Chained to the Past
May 05, 2011
Several Sundays back, my wife and son and I went for a long hike along the dunes by Guadalupe Beach, which, coincidentally, is located near the town of Guadalupe, Calif. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Guadalupe Beach, it is just south of Grover Beach, which is located next to Pismo Beach. (Does that help?) Actually, many of you are familiar with Guadalupe Beach but may not know it. You see, Guadalupe Beach (or, more accurately, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes) is where the Egyptian pyramids are buried. "How can that be?" you are probably asking yourselves. "Everyone knows the pyramids are in Egypt!" (not counting the one in Las Vegas). Well, you would be correct; however, there really are Egyptian pyramids buried in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes. You see, they are the original movie sets from Cecil B. DeMille’s original black-and-white 1923 epic The Ten Commandments, not to be confused with Cecil B.Demille’s 1956 epic The Ten Commandments, which was also partially filmed on the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes. Anyway, it was a gorgeous day for a hike, and I even found some ancient artifacts! Well, "buried artifacts" would be more like it. OK, "partially buried litter" would be even more accurate. As a Boy Scout, I was taught to always leave an area cleaner than I found it, so when I see litter I have an uncontrollable desire to pick it up. As the three of us were hiking back to the car, I noticed something shiny poking out of the sand. I reached down and picked up a pull-top from an ancient beer can. Pull-tops were the forerunners of today’s pop-tops, which actually stay on the can. It is rumored that some people back in the day would pull the top off and drop it into the beverage can from which they were drinking and on occasion would accidentally choke on it...bad move. When fastened together, pull-tops could be made into really cool chains; the remnants of one such chain is still dangling from the rafters in my parents’ garage. It is also rumored that at some of the "open" high school parties that occurred during the 1970s, enough beer pull-tops were removed from cans to make a chain longer than a city block. (Of course, I can neither confirm nor deny that I was ever present at any of those parties..."wink-wink.") I believe they stopped making cans with removable pull-tops in the mid '70s, so this relic of parties past had been lying undisturbed for at least 35 years -- a rare find indeed! But then, just a few yards further, I found yet another pull-top! What luck, a matching pair!!! Who knows how much these gems might fetch on EBay? Just think how many more of these might still be buried, waiting to be discovered. Why, with enough trips to the dunes, I may be able to collect thousands of them. Come to think of it, the rafters in my garage could use a little decorating...
Leigh's Wild and Twisted Cartoony show comes to Torrance, Calif., on May 25! For all the details, see:
(And see the latest Rubes cartoon at
What's Aunt Gertrude cooking up now? See the latest silly Rubes video and find out!
...and speaking of cows, have some cow-tipping fun with the latest Rubes book: Rubes Cow Tipping: You Can't Keep a Good Cow Down!