"With Gidget Must Die and now Surf.Com, Fred Reiss has emerged as a sort of surfy Hunter S. Thompson, a vicious, merciless, ridiculous social documentarian with a distinct flair for drawing unforgettable characters. Fred Reiss is nuts. But main, he is very, very funny."
- Alan Weisbecker author of Searching For Captain Zero
Surf.Com: The PEN-award-winning novel is set in the boom-boom nineties. The first tech explosion. Santa Cruz is being overrun by dot-comers, driving surfers out of beach shacks by escalating property values, tearing down homes, building McMansions, then paddling out in the water and overcrowding surf spots.
The only opponents that stand in the tech paradigm shift is a hard-core local surfer, a dog, and a van. But when the surfer falls in love with a dot-com girl, things get gnarly. 14.95
THEY CAME FROM SILICON VALLEY. The dot-comers arrived at Bings the same way they downloaded surf spots, the streets, and the shops of Santa Cruz. Suddenly, rudely, and in groups. The rapid pace of their invasive half conversations was blaring, cocky, intense, tightly clipped, and more focused than it needed to be. And God were these dot-comers loud! The static gibbering of their high-tech voices drowned out the damp barking of seals under the municipal wharf, and the waves slapping against the pier’s pilings. At least thirty-five dot-comers sat on long wooden benches, which were positioned around several wooden tables, draped with red-and-white checkered cloths. Each table setting had plates filled with a three-egg omelet, toast, along with huge side orders of bacon, sausage, or tofu. But the food was getting cold. Instead of eating, the dot-comers sat with their backs to the tables, and hunched over laptops on metal folding chairs in front of them.
My patented stinkeye hardened on these trannies. Most were embedded in their twenties, obviously single—and probably not by choice. The guys were dumpy dorks or wiry geeks, and the women were attractive, but only when they were compared to the guys. The dot-comers even looked uncomfortable within themselves—they rubbed their chins, pulled at the skin around their eyes, rapidly moved one leg up and down, or squirmed in chairs, as if they were trying to work their way out of their own flesh. Just about all of them had that soft-white bulb office tan. Laminated company badges were clipped like hunting permits on their belts or pockets. They yammered on cell phones, headsets, and took a break from clicking their keyboards to check beepers and palm pilots for incoming calls or emails. Their hand-held devices might have been communicating online, but for people who took pride in their networking skills, none of the dot-comers looked like they were connecting with one another or the world around them. I couldn’t tell if they were talking to themselves, speaking on a telephone headset, having conversations with the person across from them, or babbling incoherently to an imaginary playmate…
“It’s all about perceived value.”
“An eBay secretary got rich on her stock options. A secretary! She didn’t know until she got back from vacation.”
“I bet this gets the business up to four million and a deal to sell to Microsoft for twelve.”
“A Boulder Creek guy sold his Loans.Com domain name for over a million dollars.”
“Oh, that’s so Q-4! So Q-4!”
“Hold down the option key and hit restart.”
I wish I could hold down the option key on them and hit restart. Q-4. HTML. IPO. TCP. All I thought was B-F-D: Big Fucking Deal. It was nauseating. I swear if aliens came to this planet, I would volunteer to be a slave trader.
Santa Cruz out of control
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