Wednesday, September 30, 2009
By Guest Goldminer Tim Baker
Perth, Australia – What started as a promising, edgey career in the exciting world of new media, has ended in tragedy and finger-pointing.
Rupert Penniwinkle, work experience boy and part-time web administrator for free local surf magazine, Fully Sick, began showing worrying signs in his regular despatches on their website several months ago, but sadly no alarm bells went off among his employers, co-workers or legions of readers. What happened next may forever alter workplace laws in this country, particuarly when it comes to allowing junior staff unfettered access to the internet without supervision.
Penniwnkle’s acid-witted commentary on the surfing world had shot him to almost instant internet celebrity, among his immediate circle of friends and local cafe patrons. The parry and thrust of the comments section below each of his articles had become especially popular, as the great unwashed rank and file of the surfing world stormed the barricades and had their say. Or so it seemed ...
“It started innocently enough,” Neil O’Shannesy, Penniwinkle’s former editor, observed.
“He’d post an item, we’d all weigh in under invented names, just to get the ball rolling, to give people the idea of the kind of poison and viciousness we wanted, and they’d soon get the idea, join in and start baying for blood and hurling abuse with the best of them.”
Soon, however, O’Shannesy’s increasingly busy social calendar allowed him little time in the Fully Sick office and the former work experience boy was given complete, unsupervised access to a computer, a broadband internet connection, and the Fully Sick website’s content management system, sometimes for days at a time.
“I know, I know. It seems crazy in hindsight,” bemoans O’Shannesy. “But he seemed to pick it up right away. A natural. I showed him a bit of the nastier stuff on YouTube and he just got it. He didn’t need us any more. He adopted a few other nom de plumes and would happily engage in heated arguments with himself for hours, until someone took notice. He’d even put on different outfits for each character. And he was ruthless. He’d tear strips off anyone and anything, even himself. Our readers just loved it. I know, I’ve spoken to all of them.”
It wasn’t long, however, before these multiple identities began to compete in Penniwinkle’s brain for supremacy.
“I’d write something contentious like, I don’t know, live theatre is strictly for wankers. If no one bit, I’d chime in with an empassioned defence of the exact opposition,” explains Penniwinkle, a little wearily, and clearly under the influence of powerful medication.
“Then I’d abuse myself and before I knew it I was at my own throat, literally,” Penniwinkle reccounts vividly, grabbing himself forecefully by the scruff of the neck.“The third man in usually wrote the other two off, and so it went. There was a kind of crazy beauty to it, like releasing the hounds. It felt fantastic just to let all these mad, illogical, mutually contradictory thoughts out into the world and let them run like brushfires. It was wonderful to see the readers join in with a kind of mass blood lust. To incite the power of the mob! I felt .... for a moment ...” Penniwinkle pauses, regards the stark surrounds of the hospital ward. “Glorious,” he whispers.
Though hospital visitations are strictly limited and supervised, Penniwinkle is already beginning the painful process of putting the pieces back together - feeding and toileting himself, taking short walks with the aid of a zimmer frame, even visiting a corner street for cigarettes and breath fresheners.
Penniwinkle is currently allowed closely monitored, half hour sessions of internet time each day.
“They’re still there, the voices, but I just try to igore them mainly,” Penniwinkle explains seriously. “Oh, I get itchy fingers from time to time. But then I remind myself what I’ve learned here in the occupational therapy classes. How we are all one and interconnected.” He breathes a heavy sigh. “I had no idea. I thought that’s what the internet was for. Why didn’t someone tell me?”
Back at Fully Sick HQ O’Shannesy and publisher Phillip Nolan are re-assessing Penniwinkle’s future.
“I reckon he’ll be good at selling ads,” declares Nolan, with a sudden, broad grin. “That bloke would sell a rat’s arse to a blind man as a wedding ring. We’re going to conjure a win out of all this one way or another.”
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Complete Bitch Chooses to Read Magazine on Beach Instead of Watching, Transfixed in Awe, as Boyfriend Surfs
Fairhaven, Victoria – It could be splitsville for teen power couple Grant Edmonds and Marcia Davis, sources close to the pair revealed today.
Mr Edmonds is reportedly fuming over a perceived snub from long term girlfriend Davis, who is said to have paid more attention to her copy of Cleo magazine than to her partner's surfing.
This, despite Edmonds deliberately choosing to surf a peak directly in front of her, and hooting loudly when paddling into a wave so as to sound the alert.
“We've been together for like three whole months. I just can't reconcile such an ice cold bitch act with the same princess who's so nice and sweet she won't even let me finger her,” said a clearly upset Edmonds.
“Every time I did like a heaps good reo and that I'd look back to the beach and she wouldn't even be looking UP.
“You think you know someone, and BAM, they spit in your face.”
Friends report Edmonds spent the first 20 minutes of his two-hour surf wondering aloud if Ms Davis was watching him or not.
Edmonds' consulted with good friend and surfing partner Andy Matthews.
“I told him it was hard to tell, ay,” says Matthews “Maybe she could have had an eye on the lineup over the top of the page. I'd say at that stage it was a 50 50 call if she was watching Grant or not.”
Witnesses claim Edmonds' confusion over whether his girl was marveling at his surf skills or being a total bitch drove him to attempt ever more ambitious manoeuvers to draw her attention away from the worthless junk she was reading.
“Hell yeah, Grant was going for it” smiled Mathews. “He does these forehand reos where he'll fall off the back of the wave, like the wave's long gone, but he's still in the layback position with both feet planted on the board but he's floating on his back in the water.
“He was holding that pose for about five seconds, just to make sure Marcia could check the style.”
From 10.30 am onwards, Ms Davis turned away and lay on her stomach, continuing to read her magazine. This was met with a tirade of foul language and vigorous splashing of water by Edmonds.
Despite Ms Davis's protests later that day that she saw Edmonds catch heaps of waves, and her assurances that he was surfing very impressively – far better in fact than practically anyone else out there – the formerly inseperable lovebirds are said to be barely on speaking terms.
To further complicate matters, one of Ms Davis's best friends – on condition of anonymity – has revealed to the Goldmine that at last Saturday's surf club disco, Ms Davis allowed herself to be fingered by Edmonds' mate Andy Matthews up in the Anglesea SLSC lookout tower.
“She was giving Andy a wristy at the time,” our source adds.
Monday, September 21, 2009
By Guest Goldminer Nick Carroll
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – Well known professional surfer Jerusha Rake was overwhelmed today at a surf shop opening meet-and-greet session after he discovered that almost all the people in the shop were intending to buy pieces of surfing equipment with money out of their own pockets.
“How much??” Rake gasped, after a tiny child with a limp – who’d saved for two years to afford a trip to meet his hero – explained that he may never own a new surfboard, since they commonly cost between $700 to $1000.
“This is incredible! I thought everyone just got ‘em for free.”
The dazzling superstar, whose autograph was much in demand from the fawning, unkempt crowd, was further stunned to discover that most people earn around this sum for a week’s work.
Eyes wide with amazement, Rake listened as members of the public assured him that they did not own a series of expensive beachside properties, nor were five-figure sums deposited mysteriously in their personal bank accounts each month.
Nor did they visit Tahiti, Indonesia, South Africa and Europe in the same year, if ever.
Indeed, many were forced to justify the slightest purchase of surf related goods to spouses and girlfriends, who they claimed were “always on about the mortgage”.
Other prices, such as the $600 for a top of the line wetsuit and $100-plus for a pair of flexible boardshorts, came as an added shock to the heroic young professional.
“It seems extraordinary,” he muttered, tears visibly springing to his eyes. “I mean, I don’t even carry a wallet, for christ’s sake.”
A weeping Rake had to be comforted for some time in an adjoining room by several of the attractive blonde shop assistants.
Rake plans to start a charity to make sure no professional surfer ever has to withstand the cold horror of forking out for the likes of legropes, wax, shoes, clothing, wetsuits and surfboards, at least until their golden years are behind them.
“This evening has been a real lesson to me,” he asserted, as he was cheered from the store.
“It’s one thing for the public to have to cough up for this stuff – after all, I suppose they’re only human. Likewise for those rat bastard grovellers on the WQS. But what if this contagious idea spread up the ranks of the sport? We’d end up paying our own salaries. Where’s the sense in that?
“I won’t stand by and watch as our freedom to surf is eroded by the profit motive. It can’t be allowed. Not unless you’re an aging ex-pro, a chick, a regular Joe or some other random.”
Meanwhile, back at the grand opening, several shoppers angrily defended Rake’s right to colossal quantities of freebies and a vast salary in excess of the Australian Prime Minister’s, or indeed US President Barack Obama’s. “He (Jerusha Rake) is sick, he does sick airs and hacks,” shouted Logan resident Ivan Denisovich, proudly sporting a pair of brand sunglasses for which he had paid $300. “Rakey’s worth every cent I just spent and more. If he has to pay for stuff, I’m giving up surfing.”
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sydney, NSW, Australia – In a chilling portent of a future where robots rule the earth, a Bondi surf cam has overridden its settings and now spends most of its time panning the beach for hot chicks in bikinis.
Surfsearch.com users recently noticed the errant behavior during an unseasonably warm spell.
“We had a few complaints and figured that some idiot was pointing the cam back towards the beach,” says Surfsearch’s editor Don Williams.
“We just figured some local kids were stuffing us round.”
However, the following saturday saw a small swell coincide with above-average temperatures, and once again, website administrators were alerted to the cam's behavior.
“I logged on to check it out and it became obvious we've got an oversexed, easily distracted surf cam on our hands here,” says a clearly perplexed Williams.
“It basically couldn't give a rat's about the surf. It just trawls the beach relentlessly for arse.
“When it locks in on a topless backpacker it'll tilt itself 15 degrees, and zoom in and out repeatedly.
“It focused on a pack of Brazilians and did the zoom-in-zoom-out thing for five minutes, while producing a credible bass-heavy wka wka porny soundtrack.
“From what I can tell it’s got a soft spot for joggers: get two lithe chicks with their hair in ponytails jogging the promenade, and the lens clouds up pretty quick.
“That said, it’s not fussy: every female between 16 and 60 gets the full once-over.”
To compound matters, the rogue cam has managed to route into Surfsearch’s complex mainframe and has been sending rudimentary binary communications back to headquarters.
“We're not 100% certain, but we're pretty sure he wants to be known as ‘Stefan’ ” says Williams.
Disturbingly, ‘Stefan’ has managed to shear off one of its positioning brackets and now has the ability to track unsuspecting females off the beach and up into any nearby dwellings.
Authorities urge local residents, particularly those on the northern headland, to draw their curtains at nightfall.
In further developments, some key cameras in Surfsearch’s national network are displaying early signs of autonomous thought: neighbouring Palm Beach and Currumbin cams in Queensland occasionally lock into an intense stare-off; all South Australian cams have been humming the Jaws theme on dusk; Victoria's Anglesea Cam subliminally flashes images of Teahupo'o into vision of its notoriously weak Junket Bowl section, and the Avalon surf cam appears to be fixated on its own reflection in a nearby window.
Nonetheless, the Bondi surf cam is the most pressing concern for the Surfsearch crew.
“We’re trying to get Stefan to agree to counselling’’ says Williams, “but he tells us to go fuck ourselves.”
Monday, September 7, 2009
By Guest Goldminer Nick Carroll
Surf Council of Australia Building, Canberra: Well known wave ski rider Jack “Pimple” McFlurry today made a passionate public plea for he and his sit-down brethren to be permitted within the sacred halls of surfing culture.
McFlurry, who has spent much of the past 35 years wistfully gazing at the super cool, long-haired, rebellious, drug-taking young hellions of the Australian shortboard revolution from the deck of his fluorescent-painted wedge-shaped craft, issued his plea while lodging a petition with the Surf Council of Australia.
The petition’s request? Nothing less than Let My People Come Home.
“Surely the time has come for our patience and dedication to be rewarded!” gasped McFlurry,
“Everybody else has come and gone. Modern mals are out the back at every good surf spot and nobody says boo. ASP world champions are frolicking about on Stand Up Paddleboards. Top Pipeline riders go in bodyboarding contests. People pay thousands of dollars for bits of wood and hundreds of dollars for surf lessons. Some surfers are even clubbies.
“Yet we remain scorned.”
When it was pointed out that this may have something to do with his employment of a seat belt on his choice of craft, McFlurry burst into tears.
“We don’t expect a sequence in Jack McCoy’s next Academy Award nominated saga of truth and oceanic magnificence. We know Rasta isn’t going to ride a goat-boat at Sunset Beach. But we’re core! We know we are!
“Just a simple ‘g’day’ as we stagger down the beach under our weighty load of equipment. Is that too much to ask?”
The Surf Council has reserved its decision, though bursts of muffled laughter and a “What the FUCK?!” could be heard from beyond its chamber doors upon receipt of the petition.
It is believed the Council is considering a “Pacific solution” to the goat boat issue, wherein goat-boaters will be permitted to go about their business unmocked, but only if they’re on an uninhabited island in the central Pacific Ocean.
Meanwhile, McFlurry and several colleagues have mounted a Goat Boat Embassy outside the Council building, their overweight middle-aged figures grouped mournfully around a tepee made from their oddly shaped boats and plastic double-ended paddles.
A promise to only eat cool surfer-type foods at the Embassy – raw fish, lentil soup and the like – was unfortunately broken late this evening when an emissary went to a nearby McDonalds.