Friday, August 12, 2011

Beach Bling: Beach Toys!

As nice as the idea sounds after a really grueling week of work, it is not physically possible for one to just lie on the beach and do nothing but sleep and read for eight hours at a stretch.  At some point one must get some physical activity, be it dip one’s toes in the surf or wander to the outhouse or play a game of toss with one’s human--or canine--companion.  So today our Beach Bling post is going to talk about great tossing toys to throw into your beach bag when heading off for a relaxing day at the shore.  And we’re not just talking just beach balls, here.    

A really easy thing to tuck in your bag to toss at the beach is a good, old-fashioned flying disc.  They are more commonly known by their trade name, Frisbee.  Pardon me for a brief historical interruption here, but it’s kind of interesting.  The game of Flying Disc was developed when Walter Fredrick Morrison and his fiancĂ©e Lucille were tossing an upside down pie plate to each other while enjoying time together on the beaches of Santa Monica.  That was in 1938.  He improved on the design over the years until 1957, when he sold his patent to Wham-O, who then named the toy the Pluto Platter.  The game became very popular on the rolling green campuses of higher education (college kids will do just about anything to avoid studying!)  and, as college kids are wont to do, they called the toy by a name they coined themselves.  So the Pluto Platter became a Frisbee, so named as a reference to the pie plates they got from the Frisbee Pie Company.  Well, the name stuck and Wham-O capitalized on it to great financial success. 

(Whew…got totally off track there.  What were we talking about again?  Oh yeah, things to toss at the beach.)

Another great thing to toss at the beach is a football.  A soft Nerf one is best, because the balmy beach breezes tend to blow them off course, which can result in them landing someplace they shouldn’t.  Like in someone’s head.  While this can be a very coy way of meeting an attractive member of the opposite sex, it is annoying to others who are just trying to enjoy a day at the beach.

Another very popular game to play at the beach is Hackey Sack.  Its generic term is footbag, but Wham-O (yes, the very same people that popularized the Frisbee), trademarked the idea and made a lot of money from it.  A Hackey Sack is nothing more than a small crocheted bag filled with plastic pellets (gee, why didn’t I think of that and make a million dollars?)  But you do not toss the bag like you would a baseball, but instead try to control it solely (no pun intended) with your feet.  The appeal of this beach game is that it enables you to keep your hands free and wrapped around an ice-cold Corona (or other cooling beverage of choice.) Again, a misdirected footbag can be a great way to meet people, or a great way to irritate people, especially if you knock over their opened Corona. Often in beach lingo this is considered to be “alcohol abuse.” 

But the latest craze, as I discovered on our last seaside sojourn, is Ladder Golf, which is kind of like a beach version of horseshoes.  This tossing game involves throwing two hackey sack-like balls connected by a cord across an open space and hook the balls on one of three horizontal bars that look resemble rungs on a ladder (hence the name, I'm thinking...).   According to Wikipedia, this game was developed at a campground in 1990, when apparently boredom had set in.  (They should have gone to the beach!)  Alternative names for the game include (for obvious reasons): dandy golf, dingle balls, horse balls, slapnuts, hillbilly golf, scrotum, and testicle toss.  Sounds like some crazy college kids have been playing Ladder Golf instead of studying. Hmmmm, I wondeer which on one of those monikers Wham-O will build upon? 

Have a great day playing at the beach!      


Anonymous said...

Hi Jayne!

Too true about the coy use of Nerf footballs on the beach. Brings back memories of how I met boys...

Oh, and the spilled Corona. Definitely defined by many as a form of alcohol abuse. Especially on a really hot beach day.

Thanks for the fun post!

playmobil toys said...

Beach toys are the savior of our day when we got bored during summer and don't like to swim. These toys give us fun and let us enjoy the heat of the sun.