Sindersurfer was the first Feigel Fable I wrote and appeared in the June 1964 issue of Surfguide. It's the only FF that didn't have an accompanying illustration - probably because no one knew whether there'd be a second fable. Much to everyone's surprise, it struck some sort of chord with a number of our more unstable readers and they banged their tin cups across the bars of their cells until I was allowed to write another one.

Sindersurfer - a feigel fable

Once upon a time, on the heavenly little island of Nerd (where everyone surfs) a poor little gremmie-girl named Sindersurfer lived with her stepmother, Stella, and her two illiterate step-sisters, Wimp and Rasty.  Stella owned and operated a surfboard shop and forced poor Sindersurfer to shape, sand, glass and gloss all the boards ... and sweep the floor to boot.  Her sisters, on the other hand, represented their mother’s competition team in all the surfing contests.

  Alas, one day Sindersurfer, more miserable than usual, collapsed in a bundle of tears.  “I wish more than anything that I could enter the Honeycomb contest tomorrow, but alas I have all these boards to finish ... and I’m not even on the team!”

WHOOOOOOOSHEE!  ... and there before her very eyes stood what was obviously a Good Fairy.  “I heard ya cry’n dearie”, said the Fairy, “and your wish shall be granted!” WHOOSHEE!  And suddenly in place of her glass-covered overalls she wore a sexy Dior bathing suit, Fedco Competition jacket and a pair of blue Topsiders.  Not only that but out of a sea urchin the Fairy made a surfboard, and from a piece of wax she made a woody-wagon.

  “But remember”, said the Good Fairy, “My magic spell wears off at exactly noon, General Telephone time.  Everything but the blue Topsiders will return to what it was before.  And with that she WHOOOOSHEEED!

  Well, to tell the truth, Sindersurfer won the contest easily, and was presented with a trophy of a long distance runner on a surfboard.  Wimp and Rasty didn’t even place.  And at the Surfer’s Stomp which followed the contest, Sindersurfer danced with Kahuna Clyde, Nerd’s most famous surfer ... and they fell madly in love.

  Just as Kahuna Clyde was about to ask Sindersurfer to marry him, Big Dex began to strike noon.  As Sindersurfer dashed from the stomp one of the Topsiders slid from her foot. 

  Kahuna Clyde tried to follow her, but all he found was a crumby looking Gremmie girl in glass covered overalls, sitting on a bar of wax, trying to pull sea urchins from her arm pit.

  The next day, Kahuna Clyde announced he would try the Topsider on every girl in Nerd, and whomever the shoe fit he would marry. When Kahuna Clyde came to Stella’s surfboard shop, she presented her daughters.  He tried gallantly to fit the shoe ... and got nowhere.  And when Sindersurfer tried the shoe everyone laughed heartily ... but it fit perfectly and Kahuna Clyde proposed on the spot.

The newlyweds were never seen again and to this day Nerdians swear they heard Kahuna Clyde whisper “WHOOOOOSHEEE” just before they disappeared.  It’s assumed they lived happily every after.  Doesn’t everyone?  WHOOOOOSHEE!!!

feigel fables & Sindersurfer © Robert R. Feigel 1964, 2001, 2002 - All rights reserved


Jack and the Hodad was originally published in the August 1964 issue of Surfguide. The illustration is by Butch Cornelius. The root word, 'whooshee', was borrowed from Jimy Fitzpatrick, aka 'The Kid'. Jimy had a knack of inventing words that expressed a situation far better than the vernacular. Pronounced in a receptive frame of mind, the word sounds like a surfer in perfect trim, sliding by on a perfect right. WHOOOOOOOSHEEEEEE ...

Once upon a time, a lad named Jack lived with his well-meaning sweet old mother on the Island of Nerd ... where everyone surfs.  And it came to pass that one day Jack’s mother said, “Son, these are hard times.  With your old daddy gone off to the great Makaha in the sky, and the mean, cruel, muscle-bound hodad kicking-out on everybody around here, we’ll hardly be needing our old tandem board anymore . . . so take it to town and sell it.  And don’t forget the beans!”                  

On his way to town, Jack met a very strange looking man who, as a matter of fact, turned out to be an unemployed male car-hop.  The car-hop conned Jack out of his mother’s tandem and gave him three sacks of Mattel Instant Wave Powder in exchange.  Once the powder was emptied into the ocean, perfectly formed twenty foot waves would appear and carry poor be-swindled Jack wherever he wished.  And with that the ex car-hop whoooooshed.

When Jack returned home and told his mother what had happened, she flew into such a rage that she threw the wave powder into the sea and sent Jack to bed without his dinner or television.  Besides he forgot the beans!

Next morning Jack awoke to the sound of huge waves breaking in front of his house.  He sprang from his bed, jerked on his trunks and ran down to the water.  “Halt”, blurted Jack’s mother.  If you ride those waves, the mean, cruel, muscle-bound, hairy, ugly and obnoxious hodad will kick-out on you and you’ll be killed just as your poor old Papa.

“Never", barked Jack back.  “We have too long been bullied by this ... BULLY!  I shall destroy this despicable demon before this day is done!”  And he paddled out.

Lo and behold, just as the male car-hop had promised, the wave took him to the exclusive Oxnerd Estates ... and the house of the Hodad. The Hodad was on his lanai putting surfing decals on his Harley-Davidson when Jack sneaked in. ‘Fee-Fi-Fo Stink. I Smell the blood of a Dirty Fink!” Then the hodad chug-a-lugged two bottles of red ripple and went to slumber. On a table in the front room, Jack spied three great treasures: The Goose that Lays the Golden Wax, The Beach Boys’ First Gold Record, and a sack of  Dewey for President buttons. Seeing his chance, Jack snatched the goose, surfed home, and gave the goose to his mother - who, by the way, was delighted. Then he surfed back.

Jack made another quick trip and returned this time with the sack full of Dewey for President buttons. But his third trip nearly met with disaster: Jack’s aesthetic sensibility drove him to put the Beach Boys’ record on the hodad’s stereo. The first few bop-bop-dip-a-dippy-dips didn’t awaken the hodad, but when the Beach Boys reached their famous high “C", every glass in the house broke. Jack Sterling Mossed it out the door with the hodad in hot pursuit. And as Jack took off on a waiting wave the hodad took off right behind him.

On the beach thousands of Nerdians watched the spectacular chase. Out in the water Jack approached a section and arrogantly executed the difficult and dramatic Ichabod Crane head dip. Seeing this, the hodad tried the same maneuver and failed miserably thus giving Jack an unchallengeable lead. Jack then performed a sitting island stand-out, rode the whitewater to the beach, ran to his house, snatched up his portable transistor record player, ran back to the beach, pointed the speaker at the hodad, and put on the Beach Boys’ First Gold Record.  This time the resounding high “C” cracked the fiberglass on the hodad’s board, he lost his balance and fell into the sea never to be heard of again.  (Everybody knows that hodad’s can’t swim anyway).

Alas and alack, the peaceful little island of Nerd (where everyone surfs) was saved, and Jack and his mother lived happily, bottling jams and jellies ever after.

feigel fables & Jack and the Hodad © Robert R. Feigel 1964, 2001, 2002 - All rights reserved


When I wrote this fable, surfing had been banned at a number of Southern California beaches by local authorities and one of my favorite winter breaks, Ventura County Line (as well as many other surfing spots in Ventura County) was being considered for a total year-round ban on surfing. Thanks to the magazine's backing as well as support from the United States Surfing Association, the owners of the County Line Store and the local Ventura County deputy sheriff, we were able to organize a beach cleanup at County Line that convinced county officials that surfers weren't that bad after all. It was the so-called "local" surfers from the San Fernando Valley who were the most challenging to convince. If they hadn't cleaned up their act and started leaning on visiting surfers who threatened the status quo, then Ventura County would have come down on surfing like a ton of regulations.

The Gremmie Who Cried Shark was first published in the September 1964 issue of Surfguide and the illustration was drawn by Butch Cornelius.

Once upon a time a typical gremmie lived on the Island of Nerd ... where everyone surfs.  This gremmie was so typical that no one ever noticed him.  Which worried the gremmie terribly.  And don’t think for a minute that he was imagining things either.  Even before he became so typical nobody noticed him.

And so it came to pass that one bright sunshiny day the gremmie bought a bottle of peroxide and bleached his hair.  Next day at school, right after his class in the Rise and Fall of Wewey Weber (Nerd High also had classes in How to Go Right at the Pipeline and Ding Repairs 1A and 1B, etc. — after all Nerd is the Island where everyone surfs) ... anyway, right after class the gremmie asked his schoolmates, all of whom had nicknames, to call him the Blond Bomber.  To which, of course, they all agreed ... but they soon forgot.  Nobody could remember to notice him.

When this didn’t work, he bought a pair of blue Top-Sliders and a Penneyton.  He even had his mother, who noticed him occasionally, take photos of him surfing.  The gremmie handed out hundreds of his pictures to the surfers on the beach; he even sent copies to newspapers and magazines.  Still, no one noticed him.

Then he started swearing in front of small children, tourists, and mothers (other people’s, of course).  Every chance he got he would scribble anti-United Nerd Surfing Association propaganda on bathroom walls.  He flipped bottle-caps before, during and after surfing movies; he stamped his feet and booed twenty minutes before the movie even began; he ran-over little old ladies with his off-brand skateboard; and he changed clothes on the beach.  He became disgustingly typical — so typical that even his dog ignored him.

Soon he became so frustrated that he would take off on only the most critical waves and then do left-go-rights in front of such surfing greats as Kahuna Clyde (see Sindersurfer — Surf Guide, June issue), Honolulu Harley and Straight-off Adolf.  When there was nothing else to do he sat at home and read Supersurfer Comics, secretly wishing that Clark Kuk would step on a Kryptonite crab!

Then one day as the gremmie sat out in the water at a popular Nerdian surfing spot he got a gigantic, almost untypical idea.  He thought about the idea for a while and then decided to do it.  He took a deep breath, puckered up his lips and yelled “SHARK!” as loud as he could.

All the other surfers scrambled about on their boards in sheer panic, and pretty soon the gremmie was the only one left in the water.  This was his big chance.  And he turned-on something fierce for the fans on the beach.  He tried every trick he had ever known or seen or even heard of, and although the surfers paddled back out when they realized there was no shark, he had been noticed!

The next day was Saturday and the water was really crowded.  This time he yelled the magic word even louder, and the panic was even greater than before.

On Sunday the beach was still more crowded.  But this time when the gremmie cried “Shark!"— confident that he would again be noticed — there really was a shark.  A big long blue one with white spots.  The pandemonium on the beach first subsided into confusion, then relief, and finally — curiosity.  “Who cried Shark?  Who saved our lives?” they all asked.  But nobody could answer.  Because no one had noticed.

  feigel fables & The Gremmie Who Cried "Shark" © Robert R. Feigel 1964, 2001, 2002 - All rights reserved