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Pad Nannies: a park monitor reference guide.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. After an uninterrupted era of street devastation-using the excuse "There's nowhere else to skate!" the entire time--skateparks are finally here in a big way...with a catch. They're contaminated. Park monitors and pad enforcers are a plague; the No-Fun Police pestilence. Go to any of the Mega-skatepark complexes popping up and you'll have five of these clods chasing you around like the Keystone Kops. Know them by name...

MOM (Cheese Eaterus Thickums)

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: One second after Junior showed the faintest interest in skating, she was signed up for monitoring duties at the local Skateboard (and related activities) Park. She figures skating has been around for about a year and often calls it rollerboarding. She lives for the adrenaline rush of attending to "little angels" who skinned their knees. She gets uncomfortable when the older boys show up what with their tattoos and cussing and all. She is currently circulating a Concerned Mothers petition to tear out the big bowl because, well...it's just too big.

WHAT TO DO WHEN APPROACHED: The mom breed of pad nanny has a mixed reputation of pad enforcement. Some are the biggest nightmares ever and others are afraid of confronting anyone over 16. Rule of thumb: Beware the skinny. frizzy-haired mom. They can be menacing.

* Usually fat, sometimes skinny

* Sensible shoes

* Diet Coke

BLOSSOM (Jailicus Baiticus)

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Most often an impressionable teen who gets a pad-nanny position over the summer. They soon find the new counter-culture they've been exposed to quite exciting. The metamorphosis begins with slightly more adventurous musical tastes, followed by conformity-crushing hair colorations, various piercings (some visible), graduation from cheer-leader beers to hard drinkin', more liberal fondlings with the opposite sex, and finally, to culminate the change--a really stupid-looking tattoo at the end of the summer. Note: Blossoms can be dudes, too!

WHAT TO DO WHEN APPROACHED: Blossoms are usually pretty harmless. Just explain to them how all the cool kids don't enforce pad rules and ask, "You are cool, aren't you?' If you're older than they are, make them feel stupid for trying to push rules on you.

* Wack lower back tat

* Tongue-ring

* Sparkly crap around eyes.

LURK (Dirt 'Stache Creepum)

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Yeesh, this is a sketchy one. The intentions of these guys are never quite clear, but they certainly do give you the willies. There's usually a superficial friendliness. They have no apparent connection to skating in any way. The Lurk wants to know everyone's name and what their interests are. They ask if you need a ride anywhere. They offer to pay for lunch or drinks or just sometimes give you stuff. There's never any wives or girlfriends in the picture, or even friends for that matter. They always want to know "what's going on" this weekend. Unasked, they give you their phone number and expect you to give them yours.

WHAT TO DO WHEN APPROACHED: Most of you have sense enough to stay away from these guys. They're up to something. Instant lurk alert: Under no circumstances do guys offer other guys shoulder rubs.

* Sweaty brow

* Heavy breathing

* Camcorder

* Windowless van

BRO-BRAH (Fourtwentius Perpetuous)

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Bro-brah is a technical definition differing from stoner, dirtbag, and scrub, in that the subject is actually required to have dreadlocks or have had them in the past three years. The bro-brah emits an eye-watering stench of patchouli oil, barely masking his prodigious body odor. There is usually a goatee or some other form of stylized face fungus. He is adorned with beads, shells, crystals or other lame, dangling ornaments. He's known to sport 15-year-old Ocean Pacific and Airwalk gear. Despite his generally faded and tattered-to-shit appearance he drives a 2001 Pathfinder.

WHAT TO DO WHEN APPROACHED: These guys couldn't care less if you wear pads. They get you in for free and are out there skating with you anyway. They're in such a haze, they'd just as soon carve around a whimpering blader holding his wrist in the bowl as call the kid's mom like he's supposed to. The bro-brah, by definition, is incapable of holding a job for very long, so enjoy their lax pad enforcement while it lasts.

* Ample hemp wear

* Long board

* Good frontside Smith

POLICY ACADEMY REJECT (Schmuckus maximus)

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Be it flat feet, heart murmur, or dumb as dirt, something kept these guys from getting a badge and carrying a gun. So, instead they're stuck with litter patrol and a walkie-talkie at the local skatepark. However, their one miniscule task of actual authority, pad enforcement, gets milked to outlandish proportions. Drunk with power, they relish the hunt against those skaters who dare try to circumvent the almighty pad rules. Their entire sense of self-worth revolves around making a successful "bust." It is not uncommon for a P. A. Reject, having just kicked out a 13-year-old for an elbow-pad violation, to have an observable woodie.

WHAT TO DO WHEN APPROACHED: Whatever infirmities kept them from being a cop should be taken advantage of. He's got poor eyesight? Always stay on the other side of the park. He walks fucked-up? Just skate away when he gets too near. He ain't so bright? Tell him the Mayor said you can skate without pads. (For an in-depth analysis of Schmuckus Maximus see May 2001 issue. Page 118)

* Dictionary-definition chump

* Dumpy

* Grumpy, too

CRAMPS (Poopus Adultum Diaperus)

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Everyone's been kicked out of a spot by an old, cantankerous gramps at some point. It's usually pretty memorable--bug-eyed stare magnified by two-inch thick prescription glasses, near cardiac-arrest intensity, mandatory trembling. Although these encounters are good for a laugh, one would think the foot-shufflers (and their female counterpart, the blue-hairs) would raise high hell as a pad monitor, and many of them do. However, a lot of them are actually tame and not up to the task of enforcing rules. It's easy to tell which ones are which by their mouth--is it a perpetual frown or an empty-headed grin? Either way, they're lost in a pleasant daydream most of the time but do seem to enjoy all of the zipping and zooming going on.

WHAT TO DO WHEN APPROACHED: If it's one of the terminally pissed-off ones, you're screwed. Otherwise, learn their names, say hi to 'em and you're set. They come from the old school where people are accountable only for their own actions. Break yourself? Well, them's the hard knocks, whipper-snapper.

* Old

* Smells like medicine

* Wack lower back tat (lust kidding)

SURGEANT HARSH (Jarheadum Homicidus)

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Not to be confused with Police Academy Rejects, these guys are the real deal. We're talking actual off-duty cops or retired military personnel. That crew-cut they're sportin' is not just for fun, kids, it's a way of life. They are known to apply, in abundance, any one of various hair-stiffening products. Some lucky observers may get to witness the Jarheadum Homicidus actually comb his moustache. They would kill you and enlist your corpse into the Armed Services long before they would hear your reasons for not wanting to wear pads. They specifically took the job for the opportunity to have some "skateboarder slime" attempt to undermine their authority...and to pick up single moms, too.

WHAT TO DO WHEN APPROACHED: You're fucked. You might as well just leave.

* Giant forehead vein

*Leather skin

* Tucked-in shirt

* Shorts
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Title Annotation:skateboarding
Publication:Thrasher
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:1223
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