Monday, March 20, 2006

Seaside's Seedy Side






Alternate title: "Beer and Bloating by the Sea."

It was Friday night and in a stroke of good luck that can only be attributed to the smile St Patrick himself, my wife gave me the green light to spend the weekend at the beach.

Gee and I checked the Seaside Cove immediately when we arrived and finding it blown to smithereens, made our way to our $38-per-night room at "The Mariner Motel." When we checked in, I asked the man behind the desk what was happening in town for St. Patty's day. He did what I thought was a pretty sad impersonation of a drunken Irishman: "Oh, there'll be a-plenty of shinanigans goin' down on Broadway, eh!"

"Oh, you even have the accent. Nice," I said, taking the room key.

"So you're in town for the surfin', EH?" he replied. His accent actually was sounding more Canadian, or maybe it was a speech impediment... Oops. Feeling embarassed, I said that we were indeed here to surf and that we might see him on Broadway later. With that, we went to our room, opened the windows to let some of the hookery meth must out, cracked a couple Guinnesses, and watched the NCAA Tournament.

We started our St. Patrick's prowl on Broadway at a windowless wood-walled bar called "The Bridge Tender." It was actually located on a bridge that crossed the river that runs through Seaside, thus the name. Inside, the smoke was as thick as Frisco fog in the summertime. We pulled up to the bar and ordered a couple Buds in festive green metallic bottles. They were $1.50 each. An alcoholic couple to our right gave us the lowdown on the town's finer drinking establishments. The list of places to drown your sorrows sounded kind of like surf spots, all ending in "s": Dooger's, Pudgy's, Girtle's, and Sam's (where the old guy insisted that Lucky Lagers were 75 cents and the waitresses had big knockers, to which I replied that we would enjoy, since we were members of the big titty committee. He had never heard that one, and laughed for about 15 minutes.)

Where am I going with this? Needless to say, we hit all of the "s" ending bars above (and one that didn't end with s, where a Van Halen/GNR cover band was playing) and found ourselves riding around in the back of some guy's VW van to get food at "Muchos Gracias" taco stand at 3:30. It was closed. The van kept stalling and things were feeling a little sharky, so we bailed out at a 24-hour gas station mini market and walked back to our humble crack hovel to get some shut-eye. This was going to wreak havoc on our dawn patrol.

Woke up at 8:00. Rousted Gee, who wondered out loud how his pant legs had gotten soaked up to the knees. I vaguely remembered the smell of pot smoke and his charging down the beach toward the waterline.

Neither of us brought tooth brushes.

We checked the cove first. The waves were smallish and red. Nobody was surfing. I guess it was a red tide, which I'd never seen before. We hit about four more spots before settling on Short Sands, and it ended up being the right decision. We surfed there for about five hours, subsisting on only coffee, a bagel, a stick of string cheese, and a hard boiled egg.

O.S. met us at Shorties and we did the cycle, riding waves in and taking the rip back out to the break. It was a nature cruise that we dubbed "The A-Train." You could just sit on your board and examine the passing rock formations, starfish, sea pines leaning 100 feet over the ocean with their roots exposed, all the time humming the Billy Strayhorn jazz standard. And when you got to the little duck bobbing and diving in the lineup, you paddled out of the rip. It was a good day.

O.S. got to the parking lot and realized that he had left his lights on. Dead battery. After 30 minutes, we found someone with cables. Ate dinner in the lounge of Ye Olde Steakhouse in Cannon Beach. When we got back to Seaside, the city's power was out. It remained that way for 3 hours, so we drove north of town and discovered a bowling alley. I came out of the gate and rolled a turkey (3 strikes in a row). I thought I actually had a chance for a 200 game, but only ended up with 170. Alas. Halfway through the game, the lights went out - but it was for "Cosmic Bowling." The place filled up with high school kids who ran around and made out under the black lights. It was pretty entertaining. We got back to Seaside at 11:30 and the power was back on.

Sunday morning. Sore arms. We found the cove looking pretty good. We did the rock-walk out to the break and carefully launched ourselves from the slippery boulders into the rip. This is the first day that my 6'2" McCoy actually showed some potential. The waves were powerful and brown, about shoulder high with head high sets. I found it really easy to drop in and once up, the board was a bullet. We surfed for about an hour-and-a-half before the conditions dropped. I promised my wife I would be home for tennis in the morning, anyway. The sun shined all weekend and my lips were burned when I got home. Could it actually be springtime?

Pogues "Dirty Old Town"
Duke Ellington "Take the A-Train"



5 comments:

Candi Gershon said...

I love cosmic bowling...I do. My kids do too...we have yet to see making out, but I'll keep my eyes peeled for next time. :)

Chum said...

I can't believe you read the whole thing! Candi, if you read this, what is the make and model of the zoom lens you had on your camera? Thanks! Hope you and Adam and the kids are well!

Patch said...

I've surfed in a red tide at night and the wee early mornings during a full moon. It's amazing to see the phosphoresence light up under the cracking lip. Every paddle has a trailing green explosion of light, it's incredible.

BTW, great "crack" I mean story!

O'Patch

abcdefG said...

Thanks for the story. It refreshed my memory. Until I read it I still couldn't remember how my pants got wet. Looks like you got some love for the zine. We might have to have another impromptu editorial meeting this weekend during the G-Spot. Start working on the second issue...

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