CEO of People’s Hearts

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ceoPhoto: Lawrence

Brodie Carr resigned as the CEO of the ASP today. His official statement reads, “It is my duty to accept responsibility for the recent calculation error that resulted in the premature crowning of Kelly Slater’s 11th ASP World Title. The determination of the ASP World Title is the most important moment in professional surfing. Ultimately, the responsibility for every activity within ASP lies with me. Therefore, I have elected to resign my position as CEO.”

He reigned over the six most exciting years in professional surfing.

I first met him in Europe after poking fun of his clothing. And then we arm wrestled. This was my ode.

I stumble into my hotel room drunk and in love. My right shoulder is sore. Aching. And I am in love. With a man. With a strong man. His skin is clean and his pores are tight. Tanned to the perfect hue enhanced by the baby blue t-shirts he always wears. His nails are manicured. His hair cut at a proper salon, not one of those fly by night jobs where immigrants fumble about with dull scissors.

He may have a taste for younger women but I don’t care. I love him.

His name is Brodie Carr.

Brodie Carr. Say it loud and there’s music playing. Say it soft and it’s almost like praying. Brodie Carr.

I have spent the last few weeks in Europe poking fun of Brodie Carr. I have said things about him that were meant to sting. About his inappropriate sweater selection and his poor choice of footwear. And if I could take back every single one of those barbs I would. Except the ones about his inappropriate sweater selection. And also the ones about his poor choice of footwear.

Over the course of the world tour’s European leg we had become sworn enemies. He of the evil ASP. Me of the hated Stab. He the CEO with his (well-manicured) hand so firmly around the neck of surfing. Squeezing the very lifeblood out of it. Me the writer who doesn’t know what the word “integrity” means. Or “journalistic.”

And like enemies we glared at each other from across the different event sites. At Mundaka, Supertubos, The Wall and Lagido. Dagger filled glances.

But then a striking Brit named Paul Evans suggested we arm wrestle. Settle our differences the way Sly Stallone settled his. I scoffed and figured Mr. Big Shot CEO candy-stripped Brodie Carr would be too chicken. Would be scared to dance with the devil. But he agreed.

We were to meet at the hotel Soliel Peniche bar that night. Ten PM sharp.

And so I went to the bar. Thinking he wouldn’t show. But at five minutes after ten there he was in a black leather jacket that somehow had a hood. Or maybe he was wearing a black sweatshirt underneath his leather jacket. In any case, he had a hood on and came bouncing in, like a prize-fighter. Punching the air with those (well-manicured) fists and shouting my name. CHAS SMITH! PREPARE TO MEET YOUR MAKER!

I sat my beer down, stood up and said, “Brodie Carr, I curse the day you were born.”

We stood nose to nose, staring into each other’s eyes. He is tall. I am tall. He is blonde, I am blonde. He has blue eyes. I have blue eyes. His are bluer. Neither of us flinched. I smelled his Gucci pour Homme II. He smelled my Yves St. Laurent. For men.

Then we broke. I moved behind the bar, he stayed on the customer side. And we locked right hands. Still staring. Still blonde. The bar tender became skittish. Fearful. “Please gentlemen, please no!” But this death dance was on. A crowd had gathered. Tim Fisher meekly whispered, “Get ‘em tiger.” I was hoping he was on my side. I was hoping that “tiger” was me. I needed someone. My investment banker was here, sure. She had left work early and come up to Peniche. But she is an investment banker and follows sound financial instinct. Her money was on Brodie Carr. Did I mention how broad his back is? How big his arms are?

Our hands locked like to vices. Dane Sharp checked our elbows, our positioning.

And then someone shouted, “GO!” Our muscles tensed. Neither of us giving a full burst yet. Frozen. I felt my face flush. I felt the veins bulge on my neck. I could see his veins bulge as well. We continued staring into each other’s red eyes. A bead of sweat popped on his brow. Spittle curdled in the corner of my mouth. Frozen. The gathering crowd may have been roaring. I will never know. Because as our arms pulled. As our synapses fired, I began to fall in love.

Who is this Brodie Carr, anyway? He has nice skin. His teeth are really white. He smells nice. His hand feels nice. Look at those nails. How often does he get a manicure? I bet he has good money and lives a decent life. I wonder if he has a girlfriend? If he doesn’t he probably scores loads of chicks. I wonder what works better for him, with chicks, being a CEO or being part of the ASP? I wonder if he has ever met a chick who knew what the ASP was? His Australian accent is warm. He looks really good in baby blue. It enhances his natural tan. Has the ASP really destroyed surfing? I bet not. I bet all the people who think the ASP is corporate bullshit also toke marijuana cigarettes and speak about rebellion like it is still possible. Maybe the ASP is to the far political right just like me. Maybe it is a club for well-dressed pretentious white people, like me. Why don’t I like the ASP again? Why don’t I love Brodie Carr?

And then my shoulder started to weaken. My wrist began to feel that I was arm wrestling a man who doesn’t smoke. In 30 seconds it would be over. My arm lay on the bar, defeated. Brodie let out a joyous “whoop!” slapped my back and ordered me a beer.

He asked me the next morning, “A little stiff, are ya?” And I looked deeply into his bluest eyes and said, “Yes.”

The End.

When The Princess of Wales, Lady Di, divorced the Prince of Wales she lost her title but she became the queen of people’s hearts. Brodie will always be the CEO of ours.