Wet Hot American Summers: Justin Grimbol

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August 2017

By Justin Grimbol


There have been a lot of summers in Sag Harbor NY.

There was the summer my mom taught me how to swim in the ocean. She taught me how to dive under the waves and tread water and feel strong.

But then there was the summer the water was too calm and it barely made waves and I got stung by jelly fish.

There was the summer my friends and I played Ring and Run. We rang doorbells then hid in the woods. This one old guy got really upset and chased us with a shovel. We screamed and ran away. After a couple blocks he stopped chasing us, but we kept screaming and running anyway.

There was the summer my friends and I saw this kid pee on his parent’s car. He was little and had greasy blond hair. “Fuck you mom!” he yelled. And he kept pissing on the car. This was exciting stuff. So we all joined him and peed on the car too. The kid’s parents came out and started yelling at us and we ran into the woods. We wandered around for a while. Eventually we found ourselves in some rich guy’s back yard. They had a hammock. We all lay on it and joked around. The owner of the house came out a couple times. But he didn’t say anything to us.

Then there was the summer I watched my aunt and my mother (both dead now) swim in the ocean together. The waves were huge. No one else was swimming. I tried to get in but I’d get knocked over and scramble to shore. Then I’d bought a soda and a hot dog and waited for them to stop swimming.

Then there was the summer my mom spent in the pool. She would float on a blow up raft and read Prince of Tides over and over again.

Then there was the summer my friends and I went to this water slide park near Riverhead. It had really long lines. We waited to get on this one ride for over two hours because the ride was supposed to be really scary. There was a woman standing in front of us on line. She was beautiful and had lots of pubic hair that stuck out of the sides of her bathing suit. She also had some friends and they told lots of jokes and laughed, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying because they were speaking Spanish. I didn’t mind the line. I wasn’t bored, because of the woman’s pubes. Sometimes the stairs put me really close to the pube area. My friends, on the other hand, were getting restless. They teased me and called me table butt and asked me why I was wearing a T Shirt. I told them I was chubby and chubby kids wear shirts when they swim.
“You don’t want people to see your man boobs do you?” one of my friends asked.
“I don’t have man boobs,” I told him. “Not yet at least.”

Then there was the summer my friends and I invented a game called Butt Shark. It was simple. My friend Gary had a zitty butt. We’d get in a pool then Gary would chase us with his naked butt.

Then there was a summer I watched porn and occasionally gave my buddies hand jobs.

Then there was the summer we tried to grub change from rich tourists. We’d try to sell them tree branches, telling people they were beautiful flowers.

Then there was the summer we hung out under the Sag Harbor Bridge. Boats would go underneath and we would show them our butts.

Then there was the summer I got my first job. I was busboy at a fancy restaurant. After a few weeks I was demoted to busboy helper.

Then there was the summer I spent in my room watching campy movies. There was nudity in these movies. Sex scenes as nude as lightning.

Then there was the summer I worked at Blockbuster and I ate too many twizzlers and I grew stretch marks on my belly. I also had sideburns.

Then there was the summer I started drinking and acting sloppy and running around naked.

Then there was the summer I learned to have sex. My girlfriend was surly and tall and had strong arms. We had lots of sex. And we also argued. We argued all night long. We argued and threw stuff at each other. We argued until the sun came up. Then we would sit in my thrashed room and laugh. Many of these fights happened over the phone though. So that summer, I also learned how to throw my phone against the wall then tape it back together.

Nowadays I have a cell phone. I hate it because it’s always around and it’s just not as durable as my landline. One summer I dressed fancy and went to clubs. Well, I thought I looked fancy. I wore button ups and slacks and danced and did the bump and grind. After a night of drinking too many Long Island Iced Teas, I woke up hungover and bought some bagels and drove to the ocean. Then I ate the bagels. Then I swam in ocean. I swam in my fancy clothing. Eventually, I realized I still had my cellphone in my pocket. It was dead. I knew this. The thing had been submerged in salty ocean water for too long. But I brought it home anyway. I dried it off. I tried to revive it. But it wouldn’t turn back on.


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Justin Grimbol is the author of COME HOME, WE LOVE YOU STILL, MINIVAN POEMS, and THE PARTY LORDS. He lives in Westminster West, Vermont.


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