Erik Logan Visits Toonalook

Ding Alley
Ding Alley

SPECIAL REPORT: World Surf League top banana Erik ‘ELO’ Logan has been secretly embedded in the humble surf village of Toonalook for the last week, Ding Alley has learnt today.

While it’s unclear how Mr Logan managed to circumvent current international travel restrictions, it’s believed the purpose of his visit – scouting vital content for the WSL Studios’ many and varied series of productions – has qualified him for exemption under the Humanitarian Services Act. 

Regretfully, the Toonalook mission appears to have been in vain, with the only storylines of note generated during evening role-play workshops conducted in Mr Logan’s suite at the Toona Gardens Budget Motel.

For readers not familiar with the WSL’s agenda, professional surfing’s governing body, unfulfilled by merely running contests, set itself the task of ‘owning’ as much of surfing’s cultural and storytelling space as possible. It’s worth bearing in mind that this plan was activated well before COVID-19 put the brakes on international competition,

Those who’ve tuned in to the WSL’s free-to-view, technically-brilliant competition webcasts over recent years have doubtless seen promotions for several WSL-produced programmes aiming to cover surfing’s spectrum beyond the competitive arena. Here are just a few: 

‘Brilliant Corners’ visits rarely-seen coastlines and communities such as PNG, Madagascar and India, and contains uplifting scenes of Caucasian visitors high-fiving local youngsters – eyes wide with excitement, and in some cases, malnourishment. 

‘Unboxing things with Koa Smith.’ A series dedicated to the unwrapping of shiny new products and conceived, presumably, as perfect counterpoint to ‘Brilliant Corners’. One episode is synopsized on the WSL site thus: “Koa Smith opens up, rides, and almost lands a backflip on a fresh Hubboards boogie board that basically breaks the Shaka Scale. He then catches and releases a pesky backyard rat with a new humane trap.”

‘Transformed.’ Tales of the intensely healing power of surfing: where the more wartorn / minoritised / bleak the setting, the better to demonstrate the magical elixir of waveriding.

Such productions that capture surfing’s nuance are in constant need of replenishing, hence Mr Logan’s undercover sojourn to the sleepy East Coast hamlet. 

As this internal WSL memo reads: “The archetypal surf town of Toonalook, with its rich cast of surfing characters, is sure to provide compelling material for several of our WSL Studios series.”

To Ding Alley’s understanding, Mr Logan’s efforts to source tales of salty authenticity have been thwarted at every instance, with surfing seeming to occupy a distinctly unremarkable place in Toona’s social fabric.

“Yeah, that Seppo caaarrnt with the teeth hit me up last Tuesday,” notorious local enforcer Barry Cornell told Ding Alley. “Asked me if I knew of any Down Syndrome kids nearby who’d be up for a surf lesson with a Pommy longboarder, or if there were any reffos in the area he could get the Gudaskas brothers to run a second-hand board-drive for.” 

“Told the Caaarrnt to Fark Orf back to Disney-Farken-Land, Farken Seppo Caaarrnt.” 

Josh Cassidy, local electrician, found himself in conversation with the Santa Monica creative powerhouse while attending a callout to Toona Gardens Budget Motel. 

Noticing Cassidy’s canine companion ‘Nugget’ barking genially from the Hilux tray, Logan enquired how often Toonalook’s dog owners strapped their pets into life vests, paddled them out on longboards and posted clips on Instagram of their hounds “enjoying the glide”. 

“I told ‘im, nah mate, dogs here just hang out, eat and chase each other 'round, ya know, do what dogs do… But it’s like he didn’t hear me, just started bangin’ on about how if ya can strap a pair of sunnies on ya dog surfing ya get heaps more shares and likes or whatever. 

“That’s when he tried to whack his sunnies on Nug’s noggin.

“Deadset mate, I’ve never seen Nug seriously go someone like that hey.”

Wherever the architect of surfing’s global narrative has turned, Toonalook’s surfing populace has provided nothing but disappointment.

The area’s female surfers, for instance, insist on wearing wetsuits and turning their boards, thus breaking every rule in the WSL’s social media rulebook, where lithe cross-steppers wearing as little as possible on tiny runners garner pervy eyeballs while still ticking the #empowerment box.

To compound matters, surfers of both sexes and all ages have been observed regularly picking up plastic off the tideline and placing it in carpark bins without being compelled to first instagram a mandala of the detritus whilst bleating about awareness and ‘being the change’. 

“What kind of madness is this?” Mr Logan was heard wondering aloud, “I’ve got a roster of surfers who’ll fly thousands of miles to make a plastic mandala on a beach in Bali and raise awareness about our fragile planet.”

And though it cannot be confirmed, anecdotal reports have Mr Logan co-operating with local law enforcement after approaching young surfers outside ToonaPies Bakery and asking to film them unboxing some prototype WSL surf-action figurines. 

Mr Logan’s hopes for a ‘Transformed’ episode were raised one morning witnessing several of Toona’s Koorie contingent tearing a backbeach bank, but when approached on exiting the water, charismatic Koorie spokesperson Jarrah Day sighed, smiled wearily, and said, “Yeah… Nah mate …”

Perhaps the only ray of light was found in a brief carpark exchange with area realtor Matty Sherman, where a common history of relentless self-improvement, penchant for dental veneers, and the core strength brought about by SUP paddling was candidly shared.

A leaked email reporting back to WSL headquarters from Mr Logan indicates the level of his frustration. 

“Toonalook adds no content of value to the WSL’s representation of surfing. Though the men, women, girls and boys of this area appear to enjoy their surfing very much, I have seen no evidence of it empowering anyone to ‘find their voice by speaking truth to power’. No-one unboxes products to camera and young surfers of all races and creeds appear indifferent to my high-fiving overtures. 

“I fear we must abandon Toonalook as a lost cause: Surfing plays a large role in many lives here, yet no-one feels the need to convert it into any useful currency. 

“‘Content’ here appears to be an adjective, rather than a noun, and as such is useless for our purposes.”

In an interesting late development, however, local soul surfer Shane Reid reports seeing Mr Logan late yesterday afternoon with a freshly purchased 6’2” Toonastix shooter under one arm, carton of Toona Ale longnecks under the other, swag and supplies strapped to his back, determinedly marching in the direction of the National Park’s deserted stretch of beaches. 

This latest confirmed sighting of Toonalook’s illustrious visitor suggests his quest for Content may still be in progress.

“Sold him an ounce of bush buds, by the way,” smiled Shane.

// DING ALLEY

Ding Alley is Illustrator David @maccatoons McArthur and aspiring writerer Gra Murdoch. This article is looooong enough already, so no longwinded reminisces this time round!

Comments

rrr's picture
rrr's picture
rrr commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 10:41am

ahhhh..... so good !
barry cornell tells it how he see's it . classic

Galsurf's picture
Galsurf's picture
Galsurf commented Tuesday, 30 Jun 2020 at 10:50am

to borrow and butcher a good line from Bruce Springsteen's seminal .Born To Run ,
"the surfers down here don't post nuthin' at all they just surf, and let it all BE!"

Grayme Galbraith

neville-beats-buddha's picture
neville-beats-buddha's picture
neville-beats-buddha commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 11:07am

Clearly Toonalookers are doing it all wrong.

Al Wiese's picture
Al Wiese's picture
Al Wiese commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 11:11am

Gold but sadly incorrect,
He's here scouting sites for an AFL hub style conclusion to the WSL season.
Other contenders the Tulula Tub and Adelaide Oval?
Just as well bazza never twigged.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 11:28am

I love you Ding Alley

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 11:29am

Thanks very much , guys.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 11:37am

“Deadset mate, I’ve never seen Nug seriously go someone like that hey.”

Haha! Brilliant. Cheers!

Crystal Clear

Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 12:26pm

Beauty mate.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 12:45pm

"The area’s female surfers, for instance, insist on wearing wetsuits and turning their boards..."

So good.

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 12:54pm

Best yet

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 1:07pm

Fantastic. I think Paleo Pete should visit Toonalook soon to spruik his wares

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 2:58pm

haha. Ripper!

Tooold2bakook's picture
Tooold2bakook's picture
Tooold2bakook commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 4:29pm

Best yet! Cheers guys

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 6:07pm

No mention of an "Acai Bowl" anywhere in Toonalook either ? and I thought I was the only one that thought Koa Smith was a utter total wanker (guy can tuberide but jeeze shut up "dude"-please)
Thanks Ding Alley, this might be the best work to date IMO

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 6:05pm

Best one yet I reckon.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 6:24pm

Yes please - chuckled along to that ... tops

gill69's picture
gill69's picture
gill69 commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 7:08pm

Brilliant. Living in a small surf town, I'm constantly matching these characters to real people here. We have two Barry Cornells, and a Matty Sherman. Wonder if Toona has any foil boarding SUP idiots? Faaarken hope not!

Qld1973's picture
Qld1973's picture
Qld1973 commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 8:07pm

What breed dog is Nugget? I'm a sparky with a hilux and my kelpie needs to know!

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 8:13pm
Boda's picture
Boda's picture
Boda commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 9:18pm

Best one yet.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 9:33pm

The wozzle abandoning Toonalook haha ,, they'll be back. "salty authenticity" be damned . Elo was just scouting locations for the VIP areas

servant's picture
servant's picture
servant commented Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 10:19pm

Excellent again boys. So relatable. Thank you for another good laugh.
FYI: ELO is actually a recent "drinker of the Cool-Ade", ie seduced by "the dark side", yep, a SUP paddler! (note: I intentionally did not write SUP surfer, because that is an oxymoron)
Say no more!
Is Toonalook inundated with the scourge of the SUP subset too!?
Have I got some recent ripper stories if you're interested, that are hilarious encounters, but would make any experienced surfer's hair stand on end, with these, (as politely as I can muster), vast majority, clowns.

gsco's picture
gsco's picture
gsco commented Saturday, 27 Jun 2020 at 7:04am

yep best one yet, sums it up perfectly.

bellavista's picture
bellavista's picture
bellavista commented Saturday, 27 Jun 2020 at 9:29am

Jarrah Day completely captures my feeling towards WSL . Yeah ...... Nah !

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 27 Jun 2020 at 10:08am

"eyes wide with excitement, and in some cases, malnourishment."

Almost spat my coffee out. Cruel but funny.

1173

dwc's picture
dwc's picture
dwc commented Saturday, 27 Jun 2020 at 12:18pm

Absolutely hilarious! Best one yet.
Harsh, yet quite a fair piss-take on WSL.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Saturday, 27 Jun 2020 at 12:29pm

Hit it over the fence again, fellas.

Fonzie's picture
Fonzie's picture
Fonzie commented Saturday, 27 Jun 2020 at 8:34pm

So good, nailed it once again.

Wilbur Kookmeyer's alter ego.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac commented Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 8:11am

Absolute classic!!!!

Botak

Finntim's picture
Finntim's picture
Finntim commented Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 1:25pm

+1 Zen, this had me reaching for the sponge. So good!

Chris Tacke's picture
Chris Tacke's picture
Chris Tacke commented Monday, 29 Jun 2020 at 8:14am

laughed till l cried have to agree gotta be the best one and its such a high standard of writing to beat

gsco's picture
gsco's picture
gsco commented Monday, 29 Jun 2020 at 8:47am

The WSL is slowly morphing into an AI bot that just spams idyllic So Cal insta lifestyles reflecting 0.01% of and ultimately divorcing itself from the global surfing population, with the final effect of losing its core surfer market and causing depression, anxiety, jealousy and insecurity in ordinary people.

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Tuesday, 30 Jun 2020 at 9:29am

Thanks for highlighting the pro-surfing phenomena as a concept entirely devoid of a sense of irony.....or humour. I am so glad the women's surfing attire got a mention. I was beginning to wonder if it was just me. I have been struggling to understand the purpose of the obligatory 'almost g-string' that the women in all those freesurfing/longboarding clips are obliged? coerced? choose? to wear.

in the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes

christopher.jones's picture
christopher.jones's picture
christopher.jones commented Monday, 29 Jun 2020 at 12:10pm

Very good.

Old Gregg's picture
Old Gregg's picture
Old Gregg commented Tuesday, 30 Jun 2020 at 9:02am

“where a common history of relentless self-improvement, penchant for dental veneers, and the core strength brought about by SUP paddling was candidly shared.”
... what a pearler

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Tuesday, 30 Jun 2020 at 1:56pm

Nice article and good “Content”. Putting two and two together Gra, Only know one Ding alley which I grew up surfing, and one Gra that might match...Looks like that ounce could get some help from Larry Lungfucker if Larry is still alive.

Barrelrider

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Tuesday, 30 Jun 2020 at 6:06pm

Oh God. Larry Lungfucker! What naughty youngsters we were! (Jesus, can't believe we texta'd everyone's names down the stem of that beast) ... sling us an email gramurdochis(at)outlook.com if ya wanna! cheers!

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Tuesday, 30 Jun 2020 at 7:18pm

Great stuff...

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Wednesday, 1 Jul 2020 at 8:40am

I'm gaining quite an affection for the village and townsfolk of Toonalook.

Ha. Spellcheck changes Toonalook to Too aloof!

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Wednesday, 1 Jul 2020 at 5:45pm

Bit of a cheap shot at EL, What happened to pseudonyms, Gra?

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Wednesday, 1 Jul 2020 at 7:12pm

I think a pseudonym would be futile mate, it would obviously be the head cheese of the Woz, thinly veiled. And as opposed to the everyman / archetype, this chap wields enormous personal power over significant elements of something I cherish, so I'm perfectly comfortable with holding him up to the scrutiny of satire. Cheers.

Johan Wohlleben's picture
Johan Wohlleben's picture
Johan Wohlleben commented Wednesday, 1 Jul 2020 at 11:54pm

Oh my, third read and it just gets funnier. Supreme pisstake!!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 7:50am

Yep, the more you read the better it gets! And that cartoon, haha!

Tabby10's picture
Tabby10's picture
Tabby10 commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 2:46pm

Top shelf piss take

Tabby10's picture
Tabby10's picture
Tabby10 commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 2:51pm

“He then catches and releases a pesky backyard rat with a new humane trap” hahaha classic

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 8:44pm

Thank you for telling the truth, I thought I was the only one that felt that way. Love your work guys, Look forward to reading your stuff every time. Piss funny

views from the cockpit's picture
views from the cockpit's picture
views from the ... commented Tuesday, 7 Jul 2020 at 5:44pm

Just catching up.
Belly laughs all along. Poignant piss takes everywhere.
Thanks heaps fellas!