Poopies: A Strange and Painful Saga
How Sean McInerney became JOB’s careless stuntman.
Sean “Poopies” McInerney is sitting opposite of me in the back of a pickup truck on Oahu’s Westside. He’s just cracked open a Bud Light and greets with a firm handshake. His body is, surprisingly, in good shape despite the fact the fella’s been through multiple death-defying stunts as Jamie O’Brien’s trusty sidekick in the Who is JOB series. Remember him sliding down the face of a solid 8-10 foot Hawaiian ledge donning skis and a speedo? Sure didn’t expect the lad to live after taking a maxed out mainland Mex swell on the head… After taking a sip, the recorder rolls and what follows are the occasionally gory details of how one becomes “Poopies.”
Stab: Well, Poopies, where do you begin?
Poopies: I was born in Los Angeles. My parents split up, and my mom got remarried, so I went to Missouri with my older brother. We were there for six years until he got in trouble in school and couldn’t wrestle anymore. We moved back to CA with my Dad so my brother could wrestle. At high school in California, everyone treated me different. I was the outcast. I had my razor scooter, my short shorts, my Adidas… the clothes my mom dressed me with. The kids picked on me but I wanted to be cool with the crew so I’d do stupid shit to make them laugh.
What kind of stupid shit? Like, I’d ride my bike down a gnarly cliff into ice plant that had a 10-foot gap. The boys were baffled I did it… like ‘who is this kid’? I’d come up with grass stains on my teeth. When I got to high school, I had to be myself. So I started throwing walnuts at cars, just being a rat. I wanted to impress the boys in Carlsbad, but they all surfed and I had just learned. I wanted to prove myself.
Here’s the golden question: Why ‘Poopies’? I got my nickname in Junior High. I was at my friends house and we were watching Jackass. My friend had a gorilla mask and gloves and I shouldn’t have even said it but at the time, but I said ‘I gotta take a shit.’ So my friend was like ‘ok, go to the busiest intersection in Carlsbad and put the mask on.” I went down to the intersection, and it was empty. The boys hid in the bushes and I started to squeeze one out in the street with my board shorts around my ankles, mask and gloves on. Then all the cars pulled up. The boys were laughing so hard in the bushes….somehow the cops got there really fast. I felt like I robbed a bank or something. Four cop cars pulled up, yelling ‘get on the ground!’ The boys hopped the fence and bailed. It was my first time getting arrested as a grom. All my friends told everyone at school the next day. And then, I was the kid who pooped in the street. Friends kept coming up with names, like shitties, poopies and poopies stuck. All through high school I never had a girlfriend, never went to prom never did anything with a chick because my name was Poopies. I thought man, I moved to Carlsbad, met these surfer kids and now they’re ruining my life. But I kept surfing and going to the same beach, kept putting in time to be one of the boys and that’s all that it comes down to. Just wanting to be one of the boys.
When did you make it out to the North Shore? In 2006 I took 500 dollars and moved to the North Shore. My friend said I could live with him at Jamie’s house. Jamie and I became good friends because we like to do fun shit, it’s what we’re all about, having fun. I’m super stoked to be where I am now. I’ve done every job: construction, cleaned pools, tiles. I’ve worked in a warehouse packing who knows what. Back in the day I used to clean the Volcom house and get it ready for the groms. I worked for the Union putting in office ceilings, you remember when you would throw your pencil up in the ceilings of the school classrooms? Brah, there’s a whole technique to doing those ceilings.
How did the filming begin? After Jamie’s movie, Red Bull said to film some stuff around the house. At first, I was in the background just cruising. There was 2.0, on 3.0 I lost my eyebrows at Coachella and so on. But now with the show, it’s gnarly, we can’t even have animals. Once we blew up we kinda got blown down with our options of what to do. Now it’s become raw ocean Jackass stuff.
The top five scariest Who is JOB moments, what are they? Probably the drainage ditch. I’m so lucky, I should have came out of there paralysed. We just showed up and went down it. At the bottom there’s a bunch of boulders, and when I got down to the bottom I was going 60 mph, it was the worst nightmare. I thought, ‘I’m going to die right now’…if I would have put my legs down instead of lifting them up I would have broken them. The first rock I hit my butt, I’m lucky I hit it on the side because if I would have hit in the middle, it would have shoved my spine up my back. I hit my head on another boulder and lost my breath. I couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything. I started moving my fingers my toes, and tried to get up. I was crawling…I got up to my knees and stood up and had to walk. My adrenaline was going, I couldn’t feel the pain.
Actually… Mexico is probably the first one because I almost drowned. I don’t know if you can get closer to drowning than that…I got towed in with Jamie and (Ryan) Hippo (Hipwood), we were supposed to go out where it was smaller. Then like the 12 year set came in. Jamie was yelling ‘go Hippo’ and Hippo’s yelling back ‘yeah, mate we’re going!’ meanwhile I’m banging the tube like fuck no, I don’t want any part of this. Jamie was just laughing… the lip landed right on us. I popped up right next to Jamie, and I’ve had no experience in big waves. I’m yelling “what do I do Jamie?” because there was a 20 foot bomb coming. He got sucked into the rip outside while I got pulled into the impact zone. He told me, “relax!” I got pounded, hit the sand again and again and finally popped up. Thank god Hippo was there. It was the scariest thing in my life.
Next, the eardrum with the rope swing. No one knows it but I popped my eardrum, it was bleeding and I had to do it twice because the camera messed up. Somehow I always have to do things twice, like when we’re at the Wahiawa bridge in the most disgusting water ever and I still had my roller blade cuts… Fourth was definitely the rollerblades and the poles, that shit hurt. Fifth, surf Jaws. The ocean is way gnarlier than concrete. The only thing scarier than catching the wave at Jaws is trying to get away from it.
In some of the webisodes, you look freaked out before crazy stunts…any thoughts on how much anxiety you feel beforehand? Sometimes I wish I had a 9-5… nah. (Laughs) I wake up at 7:30, go to Jamie’s house and wake him up if he’s not already up and we figure out what to do. Surf Pipe, Waimea shorebreak or Keiki shorebreak? Maybe winch the river if there’s no waves. Things change quick too…one day we’ll be wanting to winch the river and all of the sudden I’m going off a bridge in a kayak. It’s nerve wracking and Jamie doesn’t help. He’ll say, ‘Poops, the waves are 60 foot tomorrow better be ready and I’m like ‘I’m going to the mountains and hiding’. It’s not a normal office job. I think it’s actually a lot harder…it can get heavy.
Is there a difference between Poopies and Sean? I’ve known people for three years who don’t know my real name and ask ‘by the way what’s your real name?’ I don’t think there is a Sean anymore. I think it’s just Poopies now.
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