I was out surfing yesterday, and there was still a bit of the big swell left over from earlier last week. Left over swell tends to come infrequently. The sets coming rolling in as they will. One set comes. A second set rolls through. Three sets go by. Then something looks amiss in deep water. Everyone in the line up sees it. We look to each other to confirm, “Are you seeing this? For reals?” Though no one actually yells out, “It’s coming right for us!” we all sense exactly that. It’s a wave begun many days earlier on the coasts of Australia or Alaska, a wave bent on banana republic overthrow and cold-war subterfuge, a wave born of hellfire and unicorn tears. And like lemmings on a bank run, we all turn toward the rising swell and paddle furiously in the faint hope of cresting the wave of doom before it breaks on you like Godzilla’s tail whipping aside cars and pedestrians on the panicked streets of Tokyo.
But every once in a blue moon there’s some one out there who picks up the gauntlet. One surfer who remains on the line up after all others have fled to save their skins. This is the “Dragonslayer*.”
Here’s an unexample. This dude is totally not a dragonslayer and is still likely to get crush despite having chosen to run:
*The dragonslayer rarely succeeds at the challenge. Dragonslaying usually results in a spectacular whip out to the soundtrack of scores of lemmings in unison exclaiming, “Oooooooooh!” And at one time or another, we’ve all been the dragonslayer**. But not the good “Ooooooooh!” like if Evil Knievel jumps 20 busses on a motorcycle, but the bad “Oooooooh!” as if Evil Knievel tries to jump 20 busses but only makes it over 19.
**Dragonslaying is usually the product of overconfidence and a long and successful surf session. You build and build yourself mentally and when the big one comes you think, “Pffff. I can take this.” But usually you can’t and the ocean kindly restores balance to your surf skills.