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Tracy’s Beach Blanket Bingo™ Is Back!


The summer traffic has made me as tired as this old beach bag. So I brought back Beach Blanket Bingo!


I heard the following conversation at the post office yesterday:

“It’s crazy this summer."

“I think it’s more crowded and crazier than ever.”

“Oh, it’s 100% more crowded and crazier.”

They were having the annual exchange about the amount of traffic and summer people in the Hamptons. I agree. It’s more crowded and crazier than ever.

I can’t say for sure if there’s been 100% population growth since Memorial Day. That might take some actual reporting on my part, where I go ask an expert about the housing market. Actual reporting is not in my contract, so I’m just going to opine: It feels 199% crazier.

We’re at the point where we can’t drive anywhere without encountering traffic. We can’t make left turns. We can’t find a parking spot. We can’t enter a cross walk without fear of getting hit. Everyone is everywhere all at once.

When I’m running errands this time of year, a mantra echoes in my head: “I hate everyone.”

Sometimes, I turn left a little sluggishly off highway 27 just to make the oncoming traffic slow down. That’ll teach them not to speed up when people want to turn. I don’t know why they can’t spare 10 seconds to let a car go. There’s only more traffic ahead of them.

In East Hampton village, I recently saw a Bentley double parked on Main Street – and there wasn’t a car in the spot it was blocking. He could have pulled into that spot while he ran into White’s to pick up his Viagra. I assume that’s what was happening. The only possible reason a Bentley-bro would double park on Main Street is to pick up his Viagra at White’s.

I hate everyone.

Why are the summer folk always in their cars? Wasn’t it the seashore that brought the hoi polloi out here all those years ago? Has the beach become too boring? How can we keep our guests on the sand and off our streets?

I believe it’s time to dust off Tracy’s Beach Blanket Bingo ™, the game I created in 2019 to play at the beach.

Long-time readers might remember I invented this game because I don’t read, nap, or go into the ocean due to my aversion to salt, waves, and wet sand. This bingo game is for ocean cowards like me who need a beach activity that’s also a valid/polite reason to gape at people.

Tracy’s BBB™ cards have the usual things we encounter at the beach: airplane advertisements, sandcastles, and a middle-aged woman looking at the ocean with disdain because it’s too salty, wavy, and wet.

Oh wait. That’s me. I spurn the ocean.

In 2020, I added the COVID Expansion pack of Tracy’s BBB™, to play bingo in grocery store lines. My latest 2023 expansion pack will return its attention to the beaches.

And no, Editor, I haven’t run out of column ideas. That’s not why I’m recycling this game. It’s a public service. I’m helping to keep the roads clear (while also working on my side hustle).

The 2023 BBB™ cards will include a square for people who can’t pack their tents or umbrellas into the tiny nylon bags they came in. Another for those who can’t unfold or fold their Tommy Bahama chairs. And a square for the elderly-adjacent woman who placed her chair at an angle in the sand, and then tips over when reaching for a soda.

Oh wait. That’s me. I’m always tilted.

There will be a square for a seagull who swipes a Citarella bag from a sleeping sunbather, removes a plastic container from the bag, dexterously opens it with its beak, and eats the cornbread inside, all while fending off a stupider, lazier seagull who wants cornbread.

The fauna row will also have a square for spotting frolicking dolphins. One for sighting an osprey catching lunch. And one for the person who asks the lifeguards what time the whales will be breaching that day.

There will be squares for families at the shore. One for the father who takes two trips from the car with the big-wheeled, made-for-sand, wagon, which doesn’t really roll on sand. One for the pregnant mother who must carry two crying toddlers to the car for what is the longest walk of her life. And one for the old woman who can’t get up gracefully from her very low beach chair.

Oh wait. That’s me. Bad knees. I should really take a wing-backed armchair to the beach.

There’ll be a square for the two women who sit next to the driftwood at the top of the beach and read their newspapers. Another square for the random toddler who ambles towards the newspaper ladies until she gets scooped up by her mother.

And there can be another square for the three college bros in fraternity t-shirts who say “dude” a lot, set up their towels next to the water, get doused when the tide comes up, and then leave the beach after one hour.

Dudes! Don’t leave! Stay and play Tracy’s BBB™ instead! It’ll take you three hours to drive to Montauk anyway.

Thanks for playing Tracy’s BBB™. Next year I’m introducing the Stay-at Home-by-the-Pool Edition.

And to the Bentley-bro who needs to pick up a certain something at White’s: Don’t double park. I don’t want to have to hate you, but I will.

You’re making me 199% crazy.


Published in The East Hampton Press on August 17, 2023

Photo by ME!!


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Mary Conway Sullivan
Mary Conway Sullivan
18 de ago. de 2023

I would love to play BBB on the shore some day! Sounds like a hoot!

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