Stupid Is As Stupid Does

by | May 28, 2017 | General | 3 comments

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page. 

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing It is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda Strain, and Outbreak. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by Cleis Press. Her story Neighbors appears in the new lesbian anthology The Girls Next Door. You will also find her new novel No Restraint at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.


As anyone familiar with me is aware, I love to spend time at the beach. I live in Massachusetts so it gets quite cold here but that doesn’t stop me from taking my nearly daily walks in the sand and surf. This time of year it’s far too cold to swim in the water, though, but that hasn’t stopped some crazy people (especially surfers) from doing it. My husband and I are used to the surfers dodging waves and the brave (crazy) locals who swim in 50 degree water, but what we saw this past weekend just astounded us at how stupid some people can be.

Not long ago, we were on Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts enjoying a warm bout of weather. He went swimming (crazy), but not me. That water is like ice. We went for our daily mile long walk, not expecting anything unusual but we were in for a scary surprise.

There is a small island about a half mile from shore. It’s called Salt Island and it’s basically a huge boulder in the water covered with vegetation and seagull guano. When the tide is low enough, the water recedes so much there is a sand pathway between the island and the shore. People, including me, love to walk that pathway and explore the beach side of the island. You can’t get to it during high tide or even normal tide. Most of the time the island is completely surrounded with water. This is what the sand pathway to the island looks like from the beach. Note the two people on the pathway. They give you a scale to judge how big this area is.

This particular day, we walked to the island end of the beach and saw four young people standing on top of the island. There was a serious problem – it wasn’t low tide. Water completely surrounded the island and it can be pretty deep. We thought they might have had a boat moored on the opposite side of the island, and they’d get off that way.

They didn’t. To our surprise and horror, the four climbed down the island facing us and proceeded to swim in the water towards shore. The shore is at least a half mile away and there might be riptides out there.

This is what the island and the beach look like when the tide is almost in. That’s Salt Island straight ahead.

This is the view from the side with Salt Island on the right and the beach on the left.

That’s a lot of water between the island and the beach.

These four idiots (three guys and one woman) swam in water that was way over their heads. We were afraid they weren’t going to make it, so my husband dialed the Coast Guard in case they needed a rescue. We had hoped they’d make it to the shallow area where they could tread water or walk with water nearly over their heads. The first two guys made it and we weren’t worried about them. We were more worried about the guy and woman bringing up the rear. They were slower and in the deeper water. However, they did make it to the shallow area and were able to walk to shore. We didn’t need to call the Coast Guard after all.

They were young, reckless, and had lots of stamina to pull off that crap. We left that side of the beach when it was clear the four of them were safe. Several people had stopped at that end of the beach to keep an eye on them and I saw iPhones out. It was tense and touch and go, but they did make it to go on and do other stupid things. Like kiss snakes. Skydive. Light bottle rockets up their butts and set them off. You know, like the thrill seekers they were.

I wrote a short sweet romance years ago about an idiot who walked to a similar island during low tide and got stuck there when he got drunk and passed out. He wakes up during high tide with the walkway gone and finds himself stranded on the island. With a Nor’easter coming. He knows damned well he can’t swim across to shore. What to do?

I never thought I’d see people actually try to get off that island during high tide for real. Truth is stranger than fiction.

If you’d like to read my story, it’s called The Storm and it’s free on my web site. While you’re reading it, keep in mind I saw four young people pull the stunt for real while on one of my beach walks. Wonders never cease.

Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth Black's erotic fiction has been published by Cleis Press, Xcite Books, Scarlet Magazine, Circlet Press, and others. She also writes dark fiction and horror as E. A. Black. She lives in Massachusetts next to the ocean with her husband, son, and three cats. The beach calls to her and she listens.


  1. Lisabet Sarai

    Good Harbor Beach is one of my favorite places in the world!

    But yeah, you’ve got to wonder about some people… Then again, I suppose some people have shaken their heads and said that about me.

  2. Elizabeth Black

    Lisabet, I can get to Good Harbor Beach in five minutes. It’s my favorite beach during the off season. In season, I can’t get there without paying a parking fee. I live in the neighboring town of Rockport. I go to Long Beach and Cape Hedge Beach during late spring, summer and fall. I was really afraid for those four but they got across to live another day to do the exact same thing. LOL That island and the tides inspired my story, which was one of the first romances I ever wrote. Today is the last day I can go to Good Harbor Beach without paying a fee. Tomorrow the season starts, although I think it should have started this holiday weekend. I plan to hit the beach in a few hours for my daily walk. The last time I went to Salt Island (last week), I found hermit crabs! Lots of them. I love going to the beaches here even though the water is too cold for my taste.

  3. Rose B. thorny

    “Other stupid things…skydiving?”

    Skydiving isn’t a stupid thing. It is a beautiful, wondrous, exhilarating thing. I did it 25 times and decided it wasn’t *my* thing, not because it was a stupid thing to do, but because it just wasn’t for me, but it was my husband’s passion for 49 years and he was not a stupid man. I don’t remember him ever doing stupid things. In fact, he was probably the most intelligent person I’ve ever met and I was lucky enough to spend 42 years in his company. From him, I learned how to be the best I could be.

    Skydiving is way safer than getting into your car and driving anywhere. Saying that skydiving is stupid is an insult to experienced, intelligent skydivers and parachutists everywhere, those who go out every weekend to enjoy being a sky person, those who compete in the sport and just want to be the best they can be at it.

    I just wonder if skiing is considered stupid, or marathon running or swimming, or rock- or mountain-climbing. Is scuba diving considered stupid? Which sport that requires physical expertise, strength, stamina, and skill is considered not stupid? In all these sports, you learn, you train, you work hard at them, you push your limits, you achieve. Is that stupidity?

    Of course, I’ve felt compelled to try and explain all this to people not in the know ever since I made my first jump. Joe, my husband, told me right from the very start not to bother trying to explain. He said it’s hopeless to try and describe it to anyone who hasn’t done it and will never understand the feeling. They don’t know and they don’t want to know… they criticize the doers of deeds, because it’s way easier to criticize what other people work hard at learning to do than to learn how to do them and doing them.

    But to say that skydiving is a stupid thing is so insulting to the memory of the man who meant everything to me, and to so many people I’ve know and cared for, people I know today, friends of Joe’s, his fellow jumpers about whom I care, that I wonder why it would be said at all.

    And to quote from the little piece of typed paper that Joe always carried with him, in his wallet since he first discovered this speech, in his teens: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

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