The Globetrotter
The owner, very sad, on his empty terrace.

Cold: “Shark Victim Ruined my Business!”

Reunion Island restaurant owner blames shark attack victim for a downturn in biz.

You probably heard there was another shark attack at Reunion on Saturday.

Bodyboarder Laurent Chardard paddled out at Boucan Canot, a netted beach, two days before his twenty-second birthday. There were red flags on the beach because a two-metre hole had been detected in the seven-hundred-metre net earlier that day.

Still, it was the safest place on the island, and the waves were pumping. Reunion has plenty of serious risk-takers, but Laurent is not one of them. There were already about fifteen people in the water. Laurent joined them.

The set of the day rolled in. Some locals think the shark swam in over the net, others believe it cruised through the tiny hole. Either way, it grabbed Laurent’s right arm. He punched it with his left. His reaction didn’t save his arm, but the shark did retreat. Laurent got back on his board. The shark returned, and this time took part of his right leg.

Some other surfers came to Laurent’s aid. According to Laurent’s friend Camille, who I spoke to by phone last night, he told them, “Just let me die, I don’t want to live like this.” This is the kind of instruction none of us ever wants to hear. They saved him anyway.

Laurent is made of tough stuff. Eight years ago, his dad went hiking, and returned with what seemed like a flu. It wasn’t. It was leptospirosis, and Laurent’s dad died within a week.

Around the same time, Laurent was diagnosed with diabetes. He shrugged both setbacks off with uncommon optimism. Camille says he has woken in hospital with similar determination.

“He wants to get better, and he wants to live again. He is thinking about where he is going to recover, and thinking about prosthetics. It’s so impressive. He’s mind-blowing.”

But that positivity is in contrast to the absurd drama that has followed the attack, which is the part of the story you may not have heard yet.

The owner of Le Petit Boucan, one of five restaurants on the beach at Boucan Canot, was interviewed on radio soon after the attack, blaming Laurent, who had defied red flags on the beach that day, for his restaurant now being deserted.

According to two people I spoke to, the restaurateur went to the local police station and said Laurent should be charged with an offence. The cops shrugged and told him to take Laurent to court.

A Facebook page was quickly established, calling for a boycott of Le Petit Boucan whose clientele consists mostly of surfers. Within days, 1000 people had signed up to it.

But even a boycott would not achieve anything, Camille says. “People will think we are just stupid, and want to break everything that is against us. But we just want to make Reunion better. So we are trying to make it right.” Nevertheless, she said, surfers were angry, and likely to boycott Le Petit Boucan anyway.

Jean Francois Nativel, who is one of the island’s leading anti-shark activists, said he was trying to act as a “mediator” with Le Petit Boucan. (I asked Nativel to put a couple of questions to the restaurateur, but haven’t had a reply yet.)

“Greenies’ responsibility is bigger than Laurent’s,” Nativel said.

Another Reunion resident, Laurence Joanblanq, a schoolteacher and mother to a couple of keen young surfers, told me via email that the restaurateur had simply been fooled by the media. “The media is always on the side of the scientists and animalists. This guy just follows what we can read after every shark attack – that surfers are guilty! All the time we are not the victims!”

She said the big scandal was that marine scientists had got the local court to ban drumlines near Boucan because it is a marine reserve. The beach was full of students on the day, she said.

“It was awful. It is hard for them. We thought it was okay (at Boucan Canot). Now we have had one attack inside the nets. Everybody is very sad. We have taken a step back.”

I find this almost incomprehensible. All this insanity, misanthrope, anguish and tragedy… over a stupid fish.

Here’s another thing about Laurent. About a year ago, he was swimming with some friends in a lake on the east of the island. There was a rock ledge above the lake from which other people were diving into the water. Laurent watched a man dive in. When the man failed to surface, Laurent dived in to search for him. Camille says he found the man eight metres underwater, and hauled him back to the surface. Laurent’s friend, a nurse, resuscitated him. The man survived.

Obviously, Laurent can’t do that any more.

Steph Gilmore food fights Miley Cyrus!

Hot gossip straight from Hollywood!

Get a load of this slice of steamy gossip! Forgive the lack of accurate detail and possible meanders into non-truth. I was listening to someone else’s conversation, eating Chinese food and drinking a ridiculously sweet/fizzy rosé. Easy to get very mixed up.

Sooooooo apparently Steph Gilmore and her boyf (?) were hanging out with Miley Cyrus and hers. Stephanie is obviously Australian and so is her boyfriend (?) and Miley Cyrus’s boyfriend too. Or maybe Miley’s husband. They might have just got married yesterday (?). His name is Liam Hemsworth and he was in Hunger Games (?) but his brother is more famous because he is Thor.

In any case, Australian! And the four (?) of them went out to Soho House in Hollywood with the handsome man whose conversation I was listening to and another talented man and started hammering on some tequila (?) shots. The handsome man actually was the one who suggested doing tequila shots and he was concerned that it might be too gauche (?) for Steph but she was way hyped and threw them down bam bam bam.

The night took this turn and that turn and the four (Steph, boyf (?), Miley, husband (?)) got separated from the two (handsome man, talented man) but they all found each other again and, when they did, the handsome man says that Stephanie Gilmore picked up a cupcake and threw it right at Miley Cyrus’s boob.

Her boob!

Six-time world champ Steph Gilmore!

Throwing boob cakes!

It was unclear if Steph was angry with Miley or joking with Miley or if Miley liked the boob cake or if she didn’t.

It was, anyhow, at this point where I interjected to ask, “Was it sexy?”

That, I’m afraid, was also unclear.

New brand seeks derelict surfers!

"They don't build 'em like Christian Fletcher anymore..." or do they?

There was a time in surfing’s illustrious history when talent was found not made. When scraggly boys with snarling attitudes ripped beach breaks and point breaks and reef breaks not because daddy wanted them to make millions of dollars on professional surfing tours but because their hearts beat bad.

And hasn’t daddy just wrecked it all? Turned the scraggly boys into li’l machines! Turned them into empty-headed robots check-turning robots!

Turned them on to homeschooling!

And these homeschooled vessels with every edge sanded right off, sanded right down to Crest Whitestrip smiles, are the modern faces of the brands. They are our icons!

Except I heard the most wonderful rumor the other day. I heard that one man, who comes to us from skate and music, is out to change all that lame and his name is Damon Way.

Does it sound familiar? Oh but it should!

You’ll remember Damon as part of the heated rumors surrounding Dane Reynolds and co.’s aborted brand Destroyer. It was whispered that he would be the genius behind it all because he is a genius, having created/sold DC and a heap of other things.

Destroyer died in a heap of bloated ego (allegedly!) but Damon don’t need it because he has Fact. a white hot skate/music brand that the kids are . And rumor has it that he is thinking about dipping into the surfs!

A very good source tells me he was posted on the sand at Trestles very recently, wearing all black, scouting talent, trying to find the right surfer to fit the Fact. ethos. Scraggle. Snarl.

But maybe his trip was unsuccessful. He was heard mumbling, “They don’t build ’em like Christian Fletcher anymore…” as he headed back up the path, though my very good source says he’s not giving up.

Ditch daddy, boys! Head down to Trestles and get wild!

Homeschool’s out for summer!

Homeschool’s out forever!

Terror: Death Storms to Stomp Hawaii!

Hawaiian hurricane terror is real!

Hawaii hurricane terror is real. Streets flooded with people going about their business. Overcast skies! Palm trees swaying in pleasant sea breezes.

But it’s only a matter of time ’til the rush. Families flocking to their nearest market.  Mass hoarding of toilet paper and bottled water and light beer. Pure anarchy!

As of two pm Wednesday afternoon two class twelve death hurricanes are rapidly spinning their way towards our idyllic tropical archipelago. One has been named after a cookie, the other after that uncle who once cornered you at a family gathering and jammed his finger up your ass.

Hawaii Governor David Ige has declared a state of emergency! Schools will be closed!

Madeline will most likely bash herself to death against the southern shores of the Big Island. Residents of Puna will be cut off for weeks!

They’ll barely notice. Business as usual in that off-grid neck of the woods. Some generators will fail, residents will be forced to drink tepid Steinlager.

One has been named after a cookie, the other after that uncle who once cornered you at a family gathering and jammed his finger up your ass.

Lester is forecast to swoop north through the island chain, destroying everything in its wake. Hits Kauai on Saturday.

Is this to be a repeat of Iniki?

Gnarly time out here. People tell stories. Horrible consequences in the fighting chicken world as hundreds of coops were destroyed. Prize game cocks scattered to the four winds.

I’m appropriately nervous. Raised in Southern California, I can handle earthquakes.  Wind and rain, not so much.

But I’m prepared! Cases of bottled water, spare batteries for flashlights, a huge amount of fireworks I bought this past Fourth of July and never used. A handle of Jameson Whiskey a guest left behind and half a bottle of Cognac Derek sent me for Christmas!  Probably barter both of those for some child slaves.

Once the DTs start kicking in it’ll be a seller’s market.

John John Florence Tahiti
On to the point. What'd I miss? Just short of a month with spotty, at best, internet service. Something cool must have happened. I see John John's wearing that stupid yellow jersey! How grand. I didn't watch a moment of Tahiti. Was it any good? | Photo: WSL

Parker: “Was Tahiti Any Good?”

What did I miss while I was away?

I feel terrible.

Don’t handle failure well. Not when I’m emotionally invested. Which I very much was when it came to my recent freedive trip. So I’m just sitting here in my pit of despair stewing in self-hatred and waiting for the sun to crack back through the looming cloud of gloom.

A series of hurricanes is coming to kill me.

Standard shit, really.

To top it off my lovely wife picked up a cold as she started to mend. Was kind enough to pass it along to me. Now my head’s full of cement and my throat is lined with knives and I wish I believed that suicide was something more than a coward’s way out.

Boo-fucking-hoo. Life is soooooo hard.

But there’s a bright side! Today I get to pick up my brother-in-law from the airport. He’s moving in with us for some undetermined length of time while he decides whether he wants to move to Kauai.

He’s a great kid and I love him to death. But our spacious two bedroom is far less so with a third person kicking around the place. And I was not consulted about this. Only informed and told to deal.

Anyway… blah blah blah. I needed to vent, you fuckers get to read it. On to the point. What’d I miss? Just short of a month with spotty, at best, internet service. Something cool must have happened.

I see John John’s wearing that stupid yellow jersey! How grand. I didn’t watch a moment of Tahiti. Was it any good?

Any good scandals drop? A glance at your dear BG shows Surfstitch continues to circle the drain. Maybe we could put together some crowdfunding deal to purchase FCS. Make sure no one else gets their greedy mitts on it. Band together to put a much needed bullet in the fin system’s head.

Any good health knowledge on the Inertia? I nearly lost my shit at a lady giving nonsense medical advice the other day. Freaking out about my wife’s Hep A status, told to simmer some weed in coconut oil and apply it to her joints. So fucking sick of hippy-dippy snake oil. Every dumb fuck with a dream catcher hanging from their rear view mirror seems to thinks they have a license to practice medicine.

Maybe y’all could catch me up in the comments? Or not. Whatever.

As far as the final installment in my Nicaragua odyssey… you’re gonna have to wait a day. Turns out the wife put her own version of the events to paper while she was battling E.Coli. Interesting take on things. Not how I remember it, but I’ve never claimed to own an objective truth. Or maybe I have. It’s hard to remember. I spew a lot of nonsense.

She’s, rightfully, terrified to expose something she’s written to the pack of jackals who frequent our comment section. But she put it in my hands. Too late to back out now.

The piece needs an edit. Will probably plop in my own asides. But the mystery is near an end. All the salacious details will be staring out at you from a computer screen very soon.