I was just going through some old boxes full of documents and mementos from my youth. I came across a piece I had written in November of 2004 (age 19), which detailed the annual trip my friends and I make to various surf breaks throughout Southern California and Northern Baja California. Here it is, unedited:
Each new moon draws us closer to the epic annual event that is Cardiff. Every November, a group of vagabonds assembles into formation. For five days and four nights, the sleepy grounds of San Elijo become home to a legendary group of warriors. Their legend is known throughout the Southern California basin. Women and children weep as they pass, bovine unexpectedly drop dead at the utterance of their names. Darkness follows these men, but is careful never to pass them up. Darkness knows better than to do that. For they are the bringers of light, and the sea shall embrace them in this quarter. They shall gorge the land, conquer the mighty, reap the town’s women as they pass, and bask in the glory that is Cardiff. To these men I say welcome. God speed, friends – for time is a valuable asset that we shant-forthe waste.
Now, for a brief introduction:
Dib-Dab: Affectionately known amongst the group as “Little Buddy”, Dib is ironically the eldest of the clan. One would assume he’d take the role of group patriarch, but actually his position is quite contrary. Dib is the resident introvert, a recluse amongst the outspoken. Although socially inept, Dib does bring certain lovable elements to the group. For example, Dib has the uncanny ability to see art in even the most unpredictable piece of crap. This is something the group admires. You see, on the gloomiest of days, Dib’s overzealous and inappropriate enthusiasm can bring happiness to even the most dismal of situations. For this, we love him, and hope to have him around for many more years, or at least until we turn 21 and don’t need him to buy us alcohol anymore. (Dib is now 25 years old.)
Tem: Tem is of ambiguous ethnic background. Some believe his people migrated here after wandering in the desert for forty (40) years. Tem insists that they were actually washed up on the shores of Huntington Beach, California after the Red Sea closed on them whilst they were attempting to make safe passage to the Holy Land. Nevertheless, Tem is a staple member of the group. No other man in the history of knowledge has ever been so down for threesomes (Ron Jeremy being exempt.) Tem is also down to spend money like a black man with a checking account full of slavery reparations. If Tem were ever to win the lottery, he’d be bankrupt before his lump sum ever hit the bank. Tem also has a lion tattooed on his forearm which he enjoys talking to as he beats his pud. The lion’s name is Larry and he’s always down for threesomes. Pimp shit, Tem. Pimp shit.
Eric Von Geaytchsszchee: Although many different spellings of his last name exist, “Getche” is the most commonly agreed upon, so we shall use it for the purpose of this essay. Getche was born in 1943 Dusseldorf, Germany to the parents of a Nazi Lieutenant and a waitress at the local Biergaarten. After losing the war, in an attempt to assimilate to American culture and avoid persecution, Getche’s family decided to convert to an ideology even more twisted than that of the Germany’s National Socialist Party: Mormonism. In his 61 years of life, Getche has authored four (4) novels and achieved a triple black belt in Judo. His qualities as a human include: Perpetually being involved in a relationship (never spending more than three (3) days as a bachelor in his life), out-drinking chronic alcoholics despite his Mormon beliefs, smoking blunts in a single bound and speaking impeccable Spanish with Mexican locals (regardless of the local dialect or slang.) Getche is a valuable asset to the group, and a pleasure to have among us. Lang Phasendeutschland! (Long Live Germany!)
Jig: Known to some as Zane, others as Jimbo; Jig is a small-time banker with big-time dreams. Jig hopes to someday break out of the confines of his small town roots and move to the big city. He still remembers the time Charles Bronson walked into the bank in which Jig worked. It was a good day for young Jig. He celebrated meeting the celebrity by going fishing with his trusty dog “Snare Drum.” It might puzzle some people as to why a boy would name his dog Snare Drum, but Jig knew it felt right. Once, at the age of eight, Jig was sucked off by his babysitter. This set the tone for the rest of the gentle boy’s life. His teenage years are highly ambiguous. We’ll leave it at that. Currently, Jig listens to country music by his favorite artist: Neil Young. Jig also drinks $2 dollar wine and wears $2 dollar shirts. It’s a good feeling to get liquored up and still look dapper for less than $5 bucks as Jig will kindly tell you. Before concluding, let us not forget Jig’s quick wits. The man is an actor, and if you’re not careful, he will murder your pets. The previous sentence had nothing to do with wits, and for that I have no explanation. God bless.
Rocco Balthazar: To this day, Rocco does not understand why I call him Rocco. I don’t even think I understand why. It’s all good though, because there’s always an awkward bit of hesitation in the air after I call him that. Rocco is a man loved by all. Especially women. It is fabled that Rocco once walked into the Mall where he works and was mobbed by a large group of 16 year old girls, before being mauled by an even bigger group of their mothers. Rocco loves the attention, but not as much as he loves the aesthetic effects a good joint has on the mind. Rocco has the depth to smoke a mere half-joint and be instantaneously possessed by the creative genius of both former artists and current musicians. He picks and chooses between the firing of intellectual synapses in the mind before arriving at any given spiritual destination. This is a choice alternative to the substitute of random thought. Philosophy is a linguistic code that Rocco seldom realizes he’s breached. For there are men who speak with rote, and then there are men who speak with thought. Rocco is a member of the latter group; and we heavily anticipate his arrival among us.
Hunter: A quiet man. Hunter prefers the title of “Stoic.” Apathetic and grey, Hunter will soundly watch a group from a distance observing its intricacies. He would perhaps prefer a life of binary code to the life of a normal human. There is but one event each passing year which brings him light. This event is Cardiff. Perhaps most valuable to Hunter , Cardiff provides the man with a chance to glimpse into something others take for granted – a soul. As a group, it is recognized that no man loves Cardiff more than Mr. Hunter. His quiet and sheltered stoic are a calm reminder of why this annual journey is so amazing. We all have Hunter here to remind us what’s good in life. Even a man who does not surf can appreciate the glory within the lifestyle.