This Dustinland was inspired by my recent trip to Hawaii, which was incredibly awesome. Now, I don’t want to seem like a snobby douche — I realize that most of the people I would consider cheesy tourists have saved up and paid a lot of money for their vacations and are just trying to enjoy themselves, and good for them. However, it can often be painful to watch and listen to, and in this case, dangerous.
It’s one thing to leave Kansas for a vacation in New York only to wind up eating at Olive Garden, Sbarro’s and Bumba Gump Shrimp Co., but it’s another to travel to Waimea Bay and let your six-year-old run into the water where he can get washed away by a sudden giant wave in the flash of an eye, despite repeated warnings broadcast over loudspeakers by lifeguards. And that’s exactly what I was witness to, not once, but many times — at least once every ten minutes for two hours straight. See, there’s nothing wrong with wandering around Hawaii looking for a nice beach to swim at, but even the slightest bit of Googling will tell you that the North Shore of Oahu is famous for huge, dangerous surf, especially in the winter. Here are literally the first few sentences from the first entry found by Googling Waimea Bay Beach:
“During the summer months the water of this ‘Reddish’ bay is calm and great for swimming with a large sandy beach area. But watch out during the winter months when the waves can reach heights of thirty feet. This is the home of the largest, most dangerous and spectacular surf in the world.”
So I don’t think it’s too much to ask for your average tourist to do one minute of research before letting your child splash around in surf, risking his life, as well as that of the beach’s lifeguards.
In other news, I would just like to toot my own horn a little by pointing out the fantastic attention to detail in this week’s Dustinland. In fact, I made this week’s comic larger than the usual Dustinland just so that you wouldn’t miss a thing. Notice the pale color of the tourist’s pasty skin, as well as the pink sunburn on the large tourist mama. Take note of the changing pattern in the tourist papa’s obnoxious shirt: palm trees, sport fish, flowers, then in the final panel, pineapples. Observe the matching Crocs on mama and child. What does all this mean? It means that yes, I have been to Honolulu.