A fictional story resembling, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the following Great Depression. But more of a 21st Century version of it. 


By Thomas Takao

Having flown into LAX from Texas, Wayne and his girlfriend Tanya are at the baggage claim carousel waiting for their luggage and surfboards. It was Wednesday mid-morning and they were going over to the car rental office yard by way of their shuttle. They had reserved a van and it was waiting for them to load up and drive down to San Clemente. A motel room has been reserved as well for 4 days. Wayne would be getting ready for a surf and golf contest that had been arranged by his company and would surfing against like-minded surfers who are also employees of the same company but from different countries.

The company is a global mining corporation that mines gold, silver, copper, nickel, palladium, coal, and iron ore. The contestants are from Australia, South Africa, Peru, France, US, and the UK. Each was chosen by their branch and has been traveling to different surf locations to compete against each other. The six participants are representing their branch of the company, the Corporate Headquarters is located in Switzerland.

The contest consisted of surfing and golf with a clue for a mystery riddle. The first surf contest was held at San Cristobal, Galapagos Island, and the golf at Lacosta Country Club in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The prize for the surfing was a monster box of silver and for the golf 100 shares of stock in the company that was sponsoring the contest. At each round of golf, a clue to the riddle is given, 6 clues in total for the grand prize of 15 million for solving the riddle. The first-place winner of all the events will get the first chance to solve it. If he doesn't then the second-place contestant will get a chance and so on until the question is solved. If no one solves the mystery the last place person will win the prize automatically without knowing the answer.

The first clue at the country club in Ecuador was Charles Darwin's book "The Origin of Species." Jacinto Flores of Peru won the surfing event and Delbert Hornblower of Australia won the round of golf. The others who are involved with the competition are Wayne Pierlock of the US, Pierre LaFont of France, Manfred Manning of the UK, and George Oroville of South Africa. At the end of the year, a grand prize is awarded to the one with the most points in Hawaii and the solving of the riddle.

The concept of the events was thought up by the chairman of the board Jerome Whiplash, the event consists of 6 surfers representing the 6 branches of the company. Surfing at 8 different locations around the planet, and around at 8 different golf courses near the surf spot if possible. A scoring system has been worked out. The location is chosen by a group of 2 in the US and 2 in the UK. They will arrange for the judges and anything else regarding local ordinances, insurances, and fees. The format at each location will be determined by a director of the contest, selected by the 4 mentioned. After each contest, the contestants will return to their country. The clue is kept secret between the contestant until the contest is completed. If it is found out that a contestant received help. He will be disqualified and all prizes returned and given to the next in line.

In the next contest, Wayne and the other 5 contestants will be at Cottons Point, in San Clemente and San Clemente Municipal Golf Course. The other members of the group have arrived and getting situated in south Orange County, just like Wayne and Tanya had done. They will be a meeting at the Ritz Carlton on a Friday evening for cocktails social get-together and discuss what they have been up to after Ecuador. The contest the following day is a one-day event. With 3 judges from the area being selected. The girlfriends and wives of the contestants and a photographer will be there at the contest for moral support and pictures. It will start on Saturday at 9 a.m. and be done by noon Then at 2 p.m. they will be teeing off at the golf course. It is winner take all and the points for first place is 6 points, 5 for second and 4 for third and so on.

Meanwhile not far away, two surfers are at the home of the guys parents. They are on the computer of one of the guys and watching a paid-for-view event commercial. The market advisor that once wore tin foil hats has switched to silver helmets alongside the cage. There is a rumbling in the Octagon, the Big Banks man and the Future Prices challenger of precious metals is about to square off. The audience is on the edge of their seats, some have been waiting 13 years for the event to happen. The ushers are selling hand baskets, filled with various paper prospectus. The announcer is at center stage with the hit single "Let get Physical" playing in the background. He introduces the champion, the challenger, and the referee. The music fades and the announcer leaves, the bell rings for the start of the fight as the crowd goes wild!!!

"Click to another video, the old guy has a headlock on the young guy," said Chester as Elmer moved the cursor across the screen and clicked. A thumbnail video appears on the Tube, showing a surfer riding a wave. They watched the wave in front of him begins to collapse and the white water was heading his way on the screen. A voice started giving instructions by saying "The likely maneuver to do is to straighten out in a prone position and aim for shore. Otherwise, a long swim would happen after the impact of the soup and the turbulence of being tossed underwater."

The screen refreshes and the person in the prone position is gliding into calmer waters and is paddling back out into a channel. Then the voice says "This message has been brought to you by Save Yourself Car Insurance." "What the F, I thought it was a surf video. It had me going" Chester said to Elmer who chose to watch the video.

"That reminds me, I need it to get a new wetsuit, my old wetsuit just tore about 5" along the back zipper and my $600 check came in the other day. I'll go down to the surf shop and see if they have any my size. Want to go?" Elmer asked. "Naw, I'll pass, I need to fix a ding I got yesterday. This guy was out of control. He panics and fell off his board trying to do a quick cutback. He thought he could pass me, and at the last minute he blew it. I dived under just as the white water came over me. When I came up, the guy was next to me apologizing and asked if I was Ok. I looked at my board and there it was, one of his fins put a 2" smile on my tail. Chester said. "It's getting more crowded out in the water. It's like rush hour traffic, for crying out loud" Elmer said.

"So, what time are you going to pick me up tomorrow morning and where are we going," Chester asked. "5:30 and at Cottons," Elmer said looking at his watch to see what time it was. The next morning Elmer stopped by Chester's apartment and he was out front with his backpack and his other shortboard from his quiver of 3. Parked next to Carls, Chester and Elmer are getting ready to go down to the beach. Hopping onto their skateboards, with their backpack on and their surfboard under their arms, they pushed off and were on a roll.

They pass Wayne and Tanya along the way at the tee where the bridge and side road intersect. They too are going to Cottons to surf. After putting on their wetsuits, they draped their towels over their skateboard and their backpacks on top of their towels. Elmer looks over to the group gathered about 50 feet away and wonders who they are. Elmer and Chester were watching the 10 guys out and 5 were wearing different colored wetsuits. Wayne and Tanya walk up to the group that Elmer was looking at and got instructions for the contest. Waxing up Elmer and Chester paddled out. Those in the contest had a 2 hours heat and the best 2 waves will be used to decide, if there is a tie, they will use a third wave score to break the tie.

The waves are 2 to 3 feet mushy with a slight side wind, an occasional 4-foot sets with a good left would appear during the 2 hours. The contestant intermingled with the regulars guys who were not in the contest. Chester is just about to take off on a wave when he sees Jacinto with his yellow striped wetsuit paddling for the same wave on his 9' 0", but more towards the peak. He lets Jacinto have the wave and catches the next one. Wayne catches the third wave and does a drop knee backside bottom turn. He walks up to the nose on his Noserider and is up there for 7 seconds cruising along with his left foot over the tip of the board, with his back arched. David the photographer is looking at the judges after taking a few photos of Wayne.

Manfred, Pierre, Delbert, and George are waiting for the next set to show up, which came a few minutes later. noon came and Ernie the guy in charge presses the air horn and the heat is over. The 3 judges tabulate the scores and give it to Ernie. 15 minutes later with all the scores added up, the announcement was made and Wayne had won with his long nose ride. Followed by Delbert, then Pierre, Jacinto, George, and Manfred. From 2nd to 6th was close, separated by only 2 points within decimal points. The six guys were given instructions to meet at the golf course for the 2 p.m. tee time. The guys got their gear and went back up to drive to the golf course. 

At the golf course, the guys warmed up with a bucket of balls. All-knowing that their golf swing would be off after paddling for a few hours. After their round Manfred had the lowest score of 80 followed by Pierre, then George, Wayne, Jacinto, and Delbert. They went back to the Ritz's and the next clue was shown. It was the miniature Hobie surfboard that was presented to President Richard Nixon on Father's Day in 1969 at the Western White House at Cottons Point.

After the presentation of the mini-board, it soon found it place in a box filled with other memorabilia in the garage. Later BB Debozo had it in his garage and it was soon given to the plumber by BB's wife who had worked on a washer leak in his garage. The plumber lived in Riverside and his wife gave it to the Good Will there. A construction worker from Newport Beach happened to be in Riverside on a condo project and stopped by the Goodwill looking for unique clothes when he saw the mini surfboard. He purchased it for 3 dollars and took it home.

His girlfriend wanted it to give to his uncle who surfed, so he gave it to her and she gave it to her uncle. Her uncle was a vice president of the mining company that was doing the contest for the different branches and suggested using it as one of the clues to the riddle. The chairman agreed and that's how it got to the bar at the Ritz's where the contestants was.

The next contest location is in Santa Cruz, California where the surf contest was held at the Hook with Pierre taking first place riding a Guethary Surfboard followed by Jacinto, Wayne, Manfred, Delbert, and George. The golf course chosen for the event was at Pasatiempo. George would take the honor of coming in first place, then Manfred, Jacinto, Delbert, Wayne, and Pierre. Sitting at the clubhouse restaurant Fred the director of this event displays a folder with one of the first stock certificates of Intel dated in late October 1971, and a photo of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in Job's parent's garage in the summer of the same year.

"Congrats George, you played a nice round," Jacinto said. "You were no slouch yourself," George said. "Hey, Jacinto, what this I hear your group discovered a major deposit near the Bolivia border?" Manfred asked. "Yes, it looks like a mother of a lode," Jacinto said. "Wayne, what with the dollar?" Delbert asked. "The bonds rates are creeping up and has Janet worried," Wayne said. "Pierre, what is happening next door in Spain?" asked Delbert. "It sure looks like their wheels are wobbling off," Pierre said.

"Wayne, do you think we will make it to Hawaii before all fiats collapse?" Manfred asked. "To be honest with you. I don't think so, but I'm hoping it doesn't" Wayne said. "What makes you say that Wayne" Jacinto asked. "I figured out what the riddle is and I'm going to let the cat out of the bag since in my opinion, the dollar will collapse in the near future. We are in the Golden Anniversary of the dollar being off the Gold Standard since Richard Nixon took us off it, because he was told to. The Origin of Species was just to get us started and the computer prolonged the decline. Now the dam is about to burst, we need to get to high grounds" Wayne said and continued.

"Congratulations Jacinto, if it happens soon, you will be in the driver's seat in winning the prize. "That’s the good news. The bad news is, it's going to be an unpredictable new world for many sad to say. For those in the know, it still going to be rough" Wayne said thinking about the surfers whom he overheard on his walk back from Cottons.



The Collapse