From the when-life-gives-you-lemons Dept: Jamie Brisick turns the recent Malibu fires into a glorious work of art!

"And it took out my home with an almost personal vengeance..."

Jamie Brisick is one of my very favorite writers and he also just so happens to write about surf. He is also the only writer, who also happens to write about surf, to ever make my wife cry through the sheer power of words. I don’t know why but Revealed: World Number 2 Lakey Peterson Heir to the Vast Egg McMuffin Legacy! doesn’t crank the waterworks.

Am I jealous? I suppose in the same way that Oasis is jealous of The Beatles i.e. clearly out-classed at every corner so… no. And Brisick’s piece in today’s The New Yorker further establishes his John Lennon credentials (as opposed to my Noel Gallagher’s). Let’s not waste anymore time. Let’s slip right in to something a bit more comfortable.

The text message came just before 7 a.m.: “Mandatory evacuation for the entire city of Malibu.” I grabbed my car keys, wallet, phone, laptop, writing stuff, and a change of clothes. It was Friday, November 9th. I was not worried. Malibu gets a fire nearly every year. Never do they creep down the Santa Monica Mountains, leap the Pacific Coast Highway, and take out homes where I live, in Point Dume.

But this one did. And it took out my home with an almost personal vengeance. Watching KTLA news with a friend in his Venice Beach studio the following evening, he pointed at the screen. “That looks like your house.” The camera zoomed in. “That’s definitely your house.” The shot—a firefighter blasting water at my inflamed bedroom—would play on repeat throughout the weekend. I became a kind of poster child for the Woolsey Fire.

The next few days threw into sharp relief my conflicted relationship with Malibu life. Many of my fellow-evacuees landed comfortably in Venice and Santa Monica. I received invitations to festive dinners and brunches at upscale eateries. Designer fashion labels offered free clothes to folks who’d lost their homes. A two-hundred-and-fifty-dollar gift certificate for luxury bedding showed up in my in-box. Compared to the extreme loss of life in the Camp Fire, it felt way too easy. Even in evacuation mode, we kept up our tenor of self-congratulation.

Meanwhile, I could not get back into Malibu. Roads were closed on the north, south, and valley sides. The “stayers,” several of them surfer friends of mine, posted on social media about “never feeling a stronger sense of purpose” and “being honored to serve their community.” The Point Dume Bomberos, a vigilante group that formed in the fire, were saving houses. Supplies were coming in by boat; surfers were paddling them to shore on longboards. Malibu moms were cooking up hot meals in jury-rigged kitchens. I was hit with a sense of fomo/shame. I’d got out of the fire, and now all I wanted was to get back into the fire.

I got in the following day with a makeshift press pass. Driving west past Surfrider Beach, the Pacific Coast Highway eerily quiet, I watched a set of waves peel across First Point, no riders. Malibu is one of the most crowded breaks on earth. The road closure would create empty lineups akin to the pre-“Gidget” days. I reached back and pawed the nose of my five-ten twin fin.

I passed places of great personal significance: the surf spot where I got my first tube, in 1978; the former home of the Malibu Inn, where in my tormented teens I consumed a half decade’s worth of soggy oatmeal and burnt coffee hoping to get closer to a particular waitress; the rocky outcropping where my late wife and I shared one of our last meals together, a picnic of cheese and avocado sandwiches, the shore break slapping and hissing below our feet. I started surfing in the late seventies. Malibu was my playground; it’s as close to my heart as any geographical place I can think of. But to be a surfer is to be a traveller. In my early twenties, I started travelling, and pretty much kept travelling.

The first sightings of the fire were just north of Pepperdine University. The charred hills took on a certain vulnerability, vegetation gone, trees skeletal, bald black curves in the midday sun. Born and raised in L.A., now fifty-two, I have come to understand that it’s essentially a race between the Santa Ana winds and the rain. If the rain comes first, the fire hazard is mitigated. But, if the fires come first, as they had now (and as they did last year, with the Thomas Fire and the ensuing mudslides in Montecito), we’re in big trouble.

Read the rest here!

Revealed: World number 2 Lakey Peterson heir to the vast Egg McMuffin legacy!

Did you already know this? Were you keeping it from me?

You probably already know that world number 2 Lakey Peterson is heir to the vast Egg McMuffin legacy but I just found out this morning and am seriously still having heart palpitations as a result. I mean, the Egg McMuffin? THE Egg McMuffin?

When was the last Egg McMuffin you had? I’ve switched over to the sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle, of course since I’m an adult male, but those were not on the menu when I was killing a few morning hours in Dubai International Airport recently and so I ordered an Egg McMuffin which surprised. So…. delicious!

And maybe that salty taste with notes of sourdough and liver failure still lingering in my mouth, I stumbled upon an NBC Sports story titled Lakey Peterson, with Guinness World Record, Egg McMuffin links, leads U.S. surfing to Olympic debut.

Never before have I read something so…. titillating and rushed to the text.

Lakey Peterson‘s mom is a former Guinness World Record holder. Her grandfather created the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin. She is now the best surfer in the U.S. after a breakthrough 2018, with 20 months until the sport’s Olympic debut in Tokyo.

It went on, jibber-jabbering about competitive surfing but I didn’t need anymore and headed over to a McDonald’s fan site to learn about the great Herb Peterson.

Herbert Ralph “Herb” Peterson (January 5, 1919 – March 25, 2008) was a fast food] executive and food scientist, most known for being the inventor of the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin in 1972. The breakfast business that he pioneered with this item had grown to an estimated $4–5 billion in annual revenues for the fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s by 1993.

Peterson developed the Egg McMuffin, which has become a McDonald’s breakfast signature item, in 1972. Peterson was said to like eggs benedict, so he worked to develop a breakfast item which was similar to it for the fast food chain. Peterson eventually came up with the Egg McMuffin, which was an egg sandwich consisting of an egg formed in a Teflon circle with the yolks broken, topped with Canadian Bacon and a slice of cheese. The Egg McMuffin was served as an open faced sandwich on a buttered and toasted English muffin.

I’m so blown away that I can’t write anything more today and I probably won’t be able to write anything more tomorrow either.

Read the origin of the Egg McMuffin here.

Bruce Irons
It ain't like there's any merit in shining a spotlight on Bruce's misadventure with the Pharisaical hope that he'll get the help he needs. That is always bullshit. The ugliest sort of bullshit. It ain't like it's a fun or funny story with an anti-depressive arc and gorgeously surprising character development. No. It definitely ain't that. It's just news, I suppose. 

Bummer: Bruce Irons arrested for DUI drugs etc.

There is a giant myth in assuming that writing nothing about tawdry, uncomfortable topics, allows them to be resolved appropriately…

Bruce Irons was arrested Thanksgiving morning at 9:23 in the morning and in Newport Beach, California for  DUI drugs, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and driving without a valid driver’s license.

It is a bummer to report but… I can’t not. The whole damned cone of silence is surfing is fine, to a point, and something of which I’ve even preached the sanctity. But the truth is, at the end, truth matters. Being able to write true things matters. Being able to write true things purely and simply for the sake of writing true things. matters


I don’t fucking know.

It ain’t like there’s any merit in shining a spotlight on Bruce’s misadventure with the Pharisaical hope that he’ll get the help he needs. That is always bullshit. The ugliest sort of bullshit.

It ain’t like it’s a fun or funny story with an anti-depressive arc and gorgeously surprising character development. No. It definitely ain’t that.

It’s just news, I suppose. Bruce’s arrest is already public record as part of a Newport Beach local police beat website (read here), he’s a professional surfer and this is BeachGrit.

Writing anything at all, especially about tawdry, uncomfortable topics begs scrutiny. I think there is a giant myth, though, in assuming that writing nothing, especially about tawdry, uncomfortable topics, allows them to be resolved appropriately then disappear without a trace, vanishing the weight of shame too.

If I’m going to be real honest here, it’s the tawdry/uncomfortable parts in each of our lives that give them weight. It’s the mistakes we’ve made, the people we’ve fucked over, the nights we drank too much and the days we screamed at our loved ones that make us who we are as much as any of our actions.

I hate all the garbage I’ve done in my life. Hate it with a passion but it’s still me and probably most of me.

Not that Bruce should hate getting a DUI drugs, possession of a controlled-substance without a prescription and driving without a valid driver’s license. Maybe the arresting officer was very cool and the whole thing amounted to some much needed rest and relaxation PLUS a get-out-of-going-to-boring-thanksgiving-meal card.

Who can know these things?

Neither me nor you, baby.

Albee Layer: “I don’t know who you’re blowing in the judging booth (Billy Kemper) , but Kai Lenny won!”

"I feel bad for making Billy feel bad. We all know he rips but I think the judging should change."

Don’t you love a little controversy in your sport and men, and it’s always men I’m afraid, who don’t hit the self-censor button as a default?

Earlier today, as reported here, the lovely Billy Kemper, whose beautiful big eyes are filled with an emphatic warmth like a passerby mourning a car-hit deer moved to the side of the road, won his third Jaws Challenge.

Afterwards, Billy thanked his deceased mom and the world rejoiced etc.

All except Albee Layer who was curious as to whether or not Mr Kemper had convulsed various judges with his cupid’s bow lips


When contacted, Albee said,

“God, I’m kinda over it. I feel bad for making Billy feel bad. We all know he rips but I think the judging should change.”

Albee added, “I’m sick of being the one that says what most people are thinking. I don’t think there should be high scores for incomplete waves.”

Billy Kemper wins Third Jaws Challenge at “windy, small, average” Pe’ahi!

The king of Jaws!

Oh, you heard all the hoo-ha yesterday, when mean ol Mike Parsons turned off the Jaws Challenge when the waves got real big, real scary. 

Today, in waves Albee Layer described as “windy, small, average”, Billy Kemper won his third Jaws Challenge, another trophy to stack alongside his two XXL Ride of the Year cups, his XXL Wipeout of the Year and his 2017 Big Wave Tour Champion trinket.

Little Billy, who is twenty eight and looks like the kinda man dogs kick, finished the final ahead of Kai Lenny, Albee Layer, Tyler Larronde and Grant Baker.

In an emotional speech and in response to a question about his apparent calm, Billy said,

“There’s so much behind the calm and collective and seriousness. A month and a half ago, less, I was sitting in LA getting MRI’s and wondering if I’d surf this winter. I didn’t do this on my own.”

(Billy thanks various doctors.)


“My fucking beautiful wife and children, I love you so much…a few years ago, I was a wildcard and I won it. I told myself I’d never stop doing it. Every time I surf a heat my goal is first and only first. I put blood, sweat and tears into it. It’s my pride and joy.

“Everyone of these athletes are not just surfers. This is our livelihood out here. Yesterday was the most radical day of surfing competition in history. I’m glad I got to kick that day off and I’m glad I got to end this event.

“(Yesterday) we set the bar for this event. I was bummed out that not everyone else had to surf the conditions we did, and push the limits, but I’m over the moon.”

At this point, Billy looked to the heavens. His mom Lisa died recently of lung cancer. 

“This is for my mom. I know you’re looking down on me mom. This is for you.”