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97. Collecting Seashells at the Seashore
Maria and Lisa were best friends. They shared
two-bedroom apartment in Hollywood. Maria was a clerk
a clothing store, and Lisa was a clerk
a supermarket. Their hours varied, so they didn’t
to spend a whole lot of time together.
last weekend both were off work. “Let’s go
the beach,” suggested Maria.
“That’s a good idea,”
Lisa. “Which one?”
“Well, I would prefer an
beach, because I think I’ve put on a
pounds recently. I don’t want any boys seeing
“Oh, please,” said Lisa. “You eat so
. Ounces don’t turn into pounds. How about Zuma
? That’s pretty far north of Santa Monica Beach,
it’s just right—not too crowded and not too
“That sounds good,” said Maria.
The drive to
beach took more than an hour. When they
there, the hot and sunny Hollywood weather had
cool, windy, and overcast beach weather. Both of
had been to the beach many times before,
they were not surprised by the change in
. They put on their jackets, shoes, and socks,
headed north to hunt for seashells.
they had collected about 20 beautiful shells into
plastic bag. They were still walking slowly north
they heard a roar. They turned around to
a four-wheel All Terrain Vehicle coming rapidly toward
. The driver braked at the last moment. Sand
onto the two girls. They both screamed.
was wearing a jacket that said Beach Patrol.
got off the ATV and started yelling at
. “What are you two doing here? Can’t you
? The signs say Private Property. They say No
. Get out of here before I write you
ticket and have you arrested.”
“What’s your name?”
stood defiantly. “I’m going to report you to
police. You’re not a real patrol officer. This
a public beach. Those signs are phony signs
up by homeowners who think they own the
“My name is John Smith. Report me to
you want. Now get out of here or
’ll be sorry.”
“You can’t make us leave. This
a public beach!” yelled Maria.
The man got
onto his ATV and started driving in circles
the women. The ATV was spraying sand and
all over them. He was laughing. They started
back south. When the ATV driver saw that
were leaving, he drove off.
“John Smith. A
name to go with a phony uniform,” said
when they slowed down to a walk. “We’re
to the police station and make a complaint.
hope they put him in jail.”
later, Lisa asked, “Where are the shells?”
, in all the excitement I left them back
. I’m sorry.”
“No problem,” replied Lisa. “There’s plenty
seashells in the sea.”
“Yeah, just like there’s
of jerks on the shore.”