“First the 'Surfpas" teach our new masters how to surf. Then they take their payroll pals to the latest, greatest surf spot—Indo, the Mentawais, Costa Rica—and colonize it!”
Point Douche is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, events and incidents are all the products of my imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is coincidental.
Al pedaled his rickety mountain bike down the oak, eucalyptus, and Tesla-lined street towards Point Delores, where a full-blown class war between billionaires and millionaires was in its final throes. With the same ferocity that Hulagu Khan once sacked Baghdad, the Tech Mongols were now conducting their final, brutal, mop-up operation of the world’s most expensive private beach enclave. Not even the Hedge Fund Visigoths were safe from their predations.
As the disheveled, dark-skinned bicyclist got closer to a guardhouse with “POINT DELORES ESTATES” emblazoned on it in neat block letters, he noticed a fit man with a shaved head walking a muzzled Belgian Malinois. Without taking his eyes off the bicyclist, the man began to mutter in Hebrew into the lapel of his Navy blue blazer.
Al returned his stare, then bared his teeth at the dog and growled. Without making a sound, the fur missile launched. The bald handler grabbed the leash with both hands. As he wrestled with the attack dog, his blazer fell open, revealing the handle of a Glock 27 in a Kydex holster, a taser, and a pair of zip tie handcuffs.
“What? I owe you money?” snapped Al as he coasted past the last Telsa sleeping on its charger.
Al stopped at a formidable steel security gate. It began to open and out stepped a short, plump, older woman who looked like an Inca. She carried a brown paper bag full of avocados covered in concrete dust in her arms. The woman smiled warmly at Al.
“Que Onda Alejandro?”
“Not much Carmen. Is my mom home?”
“Si. Be careful. She’s angrier than usual. The Cabrón next door knocked down her avocado tree. I left some food for you.”
“OK! Adios!” she said, and then rushed to catch the last Metro 534 bus that would take her to her home near downtown LA. There she would eat, get a few hours of sleep, wake up in the dark and do it all over again the next day. Carmen had been Al’s mother’s maid for the past three decades and was more of a mother to him than his own mother, Alice.
Al pushed his bike up to the guard house. A buff, broad shouldered, white haired man, with a Fu Manchu mustache, leathery wrinkled skin and pterygiums that covered the corneas of his perpetually bloodshot, blue eyes, opened the door. Despite the ill-fitting uniform that could not contain his massive biceps, he was more surfer than rent-a-cop.
“Evening, Al,” said Jimmy “The Joker” Jones.
“Wsup, Joker,” Al said, as he pulled five twenty-dollar bills from his Levi’s jacket pocket and handed them over.
“The Southern Hemi is starting to fill in at the outside point. What’s the spread for SC-Notre Dame?” Jones said and took a long pull from his cup of coffee.
“I’m only giving SC 7, because it’s in South Bend.”
“OK. I’ll put $50 on the Trojans.”
Al took a pen and small spiral notebook out, scribbled in it, nodded affirmatively, then pointed conspicuously towards the bald man with the dog.
“What’s with the new help around here?”
“He’s part of Prince Kip von zur Lichtenstein’s security detail. After ‘the incident’ with Kirby Cotrell, the Prince, his wife, and children are now shadowed by armed security 24-7. The guy with the dog first claimed to be former Mossad, but Cotrell forced him to admit that he was just a conscripted border policeman!”
“What did Cotrell do?”
“He let the guy continue his hustle, but let’s just say that his wages have been garnished. Now he and the others have to answer to Cotrell.”
“The other security guys. Ned Reboot’s security are actually retired Navy Seals. They also acted like pricks until they ran into Cotrell. It turned out that he was their BUDS instructor. Now they answer to him too.”
“Who’s Ned Reboot?”
“He owns Sahara, the world’s biggest online sweatshop. He offered Slim Jim, the rapper who owns the big white house on the cliff, a million dollars a month to rent his place for the summer. Not only would the house have to be completely empty, his wife, Luci, added a contractual stipulation. It actually said in the rental agreement that ‘there should be no evidence of the human hand.’ Reboot, I mean his wife, Luci, wants to be a surfer now too. I guess it’s the new golf. Now Luci surfs every day with her new ‘besties,’ Contessa Clink and Lori Mausenberg. Thanks to you, all of them think that Hades is Barry Kanaiaupuni!”
“I know. I created a monster,” Al said, then shook his head and stared wistfully out to sea. When Al thought of his long, lost love, even three decades later, it still hurt.
“Guess who is teaching them?” the Joker said with a mischievous smile.
Al did not respond and instead continued to stare out to sea.
“What! I mean who?”
“He’s from the fuckin Valley!”
“Yes, but remember Al, he was once a professional handsome guy. Got a little long in the tooth for modeling, so Surfpa’s his new hustle.”
Confused, Al cocked an eyebrow like John Belushi and said, “Surfpa?”
“You know how rich people pay Sherpas to drag their sorry asses to the summit of Mount Everest?” the Joker asked.
“Yeah,” Al replied, but was now more confused than ever.
“They’re like the Indian guides who helped the settlers win the West. First they teach our new masters how to surf. Then they take their payroll pals to the latest, greatest surf spot—Indo, the Mentawais, Costa Rica—and colonize it!”
“Jesus,” said Al, shaking his head in disbelief.
“First Contessa Zink hired McVane to teach her twins, Athena and Aristotle, how to surf. Those hopeless little blobs hated the ocean, so he ended up teaching her. One thing led to another and now he’s not just her Surfpa, he’s her indoor man too. Not to be outdone, Luci Reboot got herself a prize Surfpa.”
“Yeah, his sponsors didn’t renew his contract. Gave it to a blonde real estate developer’s son from San Clemente instead.”
“How the mighty have fallen,” Al said, and sighed.
“Look, Kavika’s got a wife and four kids to support back in Hawaii. Beats mowing the golf course at the Four Seasons with his dad and brothers. Next week, Luci’s flying him to Rancho Nirvana, home of the world’s greatest man-made wave. Costs $100,000 a day and she rented the whole place out.”
“I heard that each wave produces more carbon per wave than fifty Chevy Duramaxes blowing coal!” Al said.
“But if you drive your Tesla to your private jet, you get carbon credits!” the Joker laughed. “Instead of going to spas, the ladies who used to lunch now go to Rancho Nirvana.”
“I miss the old days,” said Al.
“Speaking of the old days, Bowden’s back from New York. He’s trying to convince his parents not to sell their house to Lester Mecontente. The prick called their house a fire hazard and an eye sore. He made them an absurd offer! Generational wealth!”
“Does Hades want the Brown’s house?”
“She’s too spun out to care,” said the Joker. “By the way, she’s been looking for you.”
“Gina, I mean Hades, can wait,” Al said, smiled malevolently, then he pulled a pill bottle from the pocket of his jacket. As he was riding away, he shook the pill bottle and shouted, “Malibu mating call.”
While Point Delores had always been home to actors, rock stars, and professional athletes, COVID changed everything. Hours after California’s handsome, blow-dried, boy Governor Sebastian Truestone announced the strictest lockdown rules in the nation, locust like swarms of Gulf Streams, Bombardiers, and Boeings descended on Van Nuys Airport. Waiting on the tarmac, in temperature controlled SUVs and luxury sedans, anxious real estate brokers gave their breath a final check.
As the Tech Mongols, their satraps and courtiers deplaned, the brokers greeted them with symbolic offerings of coconut water, fair trade coffee and fresh squeezed juices of every variety. Next, they bundled their prey into cars and the convoy sped down the Ventura Freeway. After they exited at Delores Canyon Road, they wound their way up and over the hill to find their piece of private paradise. No price was too high and there was no such thing as “not for sale.”
Minutes after escrow closed, construction workers descended on their new properties like the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu. Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Gwathney Frank Lautner, Matt Kivlin, Richard Meier—new, old, architecturally significant—it didn’t matter. They were all bulldozed and replaced with post-modern, concrete and steel fireproof bunkers that would have pleased Reich Minister Albert Speer himself.
Next, the Tech Mongols attempted to appropriate Southern California’s waterfront culture, but that was proving to be much more difficult. Unlike the merciless pounding waves on the north side of the headland, the waves in Point Delores cove were so easy to ride that even children and the most uncoordinated, unathletic adults could surf them. Still, not even a house on the point and a Surfpa could guarantee you a wave, much less respect, in Point Delores’s ruthlessly stratified surfing lineup.
Unlike the hyper-competitive Hedge Fund Visigoths who tried, albeit gracelessly, to surf, most of the Tech Mongols didn’t even bother. Not only was the sport too difficult to learn, the surfing hierarchy, even now, was just too brutal for their frail egos. Although their money could buy them a seat on the board of Stanford, membership to the Council on Foreign Relations, or an invitation to the annual plutocrats’ summit in Sun Valley, it could not buy them a set wave at Point Delores.
Even worse, SurfSerfs like Al, the Joker, the Cotrells and their kin not only ruled the waves at Point Delores, they boiled with an incandescent rage not dissimilar from that of the displaced Palestinian olive farmers on the Gaza Strip. Gates, guards, cameras, keys, fobs—no amount of money, technology, or private security could keep the SurfSerfs out of their ancestral waters.
The Tech Mongols and Hedge Fund Visigoths understood the SurfSerfs rage all too well. They, too, simmered with resentment. Life for them was also an exercise in revenge and schadenfreude because they had never tasted glory and never would.
Despite their vast fortunes and trappings of power, until recently, they had been life’s non-impact players. They never got to score the winning touchdown, fuck the cheerleader, save a life in the sea, or kill a man on a battlefield. No amount of MMA training with UFC champions, yoga retreats with Ashtanga gurus, or Ayahuasca trips with Peruvian shamans could ever change that fact.
Their wives, however, were a different matter. They loved surfing, and especially their Surfpas…
(Editor’s note: Peter Maguire is a surfer, war crimes investigator and author ofThai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade (movie rights optioned by Kelly Slater), Law and War, Facing Death in Cambodia and Breathe, a biography written with jiujitsu icon Rickson Gracie. Ain’t much ol Petey can’t do. The following story, which is an excerpt from an upcoming novel, appears on Pete’s substack Sour Milk, subscribe, it’s free etc.)