The Day I Almost Became a Methodist

3 11 2009


Religion is a slow death that starts with lunacy and ends with disappointment.

Yesterday I decided to become a Methodist. Frankly, I didn’t know much about Methodism. Is that even a word? Methodism? It sounds funny. I know there’s a lot of Methodists in Texas and in eighth grade geography I learned its chief exports are steers and queers. But, I’ll bet you didn’t know George Lucas was a Methodist. Same with Jackie Robinson. And George W. Bush. And Hillary Clinton. Harry Reems from Debbie Does Dallas was a Methodist. But my favorite Methodist of all time has to be Hank Hill. So, I had a good feeling about all this.

I haven’t been to church in more than 20 years, probably because I’m a non-practicing agnostic. I did, however, attend Catholic school when I was in fourth grade. Sure, my older brother got us kicked out for selling weed, but that was a long time ago. Now, I imagine, every kid in Parochial school sells weed. I think it’s on the entrance exam.

Question #1 (Multiple Choice)
Do you sell weed?
A) Yes
B) No, but I’m willing to learn
C) How else do you think I can make it through an hour of theology
D) What was the question again?

Anyway, I needed a little direction in my life. I jumped in my car, reattached the Buddy Christ bobblehead on my dashboard and drove to the First United Methodist Church in Costa Mesa, California.

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

The address was literally 420 East 19th Street. Now we’re talking. Finally a religion I can embrace! This must be what Adam felt like when he found the Garden of Eden. I was so excited. This was fate. I was ready to bite the apple.

I entered the church and the pastor greeted me at the door. I took a good look around the joint, much like a bank robber right before he empties out the vault. There were crosses everywhere and old people. Really old people. And they were all praying. Where was all the weed? Where was the 20 foot statue of Jesus taking a bong hit? Where was the stained glass window of Cheech and Chong? Where were the hacky sacks? Where were the hippies? This was a blatant case of false advertising.

I had to get out of there…quickly. I ran as fast as I could to my car, hit the gas and popped in a Black Sabbath CD. I’ll never pull a stunt like that again.


The Beautiful and the Damned: The Chas Smith Interview

26 10 2009

Chas Smith

Chas Smith is a freelance journalist who calls Los Angeles home. He is slim. What some would call a tall drink of water. He is lanky. Not as lanky as Luke Stedman, but lanky nevertheless. His right arm is covered in ink.

Chas has created a buzz with his updates from the European leg of the ASP World Tour. Some loath him. Others love him. His writing has appeared in Vice, Stab and virtually every surf publication on Earth. He may be the best surf journalist working today. The word journalist is used loosely. His writing style is refreshing and breezy. Like a BMW gliding down Pacific Coast Highway with its top down. He has a taste for the finer thinks in life. Think champagne and French linen. He shares the same Christian name, but he is the anti Bukowski.

Currently, he is in Portugal covering the Rip Curl Pro Search for Stab and Surfing Magazine. In between drinking fermented beverages and arm wrestling ASP CEO Brodie Carr he agreed to answer a few questions for Nugable.–Nug

Where did you grow up and what is your background?
I grew up in a backwater town on the Oregon coast. A shithole. I moved to LA as soon as I graduated from high school and studied linguistics. I can’t remember why. I think it was because I wanted to be in the CIA like my uncle. His son surfed well. Now his son is in jail for robbing banks.

When did you develop a love of the written word?
I didn’t know “love” of the written word until I read Derek Rielly’s eponymous “Derek Rielly presents: Erotic love poems.” It was a smaller book that didn’t do well in the mass market, but a copy found its way into my trembling hands. I still remember the lines. “Touch my body. Put me on the floor. Wrestle me around. Play with me some more.”

Your stories at and from the European leg are entertaining and refreshing, yet the powers that be are giving you flack for being a little “creative.” It’s not like you are kidnapping the Top 45, taking them to Ibiza and feeding them massive quantities of Ecstasy.
That should be the ASP’s job. I don’t have any sort of budget. But Brodie Carr does. And Dave Mailman has the vocal prowess to do the play by play. “Jordy is now grinding CJ real good and…oh, it looks like Damien is getting jealous. Jordy is looking on-form.” etc. etc.

What is the story with your investment banker that travels with you?
She works for the investment arm of a large international Spanish-based bank. She has a BMW. She leaves for Angola soon where she will sit on the board of a smaller, shadier, but far more interesting financial institution.

I asked Derek Rielly if you are a Beverly Hills Bukowski? He said Charlie is not, in any form, a Bukowski. Charlie is John Horne Burns, is Bret Easton Ellis, is F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is Candace Bushnell. Discuss.
Derek is right. I loathe Bukowski.

I have completed several interviews for Nugable, but have never asked anyone who their sponsors are or to give any shout-outs. Is this proof I am not as retarded as most surf writers?
I love Matt Biolos. He is not my sponsor, nor did you ask me to give a shout-out but I just do. He is on the right wing fringe. He is angry. He shapes beautiful little rocket ships.

You suggested that Kelly Slater is care free and successful because he dates an 11 year old. Is it irresponsible journalism to suggest he is surfing’s Roman Polanski? And will there be a Chinatown II?
Frankly I don’t know if there is such a thing as responsible journalism. And have you seen Kelly’s girl? If she is a day over 12 I am shocked.

You called Mick Fanning boring. What would you call Marlon Lipke?

I would like to see Joel Parkinson win the world title, but his ankle injury might prevent this. Someone suggested you have special powers. If you deep throated Parko’s foot and ankle, would he then be healed and win the title?
Yes. And this is in the works.

How much is too much for a haircut? I heard you found a magnificent salon in Lisbon. Tell me about it.
It was the most magnificent. I think I paid 60 euros for my current cut. Too much? Maybe 300 dollars. Or 70 euros.

Finally, what will be etched on Charlie Smith’s tombstone?
I was your huckleberry.

Surfing’s Mitchell Report

6 08 2009


When the Mitchell Report was released in 2007 it was bombshell for baseball. It is and was the stain on the soul of the sport. Steroid usage has dominated news coverage, tainted records and nearly ruined careers. When Congress got involved I nearly threw up. A politician trying to clean up sports is like a prostitute trying to bathe by walking through a drive-thru car wash. Sure, the hot wax may kill the crabs, but you’re still a fucking whore.

Surely surfing must be immune to performance enhancing drugs. Right? Well, don’t be so sure. Let’s look at some current surfers who are or may be juicing.

The Confirmed

Neco Padaratz
The Brazilian fire plug tested positive and was suspended by the ASP in 2005 for 6 months. Medical experts say ’roids cause shrinkage. He clearly showcased balls the size of coconuts after dropping in on Sunny at Pipe last year. Apparently, because he lives south of the Equator, steroids have a reverse effect on the testes. It’s like when you flush a toilet and the water goes in the opposite direction.

The Suspects

Tom Carroll
One does not develop thighs a Bulgarian weightlifter would be envious of by training alone. Very suspicious Tom. Those ham hocks could feed an Eskimo family for two consecutive winters. Years ago, at the OP Pro, I asked Tom for his autograph. As he scribbled his John Hancock, pen in hand, girls in bikinis hovering about, he looked up and said “Look at the tits on that one mate.” I was 12. Needless to say, Tom Carroll has always been one of my favorite surfers.

Rob Machado
“El Maniaco” Machado weighed about 75 pounds when he made the final of a PSAA event at Seaside Reef when he was just 14 years old. Now, he must tip the scales at a buck ‘o five. Call me crazy, but this is highly suspicious. You don’t just gain 30 pounds in 20 years by drinking organic milk and eating vegetables.

Mick Fanning
When he first qualified for the world tour he surfed like piece of angel hair pasta riding a plywood plank down a roller coaster. Now he looks like a piece of angel hair pasta with a gigantic meatball where his head should be. Is he on the juice? Probably not. But suspicious nevertheless.

Sunny Garcia
If I had to bet one of my kidneys on the surfer most likely to be using HGH, it would be Vincent Sennen Garcia. I kid Sunny. My run-ins with Sunny in the past have been nothing but cordial. I think he’s just a little misunderstood.

Laird Hamilton
This guy is ripped. And he has no fear. But let’s face it; his physique looks like Terrell Owens after a Michael Jackson-esque skin bleaching cycle with bronzer follow up. If I had the chutzpah to charge huge Chopes and Jaws like Laird, I’d probably buy needles in bulk from Costco too.


ESPN Surfing’s Jake Howard
My theory is he’s not fat. He’s just juicing. Give the guy a break. If Barry Bonds was sheet white and wore a corn husk toupe he would look just like Jake Howard.

Taylor Knox
Taylor has perhaps the most polished style on tour, but he’s been on the ’CT for about 40 years. I think slavery was still legal during Taylor’s rookie season. You don’t have that kind of longevity without a little help. He’s also been known to hang out with former Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman. Baseball players are bad influences. You do the math.