It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hang Ten Dude....Ouch!!! My Bunions!

This Associated Press story on senior citizen surfers gives hope to all of us that we will be able to continue to enjoy our favorite pasttimes in old age. (Sadly, for myself this will not be true as my favorite pasttime is staying up past 8 p.m.) Unfortunately, the story leaves out the oldest of these blue-haired boardsters, James "Jimmy" "Duke" "Flippy" "Moondoggie" "Yahtzee" Poseidon of Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A. This geriatric wave-glider is a spry 106 years old and has been surfing since he was 7. I spoke to him via short-wave radio to ask about his legendary career as a surfer, his current form, and agrarian reform in sub-Saharan Africa, which he was suprisingly knowledgable about for a senile old pipeline-rider.

Earl: James, tell me about how you got started surfing?

James: What's that? Speak up, boy, I can't hear you!

Earl: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR START AS A SURFER!

James: Eh! What's that you said?

*******

(2 hours later)

Earl: James, now that you've found the battery for your hearing aid, tell me about how you got started surfing?

James: Oh, you can call me "Slinky", all my friends do.

Earl: I wasn't aware that Slinky was one of your nicknames.

Slinky: What's that? Oh, yes all the ladies call me slinky because of the way I tend to tumble down stairs.

Earl: I'm not a lady.

Slinky: In that case, call me "Jimmy".

Earl: Right..."Jimmy"

Jimmy: Unless you're not actually a surfer yourself.

Earl: Well, actually no, I don't surf.

Jimmy: Then call me "Flippy".

Earl: Why "Flippy"?

Flippy: Cause if you're not a lady or a surfer Sonny, all you'll get is the bird from me.

Earl: Can we just do the interview?

Flippy: Oh, all right...

*******

(45 minutes later)

Earl: Is he awake now? OK... "Flippy", tell me about how you got started surfing?

Flippy: Well, back in 1901, I was a boy traveling on a schooner to Hawaii and the ship was blown up by a left over landmine from the Spanish Civil War.

Earl: Wait a minute. How did a leftover land mine from the Spanish Civil War wind up in Hawaii?

Flippy: Dag-nab-it son... ain't you ever heard of the Gulf Stream? (Earl sighs) Anyway, I was in the water, about to go down for the 3rd time, when a piece of wood from the ship floated by. I grabbed it, climbed on board and rode that thing down through the Waimea pipeline and to shore. That was my first wave and one of the best ones I ever caught.

Earl: And you've been at it ever since?

Flippy: Yup! Except for a brief sabbatical between 1937 and 1957 when I was a world class jai-alai player.

*******

Earl: Tell me Flippy, what was your most memorable experience as a surfer?

Flippy: What, getting blown up at sea and riding a splintered plank through the surfboard hell that's the "Pipe" aint good enough for you?

Earl: I mean after that...

Flippy: Oh...well, that'd have to be the time I wacked ol' Adolf Hitler over the head with my surfboard.

Earl: Hitler? Really?

Flippy: Yup! I was doing an exhibition at Rostock, on the Baltic sea, in 1932 and some dad-burn fool of an idjit was body-surfing in the exhibition area. At first I thought I'd surfed down old Charlie Chaplin, until this guy starts cursing at me in German.

Earl: You didn't know it was Hitler?

Flippy: Not until the war. I've still got the surfboard though, and it's still got the dents.

Earl: Dents?

Flippy: Yeah, I was pretty much a hothead back in them days and when he interrupted my exhibition I beat the crap out of him with my board and shouted "I got your City Lights right here pal!". They said that afterwards, if someone said the word "surfboard" to him, he'd fall to the floor in a fetal position and suck his thumb for hours.

Earl: Speaking of celebrities, did you know famous surfing legend and Olympic swimming gold medalist Duke Kahanamoku?

Flippy: Oh, yeah! Nice guy. He and I ran over each other with our boards dozens of times. I got the nickname Duke because we looked so much alike, 'cept for my goatee, and the fact that he was six inches taller and 30 pounds lighter than I was in those days...and I was bald too.

*******

Earl: What was your best trick on the surfboard?

Flippy: Well, besides bashing Nazis on the head with my board, I use to do the Charleston while catching a big wave.

Earl: The Charleston? Wasn't it difficult to keep your balance?

Flippy: Difficult? Hell, I fell off the board everytime! But for half a second each time, it was pure magic!

*******

Earl: Flippy, they tell me you're still surfing today.

Flippy: Yup, I'm going for 100 years of surfing and I've only got about 9 months to go.

Earl: That's very impressive. Tell me, what's the most difficult thing about surfing for a man of your age?

Flippy: That's an easy one...getting my motorized wheelchair on the board!

*******

And so we wished James "Jimmy" "Duke" "Flippy" "Moondoggie" "Yahtzee" "Slinky" "Hitler-Beater" "Hang Two-Wheeler" "Tiberius" Poseidon all the best. May he surf on for years to come.

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