And lived to tell the tale!
The other day I wrote a highly debated, virally shared article about Christian Fletcher’s stance on grom abuse. I agreed with some of his points but diverged wildly from others. While some commended my stance, the vast majority of readers shared his views.
Then Christian, having read the post and disagreed with my beliefs, went so far as to create a Disqus account and unleash another couple of comments on the subject. They read:
I guess there is something more!!!
Hey Mikey, if you would have taken a stance in front of me I probably would have shoved my fluorescent colored dildo right up your geriatric wrinkled old ass, you fuckin kook!!!
For the record I’m not looking to be a role model unless you want to set an example of exactly what not to do or quickest way to ruin your career, but those were the CHOICES I made and I wouldn’t change a thing. As far as the kids go, you don’t see little leaguer’s on the field with the Houston Astro’s do you ? Or maybe you do with those thick glasses of yours!! Do you see Pop Warner kids on the field with the New Orleans Saints ? NO because a big pissed off mother fukker like Kyle Turley would be ripping off more than just THIER HELMET!!! Now that is the same reason they should not be in the lineup at Trestles especially when San-O is right there or Doheny etc. oh sorry that’s probably where you surf if you do surf or are you one of those lames that just sits around and writes about it and as far as calling the cops that is completely unforgivable!!
IF YOU CANT HANDLE THE HEAT, THEN GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!!! CF
After reading some of these comments I would like to let all you people who think you know me understand a thing or two about me. I was not bullied nor was my dad a prick but he was more like a Nobel peace prize winning mother fucking professor!! I was taught by the best how to deal with this world full bullies bitches and snitches and not fall prey to bullshit they try to bombard me with! Thanks dad and mom I love you guys for bringing me up right and teaching me how to deal with all these Lames!!!!! Don’t worry , I don’t feel special though cause my dad will drop in on you too!!! Hahahahahaha
In the first comment Christian was confused by my author avatar, an iconic photo of the late, great Jacques Cousteau, but with the rest of his message he was quite clear: he’s not a role model, kids don’t belong in “professional playing fields”, and his parents brought him up right.
While I still didn’t agree with everything Christian had to say, I was encouraged that my writing had caught his eye and wondered if he’d be interested in a legitimate interview.
After a playful text exchange, Christian made it clear that he didn’t want to talk unless he was getting paid. I poked the bear with a few sharpened twigs and eventually he rang me.
“What’s up, dork?” was the first thing I heard.
He followed with a request that I meet him in his hometown of Capo Beach. Startled by his boldness, I asked why we couldn’t conduct the interview via telephone.
“It’ not like we have to film it or anything,” I explained.
“Yeah we do,” he replied.
“We do? Welllll, ummmm, I have some stuff going on tonight, but let me see if I can figure something out. I’ll hit you back.”
Of course I had absolutely nothing going on, but the voice of Christian Fletcher had well and truly spooked me. I called Chas, my motivational guru, for advice.
“Go!” he said. “This is great! You have to go.”
“Do you think he’ll like… do something?”
“Christian? No! He just likes to fuck with people. I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of him beating someone up. You’ll be fine. Plus, if he does do something, it’ll just make for a better story.”
I called Christian back to confirm our date. He texted the address of his local haunt, Pepi’s Sports Bar in Capo Beach.
A public place, I thought. That’s good! Safe!
I arrived first at Pepi’s. Three minutes early to be exact, but Christian wouldn’t show for another thirty. I spent that time searching for potential fire escapes should something go terribly wrong and sipping a Modelo for courage.
I also noticed that Andrew Doheny was in house. Colin Moran too. A flyer on the wall told me that Metal Neck’s Bangover II would be premiering tonight, along with a performance from a local band. I was starting to realize that Christian had systemically taken me out of my comfort zone and placed me in his own.
Then he walked in. Average height, deeply tanned skin and doting a beautifully cut suit and tie. This is how I found Christian Fletcher. I walked up and introduced myself, told him it was nice he’d dressed up for the occasion.
“What, this?” he asked. “I wear this when I go to the beach. I wear a suit and tie everywhere.”
He leaned in.
“So look man, I know you want to do this interview, but I really think I should be getting a cut of the profits. I mean, you’re getting paid for this, right?”
“I guess technically, but not specifically for this piece. I just get paid on a monthly basis, and it’s not very much.”
“So what? People in all other sports get paid to give interviews. Basketball, Football.. whatever!”
“But you do know the difference between those sports and surfing, right? Like… the money…”
“Yeah well, there’s money in the surfing industry too.”
“Not journalism,” I laughed.
“Yeah well not for athletes either. You know most of us have to work day jobs just to keep this gig going?”
“Do you have a day job?”
“Hell yeah I have a day job. Do you want to see what I do for a day job?”
Next I knew we were crossing the street toward a shady building with a motorcycle out front. Christian walked up the driveway and opened the door.
“Come on in,” he said, holding the door like a Southern gent.
Inside was an assemblage of Christian’s favorite things. There were his surfboards, hand-built motorcycles, a pool table made from “Belgian felt”, knives (the one he’s been bringing out to Trestles since the shark epidemic began), and family heirlooms.
“This is my work station,” he told me. “This is where I make my boards. My fluorescent dildos, as you call them.” Christian said this in jest, but I could tell he disliked my artistic rendering of his aquatic pleasure toys.
“It takes fuckin’ forever to make these things,” he explained. “There’s so many different components and layers to ‘em.”
Christian proceeded to show me a collection of his fluorescent dildos, thoroughly explaining the intricacies of design and theory that make his crafts the best in the world.
“My boards basically have everything that shapers will tell you is bad. People say you want a lot of foam under the chest, my boards have less than two inches. They say you don’t want a thick tail, my boards have thick ass tails. But there’s a method to the madness.”
“For example, my boards are ergonomically correct. The concave deck fits the curve of your body. Also, all the thickness is near the rails, not the center. This makes board extremely well-balanced. Then obviously we had to offset the concave deck by adding concave rails, because if the rail line is above your feet, water will spill all over your board. But the concave rails account for that. The sharp edge is the true rail. ”
When I asked if any pros were riding them, he responded with vigor.
“Yeah you know Droid has tried them, Ford Archbold, Dane Gudauskas actually bought one, and then I made one for Kelly. He’s the only person who got a free one, but then I took it back. I told him he better not copy my design in any of his boards, and then what do you know, I start seeing some of my ideas in the stuff he’s making.”
Christian’s proudest moment came when the room went dark. He proceeded to illuminate black lights so I could witness, through movie theater 3-D glasses, the true magic of his craft.
“You see that?” as he pointed out the rails. “Oh and that!” while he shoved a fin box in my face.
Every board Christian makes is airbrushed with glow-in-the-dark paint. The way he layers the designs creates an incredible effect when exposed to UV-A. Fin boxes pop, deck lams dive and colors jump in every direction. This was, very clearly, the coolest deck art I’d ever seen.
Once satisfied that I’d gained an appreciation for his craft, Christian decided we should head back to the bar. He tossed me a motorcycle helmet – army style with a flimsy cloth chin strap – and told me to hop on the back of his hog. It was only a block away, but riding bitch on Christian Fletcher’s bike felt pretty damn legit.
When we returned to the bar, Christian started introducing me to people. Some surfers, some business partners, some very, very large men who would turn out to be personalized bouncers.
“Oh shit! You’re that writer?” most of them asked. “Man, I really laid into you. I feel like you just don’t get it, man. But I’m glad you showed up tonight.”
Christian and I shared a couple beers and shots (despite that he’s allergic to alcohol — a “blessing”, as he sees it), then he left to chat with some friends. “After they finish the movie, we’ll do the full interview,” he assured me.
I spent the next hour sipping on water and watching The Bangover II. Eventually the film ended and Christian reappeared.
“You ready?” he asked.
“Yeah, where should we go?”
“What do you mean? We’re doing it right here,” he said, pointing to the center of the bar, where two seats and a microphone had been arranged.
Finally it dawned on me. Christian had planned this whole night around my arrival. Not the Metal Neck gig, that was already happening, but the time and place and attendance of his cronies had all been carefully coordinated. He was attempting to embarrass me. To deliver vengeance for the hurtful words I’d spread! And he would do it in front of the entire bar.
It seemed everyone there, besides me, knew this was going to happen. For another Surf’s Up reference, I was Chicken Joe, being obliviously captured by the natives. All this time I thought they were treating me with kindness and respect, they were actually seasoning my ego for a roast du Ciaramella!
Even an ex-Surfer Mag photog, who I think I’ve met before but can’t remember from where, was ready to roll with his tripod and camera on center stage. This moment was to be immortalized for posterity’s sake. No one takes on Christian Fletcher and lives to tell the tale.
At this point it was too late to back out. My only option was to face off with Christian Fletcher, presidential-debate-style, in the middle of his hometown bar, in front of all his friends.
While sitting in my chair, waiting for the fun to begin, Droid tossed a sarcastic dart across the room.
“Hey Mike, good luck!”
Thumbs up, dude!
Then Christian took his seat, and the camera phones started rolling. I hit record as well.
Game on, motherfucker.