Had to run into the local surf shop yesterday to pick up a birthday gift and being that the height of the summer season is upon us, I knew that it would be an interesting trip. The shoppers did not let me down. Upon walking in and looking around, I see some kid who I have never seen before in my life checking out the racks of clothes and giving me a weird look. I guess I didn't have on any expensive surf clothing or something, because he was looking at me like I was out of place or I must be some kook. About eighteen years old, the look was perfectly manicured: Brand new pair of boardshorts on that looked like they had never been in the water, a popular surf brand t-shirt and the ever important flat-brim barely on his head and cocked to the side. Text book, I wanna look like a surfer look, because as we know, it is all about the look. I'm sorry my fashion sense disappointed him. He checked out the clothes, proud to make the transition from Hollister and Pac Sun to a real surf shop.
Second scene was even better. As I am paying for said birthday gift, Joe Blow walks in with lobster red skin and a matching OCBP tank top (must have been off duty) and, of course, no shoes (it really lets everyone know how hardcore you are). Joe wants to rent a surfboard for his son, which up until this point is totally cool in my book. But Joe can't leave well enough alone. Despite coming just short of walking in with a giant sign on his shirt saying "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT", he starts talking to the girl working there about the board on the wall, that clearly had the shop's name as the lam. It is a beautifully shaped wooden fish and very unique, earning its spot on the wall rather than the racks.
Joe: Say did ___________ shape that thing?
Joe: Really are you sure? ____________ makes insane boards. I know him. He's right down the street. I am really pretty sure that he shaped that.
Girl: I don't think so.
At this point, the girl turns to one of the shop owners ands asks her if her dad shaped that board. Of course, since the name is right on it, she says yes and he only ever made three. A relative of the shaper confirms. Joe's plan is foiled for the moment but he can't leave well enough alone.
Joe: Oh. Well, ____________ makes those too and they are insane. Really, you guys should check them out. He is right down the street.
I am in disbelief. There is some genetic code deeply buried inside the body that triggers the brain to say the dumbest things when entering the local shop. People feel like they need to prove that they know more than the surf shop employees or at the very least, make it sound like they know what they are talking about. What they don't realize is that it usually comes off as horribly transparent and they end up sounding like a complete jackass. Just shut up and stop trying to prove how much you don't know. I'm all for people asking questions and having a conversation, but too many times it turns into "let me show everyone that I'm not the kook they think I am."
Couple that with the fact that as I am at a red light, who pulls up next to me but flat brim. Of course, he is from Pennsylvania and has the absolute most hardcore, soulful sticker that a surfer can put on your car to let everyone know that you are a ripper. Yep, that's right, a Ron Jon surf shop sticker. Image is everything.