Sentinels Of Hindrance
So, dear reader, with a clever click you have stumbled upon this document which details the folly and foibles of frolicking fools! Read on then be gone, I say, lest ye follow and wallow in the wake of wetlook misfortune!
Imagine, if you will, a surfside scene of bucolic splendor, a blissful strand of tree-lined shores. Envision water and sky so blue as to make postcards envious. Such is my world.
As keeper and guardian of said paradise, I am but a wary watchman who has witnessed one too many wayfaring “wetlookers” disturbing the peace. With their rampant splashing and cameras flashing, these self-absorbed pixel pirates a penance must pay!
Coolwetdude and Sunboyfun, two perennial perpetrators in particular, have given new meaning to the word “persistent”. Indeed, thwarting the aquatic antics of these repeat offenders required special tactics. Drawing upon various sinister resources of this seemingly tranquil lagoon, I made haste in casting a spell over our trespassers. It would be a spell which, in due course, would have them heeding the laws of the land – laws decried by none other than Murphy himself!
Yes, a creed we’d need to impede their deeds. Seaside sabotage, subtle and slick: just the thing to do the trick. Once my plan was formulated, I felt it appropriate to rechristen this realm under a new name. And so I say to you, Coolwetdude, Sunboyfun and all who follow in your soggy footsteps: Welcome to Cantankerous Cove!
The spell would unfold in time-released stages, causing constant consternation with each visit hence. My well-orchestrated myriad of mishaps would finally make Coolwetdude lose his cool, and render Sunboy far from fun.
To conquer thine enemies, one first must know them. So I watched, time and again, the same dunking, rising, wading and high-fiving. Shutters snapped, lenses lurched, recording for posterity events which hardly seem groundbreaking to this bird’s eye. Humans in water, what a concept!
Meet Coolwetdude, a congenial Canadian with a penchant for loud shirts, matched only by his even louder victory cries upon snapping a successful photo. He swims with the fishes yet heads south like a bird to visit his soggy subject of overexposure: Sunboyfun. Ah, Sunboyfun, the waterlogged waif with a smile so incessant, one would think every day was Saturday! This wannabe “Ken-Doll-on-a-rock” looks better suited to modeling backyard furniture. It was my mission to see to it that these two losers in Levis leave us alone!
The Spell began its first stage in June, 2003, during one of CWD’s first joint photo shoots with Sunboyfun. It seems SBF could have used a little more SPF in his suntan lotion, but I digress. Allowing the pair to get their feet wet and hopes up, I waited until they had a few dozen prized pics in the pan before I summoned the troops. A ragtag team of horseshoe crabs covertly converged on Coolwetdude. Curious by nature, they probed his feet, sneaking past sneakers, bent on deceit. SBF was no stranger to such crustaceans but to Coolwetdude, the foreign objects made the foreigner dance with disconcertment. A blue Frisbee the pair used as a prop in their pics then “mysteriously disappeared”. ‘twas current and crab which carried away the cobalt contraption and rendered dismay. To add to this sudden wave of confusion, a flick of a tail sent their tripod a-toppling. Without so much as a chance to yell, “Timber!” the camera was finished, the pair less than limber! Indeed, high tide made for low spirits that day. Alas, the memory card survived but the camera was but a memory. Round one was done!
Undeterred, with lessons unlearned, Coolwetdude and Sunboyfun returned again to try their luck the following year. This time, their futile mission included a ridiculous mix of costume and accessories. Coolwetdude, festooned with cowboy hat, tight jeans and boots, was to appear in pictures under the moniker of “Swim McGraw”. To add authenticity to his “Country Crooner from the Black Lagooner” image, he also carried along a guitar in a large black case.
The fact his guitar case was black proved instrumental in undermining the session. The rays of the summer sun were absorbed by the case’s dark surface, causing it to heat up. Consequently, I was aware that such a condition could attract a population of pesky black flies, indigenous to this area. It wouldn’t take long to put the word out to my winged friends and have them swarm in the sauna of the bumpkin’s black case. As the flies darted like sinister satellites, “McGraw” sang a tune of despair. He dipped and weaved in an effort to out maneuver his biting foes. The result was a hilarious line-dance the likes of which would make this “Suburban Cowboy” the stuff of urban legend! It certainly drew cackles from the Grand Ole Osprey perched high above the action. Sunboyfun fretted as the guitarist grumbled, and it was clear that this photo shoot had gotten off to an Achy, Breaky Start! Indeed, the flies in the ointment certainly put a flaw in the slaw of “Swim McGraw”.
Sunboyfun did not go unscathed as he bathed. Due to his unfortunate status as a local to these parts, his trespassing was far more frequent. One could almost set a sundial by his “star appearances”. I carried out the dunking of each and every camera he has lost, yet still he shows up again and again. Well, no man’s an island in no-man’s land, and so it was that I utilized the subtle art of intrusion. By strategically populating this pop tart’s favorite photographic haunts with sundry gawkers and onlookers, the sheer frustration would cause the flea to flee!
Yes, at each vista in which SBF set up shop, one or more of my merry mirages manifested themselves: a fisherman here, a cyclist there, a family picnic or lovers’ affair.
Like pillars they’d stand and ruin each shot, with Sunboyfun’s collar exceedingly hot. Sentinels of Hindrance - and hinder they would, ‘til Sunboy surrendered and vanished for good!
Of course, all of the bumbling, clumsy “accidents” caused rancor and strife for the generally jovial CWD. His brow creased with furrows, his face wore a frown, a sign that frustration was bringing him down. When stressful conditions arose, his concentration diminished and camera-related mistakes naturally followed. I often needed to do nothing more than sit back and enjoy the show: a misfired flash, poor focus, cropping off heads like Marie Antoinette. Sunboyfun would console, cajole or let his eyeballs roll, as impatience grew to maximum levels.
I was so inspired by Coolwetdude’s own cantankerous reaction to problems, that I had his likeness etched in the stone of a nearby boulder. Like the victim of some Montreal Medusa, his anguished scowl is preserved for eternity. It serves as a constant reminder of consequence to those who dare tread upon these shores.
To my chagrin, the incorrigible spirits of Coolwetdude and Sunboyfun have seen them ignoring the warnings of their own malevolent monument. Indeed, the denim-clad denizens have continued to forge on with their wetlook whims to this day. By sheer luck, they manage to rescue a few renegade photos from each mission to present to you here. Mark my words, dear reader: I will be watching and waiting; ready to wield whatever it takes to keep wetlook away from Cantankerous Cove!