Ah, those indolent, low-visibility, insane days of summer are back, to paraphrase Nat King Cole. The rising air temperature and intensified ultraviolet radiation triggers ancient reflexes to remove layers of fabric coverings from our bodies and seek out crowds near large bodies of water. So you want to go the beach — but which beach?

The answer depends on how hot you are. Hot as in “oooh, he’s so hot, I’d totally do him”, not “oooh, he’s so hot, he’d better reduce his core body temperature, otherwise seizures, brain damage, and finally death could result.” Beaches are sorted into two categories: hot people beaches and leper beaches. Hot people go to the hot people beaches and everyone else goes to the leper beaches. (There is a wild card, though: regardless of their physiological peccadillos, older guys are free to go to any beach they want.)

But why are beaches segregated, especially in a society that purports to value equality and freedom? As with all such questions, the answer to this comes from the science of evolution, filtered through the Bible. Once upon a time, hot people, normal people, ugly people, and people whose appearances challenged conventional notions of ugliness descended from the trees and all hung out on the beach together. Then the serpent tempted them to taste the forbidden fruit, and everything changed. Now, the hot people strutted confidently and were examined at a high ogling intensity, the normal people slouched around and were gazed at momentarily before the gazers got annoyed that their view to the hot people was being obstructed, and the various kinds of ugly people ran off to avoid being pelted by stones.

Once the ugly people were gone, the aesthetic standard was recalibrated. The old average became the new ugly. The average folks who used to be free to hang out on the beach, as long as they didn’t thoughtlessly impede sightlines to the hot people, were now pelted with stones and forced away. As successive cycles of this phenomenon recurred, there were two major consequences. First, the original beach got hotter and hotter, until today it is populated entirely by fitness models who have just dieted down for their big cover photo shoot. These mega-hotties are compelled to push themselves to ever more absurd levels of yummy hubba-hubba-ness simply to avoid being brutally cast into the wilderness. A second consequence was the emergence of new crappy beaches where no hot person would ever bother wanting to go. These are the leper beaches, where normal and ugly people frolic freely without fear of being chastised for their poor taste in exercise plans, dietary regimes, and chromosomes. In some places, yet further segregation has occurred, so you can find regular leper beaches and hyper-leper beaches, for example. (As noted above, however, older guys get a free pass to any beach they want to go to. This practice dates back to our hominid ancestors, where various behaviours, such as the wearing of minimal-coverage Speedos by males with higher volumes of adipose tissue, were more tolerated in older males who were successful mastodon hunters. We still see the echoes of this today, where older men experience a kind of diplomatic immunity and are free to display an adventurous variety of aesthetic sensibilities on both hot and leper beaches.)

However, biology is not destiny, as the saying goes. The fact that beaches have evolved into a comfortable, safe, multi-tier, segregated system does not mean they cannot be otherwise. Some radicals have clued into this, and a fanatical, dangerous underground movement has been gathering force. In recent years, small, decentralized guerilla units have been deploying normal and ugly people directly into hot beaches, terrorizing the buff and the ripped and spreading chaos and fear throughout their tightly-knit, super-sexy communities. Many a viewscape of rippled abs and perfectly-curved buttocks has been marred by the appearance of the visual stain of bulging bellies and pasty, saggy things that I can’t quite tell what they’re supposed to be. Unfortunately, I have no comforting words for you. I regret to report that there is no way to push back against this attack. Once the gross ugly people have decided they are comfortable revealing themselves even when surrounded by dazzlingly delicious superhunks and ultrahoneys, there is no stopping them. No beach, no matter how hot, will be safe from this blight. All we’ll have left to remind us of past glories will be a few old clips of Baywatch.


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