Why Spending $4,500 To Attend Stab High In Luxury Made Sense One Drunken Evening
It’s worth noting, you can get there for a 1/16 of that price.
Stab High is June 29th and if you want to go it’s about time to start booking your trip. Grab a flight to Austin, Dallas, or even straight into Waco. Book a room nearby. It’s a fun time, you’ll enjoy it. I promise.
Because I have, literally, nothing to do with the event other than hassling the guys that do, Stab doesn’t pay for me to attend. Their logic, which is very unfair, runs something like, “We don’t want to pay for you to get drunk and get in the way.”
I, of course, take issue with that. Because they should pay for me to attend, get very drunk, and get in the way. In fact, I should be compensated for attending. Hand me a mic, point the camera my way, and watch me ruin everything. Sure, I may suck at surfing and can’t really relate to any of the performances that will be setting the pool on fire. I’d most likely deliver some form of stream of consciousness indictment of Texan culture that would leave Stab unwelcome in the state for a decade.
And, as of a few weeks ago, I’m famous! Featured in the Daily Mail! The height of journalistic accomplishment!
But no amount of reasoned argument can convince the money men to change their minds. It’s the same old story I run into all the time. “We’re a business. All your ideas are stupid. You ruin everything. I don’t know why we pay you at all.” Blah blah blah.
But they can’t stop me from paying out of pocket for flights and lodging, then badgering them to give me VIP passes. Which I did last year when I learned round-trip tickets to Texas were only $300. I flew to Houston, drove three hours to Waco, linked up with some friends and had a very good time.
I ate at truck stops! Marveled at the constant presence of distant gunshots. Flinched at the event’s power-tripping security guards who all feel they must be, inexplicably, armed with handguns while wrangling a bunch of drunk Aussies. I did shots with Noa Deane, then struggled through a hungover day while he went on to win the event.
I’ve gotta give it to my coworkers, they arranged an amazing affair. More skate comp than surf, it was actually fun to attend. No breaks in the action. No one telling me to behave. Just good old fashioned artfully arranged anarchy. Surfers pounding beers between waves, beautiful women getting white girl wasted on the canned white wine available in ample supply. One even revealed her breasts.
The point being, I really wanted to go again this year. But when I checked flights they were $900, and I didn’t want to spend that much money to fly from The Garden Isle to a sweltering college town most famous for the fiery deaths of a Seventh Day Adventist offshoot cult.
But then I finished an article I’ve been working on for a while and decided to celebrate with a bottle, or two, of Kirkland Pinot Grigio. Delicious mommy juice. What better way to end a day?
The dry white ran dry, turned into scotch, and I found myself browsing AirBnBs in Waco.
It turns out that you can book a five bedroom apartment, eight miles from BSR, for $150 a night. That’s only $30 a night per room. Cheaper than a hostel, close enough to Baylor that you might get lucky with an unattended undergrad. I’d be a sucker to turn down that deal! It doesn’t take into account the cleaning fee and service charge, but I didn’t realize that until later.
Lodging arranged, I started looking at airfare. $930? Fuck it. No big deal. I’ve got a fun money account that’s burning a hole in my pocket. I’m just gonna spend the money on something stupid anyway. Maybe a speargun I don’t need. Why not piss it away on Waco?
But, wait a second, that’s about 26 hours of flying, total. I’m 6’2, I better upgrade to extra comfort seats. Those extra inches of legroom are a lifesaver. Even with the assistance of Xanax-induced time traveling I invariably end long flights feeling stiff and cramped and cranky. It’s worth the extra dough.
But those bastards at the airline charge for the upgrade on each leg, bringing my total to almost $1400! Highway robbery! Especially considering flying first class is only $2100.
That’s the ticket! I’ll fly first class! Here’s my credit card info. No, I don’t want to pay the $30 fee that will allow me to cancel my flight. That shit is for chumps. That’s how they get ya’!
Oh boy, this is getting expensive. And I still need a rental car. At least those are cheap. I’ll just rent a compact. That’s economical.
Only, it is Texas. I want to fit in and, look, here’s a place that will rent me a stupid giant pickup truck. That makes more sense. I wouldn’t want the rootin’ tootin’ gun shootin’ locals to think I’m some sort of city slicker. Yeehaw! I’m golden.
Lone Star State, here I come! I’m gonna eat at Whataburger! It’s terrible, but you can watch drunks fight in the parking lot. Maybe I’ll buy a gun! I’d need a permit to carry a handgun, which you can, apparently, obtain online. But you don’t need one if you keep it in your car! And you can, apparently, lug a shotgun or rifle with you everywhere you go. It seems like a silly thing to do but, when in Rome…
And it might make the Aussies more comfortable if I showed up bearing some form of man-killer. They all seemed a little freaked out by the presence of firearms last year. Not their fault, they don’t understand how freedom works. But if I come armed they’ll feel better knowing they’re all safe and sound. “If shit goes down get behind me, ya cunts. I’ll return fire.”
What could go wrong?
My trip was wrapped in a golden bow. I was riding high and excited about my Texan adventure, then passed out cold on my couch.
Waking up the following humid Kauai morning I realized I needed to explain to my wife what I’d done. She knew I was considering going, but I’d told her it would cost around $1k, at most, and at this point I’d racked up about $4000. Some of that will be reduced by friends who are kicking in on the AirBnB, which I hastened to point out. But I had to be honest, it’s hardly the most expensive part of the trip. Lodging in Waco is dirt cheap. Everything is. Really. When you live in Hawaii the flyover states feel a third world country, financially.
Luckily I have a doting wife who far out-earns me and can handle my occasional profligate decisions. She did, however, point out that I had said she couldn’t come. Because it would be too expensive. My actions had proven it’s not a real issue, and I never let her come on work trips with me. If I’m doing this, she’s coming too.
I mean, that’s cool. I’ve got a hot wife. I’m happy to show her off to my coworkers. There’s always the chance that she’ll be lured in by the taut body of a professional surfer, look at my pudgy ass, and realize she could trade up.
But I’m not really worried about it. They’re all very short. I’m tall, and I can, theoretically, do some sit-ups. I won’t, but I’m betting she won’t realize that. She hasn’t yet.
I’ll have to keep an eye on her around Jay Davies. Is he coming this year? I’m not sure.
I did point out that we truly cannot afford two first class tickets. She’ll have to fly economy since my ticket is non-refundable and non-transferable. It was a dirty lie, there’s no real reason not to spring for the upgrade. Except that it’ll be funny to plop down with the ruling class and shoo her towards the cattle. “Excuse me, miss. This woman is bothering me. Can you please show her toward the rear? Yes, I’d love a hot towel. Yes, I’d love to mix my in-flight benzos with a few free cocktails.”
After some grumbling, all of it fair, she booked her flight. Bringing the total, thus far, to:
Car rental- $600
For a trip to a surf contest in Waco fucking Texas…
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