WALKING the dog, for those of us who like to really exercise our pet and not merely facilitate a quick bathroom break, has always been a challenge in this fair land. It is, of course, verboten at the main beaches for seven months of the year, but many folks have fallen back on Higbee Beach or the bay beach at Townbank, which became a hotspot when beachgoers quite rightly complained about irresponsible dog owners who were failing to clean up after their animals. So we were a little concerned to see a message on the Cape May Good Times Facebook page the other day, noting that a Lower Township police officer had told a dog owner that pooches weren’t allowed at Higbee.
On Labor Day, we called the LTPD, who couldn’t confirm if one of their officers had actually said such a thing. We asked about the rules regarding dog walking on Higbee Beach but didn’t receive a clear answer. But we did check the state’s website (the Fish and Wildlife department run Higbee), and it mandates that dogs are allowed there between September 1 and April 30.
For nine years, we’ve been walking the Exit Zero puppies on Higbee daily, without any hassle, apart from the odd altercation with a grouchy birder, or an over-stressed, over-protective dog owner. We sincerely hope there is no future crackdown by the state, but we’ll say what we’ve said in these pages before… if you’re a dog owner who leaves poop on the beach, you’re a disgrace. In the meantime, we were excited to be told by a spokesman from the LTPD that plans were afoot to create a fancy new dog park at Cape May County Airport. Here’s hoping.
THE Washington Street Mall was even more packed than usual last Wednesday when Governor Chris Christie came to town to discuss the state of the Jersey Shore, post-Hurricane Sandy. Of course, Cape May was barely touched by the storm that devastated some resort towns further north, but the governor’s visit was appreciated by the hundreds who heard him say that Cape May was “one of the most beautiful places in the world.”
At last year’s froth-blowing competition at the Ugly Mug, where contestants try to blow as much head from their beers in one breath as possible, we met a gentleman — a 51-year-old casino worker named Ron Yowell — who told us he’d been preparing all year by practicing with a mixture of dish detergent and water. “I’ll catch myself blowing froth at 3:30 in the morning,” he told us, “but I shouldn’t say that; you’re going to think I’m too into this.” (FYI, Ron, if you’re worried about appearing too zealous, then you should probably have avoided telling us about the special froth-blowing goggles you purchased, or the necessity of “becoming the froth.”)
But that’s how important this competition is to some people; many plan their vacations around it, including the family who has flown in from Ohio years past specifically to blow. And why shouldn’t they? The event, this Sunday, September 8, benefits a good cause (around $1,300 was raised for the Police Athletic League during last year’s 42 rounds of competition), affords bragging rights to one especially talented blower (we’re hoping the Mug’s Amanda Peck is back to defend her title as US Froth Blowing Champion this year), and is an opportunity to see members of your police force, the evening’s judges, moonlighting as the Official Polka Dancing Club of Cape May (complete with ponchos and Miller Lite-filled water pistols).
Sexual innuendos notwithstanding, it’s a night of good, clean fun… although we do mean “clean” in the metaphorical sense. “You can’t be afraid to get wet,” says Carl Schnekenburger, whose been entering the competition since 2001. “That’s the secret.” That, and it “helps to be sober.”