"Hey KELLY... glad you called ME..." etc. etc.
Few things in this life embarrass me more than the connected surf groupie. The industry bro, surf journalist, beach announcer, hanger-on who has confused his proximity to professional surfing with actual friendships of professional surfers and also has confused professional surfers with actual famous people. Not that professional surfers make bad friends and not that they aren’t “famous” in their own small way but the industry bro, surf journalist, beach announcer, hanger-on should know, better than anyone how small that way is.
Oh, it’s a wonderful life and forgive my crankiness but I have had occasion to reminisce these past few days about the connected surf groupie. About his crowing on and on and on and on about all his famous professional surfer friends and how close he is with them and how they’re going on a surf trip together and… pause… wait for backslaps and affirmation and exclamations of “Oh what a wonderful life!”
I’ll always remember, as prime example and connected surf groupie par excellence, the onetime voice of extreme sport/pre-Kardashian E! television, Sal Masekela, at Surf Ranch. He was there participating in Surf Journalist Day even though he is not a surf journalist, enjoying both the left and the right and the hot tub filled exclusively with male surf journalists. At some point he announced, quite loudly, that he had been texting with Kelly Slater. Shortly thereafter he took a loud call from Kelly Slater in the hot tub filled with men, shouting, “Hey KELLY… glad you called ME…” etc. etc.
Now, this would very cute for a eleven-year-old boy with a social anxiety problem but was it appropriate in front of Vaughn Blakey and Sean Doherty and Surfline’s Marcus Sanders?
But probably not.
Or am I just cranky? Should I abandon this odd pet-peeve? Help me be a better man!