Occupying my mind before vacation

Do you remember those sleepless nights as a youth? The calendar would flip to November, and you just knew Christmas was right around the corner. You would begin formulating the perfect list in your mind, going over it again and again until you felt like you hit the perfect balance — enough items to make it a holiday to remember forever, but not so much as to look greedy and run the risk of irritating Santa.

Coastal point • Jesse Pryor

There were no tasks that would get done adequately because you were constantly ripping open wrapping paper in your mind’s eye, and conversations from your parents would just streamiline through one ear and out the other. You didn’t have room in your brain to think about taking out the trash or cleaning your room. There were presents to think about, and that would require every brain cell you had.

I find myself doing that again recently. Only, it’s not images of G.I. Joe action figures or a new K-2 football that occupies my brain. It’s thoughts of vacation.

Yes, I’ll be gone next week, leaving my duties here at the Coastal Point to the very capable Tricia Titus, and taking my mind, body and soul to the Outer Banks for a little mental health retreat before Memorial Day weekend kicks off the busy season.

Oh, I’m stoked about this. But I’ve been stressing a bit, as well. There have been numerous lists constructed, ranging from everything I have to do here in the office before I leave, to things I have to remember to pack, to things I want to do when I get down there. I have also mentally made a list of things I don’t want to do on vacation, and the first item included me not packing an alarm clock of any kind — followed closely by a reminder to not make any lists while I’m down there.

Frustrated with the constant distraction in my mind, I decided the most prudent course of action was to find some way to return to mental normalcy. I grabbed the closest computer and started surfing news sites on the Internet.

I came across a story on cnn.com that caught my eye, headlined, “North Carolina beach town bans thongs.” Just great, I thought. Now what am I going to wear?

Sorry if any of you were eating breakfast while you read that last line. The mental imagery might have turned your corn flakes into flying projectiles. Actually, the very thought of myself wearing such a contraption made my own stomach do a few ...

But I digress.

The story explained that Kure Beach has adopted an ordinance to ban the wearing of thongs on their public beaches.

“You can do what you want to in your own space,” said Kure Beach Mayor Dean Lambeth, “but for public decency, keep it off the public beach.”

I’m a little torn on this. On the one hand, I can certainly appreciate a beach town making laws that keep their beaches “family-oriented.” Many families are not going to bring their children on vacation to a place that is filled with scantily-clad tushies dotting the landscape.

On the other hand, I’m a boy. I like scantily-clad tushies dotting landscapes.

But I really have no problem with their decision, and chalked up the story to something that made me smirk for a few moments. It was at that point that I remembered a link my friend Drew Lyons had sent me last week. I had to investigate further.

“Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes.” That was attributed to Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, as reported by the Associated Press.

In response, some female American students initiated a tongue-in-cheek protest that would involve women across the country dressed scantily on Monday to provoke earthquakes. It should be noted that a 6.5 earthquake hit Taiwan on Monday, but there has been no physical evidence that American co-eds started it.

And it’s equally important to point out that there were no reported earthquakes in Kure Beach, N.C.