Artist’s impression of the last time I got burned
I see you there, my guy. Perhaps you are a youth who has yet to develop compassion for others. Perhaps you are an older gentleman who believes that existing longer than other human beings somehow entitles you to each and every wave. Perhaps you are the type to shoot first and ask questions later.
But most likely you are just a dick. Regardless, you and I have been brought together at this very moment, our universes aligning as a set appears on the horizon.
It does not matter how we arrived at this juncture of our lives. You could be a murderous cyborg sent from the future to assassinate me so my spawn are unable quell the rise of the machines. Or, if you are the older gentleman, you may vaguely resemble George Carlin and could be here to help me pass my next test in life so I can move on to the much more important business of starting an 80’s metal band. But your lack of fancy future technologies leads me to believe otherwise.
What does matter is that you, the center of Poseidon’s universe, the great wave destroyer, shredder of all that comes his way, are about to drop in on me.
How can I tell you are about to commit surfing’s most extreme felony? Well, you are paddling like a frothing madman – digging deep into the water with your strokes, trying to find that extra gear to catapult you onto this cresting beauty. I also watched you weave your way through the lineup and cut off no less than a half a dozen others over the last 25 minutes.
I begin my paddle much further out and closer to the peak than you. As I hop to my feet, I can see you have not given up your pursuit of the shoulder. I am coming in your direction – not in a sexual way, since I would like to avoid exploding all over your backside.
You should be made aware of this impending danger. My parents taught me to be well mannered, so I like to keep my yelling polite. “HEY! I GOT IT. YEEEEEWWWWWW” is my standard yelp for when I request that a stranger kindly back the hell off.
Do you check your shoulder to see if someone closer to the peak (for example, me) is about to go? Did you peek at the peak? Fuck no! Why should you? This is YOUR WAVE. Surely, there is no one else out here that can lay claim to this blue behemoth. Certainly not the 70 other people out here working hard to catch one themselves. You have abandoned common decency and sense in favor of manifest destiny. This must be yours.
“Drop in on me again, I dare you! I double-dare you motherfucker! Drop in on me one more Goddamn time!” (Note – don’t actually do this)”
I was not given many natural gifts in this life. I am a short, average looking man with Boring Dude Haircut #4 plastered on my dome. I am more book smart than street smart, and I am not even that book smart. Despite being delightfully mediocre in many areas, I excel in exactly one: being the loudest person in the Western Hemisphere. It is kind of like being the human equivalent of the Tasmanian Devil – a totally average looking marsupial that possesses a ferocious growl. I am the guy that does not need a microphone during presentations. My voice can reach Vancouver from San Diego with relative ease. My diaphragm must be jacked.
And I was quite eager to share this gift with you, Guy About to Drop in on Me. But you, being an ungrateful douchebag, do not want to listen to the personal performance I just gave you of the one skill I have spent a literal lifetime perfecting. Douchebaggery never has time for others.
Ignoring me and proper surfing decorum, you take off and rise to your feet. I begin to volley a variety of expletives your way, but you seem to be on a quest to convince me you are deaf. You are now very much in my way and I have a choice to make. Do I:
a. Channel my inner linebacker and tackle you
b. Lean down, grab your leash, and send you tumbling backwards
c. Increase the ferociousness of my now steady string of F-Bombs, cluing you into my level of seriousness
d. Sheepishly pull out and fire salvos of eye daggers in your general direction
I choose D, with a dose of C for good measure, because I am a lover, not a fighter. Also, please see a few paragraphs prior where I state my average dude size. The largest child on most playgrounds could handily kick my ass, so it’s in my best interest to not be a physical aggressor. This approach has kept me alive for 33 years, but really cuts into my wave count.
If you are good, you majestically glide down the line, hitting the lip at all the right times, leaving me to wonder about the wave that could have been for me. If you are not so good, then I have a front row seat as you somehow stiffly, yet wobbly, go straight. You might also fall. You falling is preferable in both scenarios.
It’s like we are both guys looking for ladies in the same Club/Clerb. I spot someone attractive and proceed to strike up a friendly conversation with her, hoping the loud music excuses the excessive volume of my booming voice. But then you, the Drop In Douche, emerging from your cologne bath with an abundance of gel slathered in your hair, slides up behind her and begins ramming your be-kahkied package into her, grinding without so much as a hello to announce yourself. Somehow, you get the girl and I go home alone.
So I reluctantly allow you to grind on my wave and you run away with it, heroically riding off into the sunset. I bob alone in silence, letting out a long sigh and wondering about the one that got away.
Do you show remorse afterwards? Of course not. You do not even look in my direction. You are too busy aggressively asserting yourself in the next pack of surfers, sizing up your next victim.
In my imagination, I have already dropped you into a vat of Gorilla Glue, where I will allow 24 hours for the glue to fully dry and cure so that I can safely pick you up and toss you into the mouth of the nearest active volcano. This thought makes me smile. While I am not a violent person, I can still enjoy plotting your torturous demise within the confines of my mind, where the laws are more lax.
But really, we should go out for coffee some time and discuss the finer points of surfing etiquette. It will be an opportunity for you to explain yourself and maybe even learn how to become a better person. Then I can throw my scalding hot coffee (AKA Volcano Juice) in your stupid fucking face. Asshole.
Ahhhh, so satisfying