My shirt was collared, floral, and stained with a dollop of cheap red wine which, at that point, I was completely unaware of. I was smoking a Black & Mild — a Black and fucking Mild — but feeling more and more like Frank Sinatra with each passing puff. The concrete below my feet trembled and the scream of a thousand voices erupted behind me. Seven horses thundered down the final stretch of dirt at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, crossed the finish line and slowed to a stop. I just lost sixty dollars.
It could’ve been the purple blotch that gave it away — or maybe the cigar choice? — but you’ve probably already concluded that I’m not a thoroughbred racing expert. Still, as SURFING’s Staff Degenerate, I need to investigate all activities of or relating to gambling, swindles, scams, shams, Ponzi schemes and competitive surfing. It was my responsibility, although it’s kind of hard to group “responsibility” and “uninformed sixty dollar bet” together in the same sentiment. Then I thought, what if you take “uninformed” out of it? But in that moment I was just another broken individual ripping a bet slip into several pieces and singing the derelict’s anthem of “What if…”
Then along came fantasygrudge.com.
Fantasy Grudge is a site that enables you to bet on surfing. With an American bank account. On American Internet. Legally. It’s legal because you don’t bet against the house, you bet against other people — either friends or strangers. At first I thought it was too good to be true, like dating a model before she expresses her rampant insecurities via general acts of bitchiness and infidelity. And then I signed up. And then I made money.
I made my money by betting on J-Bay. More specifically, by picking a three-man team of surfers that was better than some other asshole’s three-man team of surfers during Round 4 at J-Bay. A little beam of light from Degenerate Heaven shined directly upon my face. And once again, I began humming the anthem of “What if…”
What if I keep playing? It’s all but physically impossible that I lose at all, ever. What if I invest my life savings and all of my assets? ($247.53 in a Wells Fargo savings account, some leftover Thai food and the entire Police Academy collection on DVD.) I’ve never been what one might call “financially savvy” or “an economist” or “emotionally stable” but guess what? I have a calculator, I can do math. And according to my number-crunching, I’ll have $7,500 by the end of the Billabong Pro Teahupo’o.
And after that? Without disclosing too much, I’ll just say that I plan on buying a boat by December. Thanks, Fantasy Grudge. —Brendan Buckley
PS: Here are some pictures of boats that I might buy.
That net included? Photo: Shannon Marie Quirk
She can stay, probably need a first mate. Photo: Brent Bielmann
Could probably trade my half-thing of Pad Thai for this piece of shit. Photo: Darren Muschett
This one too. Photo: Alan Van Gysen
I’m willing to pay for quality. Photo: Jimmicane
I’ll buy every last one of them. Photo: Brent Bielmann
Get it? Or no? Photo: Sean Benik
You, off my boat. Photo: Jimmicane
Need a ship with maneuverability, that’s yachting baby. Photo: Duncan Macfarlane
The fuck are you guys doing on my boat? Photo: Jimmicane