Sunday, August 26, 2012

Don't laugh, your daughter might be in here.

If you're a dude then you built forts. For me, it started with pulling the cushions off of the couch, stacking them up into walls and a roof and crawling inside. Refrigerator boxes were great too. You could cut some holes into them, windows with flaps and doors- instant fort. 

When I started surfing, I went for the old VW split window. These things were the original surf van, bed in the back, cot above the drivers seat. Basically, a rolling fort. I had one of those until I was twenty five years old. Boy, did that thing piss off my girl friend's dad. He was pretty well heeled- I was a nobody UCSB grad with just enough brown in me to piss him off real good, which is exactly what she wanted out of the deal. When I'd come rolling up in that primered gray cargo van, his systolic bump was like hitting the hot button on a Titan booster- next stop was the moon. I'd slide my foot off the brake pedal (remember how it would go thunk against the floor boards?), give the gear box the ol' second to first synchromesh assist and haul ass out of there before his martini-soaked frontal lobe got warmed up enough to really f#%& me up. 

Tools of the trade: Quart of rum, couple of boards, a beat hibachi, flannel double sleeping bag, some paddles... what else do you really need?

My latest creation is the Ramble Machine, it's a little more reliable and a bit more capable then the VW but at heart it's all fort. On the day I bought it, I proved my eighth grade math teacher wasn't a liar; finally getting my chance to use geometry in everyday life. The Pythagorean theorem verified that a 9'3 stando would indeed fit diagonally in the bed, allowing me to store it securely within the camper shell I planned to install. To you it may look like another dirty 4x4 but under that shell I've got all the necessary accoutrement of a full-blown Baja expedition vehicle.

I get lots of head shaking and coy smiles when those my age see what I've got going on in the back, "Aren't you a little bit old for sleeping in back of your truck?" they say.  I'm okay with their little chuckles- just don't laugh too hard, because like my girlfriend's dad from so long ago, you just never know who might be laying a pretty little head on the pillow of the bed that I've so cleverly crafted. Chicks dig forts.

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