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a surfing odyssey.

Here’s a fellow, none too bright but competent in the surf and who, one day, decides to leave the beach of his youth and travel north with his young family. First to Warriewood where he obliges an outcast outfit called the Warriewood Animals with his earthy humours and renegade ways, then to Avalon.

Amongst northern beaches surfers who had been denied in their earlier days of the wholesome benefits of brawling in eastern suburb pubs and being tossed out, uninvited, from various and sundry social events in the inner city whilst at the same time enjoying a lawless and aimless path through whatever circumstances that might have come their way.

Those earlier days where being a youthful social outcast was a sought after distinction after years of heavy handed discipline in classrooms and on playing fields.

Days when we fought valiantly and lost amiably, when we loved indiscriminately and ceaselessly, sought waves and girls in distant coastal hamlets.

Days when we gained labour in slaughterhouses and with shit-carriers. When we bludged, blustered and finagled our way from border to border summer and winter in cars vans buses and trains. When we slept in puddles, on back car seats or on porch lounges.

When we surfed point and beach, rivermouth and break wall. Chummed up with the dispossessed and unlawful, the unwashed and unlikeable, the black and the white. When we stole food and pinched liquor, drank from buckets and shat in pans, washed in cold water and dispossessed the locally righteous of their place in the scheme of things.

When we paddled inside, dropped in on the outside, snaked every side, pinched wax, stole towels, flattened tyres and left unspeakable objects in camping grounds in the hope of discouraging others who would like to remain beyond the morning.

When we lied to the men in government offices who distributed the dole, lied to hard-eyed building contractors who only needed an honest man to dig an honest hole, lied to our parents when it occurred to us to ring them every now and then for money, lied to our young brothers who wished to follow our footsteps.

When we persevered with our boards being stolen or battered and bruised beyond value. Or our cars being rusted and wheezing, our clothes faded and torn. When our friends came and went, our families became distant and townspeople wished us gone.

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