On the Beach

This story was prompted by the photo below at Friday Fictioneers, https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/27-november-2015 , hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The photo was kindly provided by Sandra Crook. PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

On the beach (99 words)

Margaret jerked awake as hot goo struck her forehead.  A fulmar squawked overhead.  Even with a hangover Margaret knew waking up on a beach wasn’t normal.  Her 65th birthday party must have been a riot.

She pulled her phone from a sand-filled pocket and dialled Roger’s number.  No answer.  Where the hell was he?

Margaret called Rita and told her where she was.

‘You almost got your wish then?’ Rita asked.


‘When you blew out your candles, you wished you could wake up next to Cliff.’

Margaret looked up.  ‘The birthday genie must have misheard.’

‘Roger obviously didn’t.’


Firstly, an apology – I’m sorry about the corny joke, but it was in my head and I had to get it out.

Secondly, supplementary information.  Any Cliff would have done for the purpose of stirring up Roger’s jealousy, but the one I had in mind was (Sir) Cliff Richard, who most British/Commonwealth readers will know as “The Peter Pan of Pop”.  Sir Cliff is adored by his female fans in the UK, many of whom have remained loyal to him since the 1960s or earlier.  American readers might not be aware of Sir Cliff, who never really made it big in the US, even though he has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. Billboard magazine has described him as the biggest thing in British rock & roll before the Beatles http://www.billboard.com/artist/299430/cliff-richard/biography .

On the Beach was a 1964 UK hit single for Cliff Richard with The Shadows.

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34 Responses to On the Beach

  1. Sandra says:

    Waking up next to Cliff… Good job.


  2. Dear John,

    I missed half the joke as I wasn’t familiar with Cliff. However you told me enough in a few words and without knowing the history, it was still a great play on words. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

    • JS Brand says:

      Thank you Rochelle. I’m not a fan of Cliff Richard myself, but I still find it puzzling that he’s barely known in America. John Lennon and Mick Jagger are both supposed to have given him credit for waking the UK up to rock and roll. He fitted the story because British “ladies of a certain age” seem to fall for him (pun accidental on this occasion).


  3. ceayr says:

    Sorry, it probably does not help that I don’t like him or his music.


  4. I liked it. I like puns. I like humor.
    I’m glad you got it out of your head and onto paper.
    Now. the question in my mind is who did she fall for?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tee hee! Good one. Thanks for the chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. charlypriest says:

    I thought it was a fun little story, I thought it was a nice joke, was witty, what I didn´t know was the rest of the story you explained at the end.Fun read, who says that it´s boring getting old, 65 and drinking like a drunken sailor. Enjoying life, that´s what I also liked most of this.


  7. Ha.. yes getting your wish… never make your husband jealous at your birthday party.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Archon's Den says:

    I liked the pun, and all comedy.
    I am a Canadian male (of a certain age) who received a Cliff album as a birthday present from my mother, because the small record shop was sold out of every other ‘cool’ performer. I rather liked him but lost the album in one of many moves. 😦


  9. I have no idea who Cliff Richards is, but the pun was hilarious anyway. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dale says:

    That was funny! Even without the Cliff explanation. Just a cliff would do!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. gahlearner says:

    I agree, any cliff would make it funny, but Cliff Richards makes it funnier. He’s well known in Germany–or was. I’m not particularly fond of him, but back in the day–compared to German popular music at the time–he was cool. Fun story.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rogershipp says:

    I got the “cliff” part even without the history. But I enjoyed the history attached as well. Well done!


  13. Susan says:

    I didn’t get it at all since I am in the US. Thank goodness for your explanation or I would have just thought she was a drunk old woman ob the beach. Sorry.


    • JS Brand says:

      No need to apologise. Because Cliff Richard is known in some places for appealing to more mature female fans, I thought he would pop into quite a few people’s heads when Margaret wanted to wake up next to “Cliff”. I realised US readers probably wouldn’t know about him, but had hoped Cliff would be a popular enough man’s name to explain Roger’s jealousy and pun-based revenge. I don’t expect Cliff the postman in Cheers is seen as a heartthrob though.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Amy Reese says:

    I say Roger missed the mark on that one. Big time! Very funny. Margaret is quite the party animal, waking on the beach hungover from her 65th birthday party! Loved it!


  15. Margaret says:

    Roger’s already responded, and so here am I. I share the ‘certain age’ of my namesake in your story, as well as her predilection for riotous birthday parties. And I can’t believe there are people in the world who don’t know who Sir Cliff is. Your story is wonderful, too.


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