Her name was probably something very Anglican and 60s like Susan or Patricia or Sally, but for the summer time she went by a nickname – Bubbles. Now, I was not the 60s and the name Bubbles had absolutely nothing to do with her personality, appearance, or even a love of the Powerpuff Girls. She simply worried about copyright infringement if she started calling herself Gidget. So Bubbles seemed a good alternative.
Bubbles loved cheesy teen beach movies and she was determined that this would be the summer she would no longer watch them – she would live them!
Traveling to the beach turned out to be harder than she thought. Each time she asked someone, the Californians would just point westward. They also seemed less than impressed with the Annette and Frankie music blasting from her radio. It took all morning and lot of colorful driving language, but she finally got her Woodie station wagon to a popular surfing spot.
First, she was shocked by the lack of people playing volleyball or building sand castles. There were no faux-Polynesian style huts surrounded by Tiki torches and the beach bums were actual transients who lived on the beach, not hot college guys having a break from responsibility.
Finding a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt, she lifted the ball cap pulled down over his eyes. When she had his attention, Bubbles declared, “Here I am! Teach me to surf!”
The man redirected her to a corporate-owned building on the boardwalk and grunted, “Effing tourists” before returning to his nap.
Still, she was determined. She marched up to the desk and repeated, “Here I am! Teach me to surf!”
The instructor, who not blonde or wearing anything colorful or in possession of a name like Kahuna (his name plaque read “Ricardo”), chuckled at her. “Sure. It’s about $60 to join into the group lesson, but that includes rental of equipment. How does that sound?”
“Fantastic. But I do plan on using part of my allowance to buy my own board someday. That would be the absolute ultimate!”
“Uh huh.” Ricardo answered, not sure of how else to respond. “Um . . . yeah. Our boards are all out back. They are just standard for teaching standing up and paddling—”
“What colors are available? I really want yellow with a white stripe or maybe something with pretty flowers all over it!”
“They’re just plain boards for learning on. We don’t customize them.”
“Oh. I guess that’s okay for today. Maybe by next week I can bring my own board? How long does it take for me to learn how to surf while sitting on someone’s shoulders?”
“We don’t teach that. In fact I wouldn’t recommend that for you at all . . . ever.” He watched her mouth quirk in stubbornness and decided to change the subject. “Let’s get you sized for a wetsuit.”
“Golly gee. Thanks all the same. But I’m going to surf in this!” She motioned to her light pink two piece. The waist of the bottoms reached above her belly button and the sports bra-like top had little white flowers embroidered along the thick straps.
Ricardo, officially having decided he did not get paid enough for this, held his hand against the bridge of his nose and demanded. “Out. Just get out.”