What To Do In Malibu

Come with the family for a day at the beach

Only to get stuck on the deadened mass of cars on the highway.

Grow increasingly worried

By the sight of endless taillights,

And a new sign every 50 feet, claiming:

One land ahead


Expect delays

Road construction next two miles

Beware of falling rocks.

Curse El Nino under your breath

As your children become restless in the back seat, squawking

Geez Dad, where are you taking us? Out of the country?

Realize you wasted your hard earned money on yesterday’s carwash

When only 24 hours later,

Your black 4 Runner wears a thick suit of dust on its once clean paint job.

Finally push the speedometer above 10 mph,

As you pass a massive conglomeration of landslide, barriers, rubble

And smiling Caltrans workers.

Stop first in town

When your wife insists the need for Starbucks,

And try to look like you belong in the crowd of

Shaved heads,

Tattooed arms

Pierced tongues

And scantily clothed bodies

Of the city s youth.

Sip your grande decaf nonfat no foam extra hot hazelnut latte,

And wonder exactly what it is you paid $3.95 for.

Be persuaded, once again by your wife

To look through the mystic, new age shops,

Smelling strongly of incense,

Magickal ambiance set by soft music and wind chimes.

Return to your car after purchasing an overpriced necklace

For your born again hippie sister back in ‘Frisco.

Finally arrive at Zuma

Squinting into clean, smogless sunlight.

Delight at the massage of pure hot hand on your weary feet.

Relax on your beach towel

With a book and a soda.

Listen to your children

laughing and screaming with delectation

At the foamy fingers of salt water

Licking their dancing toes.

Notice the light of contentment

In your wife’s smiling eyes as she rubs sunscreen on your back

And tells you what a great husband you are

And how much she loves you.


It’s worth it.

Tiffany Betts

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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