The police SUV patrolling Dockweiler Beach slowly rolled over the sand and pulled up next to our fire pit – next to our fiesta. He rolled down the window and curled his finger, beckoning one of us to come over.
It was still early afternoon and we had barely drank a thing and I went over and asked him, “What’s up?”
“Drinking is not permitted here on the beach,” he said sternly, looking past me at the beer cans.
I apologized and then he said, “So, it’s up to you. I can either write you guys a ticket for drinking and you can keep the beer and just go buy cups, or you can pour all the beer out right here.”
“How much is the ticket?”
He told me he didn’t know – that “they” didn’t tell him prices – and I rolled the eyes of my mind’s eye and smiled.
We only had about a case of beer in the cooler – and I couldn’t imagine the ticket being less than $100 – so I said, “All right, let’s pour them out.”
He looked a bit surprised and I asked him, “Should I pour them on the sand or do you want them?”
The officer made some joke about how awesome a job he would have if he could take the beers. I did not say anything and then he sort of chuckled and said, “Just make them disappear and get home safe,” and he drove off.
Ah, police officer interactions. Got to love them. The “red cup” rule always makes me laugh – I think they are even more obvious than a silver beer can – but I don’t make the rules.
Even if he was fishing for a ticket, I have to thank him – the beer in the car would have taken some time to cool down.
Once we switched to cups we had no problems – and it turned out to be a beautiful day. The girls were all decked out in their dresses and made vodka punch, set up a table, and made us look domesticated. The boys lit the fire, tossed the football, and ate anything that wasn’t covered in sand.
The beach closes at 10 p.m., and that is no joke. At 9 o’clock they began a countdown via loudspeaker that the beach would close soon, and at five of ten they were shining spotlights and asking us to pack it up.
Get there early – fire pits are first come, first serve. If you’re not there by noon on a weekend, you will probably not get one.
Heads up and enjoy the planes taking off from nearby LAX – truly beautiful as they fly off toward the ocean.