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The Local Lot Clique


Ford Galaxie
Copyright©2006 sandiego.com, Inc.

Friends, enemies and a lot of jokes can be made from intertwining yourself into the semi-underworld alliance found in the surf spot parking lot. From here on, the surf spot parking Lot will be referred to as the “Lot.”

Like high school, every Lot has a variety of “locals only” cliques. Unlike high school, these cliques are not based on money, looks or the amount of patches you have on your varsity Letterman jacket. However, you will find it much harder to embed yourself into these cultural alliances.

One common characteristic that you find in the Lot clique: If you make a mistake they will not only notice it, but will make sure that you know it was noticed. Have you ever been in the Lot and witnessed someone dropping their surfboard? If so, you have surely heard sporadic “OOOOOOOOOOOH”s and “DEEEEEEEEEEERRRP”s. They are also typically accompanied by the traditional donkey call. This is usually followed by the slippery board victim turning red and scampering away in a Houdini fashion. I will occasionally go to a new Lot to test this theory of mine. I have yet to be let down.

There are no age limits set on association with the Lot cliques. Seemingly, the age majority hovers between 20-50 years old. This could be due to post 50-year old surfers that tend to break off and form their own, post-surf, coffee and plate lunch gatherings. However, there are a few 50+ year old “beach bums” that still hold a spot in the Lot clique. These are typically the guys with the biggest mouths and exude the loudest donkey call. Don’t be fooled by age though. This is the last guy you want to get lippy with. He holds the respect of the rest of the clique. Not just for holding on to his youth, but for supplying the underage lippy punks with much needed “I’m cool” beverages. You mess with him and you get whole enchilada, i.e. the “treatment.”

You have to wonder if some of the members of the Lot clique have any other plans for their life. If you go at 7:00 AM, they are there. If you go at 12:00 PM, they are there. If you go at 6:00 PM, they are there. There is no way they are all the beneficiaries of trust funds. Most of them surf, so I can only assume they were not all in the same car accident that paid out millions of dollars. Many of my questions are derived out of envy. Hang out in a parking Lot all day, drink beer, hoot at chicks passing by, make no money and wonder how I’m going to make rent. Wait; I’m not envious. I’m simply curious how I could do all of that and still focus on being able to retire sometime before the ripe young age of 90.

I won’t lie to you. I do have a slight tie to some of the cliques in the Lots I surf at. Also, I have thrown out the donkey call to a poor slippery board victim. But like high school, I have tried to spread my alliance to as many of the cliques as possible. You really can meet some interesting people throughout the Lots.

Getting into the inner circles or cliques takes time, patience and few extra cans of beer. But once in, you can enjoy the life that people with jobs, wives, money and goals will always envy.

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  • City: San Diego