Doing What Comes Naturally

Jason London took a dump in a cab in Hollywood. I would’ve been more outraged if it had happened in New York City, or even London, UK, but Hollywood – the place is so filthy already, what’s another crap in a cab? My most vivid memories of the place are the sights, sounds, and smells of people pissing, puking, and fighting in the streets – punctuated with occasional sexual episodes. I don’t recall a whole lot of human defecation there, but you can’t stop progress.

London’s claim to fame as far as I can tell, aside from the taxi crapping, is having a part in the 2001 Richard Linklater instant-classic Dazed and Confused. He played the character of Randall “Pink” Floyd, the quarterback of the football team who refuses to sign a “drug-free” pledge.

I don’t care so much about this – let the celebrity crowd do their thing – except that it comes on the heels of the wildly popular, “Al Roker Sharted his Pants in the White House” story that had recently burned through the morning, afternoon, and 24-hour programming of a variety of television and Internet-based media outlets. Only the haughtier nightly network news programs spared us the cheek-clenching admission.

There isn’t anything too surprising about accidental defecation in the most officially esteemed building in the country; the intrigue comes in the decision to tell the story. There’s no doubt that over the years many strange (and gross) episodes have transpired within those walls, but I don’t know that we’ve ever talked about them as openly, and willingly, as we do today. If that’s true, I think that is good. The people who live and visit there – they’re only human, like the rest of us.

Poseidon’s Children

Garret McNamara is reported to have ridden a 100-foot high wave. I’ve seen some of the footage. When I was a teenage surfer, attending school in Southern California, I sketched a lot of waves into a lot of notebooks. The wave McNamara rode the other day, in Southern Portugal, made the exaggerated and cartoonish waves I have drawn look sober and unspectacular in comparison.

In 1990, we could not even imagine riding a wave as big as the beasts contemporary surfers are towed into. That’s a part of the difference, the ability to tow riders, on smaller, more maneuverable surfboards, into larger, faster-moving waves, by utilizing towropes and jet skis. The rest is the superior physical conditioning, skill training, and visualization, of modern surfers. Advanced video technology allows riders to watch a limit-testing ride over and over. They can start to understand the split-second reactions and moves a surfer undertakes to maintain balance, while a towering wall of water crashes over and around them. These guys can see paths that may have always been there, but that we haven’t before been able to clearly see.

Bob Howard has been living, working, and writing in Northern Califonria since he moved to Chico in early 2000. In January 2011, he and his wife Trish relocated to Los Molinos, 30 minutes north of Chico, where they are the proud proprietors of the Double Happiness Farm. There they grow organic food, ornamental plants and trees, and generally work to enjoy the beauty of this great region.