An abundance of lacking caution.
“Did you know that all of East Berlin was forcibly quarantined, like we are now, except theirs lasted 30 years or some such and none of them were sick with anything other than questionable taste?” I ask my young daughter as we’re standing in front of Checkpoint Charlie, a sleight of hand Gypsy tugging on my pant leg, insisting we watch his dumb show.
“That’s super duper sad…” she says “but what did they like that was bad?”
“Well, some of the same things they like today. Sausage, theatrical rock n roll, mullets but, more importantly, this is history. We’ve become so lulled by decades of relative stability that we forget how easy we have it in comparison. 20 million people died in WW I, 75 million in WW II, and that’s nothing compared to the Black Plague…”
“Are the Black Plague a theatrical German rock n roll band?” She interjects.
“Probably.” I say and we fall into silence again, studying the graffiti. Feeling its weight.
We may be stuck in Western Europe for 30 days but, worst case scenario, we’re stuck in Western Europe for 30 days. An absolute dream and I’ve been salivating over the road trips we can take, places we can go, mountains we can ski, rivers we can surf, food we can eat, subsidized medical institutions we can tax.
Nothing against the very real threat of a Chinese manufactured cold but…
And with the World Surf League canceling March, likely April too, what has become of fortitude? Of knowing millions of people are going to be “self-quarantined” with nothing to do?
Professional surfing could have been their savior this “you can’t script this” moment but no. World Surf League CEO and Lord Commander over the Wall of Positive Noise Erik “ELo” Logan made his first executive decision, yesterday, lopping the first month, maybe two, off the season.
“An abundance of caution.”
“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our athletes, fans and staff…”
Certainly the WSL will point at Australia for shutting down events attracting more than 500 people but live professional surfing isn’t really a “thing.” Santa Monica could have easily hosted the Coronavirus Corona event, 32 surfers in the water, 3 men in the booth (’89 World Champion gifted the of his life off), all the judges in Santa Monica where they should be anyhow. A total of 40 folk very much under the limit. For the hundreds upon hundreds of jobless, school-less, entertainment-less surfers around the globe it would have been rebellious art. Others would have glommed on too with no basketball, baseball or soccer.
The unicorn moment professional surfing has been waiting for since 1976.
Official mainstreaming. Being a real sport.
“An abundance of caution” and we surfers, we true grumpy locals, know what happens anytime an abundance of caution is exercised in the lineup. Either a rightly deserved burn or a trip over the falls.
“Well, ELo just took a trip over the falls…” I mumble after some time as the Berliner wind almost blows us both into that damned Gypsy.
My young daughter looks up at me, her confusion having turned into pure annoyance over the past week.
“Never mind.” I say. “Want to go get matching tracksuits for you and mama at the Adidas flagship store?”
She nods, happy again.
I’ll find a place to embroider Covid-19 on them later.