Are you a local? What makes you furious?
A small beach community on Australia’s east coast has taken a stand against outsiders with a heroically confrontational warning sign nailed, anonymously, onto a tree.
Sawtell, which is just south of Coffs Harbour and five hundred clicks north of Sydney, is a real pretty joint. Warm water. Agreeable weather. Gets good waves sometimes. It ain’t going to make your toes curl, but fun enough to belt along to.
And, like the rest of the north coast, the secret’s out. Escape Sydney. Buy a house cheap. Source a reputable supply of weed. Sit back. Inhale. An easy life.
Recently, a sign appeared offering advice to anyone who might consider themselves, maybe, and after twenty years, a local, and to those who get their kicks from stand-up paddle machines.
Let’s read Sawtell’s “Mungrel Law.”
- If you have moved to this , what was once a quiet coastal village after 1996, you are not a LOCAL. Show RESPECT and practise surfing ETIQUETTE. So we all get along.
- If you are teaching your kids to surf, great, but do it away from the IMPACT ZONE, to prevent any ACCIDENTS.
- If you SU, ride your craft away from crowds. Your craft is DANGEROUS and can cause SERIOUS INJURY.
I never know what to make of these sorts of pronouncements.
Oh the sentiment is fine enough, SUPS were designed by an evil genius and they’re dangerous and so forth, and anyone who has their roots in a town does deserve, I think, first bite on any waves.
Getting fussy about kids learning to surf? A little hysterical.
And I ain’t real big on the dramatic use of capital letters. It makes me think of a man in a frightening trance, all spooky-eyed, suddenly screaming.
Do you like these sorta things? These lines drawn in the sand?
Or do they remind you of the notes that litter the walls in communal kitchens?