In Search of a Summer Beach Movie – Part 4: Surfploitation

As the night went on, the party on the beach followed Bubbles’s instructions. They lit a bonfire. They had a ridiculous chase scene. They talked in outdated slang.

Finally, one of her friends asked about the surfing she has boasted about intending to learn. Bubbles, feeling all of the confidence of a beach babe knowing she was successfully making her hunk boyfriend jealous, ran to a board resting beside a sleeping man.

“I’ll show you!”

“I don’t think you should surf at night,” one friend pointed out.

“Or take someone’s board,” another friend said.

But Bubbles would not be swayed. She removed her dress to reveal the swimsuit underneath. She ran with the board skillfully, as if had done so a million times. The freezing water bit at her legs and was like needles pricking her fingers, yet still she went in. She paddled out just far enough, but not too far. She waited until a wave, not too big, but not just a bump in the surface of the water came her way.

She knew she could do this. She could feel the energy of all fictional surfers course through her veins. She paddled a little with the wave and as it gained momentum before she hopped up on the board. Her feet hit the slick surface beneath her and attempted to adjust her balance.

Within a second, she fell off into the icy wave. Salt encrusted the inside of her nose and mouth, burning her lungs. She managed to hold onto the board as she staggered back out of the water. Everything ached.

Her friends brought her a sand covered towel and asked if she was alright. One of them stealthily returned the board to the sleeping beach bum.

As Bubbles shivered and shook out her high ponytail, anger rose within. Surfing wasn’t exhilarating. It was hard! And she had sand everywhere, in places she thought no foreign particle could reach! Even their bonfire was a tiny, piddling flame barely able to keep her warm!

Feeling all of her frustration welling up, she screamed out, “That’s it! I’m done! I’m done with these movies! They’re sexist hooey! I bet the surfing was all fake and no one ever seemed to care that there were several cases of assault going on and no one ever really got hurt and there’s no one who really looks like Frankie and Moondoggie—”

Just then a young man with dark hair coiffed perfectly into a pompadour stepped toward her. His square jaw and broad shoulders made her take a physical step back. “Excuse me.”

“Oh my.” Bubbles murmured.

His dark eyes sparkled at her. “Sorry to bust up the party, especially since I’m off duty right now, but do you have a permit to have this fire on the beach?” He took a badge out of his shorts pocket.

As the word “police” registered in Bubbles’s mind, she let out a squeak. And with that, she ran to her Woodie station wagon, put the car into a decided reverse, and drove away from the beach for a very long time.

In Search of a Summer Beach Movie – Part 1: The Surf-ening

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.”