If you were to find yourself on the Point Cackameekee Pier just a little before sunup—maybe you are fishing for smelt or tossing into the sea a letter to a lost love scrolled within a corked bottle—you might spy a shadowy figure steal between the cones of light cast by the lamps creaking in their davits overhead. Curious, you observe this figure as it skulks onto the pier’s first T and watch it dip furtive hands into a dark cloak; then, arms flinging wildly, this mysterious being proceeds to orchestrate a tempest of earsplitting screeches and thrashing ghost-flutters.
“In your alarm you may suppose you are witnessing a Druid priest summoning the banshees in some black mass.”
In your alarm you may suppose you are witnessing a Druid priest summoning the banshees in some black mass. But you would be mistaken—those aren’t banshees, only seagulls; the cloak is merely an old navy-blue hooded sweatshirt, concealing nothing more sinister than the Old Legend, Hoppy McBride, performing his morning ritual of feeding two cartons of overripe blueberries to the gulls so the resultant guano thoroughly obscures the lens of the hated internet surfcam secured atop the lamp davit hanging over the first T.
Upon completing this errand one such morning, the Old Legend turned to find Cody Pachody, his polisher and point-two-five of the Surfdoggie’s sales force, clumping over the timbers balancing two Styrofoam cups of steaming coffee and a waxed paper sack of doughnuts.
As the sun seeped over the purple hills, the two of them leaned on the railing and slurped the scalding coffee, wordlessly watching the small northwesterly wind swell furrow the leaden sea with pearly Vs of whitewater. Some distance from the pier, a solitary surfer sat hunched on his board waiting for a set. Midway through the Old Legend’s first jelly-filled, a second surfer paddled out directly in front of the waiting surfer and, though the lineup was utterly deserted, immediately dropped in on him as he caught his first wave.
The Old Legend was occupied with a mouthful of igneous jelly doughnut, so Cody was the first to comment.
“What the heck was that all about?” cried Cody. “Where are we, Rocky Point on Brazilian Republic Day?”
“Oh, that’s just Bill Palaver and Jasper Quale,” replied the Old Legend, wiping greasy hands on his sweatshirt. “I take it they haven’t yet resolved their differences.”
“I always thought they were full-on bros!”
“They were, indeed,” said the Old Legend. “But recently a rift has sundered their friendship and, as nearly always in the annals of friendship-sundering, the scythe that cleft them apart bore the fingerprints of the green-eyed monster.”
“Godzilla came between them?” asked Cody, always a little at sea when confronted with the Old Legend’s metaphors.
With a gentle smile, the Old Legend tore a French cruller in half and chewed it thoughtfully for a minute.