mona vale – a litany of strange company
We They would gather there most weekends after the early surf, just at the roller door of the surf club. They would lounge about there like the landed aristocracy as Eric the caretaker fossicked about fixing things up and running his endless commentary about the state of the world and our moral obligations to improve both ourselves and the nation. Eric was about 95 so we listened.
Some weekends another codger named Henry would be dragged past on the leashes of his six Staffordshire terriers – those brutal little fur balls who looked at our hands like we look at hamburgers. Skinny old lad was old Henry, all bones and chewed up arms. Then there was Roy and his offsider, both about 65 plus – soft sand runners. Bert too came by from time to time, he had a backside like an old ballon topped up with water and gravel – it was hard to look at him as he walked away. No need to ask Bert how they were hanging, he liked a little room in his sluggos. A Prince.
Might as well list them seeing as how we’ve made a start here.
Rundle. He bought his pet goat down to the beach one day and let it loose, and of course the first thing it did was foul 300 metres of beach and three days later it died under a police car. Another day he made it all the way to the water with his Dart goatboat before realising he didn’t have the paddle handy – left it back home in the garage in fact. Rundle was like that bloke in Tom Wolfe’s novel ‘ The Right Stuff ‘ – the fellow who was falling to his death in a prototype jet plane and all the while was transmitting messages asking what do I do next. Rundle did that on waves, big grinding suckers that we convinced him he could master.
Didn’t happen, he’s still with us, Now he rides a longboard at Avalon with just as much expertise. My gift to the locals. Has a way with speedometers and deflating tyres of blokes who drop in on him. Say no more.
Parker. Ex heavy-weight champion of Jersey. Unofficial. Another wave-ski rider, now retired but remains formidable. Some say there is a reasonably good looking man under all the head-hair but we doubt this. Parker has a bewildering intellect and a fatal way with impressionable young women. How they run. He would give Timothy Leary a run for his money. There is a story here about a jam-jar of LSD, a wardfull of insane patients and a fire that never happened. Has a flatulence issue in crowded caravans.
Spike. Englishman. Arrived in Australia twenty years too late and as a result claims ownership of every wave of every set – wants to catch up. This will never happen as long as girls surf in bikinis. He’ll follow them anywhere. Good lad spike, likes a drink. Qualifies there.
Old Bill. George Clooney lookalike. Another goatboater brought to his senses and taught how to ride a longboard with fatal precision. Another gift to Avalon. Currently rides a 12′ 18″ tri-tandem weapon capable of mass destruction. Old Bill used to ride bikes competitively, he gave it away when a carload of Lebanese hoons took exception to a gesture he threw at them on the Spit Bridge one Sunday. Those blokes will stop anywhere for a blue. Not a puncher Old Bill, he’s a lover – he says. I’ve asked around, nobody under 75 will confirm that claim.
Schvartz, or Schvarrtzz. Young, good-looking, capable of almost any act as long as someone is watching. The only bloke north of Maroubra who wears perfume in the water, says it puts the goofy-foots off. Mate of Spike. Schvartz has 345,986 friends on Facebook, most of them susceptible young women who relate his name to a certain male physical prowess. He’s the only surfer in the country who doesn’t experience shrinkage in cold water, or so they say. Them being not me, I daren’t look.
O’Flynn, The Phantom. Generous with waves. Will pass on almost everything as a means of gaining favours when the surf is not so good. Then he reclaims his Irish heritage and shotguns his way through everybody when conditions are premium. He used to have head-hair once, everywhere. This is not news to us, his dear friends, surf-club showers are there to be shared. He and Old Bill go waaay back. There are debts.
Kennedy, aka Thud. Comes from Pymble every weekend in fifteen cars – would crawl over Kate Moss for a Big Mac, with or without fries. Big man with a true capitalist sense of ownership in the water – he’ll take it all. Kennedy is a serious burden on south coast surf trips as he cannot cook, will not in fact. He’s there to eat. Kennedy has been arrested fifteen times for having very ugly toes. There, it’s out at last.
The Fish. Lost at Ocean Beach. Still the beacon.
Some of these instances may be enhanced, the smoke does that to you.