When you deplane at Tampa, Florida, you might walk over this mosaic of a spiral galaxy but that’s not one of the reasons to fail to qualify at the contest.
Keegan might pick you up in a Chevy Malibu, rented, ultimately, by Vans Shoes. He might drive you to his hotel room all the way explaining that he really wants to skate for as long as possible on practice day. At the hotel you’ll camp out on the floor despite Keegan’s persistent and tempting suggestive propositions to share his bed. These are not reasons to fail at Tampa either. The reasons will come after the failure since we can’t predict the future with any great degree of clarity.
You might watch John Rambo on television. This is novel since you don’t get cable at home. Cable costs more money than it’s worth. You notice that one of the characters is called Michael Burnett, like the editor of Thrasher. You are not the first to notice this.
You realise you’ve yet again forgotten to take Modus stickers but you have a Modus bag that’s really good and you have the bearings in your wheels. They are no reason to fail to qualify but they are something you might blame by saying, “They’re just so fast I was around the course 4 times before I remembered to do any decent tricks and by then my time was up!”The first reason to fail at Tampa is that then you get the opportunity to sit with Zitzer on the Zumies Couch while he interviews you about a dizzying variety things. At some point you wonder which came first, The Crail Couch or The Zumiez Couch.The second reason to fail at Tampa is that you are in great company. Although Keegan is not one of your fellow failures. Turns out his strategy was to trick you into skating for so many hours on practice day that when it came to your run your thighs felt like they’d been replaced with two dense, hulking cylinders of lead. McCrank on the other hand is down to hang out, eat salad and share in the painful misery of failure.The third reason to fail is that on Sunday while all those losers are flying around that sweaty skatepark you and your friend Craig can visit the Big Top flea market in northeast Tampa. There you find dumb and wonderful trinkets and treasures.The fourth reason to fail is that you can go to Shaefer’s bar in Ybor and watch the contest on a screen from a table with a beer or something. It’s like being a regular sports fan except it’s skateboarding so it’s better, I’m not sorry, it just is. You get a picture of Mike Vallely with the painting of the old World graphics. Bonus!The fifth reason to fail is that you can become momentarily embittered and this embitterment might be amplified by the beer you feel, rightly or wrongly, that it’s okay to have. You sit watching the contest and you and Craig find yourselves announcing Lutzka’s tricks before he does them. “This is a perfectly acceptable contest strategy and you do it yourself” the little angel fairy says with a stern and imperative tone. “Text message the announcers and tell them to announce his tricks before he does them,” the little demonic imp thing says. “Telecommunication has become far too easy and I shouldn’t have sent that,” you think as you hit send. The demon imp grins. The angel fairy shakes it’s little head and lets out a long, sonorous, guilt-wrenching sigh.
You notice that Lutzka changed his next run up. You feel sort of good and bad at the same time. You recall that George from Adidas has the Pobody’s Nerfect tattoo on his thigh and it makes you smile.You also remember that you bought the Wampa at the flea market so the trip was a success regardless of contest results.You Luke and the Wampa leave Tampa uncertain but happy. Moving together through time at the exact speed of regular time.