A short story about Oil on the beach from 1997

Once upon a time waaaaaaaay back in 1997, there was a young man from Orlando, who wanted to serve his country.

So, he joined the Army.

Rather than spend his last summer working his tail, off at the Altamonte Springs Steak n’ Shake, serving steakburgers to John Morgan, he decided to move in with family, on the coast, on the world’s most famous beach.

He would not spend, his precious last summer scrubbing a grill with a brick, but sitting on the beach, soaking in the sun and getting turned down by the ladies…This was going to be the good life.

He signed on to work for this beach attraction, where they used this amphibious vehicle and drove the tourists around the city. The tour would end with this Road/Water vehicle plunging from the shore to the surf for a short ride on the water. He would sell tickets on the beach, to the visitors for the whole tour, or just a plunge into the surf. Everyday, he was under a canopy, feet on the fold out table with a cool drink enjoying the days leading up until he shipped out.

An example of the vehicle, that was used

He would often have to deal with visitor concerns…

Tourist: That ride was supposed to be 15 minutes, I timed it at 1345!
Young man: Well Okay, we can send you out for the remainder of your time, you will just have to swim back, because after all, we only owe you 1:15

Tourist: Will you get wet on this ride?
Young man: You know what lady? No, there is no way a surf splash ride will get you wet!

Tourist: Oh look, Dolphins
Young man: Those ain’t dolphins, sweethart…

During a lightning storm…

Tourist: We have tickets, I thought we were going for a ride and it’s the last day of our vacation.
Young man: Guess what? You did get taken for a ride…no refunds!

Ok….the young man never actually said those things, but , I mean he was thinking it!

One afternoon however, was not a laughing matter.

The young man had fallen asleep, sunglasses on, on the verge of snoring on a slow morning. He had his earphones on listening to some local band from Central Florida…..they probably wouldn’t amount to much….Matchbox…40…30…..Matchbox 20, that was it. He was shook awake by one of those visitors…

He was a tourist dad, that had set up next to the Young man’s canopy. He was well on his way to a sunburn and had been playing in the sand with his daughter….In his hands he held a little pink beach pail. and shovel..

“What can I do for you, Sir”

” Well look at what I found”

The man shook the sand in the pail and there was a brown substance, soaked in the sand…the young man sniffed, the sand and immediately knew what it was….

It was oil…..Just then the vehicle came trucking down the beach….He walked behind the vehicle and saw a very slow leak coming from the end of the vehicle…

“Shut it down! It’s leaking oil”

An hour later, everyone that had anything to do with that operation was out on the beach, digging oil from the sand….guys in suits, throwing sand into painters buckets…

Then came the beach patrol, and the fines,……The young man didn’t know exactly how much….. A second vehicle was brought in, one that didn’t leak oil…..two weeks later, he shipped out for South Carolina…

When he visited the next summer, the ride was modified to stay off the beach…

The next summer it was gone, altogether…

13 years later, he returned to the beach and knew that the possibility existed that the once again there could be oil on this beach …….

and it won’t be getting cleaned up by, a few guys with shovels and paint buckets….

Just a story, about a young man, and finding oil on the beach…fiction…..really…