by Mike Petrie
Having lived in sunny California for nearly forty of my fifty-plus years, there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank the winds of fate for depositing me here in this westernmost state on the American continent.
Today may merely be just a normal Friday in the rest of the country, but these weekly preludes to the weekend are generally referred to around here as "Aloha Friday." On most Aloha Fridays in Southern California, the TV newscasters wear Hawaiian shirts instead of suits & ties. (As an attorney by trade, I can tell you, unequivocally, that lots of Southern California judges also wear them under their robes.) In typical fashion, our local San Diego news channel this morning was doing a story on the exceptionally high surf we are getting today that went something like this:
Boys and girls, under no circumstances should you go to school today! Moms and Dads, you listen up too -- call in sick, tell your boss you won't be coming in to work today. Chances are, your boss won't be showing up either, so it won't much matter. This is Aloha Friday! And, what's more, a big storm off New Zealand is causing some of the biggest surf we've had all year. No self-respecting surfer would dare be caught anywhere but in the water today. Dana Point and Oceanside will see ten footers today. But, here's the kicker . . . the waves at Cortes Point are expected to reach forty feet! If you are a landlubber non-surfer, get yourself down to the beach anyway and watch our local athletes in action. The weather is perfect to get started on that summer tan. For those of you too far inland, stay home, hang by the pool . . . it's gonna be ninety degrees in the valleys today! Aloha Friday . . . Yeehaw, Cowabunga!
Where else but Southern California would that be the lead story on the morning news show? Though I guess I'm not a true self-respecting surfer because I'm not in the water today - "forty foot" waves are a bit out of my "league" (pardon the pun). But with that story on the TV to jump-start my day, how could I possibly put on a tie and trundle off to the office? Besides, after surviving the wettest winter in Southern California history, I think many of us here on the Left Coast may be feeling just a bit entitled to a little sun-worshiping.
I began the day with a four mile jog under a cloudless blue sky, then swimming laps in the pool, and now I'm working - laptop and phone at the ready - outside under a palm tree, toes dug into the sand. I mean, what's a guy to do when it's Aloha Friday!
Michael Petrie is a surfer, sailor, writer, and attorney who tries not to stray too far from the sands of Southern California.