Surfer Presumed Dead, Returns Alive And Well

Ding Alley
Swellnet Dispatch

WEDNESDAY LUNCHTIME – Local electrician Josh Cassidy has been found safe and in good health, with the 36-year-old miraculously stepping back out of a mysterious other-world to rejoin the land of the living, his dog told all within earshot on the beach yesterday.

‘Nugget’, a four-year-old Border Collie Kelpie Cross – who’d all but given up hope of seeing his master alive again – greeted Cassidy at the water's edge, breathlessly and loudly exclaiming “you’re back you’re back you’re back for the love of God don’t ever put me through that again I’ve been beside myself but who am I kidding I can’t be angry at you oh god I thought I'd never see you again,” and wagging his tail vigorously.

The ordeal began mid-morning, with Cassidy inviting Nugget to join him in the cabin of his Hilux to scout for waves. Having secured Job Keeper and Bushfire relief payments (despite Toonalook being completely spared over summer), Cassidy, like the rest of Toonalook’s surfing population, has been taking a sensibly relaxed approach to his work, and enjoying languid beachbreak sessions, as the coast’s achingly beautiful Autumn continues. With a surplus of sand on the beachies north and south of Toona, the options have been many for Cassidy and his peers.

After a number of brief stops to view the ocean, the pair settled on an undisclosed rebound wedge, whereupon Nugget’s hopes for a companionable romp on the foreshore – perhaps an endless fetch-and-throw exchange involving a manky tennis ball – were dashed as they reached the sand, with Cassidy issuing stern instructions to “Stay here and mind the towel.”

According to onlookers, Nugget initially disobeyed the wishes of his master and accompanied him to the water's edge, imploring him not to leave.

“From the get-go I had a bad feeling about this. As a canine my sense of specific recall isn’t super sharp, but there was a horrible sense of deja-vu about the whole damn thing.” says Nugget.

“And I didn't like it one bit. No sir.

“You have to understand, this man’s a God to me – my primary source of food, of joy, scratches behind the ear, ball throwing – and here he was, inexplicably wading out into this mysterious and threatening other-world that I could not follow him into.

“I did my best to stay with him. Lord knows I tried. But the further I ventured the more my paws lost traction. Like I was running in outer space or something. It was weird, cold and foreign. I had to turn back, and pray my Beloved would do likewise.”

Onlookers report an increasingly agitated Nugget pacing the water's edge, calling out in vain to the fast-vanishing Deity, before returning to the towel.

“Maybe the worst thing about it is any scent trail allowing you to keep tabs on your One-And-Only just vanishes at the edge between these two worlds.” recalls Nugget.

“For all intents and purposes, the Light Of My Life was effectively extinguished.”

Thus began Nugget’s torturous 40 minute vigil – an interminable five hours in dog time – where the bereft hound’s mood swung from stoic optimism to an existential floppy-eared melancholy that not even the allure of a passing-by Labrador’s anus could soothe.

“Sure, I checked it out – I believed my Lord And Master would have wanted me to get on with life as best I could – but I was just going through the motions as I jammed my nose into that Lab’s arse.”

“When you lose interest in what’s usually a source of erotically-charged wonder you know things are grim, but you have to keep going.”

And as anxiety gave way to crushing grief, it was all Nugget could do to maintain the most rudimentary self-care protocol of licking his balls.

In the cruellest of developments, Nugget fell victim to numerous heartless pranks as several other figures approximating Cassidy’s form emerged from the blue beyond – only revealing themselves to be Lesser Humans on closer inspection.

“Bastard bastard bastard bastard bastard,” Nugget was heard to exclaim to every perpetrator of these false alarms.

Indeed, witnesses report that it was with cautious suspicion that a heartbroken and wary Nugget approached the emerging figure of Cassidy – who after getting a nice little coverup decided it was probably time to come in and take care of that cashy job at Cornell’s joint.

“I thought, here we go again, another prick pretending to be my Personal Jesus and break my heart into a million pieces... but as he got closer and called out ‘ya crazy boofhead mongrel’ I knew that life was once again worth living, The Chosen One was safe and I was the happiest dog in all of creation.”

With emotions running high, a brief bout of recrimination and sulking ensued when Nugget refused to get in the Hilux, and had to be lifted up into the back seat.

“I just wanted to be held,” he later confessed.

Cassidy and Nugget returned to their Toona Waters home by lunch, to be greeted by Cassidy’s partner’s Burmese cat, who reportedly yawned “Damn, I was hoping you fuckwits had drowned.”

As we file this dispatch, Nugget is sitting in the kitchen, anxiously shifting his weight from left paw to right, watching his master throw down some toast and desperately hoping for some benevolent crusts, as he’s absolutely certain there’s no way known he can make it through to dinner time. 

// DING ALLEY

Ding Alley is two mates, Artist David McArthur and Bullshit Artist Gra Murdoch. Back in the early 90s they held court at the opposite ends of the Old Burleigh Theatre Arcade: Murdoch designing ASL mag at one end and Macca running the bar at the glorious Montezumas Mexican Restaurant at the other. Macca would occasionally illustrate an ASL article, and Murdoch would regularly scrounge sneaky bourbons and San Antone nachos.

Comments

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 2:54pm

This series is the best. Keep 'em coming!

He who hesitates is lost

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 4:03pm

Not as good as the last one about the hipster guy getting smoked, but still top drawer stuff. Spuddups rating: 7/10.

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 4:53pm

Each to their own, this one had me in tears. Was walking the dog as I read it, laugh out loud. Keep it up guys.

Hoodie's picture
Hoodie's picture
Hoodie commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 4:57pm

You've done it again. Classic

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 5:18pm

You got a dog, Spud?

The beauty of this one might be in the eye of the beholder.

10/10 from me, and Maxy Walker gives it 10/10 too.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 13 May 2020 at 6:15am

Ha ha! Well spotted Stu. I must confess I have a cat. Okay then, I am going to cave in to popular pressure and raise the Spuddups rating to 8/10. Gotta leave some room on the scale though. He might come up with something akin to the complete works of Shakespeare, which would obviously merit a 9/10.

Timmy5656's picture
Timmy5656's picture
Timmy5656 commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 5:21pm

Yeah 10 out of 10 for me

barrytheblade's picture
barrytheblade's picture
barrytheblade commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 5:32pm

Pure gold!

Doogs's picture
Doogs's picture
Doogs commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 6:12pm

Gra - perhaps you could have consulted me before naming the faithful pooch Nugget. As if these Covid days aren’t tough enough without you reminding of the most loyal dog that ever sat by my towel...

At least Macca changed his markings...

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 6:31pm

Apologies Doogs, but when you're a National Treasure like Nug was mate, you're part of the public domain. Plus Macca as part custodian gave implicit approval. And what is this about Covid days being tough? Last we spoke you were waves-for-days euphoric about lockdown in your patch of Southern Ocean ya Caaarrnt.

Doogs's picture
Doogs's picture
Doogs commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 6:59pm

you are of course, as always, correct.
reckon we might go and get ourselves a covid mutt.
feels strange not having a dog around...

Sacdog1's picture
Sacdog1's picture
Sacdog1 commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 6:29pm

Thanks

PebblyPete

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 7:18pm

Good read, again. Had a few good chuckles.

Dogs, the next best thing to being a dolphin I reckon.

I'd like to think that Nugget would have a few more nuggets to share.

teanorris's picture
teanorris's picture
teanorris commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 7:31pm

Quite funny, yes...

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Tuesday, 12 May 2020 at 9:40pm

Gold! Laughed out loud.

MartinNow's picture
MartinNow's picture
MartinNow commented Wednesday, 13 May 2020 at 7:02am

I miss my old bluey, Bob, so much. He would run flat out at every surfer who left the water to check if it was me, only to turn away at the last second when it wasn't. The leaving surfer would be left trying to cover up their embarrassment at shitting themselves that they were about to be attacked. But Bob also knew well how to wait and would otherwise just sleep under the Bommodore. RIP Bob and Doog's Nugget.

MartinNow

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Wednesday, 13 May 2020 at 7:24am

That was cool. I especially liked the cat.

in the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha commented Wednesday, 13 May 2020 at 7:48am

That was just beautiful, thank you

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Wednesday, 13 May 2020 at 8:21am

burst out laughing when he stuck his nose up the labs arce
good read, keep it up boys

oldgreg's picture
oldgreg's picture
oldgreg commented Wednesday, 13 May 2020 at 9:56am

That’s my dog , breed age spot on . Gold

Tooold2bakook's picture
Tooold2bakook's picture
Tooold2bakook commented Wednesday, 13 May 2020 at 10:09am

Loved it! Thanks

mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine commented Thursday, 14 May 2020 at 8:13am

Owner: Dog, I have something terrible to tell you... I killed someone.
Dog: I love you unconditionally and i will forgive you.

Owner: Cat, I have something terrible to tell you... I killed someone.
Cat: Me too!!

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Thursday, 14 May 2020 at 10:01am

Awesome, my dog used to sit on the end of the breakwall and howl as I paddled off into the blinding sunrise for the early.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Thursday, 14 May 2020 at 11:23am

You gotta love ya mutt to really enjoy this one!!

Allargo's picture
Allargo's picture
Allargo commented Thursday, 14 May 2020 at 11:32am

Love this story, so true and rings a bell with every surfer who has a pup! I had to go in once when I found my border collie had swam out, following me,
and was nearly out in the line up. I took her in on the board, kind of scared for her and laughing, despite myself, at the same time!

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Thursday, 14 May 2020 at 12:20pm

“With emotions running high, a brief bout of recrimination and sulking ensued when Nugget refused to get in the Hilux, and had to be lifted up into the back seat.

“I just wanted to be held,” he later confessed.”

Classic!

walter-r-white's picture
walter-r-white's picture
walter-r-white commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 8:26am

Ha classic. I can't leave my dog on the beach. She's a staffy so aside from being likely to get stolen, she'd probably die from the anxiety (or shack up with the first passersby to give her attention).

Don't take me too seriously.

jez's picture
jez's picture
jez commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 10:21am

had me in stitches.... Great stuff

Jezdawg

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 7:27pm

I only just got to this, cracking good fun. We have two dogs and four cats and my childhood pet was a Border-Collie Kelpie X named Kip so super relateable.

Basically, it's a love story.

ps- Mugs, cool dog cat analogy.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.