Medium Large

Ted Forth’s Guide to Building the Perfect Sand Castle

Posted in Uncategorized by cesco7 on July 9, 2014

Ted Hil Sand CastleSure, you can build a sand castle with just a plastic bucket, a toy shovel, and some sand. Just like you can perform open-heart surgery with just a steak knife, some duct tape, and a can-do attitude. But if you want to build a sand castle you can be proud of—one that you can photograph, one you can imagine furnishing, and one that makes you wonder if you just tapped into an untouched real estate market—then you have to have vision. You have to go beyond the ordinary. You have to stop listening to such family criticisms as “I can’t believe this is how we spent six straight days in Maui.” You have to follow these crucial eight steps…


ted-castle-1Before you step on the beach, step behind your drawing table and sketch your dream sand castle. How many cauldrons of hot oil should the turrets have? How many soldiers must the castle hold? Will the soldiers be snails, crabs or the dreaded hybrid “snabs”? How will they fire their tiny bows and arrows? How long will it take and how many friends will you force to make hundreds of wee helmets and chain mail? Is the beach even zoned for full-scale diminutive warfare? These are the questions you must ask yourself and your bewildered parents before you even begin.


ted-castle-2 Almost every castle contractor builds by the shore. One would surmise it’s because water allows for commercial traffic and provides power for any sand sawmills. But mostly it’s because that’s where all the wet sand is. Unfortunately, the shore also makes it virtually impossible to get “castle owner insurance” due to constant flooding and careless joggers. That’s why you should always build by the beach entrance instead. This will not only provide you with a perfect view of the coastline but also give you a great vantage point to launch a bloody assault should the hot summer sun drive you mad with power.


ted-castle-3Sometimes when you’re building a sand castle some kid you never met comes out of nowhere and starts helping you. Are they licensed and bonded by the state? Do they follow proper construction site safety rules? Do they know even that there are indeed more castle designs than “inverted red plastic cup”? Best just to avoid all these concerns and dissuade any help by throwing a massive hissy fit, making loud gorilla noises until they run away or simply looking the kid dead in the eye and saying, “You and me are gonna tussle.”



ted-castle-4Sand is just one arrow in the sand castle builder’s quiver. After all, seashells make the perfect wall accents as well as double as satellite dishes. Twigs are ideal for flagpoles, castle gate bars, and for displaying speared enemy grapes as a warning to any attacking fruit. Bottle caps add a nice modern touch that shows even though you plan to rule with an iron fist you still prefer the finer things in life. Found change shows your stronghold has a thriving economy. And Hot Wheels cars underline the fact you’re not above driving off and abandoning your fortress outright should the possibility of ice cream arise.


ted-castle-5Some people want to build a sand castle so immense it requires its own area code. Others want to build one so high that it pokes out the eye of God or whichever deity you currently blame for your financial woes. And a few want to build a huge underground castle if only because they’re shy and don’t quite realize the odds of accidentally burying yourself alive. But most prudent castle contractors opt for something manageable yet dignified. Something that can be completed in an afternoon and doesn’t require shrieking at everyone in a 60-foot radius to “get the hell out!” Something that when finished can be looked upon with pride and not the realization that no matter how you try to justify it, you just built a hundred feet of sand boobs.


ted-castle-6Once your castle is complete—because you brought your blueprint to life or could only rebuild a crumbling turret so often without screaming—it’s time to consider a moat. Moats provide necessary protection from anything that can’t traverse a half-inch of water. Like, say, a quarter-inch midget. They also increase the resale value of your castle to anyone who can no longer afford to buy a home and is now considering investing in sand. But most importantly, a moat lets you dig and dig and dig until you hit water, an activity that’s so much fun you’ll wonder why you didn’t just skip the castle altogether and hit the beach with a shovel and a cleared weekend.


ted-castle-7Every great castle has a name. “Windsor” in England. “Elsinore” in “Hamlet.” “White” in every fast-food strip mall on the east coast. That’s why it’s important you give your structure a name that is rich in history, instills fears in one’s enemies, and truly evokes your structure’s imposing, impressive grandeur. Something like “Castle Viking Badass Enormousville.” Or “Fortress Ninja Gutstabber Gigantatorium.” Not to mention “Motherfucking Citadel of Robot Monkeys.” In other words, just pick something that evokes the splendor of old European castles but with a sophisticated twist all your own.


ted-castle-8The problem with a sand castle is ownership is fleeting. Eventually you will pack up and head home, leaving your creation to the whims of nature and unleashed dogs. That is, unless you become a beach bum. Then you can spend your days and nights constantly re-patching castle walls, digging a moat that can also double as your bathtub (or Jacuzzi, should you fill it with seltzer), screaming at confused snail minions to besiege the Italian ices stand and constantly yelling at the waves to stay away from your creation. Or you can avoid prolonged psychiatric treatment go get dinner instead.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: