Start with Miss Emerson, the queen of Over-the-Line, whose appellation comes from an old knock-knock joke.
From there, San Diego's annual beach bash gets more politically incorrect, with its emphasis on beer, breasts and a sort of softball-like sport. The team names (male and female) are X-rated.
Over-the-Line has long been a rite of summer, last year drawing 50,000 players, spectators and gawkers (mostly male). The event helps its sponsor, the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, raise money for charitable deeds.
For that reason, the event seems to enjoy an exemption from contemporary mores about the use of public property (Fiesta Island on Mission Bay).
Over-the-Line provides a "stage to be acceptably immature, acceptably politically incorrect, acceptably sexist, acceptably childish in its most pure form," explains John Kern, former chief of staff to a former mayor.
But now a lawsuit says the city has been playing favorites, giving Over-the-Line a permit but denying less politically connected groups that want to use the beach.
The lawsuit may be a long shot, but the civic reaction was instantaneous.
The city attorney has moved quickly in hopes of settling the case so the 60th annual Over-the-Line tourney can proceed over two weekends in July. The activist mayor is watching, as are anxious members of the City Council.
News coverage has been tinged with a sense of horror that Over-the-Line is threatened. "Don't Mess With San Diego's Iconic Beach Tournament," ordered the editorial page of the U-T San Diego.
The plaintiffs have offered a proposal that would allow both their event and Over-the-Line. So far, it has not been accepted.
Negotiations last week failed to resolve the matter. More talks may take place before Over-the-Line is set to begin July 13.
Is next month's 60th annual Over-the-Line on the verge of being scuttled? Stay tuned.