Surfing has one great swear word and it is “kook.” Etymologists are generally agreed that the one syllable invective is derived from the Hawaiian word kūkae, meaning “feces” and used, in those early years as today, to refer to surfers with poor ability.
Extremely rude and the very worst thing one surfer can call another. An utterance in the lineup must be met with extreme force, indignation or flipped script.
“No, YOU’RE a kook.”
Very harsh but equally harsh when uttered on land and let us learn the story of American surfer and tourist Paul Cole who used it to deeply shame The Beatles.
One of the greatest photobombs ever was the the man standing on the pavement to the right of the picture of the Abbey Road album cover by The Beatles. He was an American tourist named Paul Cole. Cole was accidentally included in the album cover as he watched the four one by one cross the street while on vacation in London and thought they were just four “kooks.”
Almost a year later, he saw the album by chance when his wife, a church organist, was given the record to play at a wedding. “I saw it resting against her keyboard,” Cole remembered, “and I said, Hey! It’s those four kooks! That’s me in there!”
Despite his realization, the retired salesman has never enjoyed the Beatles. “I’ve never heard Abbey Road,” Cole said. “I’ve seen the Beatles on television and have heard a few of their songs. It’s not my kind of thing. I prefer classical music.”
“Hey, it’s those four kooks.”
Ouch and it is now incumbent on Paul McCartney and/or Ringo Starr, the two remaining Beatles, to find either Cole or one of Cole’s surfing sons and demand retraction.
It will be a hard day’s night until then.