Thursday, August 27, 2009

'86 Occy

This week we're seeing the second (that's right, the SECOND) swell of the summer.

The first was a couple of weeks ago, the big mack daddy tropical south that had every spot in Orange County going cuckoo. The Colonel was also going a bit cuckoo, but, alas, his insanity involved lugging a 70 pound backpack over various Yosemite backcountry ridges in search of secret lakes, not secret spots.

July 25th, 2009 - The Wedge

July 25th, 2009 - 11,000 feet above the Wedge

So, for all intensive purposes, this is the Colonel's first swell of the summer. It's been fun and we've had waves for close to a week now. Today, which was supposed to be the beginning of the end, we saw much bigger waves than expected...and some totally unexpected drama, which we'll save for the next post.

Anyhow, yesterday was a beautiful day, the water was still pushing 70, the air was hot, and the waves were shoulder high and super fun. So, in the spirit of keeping all the recent praising of heroes past going (see the last post, heavy on the Curren-is-God fever which still infects many of us thirtysomethings) the Colonel decided to pay tribute to the other Surf God of the 80's, Sir Mark "Rrrrrripping, Rocky!" Occhilupo.

And how does one pay tribute to the Italian Stallion from Down Underbite? Why, with flourescent 1986 missile popsicle butt hugger Billabong trunks, of course.

Like this...
For those of you who weren't there, these were the mid-80's equivalent of the Andy Irons "Rising Sun" (or is it "Rising Son?") boardshorts. If you were a good surfer and over the age of 21, you didn't own a pair. But if you were that magic 16 year old demographic, these blinding boardies were practically standard issue.

So when I saw them reissued last summer in the midst of this 80's retro nostalgia fest that's all the rage with post-emo surf hipsters adorned in crap plastic sunglasses that only homeless people wore back in '89 because gas stations and baseball games used to GIVE them away, well, the Colonel couldn't resist.

And yet, when shown to the wife, they elicited such unbridled laughter, that they quickly found themselves in a drawer, tags and retro Billabong sticker still firmly attached. (My wife, who is my exact same age and is as much a child of the 80's as I am, harbors no such illusions that any retro display is anything other than a desperate attempt to recapture lost youth at the expense of maturity, dignity, and any sort of fashion sense not shared by an 8th grader.)

So jump ahead to yesterday. The sun was shining, the waves were fun, the water was warm, and the Colonel said, "Fuck it." Out came the missile pops, in went a 36 year-old never-was, and do you know what the aforementioned wife said?

"Hey, I like those trunks!"

"What a minute. I bought these last summer and you laughed for like two weeks. I thought you hated them."

"Maybe it's the weight you lost," she replied. "Or that you have a good tan. Or maybe I'm just used to the retro 80's thing now."

But I know she's full of shit. She's got a thing for Occy and she's finally coming clean. But I can deal with that. Occy is the shit. And all I can do is wear his shorts.

The Colonel says, "Alex, come jump in with us."