I never left a lit bag of shit on somebody’s porch (yet another example of my brother outdoing me), until this week that is. Man, was I missing out! Watching panicky people stomping in crap is exhilarating. Okay, I didn’t literally pull off this stunt, but it feels like it. All I actually did was start a blog.
Apparently some people “can’t believe that someone like Jason Borte who is a surfer I have always admired would say that surfing ruined his life.” People are genuinely angry that I’ve decided to stay out of the water for awhile. They’ve rushed to the defense of surfing, or the defense of how good my life is, or how bad their life is, or, to be honest, I don’t know what their defending and don’t think they do either.
Thankfully, these guys took the time to express their dissatisfaction on that pillar of intelligent discourse, Facebook. In comment after well-thought-out comment, they bitch about not wanting to “hear someone bitch.”
The most vocal of the bunch is a guy whose surfing I grew up admiring, one of the best to ever come out of Virginia Beach. Unfortunately, he’s had a much harder go at it than I, compounding the tragedy that he was absent the day his English teacher introduced irony. Probably surfing.
He points out how I should write about surfers who have truly suffered. My efforts in the field of helping those less fortunate are confined to my full-time job as a public school teacher and my volunteer efforts with wounded soldiers, foster children, and various groups that assist people with disabilities. Writing is something I do in my spare time, for fun.
And the “million bucks” I’ve made off surfing is impressive until you realize it didn’t come from one book or one job or even one decade. Divide that cool mil over the 25 years I’ve been in this business and it comes out to less than my meager teaching salary. Add the fact that I’m the sole provider for a family of five, and you’ll realize that, like these guys, I’m flat broke.
“Bet he’s never had to empty his change jar to eat,” wagers my attacker. Well, you better go back to that jar again, because you lose that bet.
Yes, I own a nice house, but I had to move out and squeeze the whole gang into a tissue box of an apartment while a family that can afford the mortgage kicks back in my crib. Scraping change jars is nothing new to us. It happens every year; we call it “winter.”
Am I complaining? You’re damn right I am, just as loudly as my “friends” on Facebook. I’m just attempting to do it in a thoughtful way instead of blatantly calling people out.
You see, we’re all on the same board, or in the same boat, or whatever. My intentions are merely to let my mind escape a crappy situation while creating something that people might get a chuckle out of.
So to those on Facebook calling for my head, thanks for sending more people to my blog. And whether you’re of the opinion that this is a worthwhile pursuit or a “flaming bag of shit,” thanks for reading it anyway.