Monday, November 27, 2006

What happens when you spend too much time in the water

Let’s hear it for Tom Stark, a Californian surfboard builder who has been trying to do his bit to improve US-Cuban relations.

It seems Tom has spent the past couple of years on a “grand plan” to take donated surfboard-building supplies to Cuba, as well as his expertise in how to build a mean board.

Why?

Well, he discovered on a previous trip to the island that “the U.S. embargo has caused a situation in which there are so few boards that people have to take turns riding them”.

That's right: the bloody embargo means Cuban surfers have to share boards!

In fact, Tom told The Santa Cruz Sentinnel that the lack of board-making materials means would-be Cuban “shapers” are forced to take the foam out of refrigerator doors - and shape it with potato peelers.

Sadly for Tom, his grand plan has hit shallow waters in the form of Fidel Castro’s ever-vigilant custom agents.

They have refused point blank to let him bring the donated surfboard-building material into the country on the excuse that the stuff is highly flammable.

The newspaper says the Californian tried for more than two months to get the Cuban officials to see reason, until his visa and his money run out and he had to return home.

In the end, he conceded: "It turned out the only reason (the Cuban officials) were reluctant was because I was American.”

I don’t think so, Tom. Take it from me: Castro loves Americans like you.

Perhaps they are reluctant, as you put it, because they fear all those Cubans with their potato peelers heading off across the Straits of Florida on your surfboards?

3 Comments:

Blogger Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Very funny. But of course the piece, I'm sure, doesn't mention the fact that surfing is very popular in South Africa, New Zealand, your own Australia and many Latin American countries, all of which trade openly with Cuba. It would seem that the shortage of boards has some other source and not a result of the embargo.

3:16 pm  
Blogger Albert Quiroga said...

This points out some interesting things:

1) There is a shortage of surfboards and surboard-making materials in Cuba, but an obvious abundance of ingenous, rational, coherent, logical-thinking people;

2) There is an abundance of surfboards and surfboard-making materials in the USA and most everywhere else, yet an obvious shortage of ingenuous, rational, coherent, logical-thinking people.

12:57 am  
Blogger Albert Quiroga said...

Shoulda been "ingenious," shouldn't it? It's Tom who appears to be "ingenous."

6:58 am  

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