Palace of Versailles. Few people. Much stalling.
Palace of Versailles. Few people. Much stalling.

Galvanized surfer-father takes daughter to Versailles the day after historic stock market crash to teach “what all rich interloping bastards get in the end!”

Being petty and middle class has its advantages.

“Screw the Mona Lisa…” I barked as my young daughter and I strutted down the Champs-Élysées after becoming victims ourselves of the Coronavirus Zombie Apocalypse, getting rejected from The Louvre in order to “…prevent the spread of Covid-19…” per the sign posted in front of the famed glass pyramid.

We had come to see the Mona Lisa without lines. Without busloads of Chinese tourists but, here, the exact wave we were expecting to shred had decidedly crashed upon us.

Well, to hell with the Mona Lisa. To hell with Leonardo da Vinci and the rest of his northern Italy countrymen who had been walled off from the rest of the world anyhow. I taught my daughter to terrorize them through extreme surf-based territorialism and it worked too well. Now all of Italy is walled off.

The whole boot.

No Romans or Neopolitans either.

Locals only.

But the victorious lesson felt pyrrhic as spaghetti bolognese is our shared second favorite meal and this damned Coronavirus.

Pizza probably third.

This mad, mad, mad, mad world.

Well, life goes on, there’s always another wave etc. and exactly when I was wondering the next surf-based lesson I should teach her, Wall Street went straight over the falls.

The biggest single day point drop in stock market history.

Investors ripping hair pieces off while losing billions. Analysts garbling on about “confidence” and “the desk.” Russia and Saudi Arabia engaging in a wild oil war. Trading halts, billions lost. The end of this mad, mad, mad world.

I watched the crazy play out on a French restaurant’s television while chewing a less-than-perfect steak-frites but immediately knew.

“Baby girl…” I said. “…first thing tomorrow we’re headed for the Palace of Versailles.”

“Where Kristen Dunst lives?” She asked.

“Yes.” I responded. “Or where Kristen Dunst did live until she got her head lopped right off.”

“Why did she get it lopped off again?” She asked.

“Because she was a rich interloping bastard…” I said mid chew “…and let me tell you a story. The French had this really weak-willed king named Louis XVI. He was crazy rich but shy, out of touch and weird so his family hooked him up with an Austrian babe named Marie Antoinette…’

“Kristen Dunst?” She cut in.

“…Yes, I mean Kristen Dunst. So anyhow there they were being rich and out of touch together-ish when The People™ got fed up and lopped their heads off.”

She looked at me quizzically while stealing a fry, which was far better than the steak.

“Ok. So let me bring this home for you. In surfing we basically have a Louis XVI. His name is Dirk Ziff and we basically have a Marie Antoi… Kirsten Dunst. His name is Erik Logan. They are rich, interlopers and out of touch and The People™ are just about to lop their heads off too, at least metaphorically. Plus the markets tanked today. Let’s go rip one in a fancy place.”

We woke late and took the short train out to Versailles, cut the mile long line and wandered the War Room, Hall of Mirrors, gardens etc. Had a delicious chicken breast risotto and pain au chocolate lunch in the palace itself. Mind-bendingly incredible, all of it. The painted ceilings, giant fireplaces, drapes, wallpaper, chandeliers, gilding.

An absolute vision and virtually empty inside. I have no idea what the mile long line was all about.

She seemed sad about the demise of Marie Antoinette during lunch, loving her style, clothing, attitude, breathing that same air.

“Localism is a tough business…” I offered as sympathetically as possible “…and so is being petit bourgeoises but we play the hands we’re dealt then fight through our consciences.”

“What’s petit bourgeoises?” She asked, dabbing her eye gently with a fine linen napkin.

“Unfortunately us.” I said. “It means really petty middle class but don’t worry. We’ll have the last laugh somehow. It’s a joy of being petty. Plus there is more of this Coronavirus Zombie Apocalypse to shred. Look, we’re basically eating cake in Kristen Dunst’s house without a reservation. That’s pretty awesome, no?”

She nodded and seemed to cheer up some.

“Who knows what lessons tomorrow will bring.” I continued “But we should probably go to Germany. Their chancellor just said 70% – 80% is going to get the Coronavirus. That means we can get into all the trendiest underground techno clubs without being on the list and you being extremely underage.”

She nodded again.

Being petty and middle class has its advantages.

More as the story develops.

Revealed: “Satanic” baby sharks swim from womb to womb, in utero, devouring each other with “cannibalistic glee!”

The "Baby Shark" song has lost all cuteness.

It has been known, for some times, that most sharks begin life, or even pre-life, as cannibals. Inspired, likely, by Satan himself, or possibly Anton LaVey, they smack their embryonic lips and feast upon one another, preparing for the day they can escape mother and feast on the feet of male surfers.

Disturbing, yes, and should hamper sympathy amongst the non-binary, but in a just released study, scientists discovered how much glee baby sharks derive from the taste of their brothers and sisters. The mini-apex predators, it was revealed, will swim from womb to womb, seeking and destroying.

While I am a trusted shark-cum-surf journalist we must head to the pages of Science Alert for the very latest here.

A novel kind of ultrasound device has provided biologists with a detailed view of this common act of cannibalism, and it revealed they don’t just nibble on their neighbour. Embryos will travel between wombs to feast.

No, that’s not a typo. Many species of shark mature their eggs or gestate embryos in a left and a right uterus.

For most animals, embryonic movement is rather limited to a bit of squirming and the occasional flip. Even for young that aren’t anchored to a placenta, gestation is thought to be a rather sedentary affair.

So researchers from Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Motobu, Japan, were surprised to find the unborn pups of captive tawny nurse sharks (Nebrius ferrugineus) not only moving around their own uterus, but moving house altogether.

“Our data shows frequent embryonic migration between the right and left uteri, which is contradictory to the “sedentary” mammalian fetus,” the team wrote in their report.

The discovery came courtesy of a fancy new piece of equipment that allows the kind of ultrasound device you’d use to scan a human pregnancy to be packed up and carried underwater.


A moveable feast and very scary. Very much ahead of human dullness while in utero and if we have any hope in surviving the current apocalypse we should start our training as embryos. Maybe learning how to fashion little fishing poles or some such.

Any better ideas?

More as the story develops.

Language: “Surfing” revealed as hottest new corporate buzz-word!

Surfing equals green in modern corporate language.

Doesn’t it feel, I don’t know…intrusive… to see the word “surf” used in advertising?

It’s as gross as a CFO throwing double shakas as he wobbles through the office making his requisite, self-centered small talk?

And, what copywriter wrote that Jeep garbage?

Actually, knowing the way it goes, that copywriter probably had a perfectly sane idea that got squashed and revised through countless “alignment” meetings by vice-presidents with finance degrees to the point where we’re at: Surfing sand. Surfing streets. Surfing conference calls. Surfing the open office. Surfing the gibberish I type on a sticky note so I appear productive (which is much more important than actually being productive in the open office).

There’s a Beckett-like absurdity to corporate garbage language, and laughing at the serious use of utterly stupid buzzwords was getting me through my Monday, until I saw a stack of trade magazines in the trash.

The magazine cover was clouds, sky, airplane. The usual for one of these trade rags that industry “leaders” swap at conferences without ever reading.

(The irony that what I ghostwrite for work goes in mags like these that are immediately thrown away is not lost on me; and I try to think of it like my own sand mandala.)

The headline caught me.

All caps, sans serif, like what Apple was using ten years ago: SURFING FOR EFFICIENCY.

The article informs its one reader (me) that “air-wake surfing for efficiency” shows “significant promise but substantial challenges,” leaping ahead optimistically with news that Airbus and Boeing tested how to save gas by flying planes in formation. The writer toots that, “Commercial aircraft would fly in extended formation, up to one nautical mile apart, on what the industry prefers to call ‘cooperative trajectories.’”


Despite the fact that “the physics of wake surfing are on a firm footing, there are many technical and operational questions still to be answered.”

And then there’s a good bit of the article devoted to pumping the brakes on air-wake surfing, specifically because “only the trail aircraft sees a fuel saving” so they’d need to work out “who gets preference.”

But that doesn’t really matter, because the article accomplishes its only point, which is to tick the “sustainability” box.

And it does so while co-opting the new corporate meaning that surfing equals green along the way.

Which leads me to wonder: What surf terms could be turned into buzzwords that office people use seriously?

Tell you what.

We’ll brainstorm on this messaging, leverage our collective learnings, maybe take the conversation offline, and circle back next week.

Thanks for the laughs, I'm out, world champ Carissa Moore tells fans in December. | Photo: @rissmoore10

Mystery: World Champ Carissa Moore quits tour for one year; appears at first Qualifying Event of the year!

Who owns the record for the world's shortest sporting retirement? Sugar Ray Leonard or Carissa Moore?

Shortly, before Christmas the four-time and reigning world champion of surfing, Hawaiian Carissa Moore, shocked fans when she announced she’d be taking a year off the tour.

“I have dedicated the last ten years of my life to competing at the highest level and want to continue to do that well into my thirties,” said the twenty seven year old. “This break is a press refresh so that I can come back to the tour happier and more excited than ever in 2021.”

The announcement came as Hurley’s new owners Bluestar Alliance were winding down their vaunted surf team, the best ever assembled, unable to see that the sponsored surfer is the magic elf of the industry, paid hundreds of thousands, millions, for their ability to influence sales and define brands.

If you had a termination clause in your contract you were gone.

Filipe scraped under the wire with a contract until 2024; Kolohe Andino’s was good until 2022.

Carissa, however, started appearing in IG posts without Hurley stickers, even with a contract reported to be until 2025. The ol Olympic Clause, which forces surfers to ride logo less boards in the games, was a convenient deal-breaker, according to our source.

“This Carissa thing ain’t what they’re saying,” said the source. “She was gone via notice at the end of the last year while still basking in her world title glory. And mightily pissed how it was handled. Now they’re paying her and Eli Hanneman more than they were before. It’s fucking crazy.”

And now, despite the pre-Christmas announcement and the need to refresh, find happiness etc, Carissa has flown a dozen hours across the Pacific to Australia to compete in the Sydney Surf Pro.

As I said, a mystery, and, almost, the world’s shortest sporting retirement.

(Sugar Ray Leonard retired five times during his career, once for a week.)

Let him eat sand!
Let him eat sand!

Exciting new surfing World Championship Tour rookie Morgan Cibilic alleges: “I still haven’t received prize money for WQS finishes!”

From, like, years ago.

How did today’s stock market plunge affect you? Or is it effect? Did your heart drop while your children’s futures were wiped clean out? Or is it whipped?

Did you smile, laugh and mumble “eat the rich?”


Well, maybe the stock market plunge into bear territory is a blessing in disguise for exciting new Australian men’s surfing World Championship Tour rookie Morgan Cibilic seeing as he still hasn’t received his prize money for a third place finish at the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, a 10,000 level Qualifying Series event completed September 2, 2018 and worth…

…I have no idea.



Morgan speaks about the theoretical rip-off on a recent Lipped podcast and you can/should/must listen here while also subscribing for future episodes…

…but back to the matter at hand. However much he should have won, it might be a wonderful gift to have never received for the smart move would have been to drop that money into the markets which no longer exist.

It’s over.

A wrap.

Blue Monday.

People are eating each the rich’s faces off in Paris.

Or maybe that’s just touristy steak frites.

Chewy etc.

But, once again, back to the matter at hand. Is this how the World Surf League is paddling its bottom line? By allegedly not paying debts?

Very wise.

More as the story develops.