Cracker’s Christmas Past

you should have been here yesterday ...

Christmas morning and Mum hands over a $75 voucher from the nearest Mall Surf Shop and being the good bloke that you are you give her a big kiss and a bit of a squeeze and at the same time a man’s hoping that the collective decision of the remaining family of brothers and sisters that have been bothering you all your natural life has been finally realised and that their dreams to be rid of you and your drunken and drug and wave induced lifestyle is a gift wrapped cheapo one way ticket to anywhere beyond Timor, or even.

Cracker Thomas is over from Maroubra for a few beers on Boxing Day and all I can do is listen to his bullshit and lament the passing of a time when surfing wasn’t a mainstream lifestyle; a life style obsessively localised by late arriving and deeply monied new locals who owe it all to their parents and the lack of death duties and if you’re wondering about this then think Avalon.

Cracker is a Rum drinker and likes to build up a little tension before commencing the debate, the one-way debate.

‘ You’re in the changing room tryin’ on a springy, right?

Cashing in on Mum’s Chrissy present ‘

This is Cracker, on and away.

‘ And here you are trying to pull the fucken thing over your arse, which just may be a little bit larger than the last time you waz in this situation, when a bunch of thirteen year old sheilas in the next booth start to crack up.’

‘ Either they got X-Ray vision or there’s a fucken hole in the wall.

And all I know is that right now I’m feeling like a spare prick at a wedding and if this particular fuckwit minding the till doesn’t cash-up me voucher prompt-like he’ll be wearing me knuckles for lips, so fucken help me Santa. ‘

Trying to explain to old Cracks that the ratio of girlie wear to total stock in these shops is now 60% won’t help the situation. The lad is a throwback to ancient times when men surfed and women cooked and little girls skipped rope.

‘ You wanta tell ME, ‘ our man continues, ‘ how the FUCK a man can keep his fucken composure when he has to queue behind five eight year-olds buying Kylie-Wear and all he wants to do is settle for two blocks of wax and get up to the Wedge before every other arsehole between Bungan and Palm Beach wakes up to it, and how many thousand of them are littering the highway these days? ‘

‘ You wanta EXPLAIN,’ exasperates old Thomas, ‘ how a man with forty years of surfing this city from Cronulla to the Box has to deal with a hundred racks of dresses and bikinis and every other fucken thing under the sun but fucken BOARDSHORTS?‘


We subside for a while into our drinks, treading water, hyperventilating, waiting for the next set.

‘ And finally, ‘ mutters our man, sobering nicely.

‘ howcome the only people who ever wear Mambo shirts are out and out f.cken deros?’

This is unarguable, everything the man says is right, the game is over, the infidels have won, riding waves is everyone’s right of passage, they are righteous orphans who claim no antecedents, they are losing gamblers with no debts, and they are in the bloody way.

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