Wed, 09 Sep 1998
LabbaDay Weekend -or what to do when there's no surf.
The previous evenings session was great fun, providing enough stoke to
erase a nasty week at work, and reduce the melancholy I felt sending
MrsPhoon away for two weeks in Geneva. It was probably the remnants of
Hurricane Earl that sent the occasional chest high set to the Bunker
Beach and the end of the summer crowd welcomed it by devouring every
ripple that came in.
Compliments of Hurricane Bonnie, the Bunker Beach had been polished into
a wide flat bottomed shoreline that was a blank slate for any swell to
tattoo itself on. Waves angling in from the NorEast pulsed
intermittently in the dying throws of another swell spent, providing fun
for anyone willing to wait. Any vehicle would do, the surf lacked size
but still had some punch.
That night I sat on the Bunker balcony, tired, sore, but well satisfied
after a 2 hour session, two authentic Maryland Crabcakes, some late
season Silver Queen corn and a few Honey Brown ales. The fiery full moon
that rose out of the Atlantic at dusk was one of the most breathtaking
I'd ever seen. I was just a bit sad I could not share this summer ending
holiday with my wife and best friend. (one in the same)
The next morning, before dawn, I rushed my coffee and muffins in the
hope of catching the very last dregs of the swell and the freshening
offshores. As I paddled out without much hope, the sun was just rising
clear and bright to the East. A half a dozen tubettes was all I could
squeeze out of Huey, the outgoing tide and offshores would murder what
was left of the swell.
While I was gathering up my gear and drying off I saw a photo crew
setting up on the beach for some sort of shoot. It turned out to be a
New York freelancer (My People!!) down for the weekend to shoot some
stock shots for catalogs, magazines and advertisements. The subject
would be pretty girls in bikinis..... what a novel idea!!
I'm a curious guy so I wandered over to see what was going on. The crew
consisted of the photographer (Al), two female assistants, and two
models one of which was a Jennifer Aniston look alike named Christa. I
know that outdoor photo sessions are very difficult due to the lighting
conditions. Most occur at dawn or dusk to take advantage of the diffused
and warm lighting. Al had his crew and models ready to go soon after
dawn which consisted of the two models alternately posing in various
skimpy suits (no thongs)on the beach and dunes.
At one point Al needed an extra person to hold one of the big round
light reflectors that reduce shadows. One of the assistants asked me if
I would mind holding the reflector for the shot. After showing me the
technique of bending the reflector to reduce the shadows and prevent hot
spots on the models I picked it up fairly quickly. Small talk and
questions of the crew and Al sort of got me accepted as a helper and as
the shoot continued I was called upon to do various minor tasks. At one
point I was helping one of the assistants load film and noticed that Al
batch loaded his own film to allow 50-60 shots per roll.
The light offshores brought those little black flies out of the dunes
with a vengeance. Most Right Coasters know these little bastards which
bite hard and are very persistent. The models were pros and did not move
during a shot, but were complaining bitterly about the flies. Both
girls were drop dead gorgeous with perfect figures, tanning bed color,
white teeth and fabulous hair. But they were getting eaten alive. I
quickly endeared myself to the girls by shooing the flies away with a
towel and holding my reflector over them to shade them from the
increasingly hot, bright sun. Once I accidentally stepped into a shot to
shoo a fly off Christa and Al got pissed off at me. I apologized but
reasoned with him what was the use of shooting such pretty girls if they
were covered with fly bite welts. Al thought about it and agreed,
granting me permission to shoo flies at will. The girls looked at me
with adoring eyes. From then on I was known as ShooPhoon.
All the beach shots were done within the first 2 hours. In between
make-readies and setups I got to chat with the models and crew. I even
volunteered to hold the circular drape over the models as they changed
suits. No, I did not drop it by mistake, nor did I peek (much).
Finally Al wanted to get the girls using some beach props so we gathered
up some chairs umbrellas, coolers and even the Lifeguard stand. He
suggested one of the girls lay on my big black Toobs b-board but they
refused saying it was covered with sticky, sandy wax, and a liberal
coating of Bullfrog Sun Lotion. The combination was truly sickening
(just the way I like it). Instead Al asked me to recruit a surfboard
which I did from one of the longboarders who'd just come out of the
water. He agreed, in exchange for the phone number of one of the models.
I hope he likes the dial-a-joke number I gave him.
Al had some clinched poses in mind with the girls sitting, laying on or
standing next to the board. When I suggested it would really be unusual
to get one of them out in the water on the board, Al jumped at the idea.
He told me I was in charge of the logistics since I was the only one who
knew anything about a surfboard. The real problem was getting Christa
out to the board dry headed. Had to protect the coiffure. The outgoing
tide was making the already small waves smaller, but once in awhile
there was a cleanup 3 footer. Being the tallest guy around, and knowing
something about lulls, I was elected to carry Christa out on my
shoulders. I directed one of the assistants to guide the big board out
through the surf beyond the break. Meanwhile Christa had climbed up on
my back and was holding onto my hat with both hands, make stupid jokes
like "where's all the hair that used to be up here?" and "Damn, it's a
good thing you're wearing a hat ShooPhoon, the glare off that thing
could blind a person." (Har, har, Hardee-fuckin Har! I began to plan my
What can I say, it was a tough job. At less than 100 lbs I could barely
feel Christa on my shoulders. I swear to god I'll never wash my neck
again.......? just kidding. We got out with no problem except for one
small wave that smacked me right in the face. The crew thought this was
hilarious. I got Christa out and onto the board where she lay with a
deathlike vise grip on the rails. I didn't know till later, she couldn't
swim, but it was only chesthigh water. My job was to steady her and the
board while Al took the shots and an assistant held the reflector. When
Al and Christa were ready, I would duck below the board and hold it by
the rails or fin until Christa tapped on the deck signaling me to come
up. This worked pretty well the first few times, but after awhile, I was
getting shall we say, winded.
During one shot I guess Al lost track of me underwater. I held my breath
as long as I could but came bursting up next to the board right into the
shot like some Gapmouthed, gasping, freckled and sunburned Great White
Shark. The crew again thought this was very funny. After 30 minutes Al
called it a wrap, the shoot was over. Christa was waiting for me to come
around so she could get back on my shoulders, but instead I called,
"Hang on Christa!!" and gently pushed her into a small wave. The board
promptly pearled, Christa fell off and went under, then came up out of
the water like MrsGodzilla.
"YOU STUPID FUCKHEAD!!" She screamed, "You just wrecked $250 worth of
hair styling and makeup!!" Chagrined by her sincere tone (and language) I
replied remorsefully, "Gee, I'm awfully sorry Christa. Al did say the
shoot was over. I thought may be it was time for a little fun. If it
means that much to you, have him take it out of my pay."
Realizing the absurdity of this statement Christa's angry (but gorgeous)
face dissolved into hysterical laughter as she launched herself at me to
seek her revenge. Unfortunately, one of her perfect, red, talon-like
nails gashed my neck as I tried to get away, drawing blood. (Whattya
think crew, this one gonna get by MrsPhoon? No way, I'm meat when she
sees this. Hopefully there'll be a much more serious injury for her to
obsess over. God willing.)
Later, as the crew packed up Al thanked me for my time and asked me for
my address. When I asked him why he suggested if the shot of the Great
White Phoon gasping for air and coming up next to a very surprised model
came out he would send me a copy. He laughed and even said one of his
more Avant-garde accounts might use it as a quirky ad. So watch for me
some time next Spring in a Calvin Klein, DKNY, Nike, Guess, or god
forbid, Tommy Stinkfinger.. I'm the one gasping for air.
Just Shoot Me (several times)
Thu, 10 Sep 1998
Last Weekend, Labor Day,.... 3:30 am. I'd just finished watching "Babes
in the Big House" (hey, the Mrs. is gone for awhile, cut me some slack
here) and clicked to a local Delmarva TV station. I thought I was having
A local used car lot was running an ad that showed four of their
chubbiest and most ridiculous looking salesmen, decked out in big
tent-like baggies and holding surfboards.
They spent the next 30 seconds screaming for viewers to "come in and
surf out with a great deal on a Bitchin used car!!!"
(Cowafuckinbunga!!!! I thought) Each piece-o-shit wreckmobile they
showed had some longboard lashed to the roof and some bug-eyed, pukashell
encrusted, phony tanned, tub of lard hanging out the window screaming
"HANG TEN" and "MY WAVE DUDE!!" At first I thought it was some Comedy
Central parody of a used car ad, but was horrified to find out it was
What struck me even more terrifying and almost brought on the brain clot
I've been expecting for years was, except for the histrionics, a couple
of these guys actually did look like some of my contemporaries at the
beach, who coincidentally rode longboarders and drove junkers. Note to
the youngsters of the ng: Middleage can be a very painful and revealing
period in your life. Be prepared for shocking changes in your body image
and mental outlook on life.
At the commercials end I switched the TV off and sat in silence with
only the sound of small waves outside the Bunker to soothe me. My mind
raced for an answer to the questions "what can all this exploitation of
surfing be coming to?" and "how could Candies tits sit up so firm and
high in the Big House when it was obvious she was not wearing any
noticeable foundation garments?" Just shoot me. (answer the questions
Re: A little decorum please...
Sat, 12 Sep 1998
"John Ferguson" (email@example.com) wrote:
I hate to sound like a cyber-policeman, but there's something I'd like to
point out to the group.
........ (snipped a supremely well reasoned comment, but)
I agree with John, and myself have recruited and persuaded others to join in
the conversation here. I enjoy the diversity as much as anyone but I am also
very aware that as an unregulated newsgroup, we are subject to the comments
of others that we may neither enjoy nor agree with. This is the nature of
free speech and anarchy. I too have felt uncomfortable with some things that
appeared here especially the deeply personal attacks and racial comments. The
anonymity of this medium liberates people to say things they would never say
to another face to face. Some find this exhilarating and tend to abuse the
privilege. I think many of us have crossed the boundary and written things we
later may have regretted. I know I have.
As a veteran I have seen several of these types come and eventually go. A few
come to mind such as Cortical (though he continues to show up infrequently
and is much less abrasive than his first efforts) VMXLD, and the infamous
Peter Amschel. What they all seemed to have in common is a desire to shock
and get the resulting attention. This is ego pure and simple. Once they have
had their say and received the egomassage of reaction, they often have little
else to contribute. The best defense against people you really don't agree
with and have no hope of arguing with, is to simply ignore their posts.
I used to read everything. Now I read a select group of contributors no
matter what they write and any other topic that looks interesting. If the
thread is of no interest to me, or the comments have deteriorated into
childish name calling (oh sure, I've done it - but my lame efforts are
usually teasing) I will avoid looking at the postings.
Calling for decorum is a noble request. But part of the fun of this group is
witnessing the discussion and conflict....which sometimes deteriorates into
anger. The whole realm of communication is fraught with the possibility of
rejection, or lack of understanding. This can be frustrating if one thinks
that what they're saying is not being understood (Doc?) or being disregarded
as unworthy. Try to recall a conversation in which you have tried desperately
to convince someone of something, and they have not responded or discounted
what you have said. Frustrating and angering isn't it. At times I see this in
We go through these spasms of turmoil at times, and then there are times
the group goes into a coma, for lack of waves or interesting topics. The ebb
and flow of the postings is curiously tidal. Next time there's a full moon
check the acerbity level of the postings. We just went through a full moon
and low and behold there were some rather testy comments.
Just my $.02 invested in 1996 and compounded with interest.
"Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom."
"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."
It's a Jungle Out There
Mon, 14 Sep 1998
Having not traveled extensively in this world to surf, I have not had
that many opportunities to experience exotic wildlife. I think I saw a
snake in a tree in Trinidad when I was there and moved pretty quickly
away. (I'm no hero)
No, most of my experiences with wildlife while surfing have been the
routine, dolphin, seal, elephant seal, various fish type encounters (oh
yeah, I came real close to skewering myself on a sea urchin at a reef
break in St. Maarten once, but that was after I fell while walking on
the reef) So I'm not one to ask about what the most unusual animal
you've encountered while on a surfing trip, though I am curious about
any you have seen.
My scariest episode was on a surfing trip to Montauk while in High
School. My buds and I had made camp in a secret woods on military
property and had dug shallow trenches to sleep in. In the middle of the
night I woke to feel something that weighed about 3 pounds walking on me
from my legs to my chest on my sleeping bag.
It was pitch dark and at first I imagined a monstrous Tarantula spider
crawling up my legs. I discounted that because I didn't think one could
weight that much and far as I knew, they were not indigenous to the
area. Then I thought maybe is was some sort of giant rabid flesh eating
Weasel crawling up to chew my face off. I was frozen with fear. I called
to my friend Tomas for help:
"What Foonboy?? Aint you asleep yet? You gotta be tired, we surfed
almost all day."
"No Tomas, there's something on me."
"Yeah, I'll bet there is. Can't be nearly as big as the wild boar I saw
"YOU SAW A WILD BOAR AND DIDN'T TELL ME??!!"
"No you moron, I'm yanking your chain, God you are SO gullible."
"No Tomas, there really is something walking on me. Get your flashlight
and take a look."
"No Way Foon, if the MPs see a light they'll arrest us or at the very
least kick us outta here. There's gonna be some righteous surf
"I'm tellin you Tomas there's a beast on my chest RIGHT NOW!!"
"Ok you twink, let's have a looksee."
As Tomas shined his light onto the massive beast I was face to face with
BIGGIEST, UGLIEST, MOST TERRIFYING
. . . . box turtle . . . . I . . . . have . . . . ever . . . . seen .
I picked the big cooter (Southern term for turtles) up
and gently put him down facing in another direction where he merrily
went his way. I got up to take a well deserved pee in the woods. Tomas
was still bent over double, laughing when I got back. He asked, "Hey
Bwanna, are you sure you can get back to sleep after that close call?" I
made a mental note to snake Mr.Funnyman the next day first thing.
So if any of you can beat that incredible story of coming face to face
in the wild, I'd like to hear it.
Foon (slow as a cooter)
Fri, 18 Sep 1998
"There are some remedies worse than the disease."
I torqued down the last large 2 inch nut with a giant torquing wrench
and wiped the sweat from my face. Two weeks of intensive activity was
now at an end. The engine of my ultimate revenge would soon be unleashed
to reek death and destruction on my enemies.
The media would say I was a madman but those who surf the waves of our
town would secretly nod and whisper, "It's no wonder he snapped, I'm
surprised it didn't happen sooner."
For years we'd been enduring the reckless endangerment of our surf
break by these Banzai Jetskiers. It seemed each season they became even
more brazen in their disregard for swimmers and surfers in their attempt
to take over our beaches for their noxious fun. Numerous requests for
lifeguards and police to enforce the already existing laws requiring
them to stay 600 feet from anyone in the water, were useless.
I'm not proud of this idea, but it doesn't hurt to have connections with
gov't organizations whose acronyms strike fear into the hearts of
hard-core terrorists world wide, when the need comes to acquiring hugely
destructive and powerful armaments.
The poured concrete platform on the cement balcony of the Bunker Condo
wasn't all that hard. ReBars were needed to insure strength, but the
logistics of secretly bringing hundreds of dismantled parts up to the
apartment were a nightmare, not to mention tiring. Figuring out how to
move the two 6 foot long barrels was solved by hiding them in a sleep
sofa, and paying some movers to bring it up. They claimed they'd never
carried a heavier couch.
Famous for jamming, the firing mechanisms need to be cooled
artificially. One of my labrat friends jimmied up a cryogenic, liquid
nitrogen, generator that solved the problem. My final task was carrying
2000 rounds of 7 inch shells and racking them in ammo containers for a
smooth seamless feed into the firing chambers.
Outside the Bunker hurricane shutters I could hear the annoying scream
of 5 Jetskiers mutilating my homebreak. From the recesses of what's
left of my mind I remembered two years ago when one of these bastards
ran over a friends Chesapeake Bay Retriever in the shallow surf, cutting
the poor dog badly on the head. I could feel my own pulse in my ears as
I looked at the balcony wall that held a big promotional poster of a
SKEE DOO Jetski. I had drawn a circle and cross hairs on the grinning
driver thinking it would approximate what I would see in the range
I fired up the servos of the twin electric motors that would drive the
firing mechanisms and stepped into the shoulder harness of the massive
twin 50 caliber guns that were now locked and loaded for firing. I hit
the button for the motor on the hurricane shutter which slowly began to
rise, and curled my fingers around the triggers. "Let's Rock and Roll
Out in my homebreak 5 Jetskiers merrily skipjumped their hated vehicles
on our innocent waves, unaware of their imminent fate. I laughed
hysterically as the pulled the triggers, even as the first incredible
concussions dislocated both my arms from my shoulders, and shattered
every window and door on the balcony. Hot tracers screamed out of the
barrels at a muzzle velocity of 1200 yards a second. I started low,
letting the natural recoil bring the barrels up tattooing twin paths of
twelve foot geysers of first sand, then water on their way to the first
The rest of the Jetskiers scattered like flys off of shit after the
first one exploded harmlessly catapulting it's driver 20 feet in the
air. Unfortunately, since both my arms were dislocated I no longer could
control the movement of the guns. How was I going to explain this injury
to my wife, I wondered for some odd reason?
* * * *
3600 yards offshore a 65 foot daycruiser fishing charter called, The
Spirit of the Sea, wallowed in the small late afternoon swells as she
motored slowly in search of fish.
She took a dozen shells in the waterline before the foot wide holes
moved their way up the cabin to the bridge. Luckily, no one was hurt on
the boat, but she sank in 20 minutes all crew and passengers safe. A
radio signal sent to the Coast Guard was at first considered a prank,
but they sent out a cutter anyway to investigate.
When the police arrived and broke in the door of the luxury condo they
were not prepared for the astounding destruction they would see. Hanging
limply in the harness of the smoking twin 50s was a middle-aged man
wearing a pair a baggy shorts and a baseball cap. He kept jabbering
something about fucking jetskiers seemingly oblivious to the shattered
glass, smoke and 2000 shell casings that lay ankle deep on the balcony.
As they led the man away a fireman who'd showed up was heard to say,
"You mean this guys wife was only gone TWO WEEKS??"
Foon (Heading for the airport first, then the beach. You are all safe
Surfing more popular than Beer
Thu, 24 Sep 1998
The subject is as misleading as the one that said, "Beatles more Popular
than God," in the 1960s.
But it appeared anonymously in my mailbox at work atop an small article
about a survey of campus activities. For the first time in all the years
the poll has been taken, surfing the internet has beaten out drinking
I don't know what I'm more frightened of. The fact that playing on the
internet is now the favorite activity of college kids, or that the all
American right of passage - getting buzzed with your buds after a
session, has fallen to second place.
Call me old fashioned, but I'll take doing 12 oz curls over playing on a
computer, most days.