Clark's Corner - Surf's Up

Last updated: Jun 03, 2015

It is a well-established fact that Exercise and I are not particularly good friends. I would say that we view each other with suspicion. I am not entirely sure what Exercise is really up to and frankly, I question its supposed altruistic motives. Exercise in turn views me as belligerent and unsatisfactorily soft in the middle. Unfortunately for me TLJ (The Lovely Jacs) and my girls think Exercise is brilliant. In my mind this is a strong argument for the superiority of male thinking. According to TLJ I am a misogynist (I think they make furniture) and I am belligerent and unsatisfactorily soft in the middle.

The other day she turned to me and said "Muffin Top!".

I replied "Yes please!", enthusiastically thinking I actually was going to get the top part of a muffin, which really is the best part of the muffin. I was handed nothing delicious and instead TLJ persisted with her mantra of "muffin top!" while pointing at my midriff. I had to Google it afterwards. Have you seen the pictures that come up on Google if you search muffin top!? Don't do it. Its enough to put you off muffins for life. I am most certainly not a muffin top.

Anyway, that's how my girls got me into the water. They convinced me that surfing was the way to go. I would shed my alleged and still denied muffin top in no time and I would be instantly cool at the same time. And in any event how hard could it be? They taught Keanu Reeves to do it in that Point Break movie and according to HEAT magazine he isn't the shiniest spoon in the dishwasher.

So it was that I found myself squeezed into an inappropriately tight black neoprene sausage casing on Muizenberg beach. As I looked around at the other similarly encased people frequenting the beach it dawned on me that had I chosen to lie down on the beach for a brief rest I would look remarkably like a beached seal or even a very small athletic whale. This was particularly concerning to me for the simple reason that above my head was a fluttering flag with a picture of a shark on it. I was pretty sure this was not Kings Park and on closer enquiry this was confirmed (Go Stormers!) and I was told that the flag was there to let me know that conditions were such that there were probably hundreds of sharks out there waiting for me, but that the people assigned and paid to see them couldn't. On discussing this with TLJ she pointed out that I was being a giant sissy and that according to the posters at the Aquarium, toasters killed more people every year than sharks did. Well that may be the case but given the choice I think I would still rather go down in a blaze of glory fighting off my enraged toaster than as an amuse-bouche to Jaws. Going into the water cunningly disguised as Jaws' favourite meal really didn't seem like such a good idea to me. TLJ told me to suck it up and that anyway there was a siren which sounded if anyone saw a shark. When I tried to point out that the black flag above my head meant no one was going to see the shark until it was too late, she called me Muffin Top again. Jeez.

Well, the whole thing didn't go well. The board that TLJ rented for me was broken and didn't work at all. Her board was brilliant and she had these long cool rides while mine just made me look stupid. On top of that it took me ages to paddle out to where TLJ was and then when I got there she disappeared leaving me alone at the back in the deep water surrounded by millions of sharks trying to figure out what species of seal I was exactly before they ate me. Then my worst fear came true and the shark siren went off. I screamed in panic, in a note slightly higher than the siren, and paddled for my life. I think I was still paddling when I was about 10 meters up the beach and about to enter the parking lot. At this point a rather embarrassed looking teenage boy (not even my kid and he was embarrassed!) pointed out that it was a passing train hooter I had heard as it approached a crossing and not the shark siren. Why did the build the beach so close to the station anyway? Stupid trains. Stupid sharks. Stupid teenage boys. Stupid muffins.

I have been told that I will have to go back and that until I do TLJ and the girls are going to keep on calling me Muffin Top. Which I think is very unfair and also kind of makes me want another muffin.