It’s kind of my latest joke; not that I actually tell jokes. I just talk. A lot. Too much too often. It goes like this: “Do you know the difference between a raconteur and a garden variety bullshitter?” “No.” “No? Okay then; let’s talk.”
I actually came up with this little icebreaker when I was at a pullout, out on the Strait; there because I thought there might be waves. There weren’t. Because it’s what I do, I was chatting with the only other people on the beach at that time, two surfer wannabes from Seattle who didn’t actually check out the buoys and tides and wind charts, they just had some time, hoped for the best.
So, no, no great waves; just the more typical ‘almost’ conditions, almost big enough, almost lined up… almost. So, with no cell reception to check out… anything, I start talking, tides and buoys and winds and traffic and road closures and beach closures and a few anecdotes about past sessions and good old days and…
And somewhere in here I realize these two guys aren’t really interested in what some old coot is saying; they’re going to put on their wetsuits and flop around in whatever is out there. Yes, I was also about to suit up. With the alternatives being wait and hope or admit you’ve been skunked; almost is almost always enough to get me in the water.
Still, I was, perhaps, a little offended the Seattle surfers (and, when asked, most Seattle surfers say ‘Seattle’ with their heads slightly lowered) hadn’t been more interested in my imparted wisdom. “Wait,” I said, “You guys are Kooks.”
They both raised their hands in a celebratory gesture, as if kook meant ‘hot shit’ rather than just ‘shit.’ They grabbed their boards (one Wavestorm, one used thruster), ran down and over and out. Cowabunga! (antique word meaning ‘Yipee!’)
When I looked over from the water, over where the lefts were almost decent, the two kooks over where the rights were almost lined up were jumping up before they actually caught a wave, pearling, crashing, riding in almost-matching, stink-bug stances; slow-motion surfing, more straight in than down the line; then celebrating. Yea! Yippee!
I will probably keep asking the raconteur story until someone says, “Yes, I do know the difference,” and then just turns and walks, slowly, away.
Gotta go. That’s me; though, big talker that I am, I do hear this, eventually, when whoever I’m talking to has heard enough of the garden variety bullshit.
BONUS: Yeah, I do have to go, used up my ‘me’ time doing business stuff; can’t work on “Swamis,” can’t start the short story about one of the characters, Portia. I’ll think about it while I’m driving to look at one job, finish another.
There are a few semi-secret spots around, semi-protected from being overrun more by their very fickleness than by any militant locals, semi-protected by the fact that one has to actually go way out of the way to even check them out. And yet, sometimes someone new does show up when one of these spots is almost breaking.
I spent about ten minutes recently, talking to an older couple (still younger than me) from San Diego. “Oh, what part?” “Claremont.” “Oh.” “You know Joe Roper?” Insert Joe Roper story here. “Where do you surf?” This was all after a friend of mine, because the woman was taking photos, tried to convince them not to post photos on the internet. Though the husband, who claimed never to surf Tourmaline because it’s too slow, said the photos had been deleted, and the woman, who said she would really love to own a Skip Frye surfboard, “But you have to be someone, like, important or something…” well, I’m pretty sure they posted the photos somewhere.
Even if they did, the photos probably looked like a spot that was almost rideable.
“So,” this same friend of mine said, “these two guys were looking, scoping it out. They weren’t tourists, or hikers; they looked like surfers, probably had a couple of boards back in their vehicle. They looked at me, tried to give me the Nod.” “The Nod. Oh, yeah, the nod.” “Yeah.” “What did you do?” “I declined, didn’t give them the nod.” “Oh.” “What would you have done?”
Yeah, he knows; I probably would have talked to them until they had to go.
Now I really do… have to go.