Saturday, May 23, 2009

Newcomer Laughs Too Loudly at Local’s Joke.

Semi-regular visitor Steve Gardiner's campaign to quietly ingratiate himself into the mid-level social structure of the iconic Toonalook Point break suffered a setback last Sunday morning when he laughed too readily and eagerly at longtime local Alec Turner's quip about getting caught inside.

“I've seen that Steve bloke surfing round here a bit lately, seemed like an alright enough fella,” said Mr Turner, “so as we were paddling out after a bit of a set, I just said 'If I had a dollar for every time I've been caught inside here, I'd be a rich man'.

“It was meant to be the kind of observation you'd chuckle and roll your eyes at, but you'd have thought I'd just told the funniest joke in the world, the way he cracked up, laughing loudly and demonstratively slapping the water in agreement.”

“What a dick.”

Steve Gardiner spent the rest of the day at home on the couch hugging an oversized pillow, eating tim tams and remorsefully complaining to his wife. “Oh man, one chance and I've blown it. I just lost it. I knew I was overdoing it but I just couldn't stop.”

Experts agree that few indiscretions set a newcomer's campaign for acceptance back further than over-eagerness to laugh at a local's joke.

“It's a tragic mistake to make” says North Coast psychologist Dr Warren “Waz” Randall, “because it inevitably occurs right at the tipping point of acceptance – the newcomer is as good as gold, he's put in the hours, surfed the spot in all conditions, deferred to the local's right to the pick of the sets, and right at the very moment, after years of effort, when the local extends the offer of inclusion, the newcomer blows it by laughing inappropriately loudly at an only mildly humorous comment.

“Immediately, whatever esteem the newcomer has earned will evaporate into thin air.

“The newcomer has revealed his or her self to be a weak-willed, over-eager sycophantic arse kisser of the worst degree.

“In other words, exactly the type of surfer you don't want contaminating your boardrider's clubroom or representing your core local values when it's eight feet and draining off the ledge.”

When learning the particulars of the incident, Dr Randall sighed “Sheesh, Toona Point, that's a tough crowd. I'd say it's another 18 months before Mr Gardiner can expect to get any decent sets.

“I'd say best thing Mr Gardiner can do out there is keep himself to himself.

“No-one likes a kiss-arse.”

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Man Fails To Convince Girlfriend of Value Of Surfing

posted by guest goldminer NICK CARROLL

MONA VALE, SYDNEY – A local man was not permitted to surf last Sunday afternoon, despite excellent conditions, after he was unable to convince his long term girlfriend of the sport's overall value.

Instead Joe Hatfield, 32, spent most of the day in a large shopping mall with Sherry, 29, planning the purchase of several major pieces of furniture and other household goods, which she forcefully claimed were part of "planning our future together".

During a brief coffee break at around 2.30pm, a distressed Mr Hatfield explained that he had spent much of the morning in conversation with Sherry, "trying to reason with her about how vital surfing is - not just to my own emotional well-being, but to the nation as a whole".

"Studies have shown that in years of economic recession, surfing has been the rock upon which thousands of unemployed Australians have been able to lean," expounded Mr Hatfield.

"Not only that, Tourism Australia surveys show that surfing and other beach and surf based recreational activities are worth over $1.4 billion to the national tourism economy.

"I just reckon I should do my bit. If I, and people like me, don't surf on a regular basis, the whole thing could crumble overnight."

But his arguments were dismissed by Sherry, who said Mr Hatfield "just wanted to rack off and have a day off with his mates, leaving me to do the work in this relationship, as always".

She went on to say, staring hard at Mr Hatfield: "It's about time he grew up and realised that I'm not just here for his nookie when he wants it. We've just moved into a new place and we need to take care of things like furniture, bed linen, cutlery sets, curtains, light fittings, you name it.”

“We can't do it all in a weekend either - this will take months."

Sherry further stated that "even if his broad vision of the nation's surfing-based economic and cultural health had an ounce of credence - and I'm not saying it does - it'll just have to wait till we've picked out a nice colour matched bath sheet set."

Mr Hatfield uttered a muffled moan when his mobile telephone began to beep, apparently signalling the arrival of photos of the surf conditions relayed to him by colleagues. "It's six foot and perfect! Shez, can't we come back during the week?"

Instead Mr Hatfield remained at the mall until after closing time, signing several long-term hire purchase agreements.

Friends were torn over the arguments presented by the couple. Several of Mr Hatfield's colleagues offering him some relatively timid backup, muttering "whipped" and "he has to surf - it's essential for returning the budget to surplus at some point - can't she see that?" under their breaths.

But their own partners, who frequently attend coffee mornings with Sherry, were strident in their denigration. "Typical male behaviour, thinking up reasons why they should be allowed to do what they want… I don't know how she's put up with it so long."

Mr Hatfield, meanwhile, remains determined to surf at some point in the near future, despite the couple's ongoing need to find a small table that will go just perfectly under the interior kitchen serve-way. "It's my patriotic duty," he declared bravely.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Local Man Stranded On Jump Rock

Semi- local surfer Craig Black's jump rock miscalculation has resulted in a four-hour stranding waiting for the tide to go out then come back in.

Black, 50, made his way to the headland of the popular pointbreak at approximately 6.20am without incident, but became disoriented as he picked his way out to the cluster of jump rocks.

“A surge came through as I was walking out ” recalls Black “I was certain my mid-high-tide rock would be the best one to go off, but when I actually got there it was like someone pulled the plug – the tide was way lower than I thought and rocks were popping up everywhere.

“There was no way I was gonna jump and risk the FCS setup on my 6' 8" quad funboard.”

Mr Black believes a number of factors contributed to his decision to remain on his ill-chosen rock.

“Naturally, I considered retracing my steps back to the headland before going out to the low-tide jump spot, but every time I was about to turn tail, a surge'd come through and I'd think 'gonna jump this time', but each surge would be a little shallower with the dropping tide.”

Compounding the problem was the number of local surfers – some of whom acquaintances of Mr Black – heading out for their morning surf.

“This might sound a little foolish, but I didn't want to let the guys see me turning around and walking back to shore with my tail between my legs – it'd be like waving a big red flag in the air saying 'Look at me, I'm a kook! I don't even know what rock to jump off' – so I stayed put, and did my best to look like I was happy to be there.”

“Looking back, maybe I should have sucked it up and bailed, but the longer I stayed the harder it was to leave.”

Mr Black suggests that his jump rock stranding became a spiritual odyssey of sorts.

“After a couple of hours it wasn't about getting off that rock and into the lineup any more, it was more about seeing if I could go the distance. If I could exist quietly with myself. What started out as an innocent surf became a test of character. An inner journey, if you will.”

Coastalwatch surf cam archives provide a more blunt document of Mr Black's ordeal.

Between 6.35am and 7.15am, Mr Black remains in his quasi ready-to-jump-on-the-next-big-surge position, while performing stretches of the neck and torso whenever other surfers walked past on the headland.

From 7.15am through to the .26 metre low tide at 8.22am, Mr Black appears to spend most times on his haunches, often with his head in his hands, and at times rocking back and forth.

Though pixelated surf cam footage only allows impressions rather than details, Mr Black appears to weep on several occasions – an allegation he denies vigorously.

Mr Black is prepared, however, to concede that the suggestion – that he kicked and flailed at a Black Cormorant who attempted to share the rock platform on several occasions – has merit.

“You have to understand, you spend a couple of hours on a rock the size of an esky and you start to get a bit territorial. There were heaps of other rocks around for that Cormorant to dry his wings on, so, y'know, stuff 'im.”

The last hour and a half proved to be the most testing for the father of three.

“You don't know what 'slow' means until you're waiting for the tide to fill back up. Honestly.”

By 10.15am, the tide had risen back to the same level as when Mr Black first set foot on his rock.

Mr Black celebrated by urinating in his wetsuit. A treat he had been saving up to mark the occasion.

“It's hard to explain how good it felt. Not just the hot wee on my leg, but the fact that I was in the box seat now. Sure, it was still too shallow, but with every surge I was closer to jumping. I haven't felt that excited about going for a surf in a long time.

“Which is just as well, cos the onshore had come up by 9.00 and it was complete shit.”

Coastalwatch surf cam archives show Mr Black finally exiting the jump rock at 10.22, after being perched for almost four-and-a-half hours.

Mr Black – who had originally planned to surf for only an hour before nine holes for golf then hosting a barbecue lunch with family and friends – waited a further 15 minutes in the lineup before catching a wave, and was dropped in on immediately.

Monday, May 4, 2009

“Pleasing drop” in Attendance Figures at Local Surf Museum.

TOONALOOK POINT, East Coast Aus – As The Toona Surf Museum celebrates its first year of operations, recently-released figures show visitors are staying away in droves, and the proprietors are delighted.

“A lot of blood, sweat and tears has gone into this museum” says resident curator Brent “Snowy” Snow.

“It took years of lobbying for a grant from the government to kick off the TSM – and you wouldn't believe the bureaucratic hoops we had to jump through to get zoning permission” he chuckled.

“Then there was the process of sourcing the material – classic boards, memorabilia, archival footage for the multimedia displays – all the stuff that's made Toonalook Point one of the jewels in the crown of Australia's surfing heritage.”

“All the local crew – from solicitors to plumbers and plasterers – have donated their time free of charge to make this museum what it is.

“The Toona boardriders have even held a few fundraising cake stalls down the point. Seeing big Jezza in an apron selling Lamingtons, now that's commitment!

“This Museum shows what a close-knit community can achieve when it puts its mind to a shared purpose.”

At this point, Mr Snow took a step forward and jabbed his forefinger into your reporter's chest.

“Given how proud we are of our little museum, why the FUCK would we want to share it with any blow ins?”

Despite this hostility, Mr Snow was prepared to share the details of the report, and after some push-and-shove, conceded there was still work to do to reduce visitor numbers even further.

“What we've found is, Christmas and Easter holidays are easily the worst times for visitors. Swarms of people from up and down the coast, wanting to come in and gawp at the exhibits like they own the place.

“School holidays aren't much better, though if the kids come in on their own we find it easier to intimidate 'em into leaving pretty much straight after they've paid their admission fee.

“Next year we plan on rotating Waz, Daz, Gaz and Baz in shifts through peak visitor periods.

“By having, say, Waz and Gaz set up in the foyer, talking unnecessarily loudly about how fucked all the blow ins are, we believe we can turn more than half potential visitors away immediately.

“And to deter the more persistent museum-goer, we're installing a new audio component to our five most popular exhibits – sensors detect an onlooker and plays a pre-recorded message along the lines of 'What the fuck do you think you're looking at mate.' etcetera

“With these new strategies in place, we reckon we'll only have to resort to more forceful measures – keying cars, slashing tyres, punching on like girls – once or twice a week, in even the busiest periods.

“I'm confident that by this time next year, if we stick to our plan, the Toona Surf Museum will be completely visitor-free and only patronised by the guys responsible for the exhibits in the first place.

“Now fuck off.”