Who Burnt Down The Billabong Factory?

Jeffreys+Bay+FactoryPhoto: HeraldLive on Twitter

Neoprene smoke clotted the crisp winter air. Flames danced into the starry nighttime sky. A building slowly crumbled into ash. After hours passed and effort was expended (hat tip to the J-Bay Fire Department), the fire at the Billabong factory in Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa was extinguished. Nobody was injured in the blaze, but every morsel of Billabong product was destroyed.

Something smells fishy here and it isn’t just that shark-ravaged dead seal on the beach. The biggest surf event in the country — the Billabong Pro J-Bay — is only a week away. This is no coincidence. These boardshorts were torched for a reason — but what is it? And who’s reason was it?

I put my degree in Criminal Justice to use and compiled a list of potential perps and purposes.

Strider Wasilewski
Because weed.

Quiksilver
All is fair in love, war and business.

The shark that attacked Mick
An activist?

Some dickhead machine
Used a self-checkout register this morning. Don’t trust machines. Never have, never will.

The WSL
They’ll do anything for a headline. “FIRE RAVAGES BILLABONG FACTORY IN J-BA…AND DID YOU KNOW THAT MICK FANNING IS ABOUT TO SURF THE SAME EVENT HE WAS ATTACKED AT LAST YEAR?” CNN, did you? ESPN, did you? SURFING Magazine…never mind.

God
Heard he likes to burn stuff.

Satan
Heard he likes to burn stuff more.

Noa Deane
A N G S T!

Mark Occhilupo
Well he was trying to light a fire in the burby and he thought it was a durry and then oh yeah what’s that mate…(read in his commentating voice)

Destiny
Just kidding. Doesn’t exist.

Gabriel Medina
Only because people like blaming shit on him.

The ghost of Bob Dylan
Dylan’s still alive? You sure?

Brexit
South African financial institutions were incapable of handling the friction created by the Rand rising so swiftly against the Pound. (boom roasted)

A rare and unfortunate combination of elements and circumstance
Nah.

SURFING Editor Zander Morton is going over to cover the event. He wears a pretty stupid pair of eyeglasses, which I’m pretty sure legally qualifies him to investigate things. Stay tuned — this story is far from over.