Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stinson '73: Bongs, Big Mouths & Body Surfing (Pt. 1)

Ever since Adam and Eve's Dad said "you kids can go do whatever the hell you want but you sure as hell can't do it here" and kicked their horny asses kicked out of of the house, kids have had their hideouts. Some kids discover at a very tender age that in order to escape the endless litany of judgement, criticism, nagging and spot checks for clean undies, they've gotta get some sort of psychological bomb shelter set up where they can figure out what all this shit is about. Then come the clubs, the gangs, the cliques, the teams: they all need a place to go where they can feel safe from Sauron's all-seeing eye. For a hard-partyin' group of fuck-ups at Redwood High School in the early seventies, that place was a little hillside of sand near the guard tower at Stinson Beach. From the first dry days of late March until the last day of school in June, this group would spend every sunny afternoon and sometimes not-so-sunny afternoons (and oftentimes sunny with gale-force winds blowing from the fog bank perched just offshore) clustered on the slope of the old bush-topped dune, drinking Mickey's Malt Liquor and passing the bong.

The Mickey Big Mouths and the bong were perhaps the most crucial elements for a successful afternoon at Stinson. First it made the girls more pliable and willing to play tonsil hockey, bounce the boobie, munch the muffin, flog the dolphin, longneck liplock or even hide the salami in the little sandy nooks among the bushes. In many instances a warm and willing girl was the only thing standing, or lying, between a convulsively shivering body surfer and hypothermia and death. Again, the bong and at least 4 Mickey Big Mouths were crucial elements, because without them nobody would go near the famously frigid Norcal waters. Fuck the sharks. Nobody gave a shit about sharks. In fact I don't remember even talking about the men in gray suits until years later, and this was all pre-Jaws of course. And the sharks didn't give a shit about us either. Why? Well, for the most part our 16-year old bodies were not much more than skin and bones, and secondly, nobody ever wore a wetsuit. Not because we didn't want to look like sea lions. It simply never crossed our minds. First, there wasn't a single surfer in our bunch, and boogie boards didn't exist. There was the occasional skimboard but most of us were far too inebriated to run after a moving object, much less jump on it hoping it didn't stop dead and send us flying head over heels into an ignominious face plant in the hard wet sand.

We body surfed, and when the conditions are right Stinson Beach has some of the most beautiful body surfing waves in the world. But it's a different kind of body surfing that you see in places where waves actually peel, curl and break from one direction to the other. What we did was totally different than what the Hawaiians do at Makena beach, snatching a giant shore-pounder and diving directly for the sand before bending up and popping out the back of the wave. That's the kind of body surfing that killed that famous sixties Hawaiian golfer by snapping his head clean off his neck.

Waves at Stinson are generally close-outs: the swell comes in as one solid line, the wave forms all at once
Pescadero, Baja 2009
and breaks all at once, sometimes creating a window-rattling crash. We call the big waves "Maytags" because if you get caught at the top of one it tumbles you head over heels till you can't find the bottom or the surface, just like the spin cycle of a washing machine. But the smaller waves when the tide was going out will, after you swim few strokes, pick you up and send you skidding down the face of the wave on your belly, one or both arms stretched out in front (much cooler to go with one arm out) to help steer. If it's a rare peeling wave you might get tubed, or if your brain is peeling from the transcendental combination of Micky Big Mouths and Colombian bongs, you might feel like you're in a tube. An ice tube. But most of the time the wave picks you up just before breaking, you get a few seconds of sliding over the smooth face, then you're covered in the whitewater, your head and your arm sticking out. If you're lucky you get a 15 second ride, maybe thirty yards, before you duck out and go rushing out for the next one.

One day me n' the boys turned into one of the private gravel Calles (Spanish for "street") rather than heading to the usual party spot in the state park. I don't know why, but I can picture it like it was yesterday. After buying up at The Jolly King in MV and flying over the mountain, we parked at the end of the calle looking out at the sets; the Corn Nibbler, Lugey Stick, Dex, Cisco and Moreaze were all crammed into some red leather upholstered sedan; not a Beemer but somebody's Mom's hardtop Chevy or Buick. We sat in the car, shirtless, with the windows rolled up and the heat on, passing the bong and pounding back the Mickey's until we couldn't stand it for another second. Then, sweating from every conceivable pore, we sprinted into the 45 degree ocean screaming bloody murder as if we just popped out of a WWI trench into a swarm of German bullets; something that, if we attempted it today, would most surely end in cardiac arrest. The Nibbler caught a wave, then Moreaze and I rode one all the way into the beach side by side. We caught another and another until, after twenty minutes or so the water started to feel warm, which meant it was time to get out, for twenty to thirty minutes in 45 degree water, with no wetsuit, is the surefire fastlane to hypothermia. We headed straight for the car, got in, turned up the heat, fired up the bong, cracked open the warm malt liquor and waited. It wasn't long until we were ready for round two, and round three, and round four. All spring and summer long, two sometimes three times a week. Sometimes enhanced with other chemicals, other times bone dry. But never, ever with a wetsuit.

A couple of days ago I decided, after living a half mile from our old party spot for the past 6 months, that it was time to take a dip in the Pacific. I didn't entertain the notion of riding any big waves on my super enhanced extra bouncy 58 yr-old belly, nor did I entertain the notion of going in the frigid water without a wetsuit. Hell, I wore a wetsuit last time we were in Todos Santos (but not in Sayulita), and I definitely wore it when I went boogie boarding at Salmon Creek on my 52nd birthday. But that was before L3, L4 and L5 got married in a lovely civil ceremony at Marin General, and before the subsequent laminectomy intended to cure the mysterious neuropathy in my feet, and before rotator cuff surgery. Since my refurbishing I have done little in the way of sports of any kind, particularly skiing and body surfing, two of my favorites. So, I figured what the fuck I at least oughta get out there and splash around, right? So what if I can't see without my glasses. What's to see except the sea? So, suited up, I walked into the shallows, and my feet started to ache. Then throb. Then spontaneously combust in unbearable pain, and I came out. I walked around a bit, figuring this was just an acclimation exercise, then went back in. Worse, faster. I tried again and again until I realized that a wetsuit wasn't gonna be enough. I would need the booties, perhaps a hood, gloves. And a special double or triple lined jock accessory, a half-dozen Mickey Big Mouths, a big hunk of "special" chocolate, perhaps an extra dose of scratch and a reservation at Marin General...

I grow old … I grow old …        120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.        125
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown        130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Top Seven Warning Signs That You're With the Wrong Partner

Relationship feeling a little off the tracks? Mr. or Ms. Right feelin' more like Mr. or Ms. Wrong? Or even more disturbingly, Mr. or Mrs. Wong? Well listen: we all make mistakes. Sometimes we'll bake cakes, throw them in lakes and end up with aching snakes. If ya listen to the statistics, one of the more common mistakes we make is in choosing a partner, a companion, that person that we allow into our hearts and our undies. According to the facts over 100% of those choices are just dead wrong. Or worse yet... Wong.

Here's how to know if you've fucked it all up and picked a loser; simple, yet telling signs that the person you may be living with now will cause you nothing but misery, heartache, tears and quite possibly painful cysts, dry skin, dandruff, uncontrollable flatulence and ultimately the heartbreak of psoriasis. If you consider these warning signs, you can choose whether there's any hope in fixing the relationship or if you need to get as far away from your wretched, conniving, skanky bedmate ASAP.

Warning sign #1: Peanut butter in the jelly jar or vice-versa.
If your lover can' take the time to wipe the peanut butter off the knife before recklessly plunging it into the jelly, or vice-versa, then he/she is probably equally careless with things he/she might plunge into you, or with things you might want to plunge into.
When to RUN: there's mayo in the peanut butter.

Warning sign #2: Multiple cats.
Any sane person knows that, even if you love cats, two cats around the house is plenty, unless, of course, you live in a barn that is infested with mice and rats, in which case multiple bloodthirsty cats are highly recommended, so long as they live outside. Otherwise, any more than one cat means you are completely insufficient as a partner and not only that your partner doesn't care if you get asphyxiated on the odor of cat piss and weakly disguised cat turds, or that you die from allergic reactions to cat dander. The handwriting is in the kitty litter. Get out!
When to RUN: the cats sleep on your face.

Warning sign #3: Your partner wants to pop your zits.
Anyone that wants to deny you the pleasure of popping your own zits is likely to want to deny you of other personal pleasures, like nose-picking, fingernail-biting, bodagget removal, fart-lighting, butt-scratching and bean-twiddling and/or dolphin flogging, and should be avoided.
When to RUN: at evidence of mini-flashlight and tweezers in bed

Warning sign #4: Skidmarks
While men tend to have a higher propensity for skidmarks in the undies, jammies and other articles of clothing proximate to the anus (partly because of the male tendency to take truly monstrous shits that require a power washer to entirely eradicate), skidmarks are entirely avoidable. Not only are there highly effective methods for softening and removing hard, crusty dingleberries or the stickier bodaggets, the "water pik", used mainly for dental purposes, is an extremely effective tool for anal cleansing and fits easily into any of today's popular mens and ladies purses.
When to RUN: The nose knows...

Warning sign #5: Humming "More Than a Feeling"
If you hear even the faintest strains of the Boston hit, or anything remotely resembling Journey, get out as soon as you can. Fans of Boston and/or Journey will eventually be blasting that dreadful white pabulum through your domicile so loud that the cockroaches move out.
When to RUN: At the mention of Tom Scholtz or Steve Perry
(courtesy Tim Eschliman)

Warning sign #6: A belief that one of you was originally made from a rib
While creationism is a wonderfully imaginative, fantastical, creative and cute way to explain the existence of life, a staunch belief in it may indicate that your partner may be more than just a little out of touch with reality. This is not to say that you should only team up with folks that sport pageboy haircuts, have long, pointy ears and rip you a new one every time you make an illogical observation. However, you may want to be careful with creationists for if they believe that Eve was made from a sparerib they may have issues around the barbeque.
When to RUN: Immediately!
(Courtesy Margot Von Riper)

Warning sign #7: Frequent, almost singular use of the word "idiot" to describe almost everybody
When you start hearing that everybody from the mailman to the President to the Pope is an idiot, it's time to pack your shit (as in your belongings vs. the employment of a pile driver or similar device) because it's only a matter of time until you are lumped into that category. Such a sloppy approach to labeling folks that may in fact be nimrods, ninnies, cretins, retards, assholes, turds, knobs, dickwads, fuckheads, weenies, pedophiles, asshats, douchebags, dildos, dorks, poofters, pussies, wimps, wankers, sons-of-bitches, bee-atches, bastards, motherfuckers, buttsuckers, anus-lickers, lily-livered sapsuckers, (not to mention any number of perfectly acceptable racial or gender-specific identifiers) etc. etc. usually indicates that your companion is likely to be none other idiot.
When to RUN: A French accent is employed for "emphasis" (ie: eeeedeeyot!), along with "fuckeeng". eg: You are a fuckeeeng eeedeeyot!

This is just a smattering of hundreds of possible indicators that your relationship is a nuclear shitstorm just waiting to suck you into a swirling vortex of eternal pain and confusion.  Proceed with caution, young Limbolounger! Coulda been the right place, but it musta been the Wong time!
 As always, the Limboland staff will keep a close ear attuned to the heartbeat of our vivacious, significant, important and essential culture for leading indicators and opportunities for clever, enigmatic and esoteric tweets! @blowmepunk