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Lifeguards, like mall cops, occupy a legally gray area that seems to exist somewhere between the police and your mom. No one ever knows how far their authority extends or whether or not you have to comply with everything they say. That being said, it’s probably better to listen to them most of the time as they are, ostensibly, there to guard your life.
Maybe it’s this gray area that leads to what can only be a called a ridiculous and unnecessary confrontation between a lifeguard and a teenage boy on Redondo Beach in Los Angeles, California. The boy sets his boogie board on a trash can so it doesn’t get sandy, which seems reasonable. The lifeguard comes along and asks him to remove it so people can use the trash can, which also seems reasonable. The boy removes the board, but according to the person shooting the video, adds, “I didn’t know it was a crime to put your board on a trash can.” We don’t know the tone that was used or if this was said to the lifeguard or one of his friends, but regardless the lifeguard loses it and transforms into the bad guy from every ’80s movie ever.
The kid in this video looks to be about 16, and the lifeguard appears to be either middle aged or 12 years old depending on whether you’re looking at him or listening to the things he’s saying. At one point, he even pulls the classic move of taking off his sunglasses, and saying “What are you gonna do?”
Which implies he’s challenging a child to fight him.
He also uses the term “snowflake,” which is ironic considering that term usually means someone who is emotionally immature and thinks their feelings are more important than they actually are.
Clearly, this is a situation that didn’t need to escalate to the level it did. It’s just too bad there weren’t any adults around to break it up.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.