I’ll admit to you, here and now, that I’ve toed the line of good taste my entire surf journalism career. And by “toed” I mean both feet over that line dancing an ungainly jig. Oh the list of my transgressions is too long to detail here but a quick Google search will deliver many choice nibbles and by “choice” I mean rancid.
But, in all my years, I have never, and I mean never, been in more trouble than I have for poking very light fun of the uncommon cold.
Furious people swinging in on social media, comments, emails demanding retractions for writing the disease “may cause many bad sniffles,” insisting that I stop putting the entire world in direct deadly danger.
And maybe these furious people are right. Maybe this is the worst disease since The Jersey Shore but still… should surfers be tattling on other surfers for refusing to practice social distancing?
Beaches are closed in Bondi, Indonesia and now San Diego, California because surfers tattled.
Tattled en masse.
Tattled via social media, comments, emails and in person.
Instagram is too full of surfers posting pictures of other surfers sitting near-ish each other in the lineup, of beaches half crowded with people sucking up once healthy vitamin D, featuring captions like “We need to talk.” And “This is why we can’t have nice things.”
Too many surfers to detail here but we need to talk and can’t have nice things because we dared go surfing?
Dared go to the beach?
Other surfer fingers pointed in sneering, paternal derision?
And maybe every single person outside right now is a selfish super spreader killing the rest of humanity but should surfers be the ones tattling on them?
Even in these apocalyptic times don’t snitches still get stitches?
Or is this a very savvy play, clearing the lineup to true zero?
I rode my bike past Swamis today and, while the waves were shit, not one surfer was in the water. Rumors of $1000 dollar fines for surfers who dared paddled Solana apparently floating slightly north.
I’ve never seen that in the decade I’ve called North County home.