as swim trunks. More like thong underwear.
Invariably, they are shirtless, with wiry gray hair sprouting like weeds from their chests, and bellies dipping south to Mexico, overhanging the front of the thong-like thingy and giving them the appearance of being, horrors, nekkid.
“If you ever see me dressed like that,” I’ve told the person who says she loves me, “slap me upside the head. Hard.”
Now, I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a rock-hard, chiseled-from-marble-by-Michelangelo body. Fact is, when I’m overseas for a book signing (shameless plug here for “My Grave Is Deep” which can be found in paperback and e-book formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.UK, Amazon.co.ja, Amazon.in and many other idustrialized nations), I’m often mistaken for David, one of Mr. Angelo’s most famous works. The only difference is that I’m wearing pants.
I’ve worked hard for this body. Sure, I can eat an entire two-pound bag of peanut M&Ms in one sitting, but I wash them down with a Diet Coke. It’s sacrifices like this that have given me the body I have today.
Still, I just couldn’t bring myself to squeeze all my pieces parts – Pieces? Did someone mention Reese’s Pieces? – into a Speedo.
First, I wouldn’t want to make any of the women on the beach faint. First responders already have too much to do. Second, I wouldn’t want to make George Clooney weep. It would be embarrassing.
I mean, it’s hard being the best-looking, best-dressed, best-bod in any room you step into. When you add the celebrity that comes with being a best-selling author, well, there’s just not enough oxygen for anyone else.
So, when I go the beach, I dress in shorts that fall below my ankles, a frazzled “I’M NOT SAYING I’M BATMAN, I’M JUST SAYING NOBODY HAS EVER SEEN ME AND BATMAN IN THE SAME ROOM TOGETHER” t-shirt, Elton John spangled sunglasses, a fake beard, galoshes, and a green wooly cap with earmuffs. I do NOT want to be conspicuous.
Thus far, my disguise has kept my swarming hordes of adoring fans away. Just the other day, I heard a mother scream to her children, “Do not go near that man!”
See? It’s so hard being me.