Newcomer Laughs Too Loudly at Local’s Joke
FRIDAY 19th JUNE, TOONALOOK POINT – Undistinguished surfer Arthur 'Arty' Cook’s campaign to secure a mid-level foothold in the dawn patrol hierarchy suffered a critical setback this morning when he laughed too boisterously at local electrician Josh Cassidy’s quip about getting caught inside.
“I’ve seen Arty surfing round here a fair bit lately, seemed like an alright enough fella, waits his turn, sometimes gets a little lost on the rock-off, but he goes alright,” said the respected 36-year-old local.
“We popped up next to each other after a wide set came through and I said, ‘If I had a dollar for every time I've been caught inside here…’
“I didn’t even get to finish what I was saying when Arty just fucking exploded in hysterics, like he’d heard the funniest thing in the world.
“Totally lost his shit, crying with laughter and slapping the water in agreement.
“We all like Arty, but something’s not quite right with that guy.”
Cook is currently recovering at home on the couch hugging an oversized pillow, eating Tim Tams and complaining to wife Stacy. “One chance and I’ve blown it. I knew I was overdoing it, I could hear myself carrying on like a fuckwit … I was telling myself to stop but … I just couldn’t.”
Experts agree that few indiscretions set a newcomer's campaign for acceptance back further than over-eagerness to laugh at a local's joke.
“Textbook craving for acceptance gone wrong, but that doesn’t make it any less tragic,” says noted Toonalook psychologist Dr Petra Mills, “the sad irony is it inevitably occurs right at the tipping point of acceptance – the newcomer is good as gold, he or she’s put in the hours, surfed the spot in all conditions, deferred to the locals’ right to the pick of the sets, and right at the very moment – often after years of subtle campaigning – when the local extends the olive branch of inclusion in the form of a joke, the newcomer blows it by laughing inappropriately loudly at an only mildly humorous comment.
“Generally speaking, almost all the respect that’s been earned evaporates into thin air.
“The newcomer has revealed his or herself to be an over-eager sycophant – the type of surfer you don’t want contaminating your boardriders clubroom, or representing core local values when it’s eight feet and draining off the ledge.
“No-one likes a kiss-arse.”
When learning the particulars of the incident, Dr Mills let out a low whistle, “That’s the textbook perfect storm right there. The Toona Point early shift’s as tough a crowd as you’ll get. I’d say it’s another 18 months before Mr Cook can expect to get any decent sets.
“In the meantime, the best thing he can do out there is keep himself to himself.
“Perhaps let this Arty fellow know I can fit him in for a consultation, we can work on some strategies.”
And when told this was the same fellow who’d stranded himself on the Toona Point jump-rock for four hours back in May, Mills recommended Cook visit his GP first to acquire a mental health care plan, as “this could take a number of sessions.”
Ding Alley is artist David @maccatoons McArthur, and writerer/designerer Gra Murdoch. In the late ‘80s, along with Coogs, Corka, Doogs, Sim & Scotty, they would play mini golf on the deck of their Burleigh rental with escalating consequences of defeat – from nominated for dishes or bottlo runs to headflushes in the less-than-spotless toilet. The default penalty for losing was being rendered immobile against the patio post and spat upon by the victors from a distance of exactly 1.7 metres. There is no pressure like lining up a critical putt when mates are audibly hoiking up goobies from the depths of their oesophagus, or racing to the fridge to sling down some milk to add texture to their phlegm.