Funny guy Sterling Spencer on prison rape (yes, but only in certain circumstances!), bunk kissing and the most grievous of bodily harm. From the archives!
From the archives: Virulent self-promoter Sterling Spencer is a 26-year-old Gulf Coast native and owner of a sense of humour that beachgrit.com likes ever so much. This following interview appeared in Surfer magazine in the column The Hot Seat, which I wrote for a time.
To be hot seated, in theory, means to be embarrassed publicly for a burst of ego or stupidity. But, how can anyone embarrass the only person in the world who has seen a Centaur, the creature from Greek mythology that is half-man, half-horse, and who once landed an air on the back of another human?
And so the interview begins…
BEACH GRIT: Is that Sterling, half-man, half-beast?
STERLING: Yes, it is. The reason I am the Centaur is, I saw a half-man, half-horse when I was five years old, at my house, out in the woods. And, I was telling my friends about it and I didn’t know what it was called and they were like, it’s a Centaur! And, then, people just started calling me Centaur and then it grew from there into a world phenomenon.
Do you believe you saw it?
Yeah, I really saw it.
How did the visit affect you?
It told me I’d never be famous and I’ve been out to prove him wrong and that’s now my life’s goal, to be famous
Do you have an active imagination?
No, it really happened. I was just talking to my mum last night about it and she was, like, freaking out, she remembers when it happened, but she doesn’t know what I saw. She was trying to tell me that I was just making it up, but I still saw what I saw.
What other things do you believe in? UFOs?
No. Maybe. I’m not against it. But, I haven’t seen a UFO.
Yeah, I think there’s a spiritual realm. But, I haven’t seen any ghosts either. But, I have seen a half-human, half horse.
What about the human board slide? Not only have you stared into the eyes of a creature from Greek mythology, but you’ve also ridden on the back of another surfer.
The human board slide was the smallest thing blown into the biggest thing. I was at Lowers and it was a crowded day and I did an air and accidentally ran into a human and someone got it on film and said I was putting a stop against people cutting off and all of a sudden I was this cult. People either loved me or people wanted to punch me in the face.
Did the police take an interest?
A policeman called me from my town and he said, hey, you need to take it off your website because a friend of his from the Academy in fricken Southern California called him and he was a surfer and said, “The county could press charges against him because they could make an example out of him”. You never know nowadays, because people wanna sue for anything.
America has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Were you scared you’d wind up in the pen?
It was on my mind for a second, but I told my dad and he said, you’re crazy if you think you’ll go to prison over this.
If you were forced to choose between having your leg hacked off in jail and being someone’s bitch for the duration of your six-month sentence, what would you choose?
I would be someone’s bitch because I would simply black out the rest of the six months.
It would be nice to have a companion inside, anyway. To share thoughts, for afternoon bunk kissing etc.
Yeah, it would nice. Everyone wants to be loved.
Tell me about ego and self-promotion.
It comes natural when no one wants to promote you because you’re from the Gulf of Mexico. I hung out with Donovan (Frankenreiter) in El Salvador and he opened my mind about just being yourself. He told me, you need to do something fricken different. I don’t think he knew how weird I was. I took it to my own extreme.
Do you polarize people?
Yeah, f’sure. I get hate mail, like everyday. People leave comments on my website. Usually people say, that my moustache is gay. Like, I got like 100 messages that said, you’re stupid and your moustache is gay. I’ve had horrible stuff. Someone wrote me that if I come to their town they’re going to rape me under my Dad’s van.
What town are you going to be raped in?
That was from a guy in Alabama.
Have you been back?
Oh yeah! I was actually surfing Alabama yesterday and it was actually really good. But no one was surfing! I always get hate mail from Alabama but I never see people actually surfing there.
Were you raped?
I didn’t get raped. The waves raped me.