Absence of Malice

Rob Gilley, circa a really long time ago. Clearly not one to discriminate against the surfboard's spongey stepbrother.

Rob Gilley

Previously in denial about his photographic past, Rob Gilley now rummages through his trove of mediocrity.

A funny thing happened at the airport the other night. A random guy walked right by me and said:

"Don't be hatin' on body boarding."

This was impressive on a variety of levels, not the least of which was its KGB Cold War stealth—the guy didn't even look at me when he said it. He just delivered his statement near my ear with a half-smile looking straight ahead, and kept on walking. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had also slipped me a folded newspaper with a coded message that said, "It's snowing in St. Petersburg."

Another impressive facet to this occurrence was that the guy apparently recognized me and I didn't recognize him. The surf world is relatively small, so this means that the guy probably matched me to my black and white profile photo on the page you are currently looking at, which is a bit flattering and a bit scary at the same time.

I'm guessing—no, hoping—that this secret agent saw an opportunity to deliver a lighthearted retort to “On Your Knees,” and completed his mission with aplomb. In the event of an alternate scenario, however, it might be prudent clarify things.

On Your Knees” was a nostalgic essay about kneeboarding which used body boarding as literary ballast. As tongue-in-cheek counterweight. For example, this blog included the following sentence:

And nothing, absolutely nothing, can make you miss kneeboarders more than a pack of boogers kicking straight for you.

The joking nature of this sentence, and the entire blog in general, is hopefully self-evident. But in case it isn't, let me be clear: I do not hate body boarders. Some of my good friends are spongers, or ex-spongers. My son is a sponger. And, as you can see from the above photo, I'm a body boarder myself, or at least someone who appreciates using one.

In retrospect, however, I now realize that some people might associate hate with the term "booger," so from now on I will call it the "the b-word."

The serious truth is that other body boarders (and stand-up paddlers, for that matter) may occasionally bother the crap out of me, but I certainly do not hate them.

No, like many people, I think hatred should be eliminated from planet Earth, or, at the very least, be reserved for the most vile of things. For example, I can barely think of anything I truly hate. The only things that come to mind are: Mosquitos, child molesters, corporate greed, back hair, freeway tailgaters, root canals, ball rash, Keanu Reeve's acting, bad coffee, exorbitant board bag fees, fear-mongering talk show hosts, cloth seats, thieves, strep throat, moral bankruptcy, unexpected white heads, in-flight turbulence, pushy car salesmen, hypocritical dogma, Styrofoam peanuts, hidden bank surcharges, the smell of vomit, Donald Trump's comb over, Brussels sprouts, Lycra-clad road barneys, Adolf Hitler, spousal abuse, gratuitous Facebook back-patting, elitism, stepping in dog feces, Wall Street malfeasance, vapid reality shows, rape, globs of ink at the end of a ball point pen, and the New York Yankees.

That's it. Off the top of my head, those are the only things I can think of.

So the next time you read one of my blogs, please know that I harbor no malice for anything to do with surfing, that the title of this column is Waxing Gaseously, and that I'm certainly no hater.