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Win some, lose some.

I'm not always in the mood for surprises, so when blocked numbers appear on my caller ID, I block in return and anticipate the voice mail. These paranoid "I'm a big secret" types rarely leave messages.

A couple months ago I was out skating solo on a Saturday morning in Oakland, CA when my faulty phone let out a muffled ring. The hoody I'd taken off was covering the device and the chime's volume was so faint that l couldn't decipher whether my lonely ass was hearing shit, or if a call was actually in-coming. After eye balling the Hubba sweatshirt for a second, I decided that if I picked up the piece of clothing and there was no call activity, I'd spring for the closest liquor store and call it a day. Thankfully, for the sake of my mental sanity, the cell was actually ringing but the fucking caller ID was blocked, so I took a moment to ponder whether I'd accept or deny. I'm not trying to make myself sound important, it's just that sometimes the cell phone makes me borderline homicidal. Then I was struck with a moment of clarity and solitary inadequacy. "Look at yourself; here you are, an adult, skating a manual pad no more than six-inches high, all by your lonesome. Pick up the fucking phone! If anybody for any reason has something to say to you, soak it up."

So I answered the phone.

The voice on the other end identified itself as that of Mr Raymond Mitchell. This Mitchell fellow delivered an obnoxiously excessive introduction, then put forth his plot. Sorry, maybe excessive isn't the correct adjective. Perhaps excessive is the jealous man's take on impressive.

Mitchell was an executive at General Motors in Detroit. His 12 year-old son, Kevin, was an avid "boarder" and his favorite skater was Dr Z. While checking out hubbawheels.com, Kevin discovered that Dr Z recently purchased a Cadillac Escalade.

Mr Mitchell had not yet divulged how the fuck he got my number. Not once in our exchange did he cite a personal reference. I figured he was full of shit and told him to suck my balls, assuming this character was one of my asshole friends with even less going for him on Saturday morning. As you might suspect, the "suck my balls" comment kind of knocked him off his pivot, but he suggested I retract the statement in a tone of sincerity that none of my friends were capable of commanding. Caught between a rock and a hard place, I communicated reasons for doubting the authenticity of the call. He asked if I had a fax number, so I gave him the number of the machine at work.

"Check on Monday and call me back ..." were his last words.

Many skaters fantasize about their dream sponsors, whether it be New Era hats, Philly's Blunts, or possibly even Popeye's Chicken. Simultaneously, at the opposite end of the spectrum, corporate marketeers ponder how to most effectively court the young consumer. They all want the youth to crave their product. Sometimes, both worlds collide and skaters reap the benefits. Skating has witnessed its fair share of bullshit sponsors, but hold the fuck up--Cadillac is topnotch. Mr Mitchell faxed a proposal requesting that I put the Hubba team in their new 2005 Cadillac DeVille and take it for a test drive along the East Coast. I suggested in return that Zered take his Escalade along as well, thus enhancing the image of the fleet. His only expectation was that we photograph the two-week journey and put it in the magazine.

Oh, and here's five-thousand dollars to spend along the way.

Now I pick up every blocked call that comes my way. These mysterioso callers might know more about you than you know about them, but maybe they got more money than you and want to dish it out. Living kinda lavish ain't easy, and network one must. So branch out, collect them dividends, and if it turns out to be the cops on the other end? Hang up, skate to the liquor store, booze the fuck up, then bomb a fucking hill solo while wearing all black. Because once they've phoned you, they've got you. Why must this paranoia persist?
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Hubba Wheels Test Drive
Author:Tellall, V.
Publication:Thrasher
Date:Aug 1, 2004
Words:712
Previous Article:Ten years of Thomas: what constitutes a great skateboard career? What makes a great skateboarder? Is it talent?
Next Article:Andrew Allen: "when it comes to fruitbooting, I have some skills".


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