Apr 1, 2012
New 4GF Model, "The MaSheen!"
"The future was 20 minutes ago!" Charlie shouted into his cell, his stoke nearly deafening me.
"WTF, Charles?" I mumbled through my sleep. "It's 4 AM."
"Dude! I finally figured it out!"
"Figured what out?" I yawned.
"I figured out that you've been pissing away hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on 4GF prototypes...for what? An extra 2% of top end speed on a 4 foot wave? C'mon Dude! Get real! This is the big time! Sack it up!"
It wasn't even 5AM, and Charlie had already put me over my cliche-limit for the day. I put on a pot of coffee, re-situated myself at the breakfast nook, and settled in for what was clearly going to be a long morning.
"Whattya got for me, Carlos?"
"You know that blond babe I've been dating?"
"The chick with the metallic silver skin suit and the eyes with no pupils?"
"That's the one! Phaedra!"
"You know what she told me last night? She's from the future! Her parents sent her back to our time when she was a kid, and left her on the beach to save humanity."
"I kind of doubt that, Charlie."
"I didn't believe it either...until she uncorked my wine bottle with her ear lobes!"
That particular line of reasoning wouldn't hold up in court, but he had my attention.
"Okkkayyy," I said. "So besides the ear lobe thing, what'd she turn you on to?"
"Oh man, we were watching some dumb-assed sci fi flick, and there was something about this monolith that turns up all over the universe, or some shit like that.."
"You mean 2001, A Space Odyssey?"
"How the hell should I know when it was released? All I know is that I wasn't in it, and neither was my pop. Anyway, Phaedra and I were thinking, why don't we make a mat that looks like that monolith thingee? All shiney and edgy and intimidating...like Arsenio Hall in 1992!"
The last time Charlie tried his hand at mat design, he ended up in a mental institution for two years. I wasn't going to let him go down that road again. I knew it was time to level with him.
"Look Charlie," I sighed, "you're a great mat surfer -- maybe the best ever -- but two things you can't do...one is hold your liquor, and the other is design mats."
"You don't think I can hold my liquor???" he bellowed.
I reminded him of the time he got arrested at Dodger Stadium for being drunk and disorderly after one sip of O'Doul's Amber.
"Screw you!" he screamed, as if possessed. "And screw the ho you rode in on!"
"Horse. Screw the horse you rode in on," I replied. (I don't like being didactic, but when it comes to time-honored colloquialisms, you have to draw the line somewhere.)
"Look, Dude," Charlie said, regaining his cool, "Phaedra worked out the whole monolith mat design thing for us on paper. She even used different colors and some smiley faces too. This broad's a genius!" Then he lowered his voice and whispered. "She's from the future, you know."
He forwarded an image of her new mat design to my phone, and after a quick perusal, I couldn't argue with him. The math was brilliant. This was going to blow the lid off mat design for the next 50 years!
"Okay, okay." I admitted. "This looks pretty damn good."
"Effin-A it does!" he crowed.
We spent the next few weeks driving around So Cal, consulting every charlatan, futurist and hustler Charlie knew. Materials, construction, marketing, distribution...it all had to be in place before the release of the next-gen, "Mat Of The Future." After two weeks on the road, we finally had it all together. Except for one thing...what were we going to name the new 4GF creation?
At Charlie's behest, we paid a visit to the parlor of a Malibu Psychic Reader named Rita, and asked for her guidance on that critical issue. After a minute of silence, she went into convulsions, then scrawled two words on a piece of paper.
After she came to, Rita claimed she was channeling Tim Leary. I was skeptical. The good doctor's ashes were scattered in space, and I knew that would probably screw up the whole "talking to the dead" interface thing. On the other hand, when Charlie offered her an extra 20 bucks for sex, she said, "I had a feeling you were a jerk when you walked in here." Pretty insightful on her part...so maybe she was the real deal after all.
Regardless, when I got back home, I brought "The MaSheen" into being based on Phaedra's design work. Carbon Fiber outer skin, titanium laced nylon I-beams, microchip controlled variable inflation, Argon gas filled, and an invisible air valve. Phaedra may or may not have come from the future...but she knows her stuff about surf mats.
(The MaSheen! MSPR $27,000. Available in limited numbers June, 2012...)