A Second- 2nd Scott Sullivan Encounter/Incident
IT WAS JUST A SECOND, really; two Costco shoppers passing in the dairy/coffee aisle in the Sequim warehouse/store.
You don’t recognize people you don’t really know instantly; it takes a second. We were both in a hurry; he with one of the big orange carts, me with the regular one (slightly larger, you might have noticed, than one at a regular supermarket- or, even, WalMart).
I think it was his mustache. Yeah, one of those with the ends twisted and skinny, and pretty much brown.
I thought, or, possibly, imagined, that we made eye contact. Split the above second. Maybe he thought he recognized me. Maybe.
Not that he might instantly remember where and when we met previously; the first Scott Sullivan Encounter
NOW, I was wearing an ORIGINAL ERWIN t shirt, the baby poop yellow one with the lacy white wave. YEAH, that one (the baby poop thing is from Trish, I call the color ‘golden haze’); and, hey, I do have a possibly-recognizable mustache/soul patch combo of my own, white, with, quite often, coffee-stain brown at the scraggly bottom edges.
I didn’t just do an over-the-shoulder lookback, I DID A PIVOT/HALF TURN, right between the doors for the sour cream/cottage cheese and the one percent milk.
YES, Scott Sullivan; had to be, pushing toward the final goal, checkout, with a cart full of dairy products, flour, other fixins for making PIZZA.
HAD TO BE.
MY FIRST THOUGHT, with both of us, obviously, having gone, as the place is designed, clockwise from the entrance, past the clothing and lighting and pressure washers and furniture and fruit and meat, was how, suddenly, what I wanted most to do, was to CUT SCOTT SULLIVAN OFF! Exclamation point; BURN HIM at the checkout counter, last second, that split second when one must decide which open register would provide the fastest avenue to the next-but-last Costco line, the one at the exit.
“You think it’s yours, Scott Sullivan? NO! DENIED! Hahaha… ha!
IT ISN’T like I have any animosity toward Scott Sullivan, but it is that…
…COSTCO BREEDS COMPETITION. That’s been my opinion for quite some time. It’s a constant jockeying for position. Picture the gas lines. If only you could fill from the right side. Durn. Oh, you have a regular membership card? I have a Corporate card. You go for the optimum parking spot; close enough to either the entrance or one of the cart returns in the lot (in Australia, it’s probably the car park). NO, FIRST, you time your visit to when you believe it’ll be the most efficient.
IF YOU GET THERE at opening; sure, you can power through, fill your cart, cross out the items on your list; only to get to the front with fifty or so other dawn patrollers (if dawn is at 10 am), and one register open. SIMILARLY, if you go late you will miss the free food samples (hummus or guacamole on various crispy items, soup, trail mix, skanky cheese, whatever; always worth a taste) that advanced Costco shoppers (many way more adept than you could be at the gather, half-stepping as another tray is put forth, swoop necessary to hit every sample offered; aka lunch) will elbow-smack you for. THEN AGAIN, lights dimming, everyone else is at the front, two cashiers (and, really, though it seems like a better idea than having the folks at the food court throw out the leftover item, as required, at closing, a slice of 8:29 Costco pizza is not good pizza), and the people at the register you chose need extra assistance in ringing-up that really big TV, the one you can actually watch from your position three back in the line (elsewhere called the queue, which we, in A-merica, don’t really use because we don’t know how to spell it).
STRAIT SLICE PIZZA, 121 1ST STEEET (that’s 101, really, the one-way going in-to-town), PORT ANGELES, WASHINGTON; SCOTT SULLIVAN, OWNER.
Unsolicited advertising, Scott Sullivan.
I DID WRITE about my first encounter with the well-known Port Angeles restauranteur, surfer, and, evidently, photographer/skier (or snowboarder, or both- don’t really know) on this very site. AND, WHEN I FOUND OUT HIS NAME, I DID NAME NAMES. Scott Sullivan.
BUT, at the request of a friend I should probably not name, but will (ADAM WIPEOUT JAMES), I deleted the name; Adam’s main argument being that Scott Sullivan is popular with the P.A. surf crowd; and Erwin Dence is, perhaps, not. FINE. I also did not, and won’t here, reveal the not-really-secret surf spot where I, allegedly, BURNED SCOTT SULLIVAN. Feel free to guess.
BRIEF RECAP: I was there with MIKEL (SQUINTZ, still the best nickname I didn’t give someone) COMISKEY; and was, actually, one of the first people out. It got, over the next two hours, crowded. I was, allegedly, catching more than my fair share of waves. ALLEGEDLY. Squintz had been surfing a different peak, and had been in and out of the water (some of this due to his refusal to wear booties). I got out of the water about the time Scott Sullivan came powering down to this peak, took off on a wave, and, moving up to a forward trim position, caught an outside edge on the inside; his leashless board nearly hitting a young woman.
That’s not really relevant. BUT, surfers do seem to kind of brag about how they’re leash-free, as if it equates to confidence or ability (and it may), while giving little to no beach cred to folks (me, for example) who surfed, pre-leash, ankle-naked, for seven or eight years before giving in to the swim- (and, often, swimmer) saving kook cord.
SO, now Squintz is trying to convince me, with the wind coming up, that, now that he’s at this peak, more waves will be coming. OKAY, I paddle back out. AND, A FEW MINUTES LATER, there is, indeed, an outside set. I paddle over the first one, then the second, paddle toward the peak. I turn, start paddling for it. I AM COMMITTED. That commitment is the key to my defense, your honor(s).
BUT, SUDDENLY, Scott Sullivan maneuvers closer to the peak, turns, and takes off.
SO, by the rules handed down, unofficial but not unknown (passed through constant lectures and occasional ass-whippings), Scott Sullivan had priority. PRIORITY. It was Scott Sullivan’s wave.
AGAIN, I was committed, couldn’t really bail at that moment. WELL, if I did just dismount, the way one would (and I have) if there’s a danger of imminent contact with some kook who decided to paddle out rather than around, this might not be the story of how I BURNED SCOTT SULLIVAN. I didn’t. I was COMMITTED.
WHOA! Okay, I did do what I believe to be the right thing; the thing I would want someone to do if they inadvertently took off in front of me. I powered down the line, pulled over the top. NOW, I still believe I heard something behind me, something like grumbling (or yelling- I do wear protective earplugs).
FORTUNATELY, there was a fourth wave. I took it. I rode as far as I could. PADDLING back (around the break), I observed big, angry arm movements from Scott Sullivan, directed, in my absence, at Mikel Squintz. When I got back to the lineup, Scott Sullivan was gone, having moved to a position farther up the point. “Um, uh; guess he’s kind of mad,” I said. “Yeah.” “I was committed.” “Sure.” “Who is that guy?” “That’s what he asked about you.” “Oh?” “Yeah, he said that you’re not even from around here, and I said, ‘wait a minute, you’re from _________ (my memory isn’t clear on which upper east coast state Scott Sullivan came here from),’ and he just left. You could apologize.” “Apologize?” “Maybe.” “Sure.”
Mikel did mention that, even with the increased crowd, Scott Sullivan and I did seem to be getting most of the waves ridden. “And?” “Just saying.”
I did, incidentally, move to the OLYMPIC PENINSULA in 1978, first surfed this very (unnamed here) spot in January of 1979. With useless California wax, an insufficient wetsuit, and, yes, a leash.
SO, since I was well past ready to get out of the water, I paddled up toward Scott Sullivan. “If I, um… if you thought I…” “I go surfing to get away from that kind of shit,” Scott Sullivan said. “We all do,” I said, and paddled on.
I’m sure I stopped at Costco on the way home. I usually do. Here’s a shot of me, in the ORIGINAL ERWIN shirt I was wearing, just in case,. So non-threatening.
WAIT. ABOUT THE BURNING from Part Two. Didn’t happen. I had to stop to get peanuts for our yardbirds. Scott Sullivan was long gone. He, obviously, picked the right line. ABOUT THE PIZZA. I haven’t tried a Strait Slice slice; assume they’re great; I do know where some of the makins come from.