Motherfucker, is there a more infuriating phrase in the English language?
I was having a fun session today. Nothing special, but the water’s warm, the sun is shining, and the weird swirly short period wind swell was serving up the occasional runner that would hit the inside sandbar and bottom out. Just one of the awesome days where it doesn’t look very good but you paddle out anyway and are pleasantly surprised.
When the rental van with two boards on the roof pulled up and belched forth a tourist family with two kids in their late teens who made an immediate beeline for me, I wasn’t surprised. Herd mentality and all that. An empty half mile stretch of ocean, people gravitate toward whoever’s already out.
Seen it a million times. Old news.
When they paddled out and proceeded to bookend me and paddle for every bump that came through I was less than pleased. Pretty typical visitor behavior, most likely the source of all the meanie local stories people love to tell.
But I grew up surfing in LA, spent eight years on Oahu, I know how to work a crowd of two. Mean mug, paddle hard, no hello.
I don’t think I’ve been stuffed once since moving to Kauai. People here are pretty friendly, very respectful. And there’s plenty of surf, no reason to be greedy.
So when a fun little nugget popped up right in front of me, and one of the pale skinned little dorks on a brand new brand name turned and burned, I was upset. Not raving lunatic status, but peeved. Not happy. Annoyed. But it was no big deal, really. If only the little fucker hadn’t opened his mouth.
So when a fun little nugget popped up right in front of me, and one of the pale skinned little dorks on a brand new brand name turned and burned, I was upset. Not raving lunatic status, but peeved. Not happy. Annoyed. But it was no big deal, really.
If only the little fucker hadn’t opened his mouth.
“I didn’t think you’d make it.”
Fuck you. So fucking condescending. What a perfect way to push my buttons.
I turned to him and roared. Literally. Nothing but a loud deep chest scream right in his stupid surprised face. An interesting off the cuff response.
I wish I could say it was a planned move, intended to intimidate. “Watch out for the crazy dude with a scraggly beard and unkempt hair. Better give him some space.”
But it was just my natural response, for whatever reason. Whatever shit was running through my head at that moment turned me into a barking dog, declaring his turf, all sorts of threats implied.
And it worked, they paddled a hundred yards down to the nest little sandbar and I had the spot to myself until a half dozen other guys showed up, joined me, and proceeded to take turns. Like decent humans should.
(And, here, unrelated but awesome, skate vid!)