Surf mags turn on surf mags! It's elegant, graceful and entertaining!
A few days ago, Bez Buckley revived the ancient art of gags between surf mags with a brightly executed sledgehammer attack on The Inertia, and of which we’ve had terrific fun with.
Cuckolding, which Bez called his brilliant hack, is an activity I’m familiar with. One older surf writer, who was otherwise very kind to me, cuckolded me twice.
The first cuck I caught with my own eyes. The girl, whom I was courting, was found mounted atop the bathroom sink of the women’s toilet at a Jan Juc bar, breasts loosed from blouse with one being enthusiastically fed into his mouth. The second cuck was revealed via a dramatic post-fact description from the girl and included the words ‘unutterable ecstasy’. The writer failed on his third cuck and I was so thrilled I married the woman.
The ancient, and surprisingly arousing art of cuckoldry aside, Bez’s gag reminded me of other great inter surf mag gags.
Actually it didn’t.
It reminded the BeachGrit reader Preston of other great surf mag gags and the owner of the comment suggested placing a call to the surf historian Matt Warshaw.
Which I did.
Warshaw reminded me of two fabulous moments, reprinted below from the Encyclopedia of Surfing, which you can subscribe to for a few shekels a month or if you complain loudly enough, for whatever pennies you can muster.
#1. First-place prank, surf industry division. Surfing mag was tanking in 1969. Missed pub dates, advertisers jumping ship, newly bought by a company headquartered in Sparta, Illinois. The mag was published out of New York—30 years before that was cool. SURFER meanwhile had just hired intellectual stoner-poet-jokerman Drew Kampion as editor. Drew, today, is an energetic ruralist up here in Washington state, a lover of Whitman and God and environmental causes. But he used to have a mean streak, and was competitive as hell, and Surfing was a gently lofted softball for Drew to clobber into the next time zone.
He got out an oversized padded envelope. Inside the envelope, neat and tidy, he put a plastic-protected sheath of reject Ron Stoner transparencies, shot at Hammond’s two years earlier. On top of the photos he added a single-page prose-poem titled “The Inner Tubes of Hammond’s Reef.” One passage read:
Sleepy village / Silent sea / Silver tubes and solitude / Waiting for the soul in me / Will my board and I travel thee?
A little further along:
My good Karma was really working today / Karma waves / Karma days / Karma brain in purple haze / I’ll always cherish these days.
A wave approaches beckoning to all my skill / I, a surfer, an artist of the sea, am drawn to its hollow bosom / Breast of the sea / That comes to me / Whose fingers are like snow / Takes me into her womb / Revealing secrets I must know!
On top of the slides and the text, Kampion placed a cover letter, introducing himself as writer and photographer Dru Anderson, along with an author photo.
Surfing bit. Hook, link, sinker. The article ran in the July issue, five pages, without so much as a comma change. On the contributor’s section at the front of the mag, Dru Anderson was introduced as a writer who “gets away from traditional form.” The author photo shows a young man, smiling broadly, with tousled brown hair. Handsome devil. It’s SURFER founder John Severson. They didn’t know what it was, but the surf overlords of Sparta felt a hot breath of laughter on their necks.
#2 A week after I left the SURFER house during my last visit to the North Shore, this would have been in the mid-‘90s, the guys woke up to find a nice pink box of donuts on the front porch. A young photog kissing up? Something like that. Nobody asked questions, and a half-hour later the box was empty. On the front porch the next morning there was a photo of Surfing mag’s North Shore crew, lined up in a row, bent over, donuts wedged in their butt cracks, with the pink box laying open in the foreground. “Hope you enjoyed the donuts!” or something like that, written on the photo. Steve Hawk told me the story, and I was delighted. Hawk was too, even though he ate a donut. Solid prank, and Steve’s a guy who gives credit where its due. But for him it also it was like, Yeah, I ate a glazed donut that was in Skip Snead’s ass—and it was totally delicious. But you, Skip, had to go in and wash sticky glazed sugar out of your crack. Winning by losing.
Or the other way around. Or both.