Sometimes, when I'm bored, or procrastinating, and need something to laugh at I go and have a look over the RealSurf forums. I think they're generally pretty lame to be perfectly honest, but they always give me something to mull over as I sit and stare out the window at the river.
I went over there yesterday and found a couple of posts (this one, and this one) that really made me laugh. They're about 'girls' being bullies in the water. SO? I reckon it's funny how upset guys get when a woman tells them off or acts aggressive in the water. Yeah, woman can be nightmares too - pushy, selfish, threatening and mean - but it seems to stand out more and be more controversial for some reason...
Sometimes I speak up when someone is being a dick in the surf, 1) because they're being a dick and 2) because I know how annoyed the dude will get; not only is he being told off, but he's being told off by a chick! Oh, the humanity! Or should that be, the humility? Usually I can let it go so I don't do it a lot and I don't usually yell, but sometimes, sometimes, I do.
I yelled at a Hero on the weekend actually. He was being a pig and was sitting there talking himself up, all the while paddling to everyone's inside and taking whatever he wanted. His mate was benefiting too as Hero man was calling him into waves, like some kind of wave distributor. After he'd done it to me a billion times, and after he snaked me on yet another wave, I cracked...
He paddled back out and straight into a wave that I was paddling for. Fuck him, I decided. I was on the wave and up well before him, but he got up and whistled at me to get off. WHISTLED AT ME! I didn't. He didn't either. The break was busy and it ended up a not very safe situation and I'm not really in the business of hurting other people, or myself.
Afterwards, I was livid. I was shaking and angry and over it. I'd seen him once before at another spot in the area, doing the same thing over and over. And I was angry because I knew that this was ridiculous, that this was going to be a stupid argument and that the consequences would include him consciously making the rest of my day hell. But I felt forced into a corner where I either sat there and took it, stood up to him, or started behaving like he was, snaking and dropping in and having little regard for the other people there. This guy'd had plenty of waves, so what was the problem with me getting one?
I paddled back out, angry. His mate watched me and as I got close he told me to,
"Give it to him."
I was a bit surprised that his mate had said that - like I needed his permission- but it fuelled my fury that even the Hero's friend saw what an arse he was.
So I did. Give it to him that is. I pointed out what a 'legend' he is and that paddling to my inside every time doesn't make the next wave his and who made him the allocator of waves anyway? I called him a fuckwit and an arsehole. He didn't say much. I was so angry. I was shaking and could feel frustrated tears welling (but I refused to let them fall - can you imagine!).
He told me he didn't have to listen to this and pissed off. Good.
Then it got funny...
As I sat with shaking hands, his mate looked at me and concurred that the guy is a louse,
"He gets like that. Just drop in on him, that's what I do. Don't worry about it."
The Hero heard his friend bitching him out from across the break and yelled back,
"I can hear you, you know. Stop talkin' about me like that!"
"Yeah, well, stop eavesdropping," his mate laughed.
And yeah, I'm pretty sure that he went about thinking 'what a psycho she is' and 'what right did she have' and 'what a bitch she is' and 'she doesn't even surf good' and 'she's probably got her period' all those other usual pathetic stereotypical responses that come out of these situations, but he certainly backed off in his behaviour after that.
Maybe the chaps over at RealSurf would have considered me to be a bully too, but I see it a bit differently - I wasn't threatening him, I wasn't putting him in any harm, I wasn't trying to ruin his day. But I was taking a stand. Slightly inappropriate - and please don't think that I'm in any way proud of my behaviour - but a stand nonetheless. Because I don't care how well someone surfs (and he didn't surf well by the way) and I don't care how deep you take off, because that's not high on my list of criteria for giving respect. Nor for letting you get away with being a dangerous, selfish tool.