What is a Junebug?
Ask a resident of Lewes, Del., and they’ll likely describe an iridescent beetle the size of a tootsie roll. Ask a resident of Dewey Beach, nine miles down the road, and they’ll describe one of several species of high school or college students who, flushed with the triumph of another school year survived, settle in for a few weeks of debauchery and saltwater. They fill the bars, clutter the crosswalks and swamp the Dewey Beach Police dispatcher with noise complaints from neighbors. They get drunk. They pose for pictures with bouncers. And they spend lots and lots of money.
While it would be neat and tidy to pigeonhole Junebugs as upstaters clad in pastel polos and swilling whatever’s on special, Junebuggery is more a demeanor. You can spot a Junebug by behavior—-strut, mating call, choice of plumage—-rather than inherited traits. With this in mind, I cull a few sightings from recent outings.
Species: Colorblind Curtaindresser
Specimen sighted at HammerHeads, tottering atop three-inch stilettos, her hair sprayed into golden plastic ringlets. Apparel: not sure whether to call this a shirt or a dress, but it ends upper-thigh and you can only hope she’s wearing shorts underneath. Shirt is an inexplicable meeting of: pastel flowers you’d expect to see on a nursing home armchair; impressionistic smears in mauve and carnation; brazen streaks of leopard print. Nearest points of reference: shower curtain, brothel window panel.
Specimen is well-behaved, ordering a fruity drink and taking a chair with friends. There’s nothing in her speech, stance or behavior to peg her as a Junebug—-it can only be inferred. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a department store, thrift shop or flea market within 50 miles that sells anything like that dress/shirt/window panel. Possibly within the solar system.
Species: Bachelorette Prime
Specimen spotted in a flock of Bachelorette Minors, shuttling her to The Starboard bar and ordering a round of “blowjob” shots. All wore similar uniforms—-black tee-shirts with neon pink lettering announcing their affiliation with the bride-to-be on this, her most special of pre-nuptial nights. Specimen bends over, wraps her mouth around the shot glass and tosses her head back, like a feeding seal. She chokes, and the chocolate liqueur spills down the front of her shirt. The gaggle of Bachelorette Minors cheer.
I asked the specimen what brought her party to Dewey Beach.
“Dewey is much more of a party town than Re-homo,” she said, referencing the active gay nightlife in neighboring Rehoboth Beach. I asked if those were indeed tiny candy penises strung around her neck.
“Yup!” she said. She then reached into her pocket and pulled out a pink plastic whistle. It, too, was shaped like a penis. She tweeted it at my face.
The back of their shirts read “Memories In The Making.”