The following day, Bubbles traveled to a different beach and got her start earlier in the day. She spread out a towel under the flimsy umbrella she had dug into the sand. She nestled beside her wicker purse and removed her book, her deflated beach ball, a portable radio with a long antenna, and a bottle of Coppertone which she was fairly certain had expired in 1967. Within the next hour, her two friends showed up with exhausted expressions.
“Hey, girls!” Bubbles eyed their modern swimsuits with her own criticisms, “Thanks for coming out here with me. You missed a swell time yesterday, believe me!”
One of her friends started to apply sunscreen generously to her nose and cheeks. “Yeah, I’m just really not into surfing. Besides, you should have come with us. The amusement parks here are so much better than at home.” The truth was, both friends worried about having the responsibility of rescuing Bubbles from drowning if she tried to do any tricks on the board.
“How was the surfing?” her second friend wanted to know.
“Oh that.” Bubbles blushed and stumbled to get up. “Hey, who wants to go start a game? I can blow up the ball and—”
“I have to let the sunscreen soak in,” her first friend explained as she ducked under the umbrella.
“And I need to answer this text from Mike,” the second friend answered.
“Is that all you two think about is boys?” Bubbles whined.
“I didn’t say anything about boys,” her first friend pointed out.
“And Mike’s watching my cats. Even if he wasn’t my boyfriend I’d want to hear from him. I don’t trust my roommate to feed them,” her second friend explained.
Bubbles sighed and swung her arms back and forth as if dancing to a song in her head. “You just wait and see. He’s going to try to make you jealous by flirting with your roommate, because he probably thinks you’re out here flirting with all of the muscly beach hunks.”
Her two friends glanced at the other beach inhabitants, most of whom were too old or too young for their taste. At that exact moment, a man in a Speedo strolled by with a metal detector. Tufts of curly, dark hair blanketed him and peeked out from under his tan arms. In unison, her friends asked, “What hunks?”
“They’re around here somewhere. They’re probably planning revenge against some bikers who were on their turf.”
“Wait, I thought your thing was beach movies. Why are you talking like West Side Story?”
Bubbles went on, ignoring the comment. She pointed at a group of men and women in leather vests who had just arrived in the parking lot. “See! There there’s the biker gang!” She started to run towards the group while her friends screamed at her frantically to get back to the safety of the beach blanket.
The group was not the clean cut sort from the movies Bubbles loved. They were all middle aged with long, tangled beards or multiple piercings. Still, Bubbles ran up to the one she assumed was the leader. He had the longest beard and his tattoos more elaborate than the other men or women.
“Excuse me, can you tell me when the rumble will be over?” she asked politely.
The rest of the assembly started to grumble amongst themselves, thinking she was laughing at them. Yet, the man she had spoken to directly eyed the girl up and down, noting her 1960s style swimsuit and her bouffant hair. Removing his sunglasses, he asked carefully, “What did you just ask?”
“You know! Where you all have a slapstick fight against the young summer surfers over some bar or nightclub that’s probably run by a celebrity who had nothing better to do. And why doesn’t everyone in the group repeat you for emphasis?”
Each of the motorcycle enthusiasts went silent as the man she addressed twerked his mouth and leaned his head down into a dark stare. “Do you think I’m Eric Von Zipper?”
“Well, yes,” she replied with complete innocence.
The man couldn’t hold it in any longer. His face broke into a smile and the rest of his friends stared to laugh. When the mirth died down a little, he exclaimed, “I love those movies!”