The Skin Game
Sun, 18 Oct 1998
The pretty young woman looked me straight in the eye said
matter-of-factly, "You can take your clothes off now Mr.Foondoggy."
For a man my age, this is not a request I hear too often so I smiled my
most genuine smile and replied, "Why that's the best offer I've had
Nonplused by my weak attempt at humor she headed for the door and added
in a very professional manner, "Oh, and you can leave your underwear on
Crestfallen, realizing my time remaining with this beautiful physician's
assistant was a matter of seconds I desperately wanted to impress her
with my mature wit and natural charm. I impulsively laid down my ace
card: "Uh.....what underwear?" (Nice one Foon, I'm sure she was
impressed with that one.)
With a flip of her long, blond hair, a gesture so emphatic I could
imagine she'd used it hundreds of times to blow off pathetic middle-aged
men who've tried to flirt with her, she opened the door and dismissed me
with a cursive, "The Doctor will be with you in a minute."
The Doctor was actually a Dermatologist and I was here for my annual
skin examination. This is something I do every year religiously because
I am an aging blue-eyed strawberry blond who is heavily freckled and who
suffered a series of severe blistering sunburns as a child. In the skin
game I am what is know as a "likely" as in likely to develop some form
of skin cancer in my lifetime. Given my physical and genetic makeup, I
am in the 97th percentile of "likelies", something I am very aware but
not especially happy about.
Doctor Bishop came into the examination room soon after and greeted me
with a cheery,
"How're we doin' today Mr.Foondoggy?"
"All things considered Doc, I'm doin' well, but there are a few new
spots I want you to see." For the next 20 minutes she meticulously
looked over every inch of my sun ravaged epidermis, noting a few places
she wanted to look at later under a big magnifying lamp.
When she got to my legs she looked up quizzically.
"I never noticed this before Mr.Foondoggy since you usually come in
during the Winter, but you have no freckles or skin pigment at all on
your knees. How do you account for that?"
Well it's not a very sexy story and it doesn't include a tale of
hundreds of hours on my knees scrubbing floors in involuntary servitude
until one day my Fairy Godmother whisked me away to a glamorous ball
where I met my true love. No, nothing that cool.
What it does include is a history of my first 5 years of surfing in
which I kneepaddled a succession of longboards whenever I could. As a
result I wore the skin off my knees on a regular basis, so much so I was
grounded several times with huge open sores on my legs. I did this so
many times that the scar tissue that formed later grew back devoid of
any melanin. Now when the sun freckles up my legs, my knees appear
white. The Doctor commented that the skin must have been removed to a
great degree to heal over with no pigmentation. As I recall there were
several wounds that went clear to the bone. What a price to pay to enjoy
my favorite sport. Kneepads were just not cool in the 60s.
After finding and freezing a few small lesions on my neck where my
rashguard doesn't cover, the Doctor asked me what I was doing to protect
myself from the sun. I explained that each time I go to the beach I
drench myself with BullFrog lotion, spf 36, and reapply it everytime I
come out of the water. I religiously wear a baseball hat in the water,
tethered to me by a small leash for those oh so few times that I lose it
(yeah right). Between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm I leave the beach
entirely, unless the surf is good, to seek the shade of my condo or
other place. At all other times I'm on the beach I am under an opaque
She congratulated me on my efforts but left unsaid what we both knew,
that the true damage to my skin had been done as a youngster, swimming,
surfing and burning with no protection at all. Most Dermatologists
agree, the worst damage to a person's skin occurs during childhood.
Exposure to the sun in later years merely accelerates the aging process
and puts you in danger of more serious problems.
With all that is written about this today, I am still amazed at the
number of young people who continue to cook their skin in the sun.
Maybe they think a good tan protects them from danger. This has been
proven not to be the case. Even dark complexioned
people can get skin cancer, though the odds are less.
After the examination was over I asked the Doctor, "Given the fact I am
a surfer, own a condo at the beach and am in the water and sun often,
what advice would you give me to prevent skin cancer?" She looked at me
and smiled slightly, knowing what she would say next would not be what I
wanted to hear. "My advice for someone like you Mr.Foondoggy would be to
quit surfing, sell the condo, live in a cave and only come out at night.
Barring that, I would continue to do the best you can to prevent getting
sunburned and come in for yearly checks of your skin. You know melanoma
is one of the most successfully treated cancers, providing you catch it
I thanked her for her advice but said in all honesty, "Giving up surfing
and the condo are really not an option Doc." "I know," she replied, "You
surfers are a dedicated bunch. My brother is one and he wouldn't
Admiring her alabaster complexion I wondered, "Doc, when was the last
time you were in the sun?" She grinned broadly and replied, "Spring
Break, 1984, just before I graduated from Med School."
I thanked the Doctor again for the exam and headed for the door, happy I
had once again been cleared of any serious skin problems. "Oh
Mr.Foondoggy?" The doctor spoke just as I was about to clear the door. I
turned and looked back at her expectantly.
"You can put your clothes back on now." She giggled as my normally pink
and freckled face turned a flaming vermilion. "uh....sure Doc, can that
pretty little Phys Asst, help me?"
"Wrinkles - the service stripes of life."
WiND oN WaTeR
Mon, 19 Oct 1998
unknown poster wrote:
Hey Now Crew,
Anyone sea "Wind on Water" on NBC last night?
"Dallas" meats "In Gods Handz"
"meats" is right!!
This bit of Television flotsam is almost beneath commenting on 'cause lets be
truthful, it's not produced to entertain surfers. Witness the lack of
continuity on most of the surfing shots, though the footage of strapsurfing
Jaws was impressive for the very short moment it occupied the screen.
During the climactic wave in which the big brother takes off on the winning
wave (it was not revealed that the true riders were tow ins) our hero
is riding both regular and goofy foot and going right and left depending
on the shot sequence. If this was supposed to be true, screw the height of the
wave, I'd award him the prize for versatility and athleticism!!! But points
off for looking confused.
Having grown up with TV entertainment and watched the standards by which
this country gauges its TV viewing go inexorably down hill, I predict this
show will not make it to the end of the season. Forget the incredibly
stupid premise, and ignore the fact that no one's mom looks like Bo Derek
even though she's having a hard time keeping those cement bags looking perky
in her white bathing suit. This show is so poorly produced and acted that
the ONLY redeeming virtue of it is to witness the lush tropical setting it's
filmed in, and complain bitterly about the bogus surfing sequences.
Anyone notice the size of the boards our heroes were using to surf Jaws? Maybe
six foot thrusters!!!! HAA!! Anyone notice that the stock footage showed
guys strapped to their boards? Well, I could just go on picking apart the
inconsistencies, but having watched the show once, I probably will never
view it again, even to watch Bo's floppies flap around in a wet t-shirt.
I liked her better as a 10, not a 4.5. (Those are IQ scores btw)
Symmetry spawns Dynamic
Fri, 06 Nov 1998
Stepping away from the trench toilet that alt.surfing sometimes becomes
gives a person time to think (and breath). Objective observation of
various factions, characters, posters, posers, sincere personalities and
freaks has given me reason to understand why some of us come here almost
daily to take a dump. Symmetry.
There are several fringe elements who visit but just recently
bodyboarders have made inroads to the dialogue like never before. The
standups domination of the conversation has less to do with intellectual
prowess as it does force of personality, or strength of body odor. The
incoming tide of raw sewage has also brought us some pearls of wisdom
wrapped in lumps of shit. The result is a refreshing if somewhat stinky
potpourri of voices that have transformed the comaesque terrain of our
sleepy little ng into - a FUCKING STREET FIGHT!!
Why you ask? It is human nature to examine and compare where we each
stand in the food chain, and alt.surfing is no different. I don't surf as
well as many of you, probably most. But I can write better than most.
(Uh, this is a surfing ng Foon, already you're a loser) Yes, but it is a
written medium. You can surf like Kelly Slater, but in this ng if you
can't string 3 words together in a legible sentence, for all practical
purposes - you suck. (What about them pictures of Neal and Buddy and
Rich rippin up Hawaiian waves on their websites?) Picky, Picky. The ng
is still a written forum, we post no binaries as proof of who can
charge. And besides does anyone know for absolutely certain (except the
principals) who really is in those pictures? No.
In a twisted kind of way we all show up for the fun, the conversation,
the controversy, the information, the give and take of real (and unreal)
dialogue. But deep down inside there lurks another reason.
Say on one side we have a new rabid breed of bellysliding and
hyperactive bodyboarders so loaded with stoke it forms acne on the
computer monitor. On the other side we have a bunch of neanderthal,
sociopathic, alcoholic, egoinflated, knuckle-dragging standups suffering
from terminal superiority complex. Why on God's blue ocean would they
care to hang in an ng with each other. It's simple. On any given day,
they both have someone to feel superior to. Symmetry = Dynamic
- Foon (Take a number you posers, I've been disrespected by the best)
"Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life."
- Eric Hoffer
"To escape criticism - do nothing, say nothing, -be nothing."
- Elbert Hubbard
"Martha goes deep....in your Pocket"
Mon, 09 Nov 1998
I contacted the publicist for Martha Stewart Enterprises, misrepresenting
myself as the editor of SurFoon Magazine.
"So....Mr.Foondoggy. What can I do for you?"
I told Martha's Flunkyboy I was interested in setting up an interview with
Martha. "Why on Earth for?" He seemed genuinely curious.
I explained to him that the readers of SurFoon Magazine were astonished to
see, on a segment of Entertainment Tonight, Martha Stewart arriving at a
fund-raiser Halloween party decked out in a full wetsuit carrying not one,
but two bodyboards. I said we'd received thousands of messages from readers
asking us to confirm.....Martha was one of Us.
Recognizing quickly another niche market to feed the insatiable ego of the
world's most famous "homemaker," Flunkyboy zeroed right in on the opportunity.
"So Mr.Foondoggy, what is the circulation of your magazine?"
"Well, we are a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Johnson Publishing, the
largest sports magazine publishers in the world. Our domestic distribution
must number in the hundreds of thousands, and the international division,
especially the European and Asian editions, probably more. In addition
CyberSurFoon Zine is delivered daily to everyone on the www who links to
any and all surfing websites.
Thoroughly impressed by this abundant bullshit, Flunkyboy quickly agreed to
a phone interview some time soon, with the provision that all questions
were submitted and approved in advance by Ms.Stewart. Smelling a rat here,
I agreed but reserved the right to ask follow-up questions for clarification
purposes. With details settled I awaited the scheduled day.
* * *
"Please call me Martha.....Mr.Foondoggy is it?"
"Why thanks Martha, please call me Foon."
"Is that a family nickname or your real name?"
"Uh yes, my pedigree is from the Foondoggy's of North Carolina, nice of
you to ask Martha."
"Oh dear, I see. Well what is it you would like to know Mr.Fooddoggy."
"Well Martha, the millions of readers of SurFoon Magazine are fascinated
with the idea you are really a surfer. Is it true?"
"Well yes it is Mr.Toondoggy. I ride the big ones."
"Recently, Entertainment Tonight showed you arriving at a costume party
carrying two bodyboards and wearing a full wetsuit. Can you tell us
something about the boards?"
"Certainly, the blue one is my custom board made of pure Indonesian
deepwater sponges and hand shaped for me by Tommy Hilfinger, specifically
as my big wave board. Now the pink one is my new signature model for
everyday riding and is available exclusively from Big K-Mart. At $127.50
it's a reasonably priced board that even I enjoy riding."
"Is that the one with the deep rocker in the deck Martha?"
"Uh no. I get all my rockers from Mr. Gilbert Sweeny, a country craftsman
from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. He custom builds them for
me out of seasoned maple, but you can buy an exact replica from my Blue
Ridge Rocker Collection available only at Ethan Allen Furniture."
I was beginning to see a trend here.
"Tell me about your wetsuit Martha?"
"Gladly. My custom made suit was designed by haute couture Vera Wang of
Palm Beach, the Riviera and Beverly Hills. It is constructed of the finest
black, lined neoprene rubber and designed specifically to help control
those problems areas like hips and tummy. It also features special darts in
the bosom to provide extra support for us large breasted women. The neck,
sleeves and anklets feature exquisite brocade accents that are a delightful
compliment to the slimming black color. In addition, all my wetsuits
feature exterior pockets for reading glasses, breath mints, monogrammed
linen hankies and my exclusive line of surf waxes in three oceanic colors
and scents, called Ocean Essence." Here Martha stopped as if she were
reading some notes.
"Reasonably priced copies of my wetsuit are available from Fashion Fanny's
in the Martha Stewart SportsWoman Collection. For those of you who are
modest or uncomfortable with the formfitting nature of wetsuits, a
perfectly beautiful calf length, red plaid, and pleated jumper can be
purchased as a post session cover-up accessory. Also in the SportsWoman
"We at SurFoon Magazine are curious Martha.....why do you love surfing?"
"Oh Mr.Fooldoggy, there are as many different reasons as there are waves in
the ocean. I believe what I love most about it is the thrill of finding a
new color for my collection of interior decorator paints. My Beach House
Collection colors, available at Sears, are all colors I've observed while
riding in the tubes. Many of the ocean patterns and textures of the bed
linens, quilts, comforters, and draperies of my Outer Banks Collection,
available at Bath, Bedroom and Beach, were things I picked up from hanging
around my private beach in East Hampton, waiting for those heavies to start
mackin. Also my Bathroom Suite Floor covering Collection, available at Home
Depot, is an exact replica of all those little flat stones I've had my
people pick up on the beach and which were installed in my very own home.
It's just like walking on the beach." I'll bet, I thought. "You can get
them in geometric or random patterns." Just like the real beach, eh?
"You know Martha this is all very interesting, but what are your thoughts
about Hanging Ten?"
"Well Mr.Footdoggy, I believe hanging ten of anything is the sure sign of
an amateur decorator. It is visual overkill to put too much of anything in
one living space. My new line of interior decorator books tells you how to
do things right and are available from all booksellers. I'll be at a
signing party this weekend in Newport RI, at the Country Corner Bookstore
signing my new book, 1001 Ways to decorate with Doilies."
"Uh, Martha, About Surfing? Do you have any idea what I am talking about?"
"Oh yes Mr.Foobdoggy I'm just full of ideas."
"Well after reading this I'm sure our readers will know you're full of
something. Say, how 'bout the next time it's going off at your private
beach, I come over and we go out and ride a few big ones.?"
"Oh excuse me Mr.Fogdoogy, an orange Soufflé I'm cooking for the Sultan of
Brunei is in jeopardy of falling. Gotta go, Ta!"
Abruptly Flunkyboy was back on the line assuring me that when the rolling
thunder of any NorEaster caused Eastern Long Island to light up like a New
England Antique Christmas tree, nobody pitted deeper than Martha Stewart.
When I suggested that I would like to come witness this first hand, he
quickly reminded me her East Hampton estate was patrolled and equipped with
motion sensors, all in designer colors from her Martha Stewart Celebrity
Security Collection, available through Vegas Security Systems.
Thu, 12 Nov 1998
"Most posts in alt.surfing lack desparation."
We can all spin a good story about the lean days of surfing. I don't
have many tales of foreign travel and the accompanying degradation. Sure
acouple nasty episodes in Tiajuana and Ensenada, but nothing "core" by
As a college boy I shared a number of trips in search of waves, living
hand to mouth, bumming food, sponging off of other surfers, stealing
when necessary and as a last resort, selling blood to get enough money
to go home.
One of my most desparate trips was a cross country drive in the dead of
summer with a college friend of mine. The Right Coast had been flat for
about 4 months. We'd just finished summer school and were desparate to
surf. One night we just decided to load our stuff in the VW bug and
drive to the Left Coast -non-stop. I suppose I could flesh out the
sordid details in a long story (taken from my diary of the trip) if
anyone is interested. But the highpoints would included:
*Being assaulted by a couple of truck drivers in Ohio for having long
hair and carrying water skis (two 6'8" shortboards) on our car.
*Living on stale Cheese Doodles and warm Dr.Pepper for the 36 hour ride
*Being arrested in Utah for doing huge figure eights out on the
Bonneville Salt Flats in the heat of the day. Try explaining to a BIG
Mormon State Trooper that your friend Seth was road crazy from driving
20 hours non-stop and needed a break. (Actually Seth was in the throws
of a chemically induced madness and almost rolled the little bug twice
before the trooper got us.
- Eating rotting onions out of a huge agricultural dump outside of
Sacramento when the temperature was 104 in the shade.
- Paddling out into 8 foot OB with only a shorty in July.(Never got
- Sleeping for 12 hours in the back of the bug, in a woods full of flies.
- Begging quarters in Santa Cruz to get enough money for gas.
- Syphoning gas out of a schoolbus parked in a bus yard.
- Living in a one room cottage on Point Loma for 2 months with a food
budget of .$50 a day which bought- One Pot Pie, some carrots and a
small box of raisins. I lost 30 lbs that summer. But I surfed Sunset
Cliff, the Pier, or breaks in between, every day.
I'm curious how others have spent desparate times in the name of wave
Did you survive?
Like a Rolling Stone
Thu, 12 Nov 1998
My West Coast clipping service sends me surfing related articles from
the LA Times once in awhile. This weeks offering is an article by David
Reyes about Mary Hartmann, sister of the late Phil Hartmann, who is
trying to get more women involved in surfing. She has opened a store
called Girl in the Curl and lists her own surfing credentials having
ridden Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Todos Santos.
Good story, nice stoke, sounds like Mary is a good person - so what
else do we learn? Mary says not many celebrities have frequented her
store but there was a day that Mick Jagger came in and spent 45 minutes
with his driver, bodyguard and daughter, looking to get bodyboarding
equipment. Seems he was going surfing at Salt Creek.
Mick's a surfer?!!!!! I knew it!!! Many of his songs were actually
thinly disguised surf music, commercialized by those damned British
producers to make them more internationally popular. Since alt.surfing
is now going through a spasm of lyric writing, I'll let you neophyte
authors chew on the real titles of these songs:
- It's the Surfer not the Wave.
- You'd better Surf on.
- Hey YOU!! Get offa my Wave!!
- Waves of Stone
- Under my Wave
- 19th Nervous Snakedown
- Let's Surf the Night Together
- Tubey Tuesday
- Mothers Little Surfer
- Sympathy for the Surfer
- Surf Fighting Man
- Surfin Jack Flash
- You can't always Surf where you Want
- When the Wave Comes Down
- Shattered (Mavericks Version)
ROLLING STONES ROOOOOOOL MONNNNNNNNN!!!
Now the only thing that I think will get me back to standup surfing is
hearing that Keith Richards is a Long Boarder. Then I'll figure, if a
dead man can do it ---so can I.
Speaking of that, in 30 years has anyone ever checked Charlie Watts'
vital signs. That man is in the ZONE.
-Foon (Exile on Surf Street, Tumblin Wave...the list goes on)
You Ain't from around here.....
Tue, 24 Nov 1998
An alt.surfing hookup story.
Having voluntarily submitted myself to the mind numbing, cash sucking
machine that is Dizzy World in Florida, I knew I was going to have to
get a break from the relentless cheeriness of the "Mouse" and his
minions. To that end I made arrangements to get away for one day to be
with "my people" - surfers.
I contacted our man in Tampa, John Ferguson, and invited myself to his
town for a session of, if not surfing, then eating, drinking and hanging
out. John was very enthusiastic, even providing me with detailed maps of
Ybor City (pronounced EEEbor)his phone numbers, social security number,
drivers license picture, a description of physical deformities or
birthmarks and at least 5 references, all of which MrsFoon requires when
I plan to meet a stranger from "that perv group."
Of course nothing I do goes according to plan, so just before my flight
was supposed to depart Washington, a nuclear crisis (just below
Apocalyptic on the Foonscale of work disasters) arose which would have
me cancelling my trip to Florida and flying up to Buffuckalo NEW YORK,
to rescue one of my projects. Thirty intense minutes on the phone with
the company president served to convince him that if I had to come up
there I would be inserting Mickey Mouse-like objects in places they
were never intended to be. This seemed to impress upon him that I was a
man on the abyss of unreasonable behavior. The forcefullness of my
peptalk convinced the man that he should take charge of the situation
personally. As a reward for micromanaging this crisis, I bought myself
three miniatures of tequila for the flight and I then drew mustaches and
beards on every Mickey Mouse picture I could find in the resort material
MrsFoon forced me to carry along.
So, if you're still with me, here's your choice if you want to continue.
I can give you my own special take on my visit to the spectacular
Coronado Springs Resort at Dizzy World (a pseudo Mexican hacienda
environment that seeks to avoid all unpleasent stereotypes, but fails
when it requires that all service staff, called "Cast Members" be of
Latino ancestry) or.....I can tell you about my visit with two of our
very own, John Ferguson and Eric (Egosurf). Which will it be........?
Oh really?...... Well I'm going to tell you about the visit anyway and
not what a bad idea it is to drink tequila, and be smoking some hand
rolled Dominicans while sliding down the hotel waterslide at 10 pm.
Maybe some other time.
True to form, in my haste to get outta Dodge City I forgot all the
information John had sent me. So the next day I set out for Tampa
relying entirely on my memory of the details. Bwaaaaahahahahaha!!!!! All
things considered I did very well and found myself strolling down 7th
Ave. in Ybor City looking for the meeting place. Luckily for me I
stumbled into an Arturo Fuente Cigar store (you know I'm in heaven
right?) and find out the manager visits my hometown twice a year to
visit relatives. In between whodoyaknows he sells me a dozen individual
recommendations I will probably nurse through the winter.
Then offers me a toll free number to buy some boxes should I find one I
At Frankies Patio I sat down at the bar of a very nice but casual
restaurant. Looking directly at the pretty, blond bartender I said in my
most localesque coolspeak, "I'll have a Why-Bor Gold (the local
microbrew) please." She looked back at me trying to stifle the guffaw
that was trickling out as a giggle and said between gasps for air, "You
ain't from around here, are you Mister?" Now what could have tipped her
off I wonder? Was it the fact that everything I was wearing including
the gray, faded 10 year old Huntington Surf and Sport t-shirt, and the
stained Surf Free or Die ball cap SCREAMED tourist???!!! Or maybe it was
the fact I just mangled the pronunciation of the town we were sitting
in. Not to be persuaded by local customs I took a big swig of the cold
crisp pilsner and murmured, "ummmmm, that's good Whybor Gold." The
bartender almost wet her pants laughing.
It was not very long before John walked up and introduced himself
claiming it was not hard to pick me out of the normally, goodlooking
crowd. (Scruffy John!!?? I wore my good jeans and best t-shirt for this
meeting!!) Soon we were joined by Eric who knew neither of us but
guessed who we were by our "shiftless demeanor." Within minutes we'd
ordered calamari and brews. Nearly instantly we were entirely at ease,
talking story and dishing people on the ng. I would guess that the ears
of people who live in Ohio, Texas, San Diego, Oregon and Hawaii were
burning red that day.
I am constantly amazed at the affinity I find with the people I've met
from the ng. The natural stoke of personalities and the common bond we
have in the sport and the ng, give us an almost automatic head start on
friendships upon first meeting. Do you realize how long it normally
takes for strangers to become comfortable enough to let down defenses
and let it all hang out? Within a hour we had all revealed terrible and
tragic personal secrets, so horrible common decency prevents me from
squealing on those perverts. But if you ever get to Ybor City, ask John
to tell you about his budding movie career :) Nevertheless, here I was
again with two strangers I immediately knew I would not hesitate to
paddle out and share waves with. Without exception this has been the
way it's been with everyone I've met....though I've never been to
Oregon, or Texas...yet.
After a couple rounds of drinks and some seafood we asked John to show
us the dance club he works at called Empire. It was right up the street.
Let me just say that John Ferguson has one of the coolest jobs in the
world for a young guy. This mans job is to play pounding dance music so
loud that young, beautiful and slightly or not so slightly inebriated
women feel compelled to climb up in a metal cage and "shake their groove
thang." Sometimes losing an article of clothing in the process. And I
thought Will Borgeson had a cool job!!!
Not merely a DJ, no no no no no!!! John is in fact a Multimedia
Entertainment Mogul. In addition to playing hard driving dance mixes
(perfectly syncopated) he's also in charge of an amazing light and video
show!! Talk about your MultiTASKING!! I don't know how he does it all,
and keeps the babes off him with a stick. During a demonstration we
walked out on the huge, empty dance floor to experience the power of
40,000 watts of brain crushing sound blasting out of speaker cabinets
the size of refrigerators. He must be doing something right, just by
standing in front of one of those giant bass cabinets I think he cured
my prostate problems. I pee a lot easier now, only it's pure blood. The
Doc says this is not necessarily a good thing :)
Too soon we had to part ways with Eric who graciously gave us cigars and
me a Weather Channel baseball hat (truly a cherished addition to the
FoonChapeau collection) Though a newcomer to the group I assure you all
he's got the fire of a Right Coaster (even a Gulf Coaster) who will
paddle out in almost anything just for the stoke of the experience.
John and I cruised off on my tour of St. Petersburg,(average age 93,
City Motto -"If you lived here, you'll be dead soon.") We checked out
several breaks which of course were not breaking but John was kind
enough to take the time to give me some history and an idea of the
setups when they do break. It was obvious as a local, his knowledge and
pride of his home town was something he liked to talk about. I enjoyed
the entire tour including several local shops. As a local businessman
John knows alot of people. We stopped soon for a beverage of the brewski
persuasion and spoke more of the group. I said I missed his story of his
trip to Costa Rica and from what little he told me about it, I urged him
to share it with the group. I am certain you would enjoy his impressions
of the country.
We parted late in the afternoon promising to hookup possible next March
in NSB. I arrived back late at the resort willing to endure the "where
the hell have you been look" from MrsFoon and excited to show her the
gifts I'd received from both Eric and John. She seemed overjoyed that I
had again survived another encounter with denizens of our notorious ng,
and had not been returned to her cut up in pieces and placed in a
garbage bag by some axe wielding maniac from the PNW or Texas. (She
loved the Empire t-shirt and looked so cute in it....and nothing else:)
But when I pulled out the 6 foot long Jack Daniels promotional banner
John had given me from the club, she read my mind immediately. Looking
me straight in the eye she declared, "THAT is not going to hang in the
bedroom, Foonboy!" "But sweetheart," I started, checking the twitch
factor in her left eye, then backed off fast, "It'll look great in my
Epilogue: At the airport I picked up a copy of Surfer for the flight
home. The little old lady at the check out could not make out the price
in the tiny typeface on the cover. She asked me to tell her what it was.
I could not read it either. She smiled and said, "I guess if you're too
old to read the price, your too old to read the magazine."
Looking at the pretzel-posed posture of another rip and tear aerialist
on the cover, I put it back and picked up a copy of Esquire, comforted
in the knowledge I had an unread copy of Surfers Journal at home.
Fri, 27 Nov 1998
Report from the Bunker remote field facility. If this works well it could become a regular feature. Lucky you guys, now you won't have to wait 'til Monday for me to spew my postings. All Foon - all the time. Is this a great country or what?
The night before Thanksgiving it stormed pretty good on the Delmarva. By the next morning at dawn, the winds had kicked up a good size swell out of the South East, but sidewind conditions made the grey 56 degree water seem uninviting and cold. Coffee on the bunker Balcony exceeded an hour as I tracked local weather conditions on the laptop.
By 9 am the sidewinds were coming around offshore and the tide would be
coming in. Soon the winds were grooming some rather hollowesque tunnels near the Bunker beach and I went down to investigate. Five makeable waist to neck high thumpers convinced me maybe I would risk the cold air and water for a Turkey day stuffing. Racing back and suiting up I worried the lack of a hood in the brisk wind would shorten my visit with the waves. MrsFoon eyed me
skeptically with a warning look that telegraphed, "Watch the hypothermia and don't hurt yourself Foonboy." I knew she meant well since there was
absolutely no one in the water.
55 degrees is my bottom limit for the 3/2 with gloves and boots but no hood (won't wear one - call it hoodstraphobia) And the O'neill Legend is not that much of a real coldwater suit. So I suffered the leakage flush as I waded in but got outside dry headed. The wind was picking up offshore sending showers of spray back off the surf which quickly chilled me to the bone. I promised myself the session would only go one hour and dialed into my quota of a half dozen slippery sliders, each one very makeable due to the standup help of the wind.
My last one was after a long lull and I had already marked it to be the exit wave of the session. I could see it forming among some others as they slowly made their way ashore. I barely had to stroke into it so well positioned was I in the lineup. A quick right turn set me well into the tapering wave face and the rest was a race with the lip. Quickly it caught up to me and for a few seconds I was perfectly slotted with the curtain throwing out well over my head and shoulders. I could have bailed anytime but knew I could take
whatever the wave could pound me with. What I started to notice as we entered shallower water was that the lip was throwing out even farther toward shore but the water used for that was being subtracted from what I was riding on. Within seconds I realized this wave was one of those suckout pile drivers, very much like the one that I came astoundingly close to breaking my neck on a year ago October.
Before I could react to save myself I felt my board launch free of the wave face as the lip pitched for 10 feet in front of me. The resulting situation is probably very much what Neal did to me in that photoshop shot he posted, only the wave was not nearly as big. Luckily the board was still level when the lip slamdunked me down in about 10 inches of water.
End of session.
I was frosted to the bone and risked the wrath of MrsFoon by traipsing through the condo to take off my gear in the warmth of the shower. I spent the rest of the day snoozing and watching the Steelers embarass themselves.... until ....
About 3 pm through the warm haze of the late afternoon sun, I could see even better but smaller waves breaking right out front of the Bunker. I couldn't believe the waves were so much prettier, but the afternoon sun front lit the grey/green faces that begged to be ridden. So, back into the shower to put on
the wetsuit, and back into the water for a pre dinner session. Only another 6 waves, but the setting sun and the lessening winds made it seem that much warmer to be in the water. Though the tunnels were only waist high by then, they were very hollow on the outgoing tide. I passed up many that would have been breaking in kneedeep water. I the last thing I wanted to to was spend this thanksgiving in the Hospital. Because if a broken neck didn't kill me, surely the scolding I would get from MrsFoon would. I surfed for only another hour. Again, no one in sight, a few strollers on the beach.
That night after a full Thanksgiving dinner, the wine finally put me out of my effort to stay awake. I conked out cold around 8 pm in the Foonrecliner and woke again about midnight for some apple pie, then to bed. I am a truly thankful man. Turkey, pie and two helpings of (tube) stuffing.
The Turkey's Revenge
Sat, 28 Nov 1998
Report #2 from the MrsFoon laptop remote field test facility.
Two go outs on Thanksgiving day after a layoff from surfing of almost 4 weeks rendered yours truly a jiggling mass of sore muscles. As I'd done in the past, I turned to my friend Mo (Mo Trin) but to no avail. The temporary relief was a tease, I had a serious shoulder muscle problem that kept me awake at night.
It being the threshold of winter MrsFoon and I look for ways to stay in shape over the crumby months. Down at the Bunker we visit a racketball club and play as often as possible. MrsFoon reasoned that all my sore muscles needed was a good workout on the court. So today she dragged my sorry ass over to the club. The owner knows us and we often speak about his son's efforts to erect a bronze statue in town to remember a local OC surfer who died of cancer.
MrsFoon is a fairly aggressive player (I taught her everything she knows) but at least once each game she manages to wail a full swing shot somewhere into my ass or back, and this I assure you hurts like a sumbitch!! The welts that result can be from an orange sized cherry red circle to one of those massive blue/black/yellow blotches that stays for weeks. Naturally, she got me good in the very first game, so I wound up limping and geezing around the court playing paranoid for the rest of the match.
The Game Score:
Back at the bunker the Atlantic looked like Lake Placid. There's hardly been a wave since Thanksgiving Day, but the weather has been all time great. Too bad a swell won't show up.
Football doesn't even interest me, I guess SurfGeo is going nuts after that Texas A&M game. Now that was exciting football.
-Foon (Remote reporting from the Bunker on mrsfoon's rig.)