23 hours ago
Friday, December 30, 2005
The odd things that humans do
Humans do some odd things. Buying lottery tickets. Wearing your favorite team's shirt, when you are home, alone watching the game. Wearing shoes that make it impossible to walk any normal distance.
The polar bear swim on New Years Day. That's the one that really confuses me. Why is going into the north part of the Atlantic Ocean in January fun? Who thought of this in the first place?
In my hometown, Ocean City, NJ, this is a big event. Jersey shore towns are all about the big events. Give the tourists a big event so they come to town. Especially in the off season. A bit of trivia. The Miss America pageant was started in Atlantic City as a way to extend the tourist season one more week.
I'm still trying to picture the first people who did this. There is a group in Vancouver who claim to be the oldest polar bear club, established in 1920. But before this was an organized activity, someone had to say, "Hey, it's January 1st, 10 degrees, lets go in the ocean!" Then leave their warm house for this bizarre activity. I find it easier to understand if I picture alcohol playing a major part in the decision.
They claim this has been popular in Scandinavian countries for centuries, but I don't buy that. My money goes on the drunk Canadians.
So Sunday morning, I'll be in Ocean City, on the beach. Why? Because my darling daughter thinks the polar bear swim is the quintessential holiday activity. She did it last year, but I tried to explain that last year didn't count, because we had unseasonable weather and the air temp was 55 degrees. I don't think she will be so lucky this year.
But I'll be there, with my camera, and I'll be sure to report back if little darling is still enamored with the polar bear swim.