Check another life goal off the list because a few days ago for the first time ever… I surfed.
Okay, maybe I wasn’t as graceful as local Santa Barbara legend Shaun Tomson—or, for that matter, Shaun of the Dead—but to the amazement of everyone, including myself, I didn’t get hurt nor did I injure anyone else. Plus I earned the respect of a few younger surfers who wanted to hang with me and hear all about it.
“Dudes that was totally tubular. Just as I was about to drop in, dudes, I got a rush, you know, like I could die or something, but that it totally didn’t matter ‘cause I was all, like, becoming one with the wave and stuff. It was epic, you know what I mean dudes?”
“The wave was only two feet… old dude.”
“Wow, I didn’t realize it was that big! Awesome!”
Surfing was my granddaughter Ashley’s idea. See, Carl, my son-in-law, the official surf instructor to the family, was teaching her and she thought it would be a great bonding experience if I tried it too. Bonding made me think of the stuff they use to make body casts, so I tried to get out of it.
“I don’t have a wetsuit.”
“I brought an extra one,” Carl said.
“It’s probably too small.”
“Nope, it belongs to someone bigger than you.”
“It looks like it might rain.”
“It’s August in Santa Barbara. The odds that you will get rained on are slimmer than the odds of you getting eaten by a shark… Okay bad analogy.”
So, ignoring the article that I had just read in the latest edition of AARP Magazine on the considerable recovery time after neck, back, shoulder and hip surgery, I dove in, so to speak, and managed to accomplish yet another life goal in the autumn of my years.
Seems I’ve always been behind in trying new stuff. For instance, even though I grew up in New Hampshire, which specializes in winter, I never learned to ski until I moved to California.
“Dudes that was totally vertical. Just as I was looking at the headwall getting ready to carve my path, I got a rush, you know, like I could die or something, but that it totally didn’t matter ‘cause I was all, like, becoming one with the slope and stuff, you know what I mean dudes?”
“You’re on the bunny slope old dude and you barely beat a group of four-year-olds to the bottom.”
“I won! Awesome!”
Another sport I took up late in life was golf. It was my son Shane’s idea. I’d never tried it because it seemed nearly impossible. But amazingly, I took to it right away.
“Dude, did you see that? One hit and I’m already on the green.”
“You’re facing the wrong direction, Dad. That’s the practice green.”
“That would explain all those people running and yelling.”
I also got a late start on education. I didn’t get to go to college right after high school. But I was determined that some day I would have a degree and at age thirty-two I finally graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography.
“Dudes, am I the only one naked under my gown?”
“You’re the only one wearing a gown old dude. Is that from, like, your high school?”
When photography left me with a negative cash flow, I decided maybe I should try something else. I had always wanted to become a serious journalist so I went back to school.
“Dudes what did you think of my gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, confess-all?”
“Hilarious old dude. You should write more funny stuff.”
That’s how I found out at as I was approaching age forty, that I was destined to be a humor-writer.
Now I’m thinking I should make a list of some of the other goals I want to achieve before I end up in a rocking chair watching the same game show over an over. So far I’m thinking skydiver, airplane pilot, rock and roll idol and academy-award winning screenwriter.
“Old dude, are you going to sit or surf? Some of us want to know when to get out of the way.”
Oops. Gotta go reader dudes. But please keep your eyes open for a deal on a Formula One racecar for me, willya?