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Dark days at Duffel's.

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out a way to start these words. I usually get through this by bitching about stuff and making fun of people for their obvious lack of life skills. On most trips it's hard to motivate a group of people to wake up before 2pm, after which you typically go to a few spots, get some food, and return to wherever home is for the time being. Then I begin writing about how everyone sucks for not skating and the words flow easily.

THE WEEK we spent at Corey's house consisted of eating gas station breakfasts around 3pm, followed by non-stop skating until 5am. I've been on this schedule before, but it usually involves jetlag or a hangover the next day. While we were at Corey's house, he put us on his schedule--consisting mainly of very little sunlight and tons of skating, fuelled by an endless supply of sugar and caffeine. The only problem Corey had with us was that we couldn't keep up with him. Corey skates 15 hours a day. The batteries for my flashes couldn't even recharge fast enough to keep up with this pace. Corey and the rest of the Foundation team were getting their energy from an unearthly place that week, because it was definitely abnormal behavior for some of them. I swear at one point I saw them all wearing hooded capes around a backyard fire involved in a satanic ritual, sacrificing goats and virgins.

The Foundation team was about to leave for a big Pacific Northwest trip when I got a call from Gareth Stehr, asking me to go with them. Foundation's coming out with a new video, and this was the last week they had to film before the deadline. With high hopes of seeing Portland and getting some good tricks in along the way, I agreed. The next day Don, Gareth, and I headed up the 1-5 from Los Angeles to San Francisco to meet up with the rest of the team at Duffel's house.


FIFTEEN MINUTES into the drive, Don whipped out his iPod and plugged it into my car's tape player, turning the volume all the way up. My ears proceeded to bleed from songs that involved (only) 10-minute long guitar solos and lasers on the album covers. Over the next week I learned to accept it, and even actually grew to enjoy it; although I'm unsure if that was because I really did like it or because my brain had dripped out of my ears amongst all the blood. It was a weird way to start the days to come.

Our big Pacific Northwest tour only made it as far as Duffel's house, somewhere around the Walnut Creek area. We realized after the first day of skating that we really didn't need to go anywhere else. Instead of wasting valuable days driving to Portland, we would stay around Corey's house and get more work done.

Corey has ample spots in his 30-mile world, and I'm not one to move a large group of people unless I absolutely have to. No convincing was necessary to make me stay put. The only problem with staying put: there were 14 of us all stuffed into Corey's three-bedroom house. It's an amazing place---something straight out of a Tim Burton movie--but it doesn't hold 14 people. We were all stacked on top of each other. If you turned to go anywhere, you either bumped into a shirtless Sierra or tripped over broken beer bottles or fell into some kind of dagger collection or big hair flair.


COREY COULDN'T even go to the bathroom in his own house. Every time he tried, a locked door and the smell of shit creeping out from under the crack blocked him. Corey doesn't drink or smoke anything either, but he did a great job of putting up with 13 other people that will, do, and did for a week in his new house.

We didn't do much but skate from around 2 or 3 in the afternoon until 4 or 5 in the morning, which is always the best and most productive kind of trip to be on from the production end of things, but it doesn't lend itself to getting any good material for an interesting story. Wake up, skate for 13 hours, go home, drink beer, go to bed, wake up, and repeat was the majority of our routine at Duffel's house. We only took off one night for a Halloween party. Only problem with that is I'm prone to blackouts, so I'll give you a series of random events instead of a cohesive story from beginning to end. Just know that it was around Halloween in the suburbs, and from what I could gather a normal day in the suburbs is scarier than anything Halloween has to offer.

We started at 8pm at Metro skateshop in Walnut Creek, where Corey's friend Adam and his band were playing a show for a bunch of kids that had to be home before curfew. After the show we were in the parking lot with a bunch of minors now somehow armed with Coronas, low tolerance, and false senses of courage.


EVEN THOUGH we were at a skateshop, I don't think many of them had ever been on a skateboard or realized where they were. They seemed shocked by the repercussions of their low tolerance and bad ideas. From that point on, details get a bit fuzzy for me. I remember having some kid by his neck and snapping a beer bottle out of his hand because I pictured it coming down on my head. I told him--as politely as the situation permitted--to stop because there were 14 of us and he didn't want to start this. Don saw things unfold and was instantly on it. Nuge came up to my rescue with his fist up and a countdown to go-time. I couldn't help but laugh; it was fucking amazing.

From what I could gather Angel and/or Tommy were trying to pick up on some girl and she didn't like their approach. I'm not sure how it went, but she spit in Angel's face. He, in turn, spit back in hers. Next thing you know Angel finds a hose and turns the water on her. Don't ask me why she didn't like it. If a girl spit in my face and turned a hose on me--I think it'd be love at first sight. Suddenly a group of 30 or so skinny band-type kids surrounded us. Or maybe we were surrounding them?


WHATEVER; we had one young, drunk, wet girl and a small skinny Boy Scout troop ready to defend her honor. Only they failed to realize that not one person in our crew seemed to care. Except the shop owner, who I think came out yelling something about how we had to leave and the cops were coming. Not ones to wait for the cops, we decided the Boy Scouts were too young to be drinking and confiscated what was left of the Coronas.

After helping the Scout troop avoid certain Minor In Possession tickets, we headed over to Adam's apartment, where my memory proceeded to become even more blurred. I know that this was some version of an after party for the show, and I also know Adam didn't give a shit about his place. Proving this point, Gareth turned into the Galactic G, a New Zealand superhero, aka Gareth after a fifth of Jack and some beer. Galactic G is also the name of the mole he has on his left arm that he grows the hair out on; it's where his alter ego hides by day when he's sober. Galactic ripped the bathroom door off the hinges and (of course, the next logical step) threw it into the bathtub.


IN THE PROCESS of showing off his supernatural powers, lots of things ended up in the tub--like broken bottles and records mixed in with shampoo and some brown goo. Adam was pissed because he said he had done it a week prior but Gareth was getting all the credit for it. Great host, but it left very few options for Sierra to go number two in the middle of a party with no bathroom door. His only option was to drop one under the stairs onto the neighbors' doorstep. Needless to say, after about two hours of this debauchery, the rest of the partiers started to distance themselves from us. If Adam still lives in his apartment, he's likely paying off the local authorities.

The last thing I remember about that night was stealing pumpkins from Safeway with Corey, then waking up in the backseat of my car screaming at Grant and Don about something. It must have been night terrors again. After that it was pretty much over. We had one or two more days of skating for 13 hours, and then repeat like before. At least we squeezed in one night of violence, chaos, and immorality, or this whole trip would have been a complete waste of life.

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Author:Broach, David
Date:Feb 1, 2007
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