Like sand castles, frisbees and ice cream, burying a friend or family member in the sand on a family day out at the beach is a long-standing tradition. Once the person is buried, it is only natural for you to want to tickle your victim. There are no specific rules for tickling a person buried in beach sand, but some light tickling is sure to create lots of laughs among your group.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Beach bucket and spade
Lie your victim down on a stretch of clear sand. Choose a place that is well away from the surf and for safety's sake, check that the tide is not about to come in.
Use a beach bucket and spade to collect sand and pour it over your prone victim. Mound the sand up around your victim until just the head, hands and feet are visible. Add seawater to the sand if necessary, to keep it in place. Press the sand down firmly around your victim.
Put up a beach umbrella so your victim's head is kept out of direct sunlight. This will also keep you cool while you go about the business of tickling.
Gently brush the exposed parts of your victim with a feather.
Try the feather in different places, such as fingertips, lips, toes and ear lobes. Each person will differ, but you should soon be able to establish the most ticklish parts of your particular victim and concentrate on these.
Increase your victim's ticklishness with 2 techniques: anticipation and distraction. Tell your victim where you plan to tickle next, then hold off doing so. The victim will anticipate the tickling and this can heighten the reaction when you eventually do get to work. Draw your victim's attention to something else that is happening on the beach. Start tickling while your victim is distracted, taking him by surprise to increase the reaction.
Fill a balloon with air. Hold the mouth of the balloon close to exposed parts of your victim and allow a stream of air to trickle over them. This is especially effective on those with very sensitive skin. To increase the ticklishness, try pouring a little water over the exposed parts of your victim before releasing the air.
Place a pinwheel where the sea breeze can catch it and make it turn at random moments. Make sure that the sails of the pinwheel are close enough to just gently brush an exposed part of your victim. This allows a part of your victim to be tickled at unexpected times while you concentrate your efforts on another part.
Tips and warnings
- Only tickle people you know really well. Tickling is a very personal and intimate act, which scientists such as Charles Darwin have suggested helps to build and maintain strong social and family bonds. Never try to tickle someone if you have not been introduced.
- If the person has firmly declared that she wants the tickling to stop, respect her wishes.
- Avoid digging a hole in which to bury your victim. People can struggle to free themselves from compacted sand unless they are only given a shallow covering. StarNews Online carried a 2009 report of a teen who nearly drowned after being too deeply buried, so keep an eye on the tide, too.
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- BBC: Bang Goes the Theory -- What is Tickling and Why Can't We Tickle Ourselves?
- Scienceray: Why Can't You Tickle Yourself?
- "The Register"; What is the Purpose of Tickling?; Stephen Juan Ph.D.; September 2006
- J Rank Pyschology Encylopedia: Tickling
- StarNews Online: 16-year-old Buried in Sand Nearly drowns at Bald Head Island