Both Financially and In Spirit
A Michael Jackson estate spokesman draws similarities between the two icons
A spokesman from the Michael Jackson estate, who says the star didn’t surf but followed the magazine, couldn’t help but mention the coincidence while delving into Jackson’s archive of Surfer.
Reaching toward a 50th birthday this year, Surfer magazine and its parent company filed for bankruptcy—a situation Jackson had also been teetering on for many months. But it was the magazine’s moral incontinence and lack of loyalty to fans that caused the Jackson estate spokesman to comment publicly. At the media conference, increasing similarities came to light; like the fact that the two icons went through young people to such an untenable extent, that in later years, both were forced to rely on interns and foreign labor.
Sadly, both Jackson and Surfer tried unsuccessfully to reverse course in their final days. In an effort to shore up his finances, Jackson scheduled a series of concerts in London he was clearly unfit to perform. For its part, Surfer forced its staff to take two weeks of unpaid leave and 20-year contributing photographer Tom Servais was dismissed simply because the magazine owed him money it didn’t want to pay. These actions, the spokesman claimed, reveal the nature of the magazine’s decline—examples, he said, of deadbeat practices much like Jackson’s hundred thousand dollar pharmacy bill left unpaid.
One of the world’s greatest performers in his prime, to the credit of his later years, Jackson held enough dignity to die when his star had faded to such a weak glimmer.
Questions of Surfer’s longevity remain.
Establishes ASP’s First Reading Group
After five years struggling to qualify for a top 44 berth through the WQS, San Clemente’s Chris Ward was shocked to discover a massive lack in reading skills among his new ASP Dream Tour cohorts. Ward later recalled that at his first event in the big-time, one competitor asked him how to spell “uh.”
“What do you mean, ‘uh?’” Ward asked.
“You know,” replied the current #4, “like ‘uh’ dog, or ‘uh’ cat. Just tell me how to spell it, Seppo.”
“It’s an ‘A,’” Ward said, “as in A.S.P.”
“What? That don’t sound right, does it, mate?” responded the top athlete before returning to fill out his facebook page.
This conversation came as a milestone for Wardo. The problem of literacy amidst such gifted competitors simmered in the back of his mind for several seasons. At first he was savvy enough to imagine that there must be a way to use their inabilities to his own advantage. He saw a trifecta of drugs, booze and low reading skills at the heart of the Dream Tour’s malaise. Yet, considering Kelly Slater’s relative sobriety and reading acumen, every scenario Ward envisioned still put him at numbers 2 or 3.
Then in January of ’08 Ward was arrested for beating up a couple of girls in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. At rock bottom in the drunk tank, he realized that taking advantage of others’ weak points—like being girly and not knowing how to hit good—did not necessarily make one stronger.
Understanding that a best case legal scenario would force him into some serious community service hours, Ward decided to take action right then and create his own organization for the advancement of reading skill among top athletes: The Chris Ward Book Club. This humanitarian action just might sway the judge in his upcoming court case, or at least fulfill a community service obligation. And if nothing else, his fellow surfers reading a little bit, well, what could it hurt?
The first meeting of The Chris Ward Book Club kicked off in the competitor’s tent at Sunset Beach during the O’Neill World Cup last December. Other than the fact that it would take place during the comp, this book club was unlike others in that there was no one book to be read. Each competitor was asked to bring their favorite books and read a portion to the group in hopes that those who couldn’t read at all, would be influenced into learning.
Wardo started off by holding up his favorite book. It was titled “Drinking for Dummies.” He couldn’t help but feel pride while looking around the tent and discovering that several surfers brought their own books to read. Adriano De Souza brought “Fast Track to Citizenship,” and Andy Irons brought cult classic “Junky” by William S. Burroughs.
Ward thanked them all for participating and began to read from the chapter: “How to Survive a Bar Room Cat Fight.” Before diving in, Ward pointed out that most of the “dos” and “don’ts” were numbered in this chapter, so the others were able to follow along easily.
Just then, Bruce Irons stumbled into the tent. Ward reacted by raising his book so Bruce could see the title, and then followed by “shushing” the drunken competitor as he continued to babble. “Whoa,” Bruce exclaimed loudly, “Paper puzzles! I haven’t seen so many in one place since I was little keiki kine. I used to stare and stare and never could figa ‘em paper puzzles out.”
“Paper puzzles?” Wardo looked up to ask. “You mean books?”
“Yeah, like math and riddles. Supa’ hard to figa, and with crazy letters. But you guys must be pro readas’, shoots? There’s choke paper puzzles here, brudha.”
Andy Irons quickly stood up and grabbed his younger brother, asking him nicely to sit down and read with the group. “No way Brah!” said Bruce, “dis ‘MY Booze Cruise.’” Andy and Bruce then began to grapple.
Ward decided to read over the ruckus. The others attempted to follow. But then Florida’s C.J. Hobgood stepped into the tent. “Holy Mowly, so many paper puzzles!” said the former champ, “Me and my kin read paper puzzles in a tent every Sunday, same thang just like this. Septin’ we read the same exact book all together, call it the ‘Good Book.’ Me, I like to count to ten, turn the page, and let the preacher feller tell what was said by Jesus and such.”
Adriano De Souza pointed at C.J. and began to laugh. Then Bruce grabbed Andy’s book and threw it at C.J. The Floridian made his fingers into a cross and began to wail the word “Sinners,” over and over while backing out of the tent. Some say he spoke in “tongues,” others say it was backwoods swamp talk. The rest of the competitors, sensing weakness, pounced on the weakling Christian by throwing their books too. C.J. ducked, the books missed him and the Floridian dodged literacy once again.
That might have been the unfortunate close of the first official Chris Ward Book Club. However, when C.J. went on to win the contest, many of the book club members approached Ward asking about this one “Good Book” of which C.J. spoke and asked, “did it really only take a count of ten to get from the top of one page to the bottom?”
Hurley Pro Subdued In the Act by Victim
“It’s like I told me mate, right,” said the victim, 26 year-old Raffe Wills of Perth Australia. “It’s not like no other mate never given me a wristy before. I mean, in the mines of WA you’re bound to get the odd rough man-job a time or two. But when you’re in Bali on holiday, mate, and the wristy artist turns out to be not only a bloke, but your childhood idol, it’s enough to drive a geezer mad!”
Inside Made’s Warung above the famed Bukit break of Bingin, Willsey claimed he noticed the “Shelia’s” intimate resemblance to Pipe Master Rob Machado once the Banchong turned her/his hand over in order to perform the “Western Grip.” Willsey’s eyes met those of the perpetrator’s, and the fanatic follower of celebrity goofy foots marked a certain something in the subtle wink. “First I just thought this was one hairy Indo cunt, but those eyes are unmistakable, mate. I felt pity and rage and shame and, not thinking right, I grabbed the cunt—a lot scrawnier than you’d accept with all that hair, like a thick cat become wet, and I beat him as Pipeline never did.”
The legend of the “Bingin Banchong,” or “Hairy Wayan,” or “Indo Lady Sasquash,” has grown over the last two years. In a culture in which men are often raised in the arts of womanhood and accepted into the community as full partners, Banchongs move about without notice. The fact that this particular Banchong was in fact a famous Western athlete, many say, slipped under the radar because of the prodigious hair and the deeply tanned face.
“Okay look, I didn’t think she was a keeper. I was on me way to Kuta regardless,” said Roger Drake, Willsey’s traveling partner and second in line for the hand job. “But it’s like any holiday place that becomes too popular—the freaks really show their seedy side. I mean, Bali has been on the surfing world’s radar since 1972, and all of these sponoed-seppo cunts [American Pros] act like they discovered the place. What I have to say to them is: Why don’t you take your millions to some place where you’ll pay a touch more than 20,000 rupes for a hand job.”
This is when Willsey stepped in to correct his partner: “But Drako, the cunt was only doin’ em for free mate, that’s why you was waitin’ after me.”
In fact, once Willsey subdued the alleged surf celebrity, local police were called out to the scene. The police took the Banchong into their custody, but Willsey claimed the he/she pulled a cell phone from its thick mane and quickly dialed.
“‘Riz . . . Riz, you have to help, me.’ The thing said Rizal’s name with an American accent, mate, and that’s even further proof it was him. I think Rizal Tanjung put Machado up to this nonsense,” Drako said. “Maybe as part of his movie, or some marketing stunt. For Christ’s sake, Christian Fletcher and his monkey were hanging around last season, how’s a cunt gonna top that?”
After in depth research, Bali’s Brobot reporter discovered that indeed, the legend of the Bingin Banchong described an incredibly ugly man-lady who performed “wristies” without charge. Many of her victims refused to believe the recent link between Rob Machado and the acts that they’d experienced. Further, all agree that the acts were performed with the humble hospitality that they always encountered from the Balinese people. Others claimed to have seen their Banchong paddling an SUP board on flat days, and at least one say he’d seen his lady friend surfing well for a girl at Uluwatu.
Willsey and Drako maintain that after the hairy perpetrator put a call through to it’s contact, the police cell phones rang instantly. Following brief conversations, the authorities released their charge with sincere apologies to the perpetrator and only after 50,000 Rupiah bribes each, allowed Willsey and Drako to go free.