Fecal Matters


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.

5 thoughts on “Fecal Matters

  1. Good luck in life and I commend you on teaching our kids and devoting your time and energy to raising your family and teaching. We all have emptied that change jar to eat. I did the other day. Surfing is a life and a joy and we are lucky to have been able to live at the beach and surf all our life. My best memories growing up in the north end and surfing and the beach. I do not have as much time to surf due to work and cherish the few times I do get out there. Lol. Good luck with your blog.

  2. When your first post popped up on my reader, I saw a blog written by “Jason Borte” and thought it was going to be a blog about your take on surfing and maybe something informative. After reading onwards and reading that it was your announcement of taking a break from surfing, well; it threw me for a slight loop.

    No ones life situation is the same, yet we have common threads that we can compare to or contrast. As I wrote, I have commonalities with your story but I am trying to actually make it into the water more. But I fully understand. Surfing is a great thing but for some reason it can limit a person. In the days of glory, I was offered a job position being a team manager for a surf company. The company however also saw some potential for me to be a big wig in their operation and some of that meant eventually moving to Arizona to learn about their side products production. The idea that they were going to send me off to what I believed to be hell made me pass up the job that potentially could have lead me to a path of making a lot more money.

    Anyway, adversity really defines a person and if everything was rosy; you would always have great friends. When you are down, it is interesting to see where your support comes from.

  3. Aloha brother!

    I think that your decision is a sound one. Even Jesus took time away from his friends and the people He ministered to. Jesus actually took the time to teach his friends to “unplug”.

    Last year, my sweet heart and i made a conscious decision to”pare” down the camps and events that we were involved in so that we could spend more time with our children and families.

    You have our support, respect and love.

    Aloha Ka Kou, Lyn and Alex

  4. Very nice Jason! It was interesting to see another side of you. I’ve embarked on that path the last several years of stepping back. You will enjoy it I promise!

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