By now we all know that my truest talent is goofing off. They say you should do what you do best, and along those lines a friend keeps urging me to return the Bossman (Boss McGillicutty, for those who might remember…as soon as I can figure out the technology, I’ll post the article), but as a Mexican version. Like Nacho Libre meets The Boss? But I just can’t do it. Besides, the Boss was my life’s pinnacle work-wise, and I’m all for quitting while I’m ahead. That’s my positivity coming through – trying to top a good effort only sets one’s self up for failure. Best to not even try. No Bosso Libre.
I love busting the balls of my New Hampshire friends, especially Freddie Wilkinson. The guy is a classic, one of those timeless characters who grace the climbing world, and a great writer and great climber to boot. I’ve got a bunch of friends back there – Ben Gilmore and Kevin Mahoney, for example, both terrific people and such hard men that I bow down, Wayne’s World style, “I’m not worthy.” Jim Shimberg rules, Bayard and the young crew keep getting’ after it big-time, and the list goes on — the place has such strong tradition.
And the full-time NH guys are sooooo proud of it, even their shitty three-season weather: rain season, mud season, and black fly season. Oh yeah, and winter. It’s ball-freezing cold one week, then pissing rain the next. I still crack-up thinking of a time there, during Ice Fest, with my good friend Jack Tackle, when Jack stepped off the sidewalk on our way to dinner, crossing the street, and plunged mid-calf into a puddle of icewater. In the interest of decency, I cannot even attempt to replicate the litany of foulness that exploded from his mouth. But it started with “GodFuckingDamnit! This fucking place, how the FUCK does anyone live in this fucking piece-of-shit motherfu…” you get the point.
But, as Freddie is sure to note…it makes for fantastic ice and mixed climbing. And here, despite my love of bantering about the ‘Rado (just because it’s so damned obnoxious – “DudeBrah, I’m just out here putting the rad in Colorado…”), I admit that, indeed, New England has a disproportionate number of hardmen and hardwomen, and IMO the North Conway area is one of the country’s great climbing epicenters. Especially impressive when you consider that they don’t have shit for vertical relief. Instead, they have bad weather, bold routes, and a great community that breeds talented and tough-as-nails climbers. They’re a bit like the Brits. Badass.
One thing that cracks me up even more than that weird-assed accent those guys have, though, is every New Englander’s love affair for the Black Dike and John Bouchard (Jaaaahwwwwn Bouwchaaaawwwd, gweatest cwimber who evewr lived!). No doubt the guy was super badass.
“Yeah, I think that route could go with a couple of bolts,” says the visiting climber.
“Hey Maaawwwrty! This guy sez he’s gownna put some bowlts in! Must be fwom Cowowado!” says NH climber #1.
“Hey, I mean, this ain’t Cowowado, you gowtta CWIMB up hewe. There ain’t bowlts evewy thwee feet. And don’t forwget Mt. Washington – worst weather evewr wecorwded on earth!” his partner adds.
“Uh, OK, I guess maybe I’ll just go climb the Black Dike or whatever,” visitor says. [Note: yes, I’ve climbed it, excellent route, sure, but c’mon, it’s not that great. Ohdeargod, what have I just said…]
“Oh yeah? Goowd luck, Cowowado boy. Der ain’t no bowlts on da Dike! Evewr heawr of a little someone called….Jaaahhhwn Bouwchaaawwd?”
“Gweatest climber who evewr lived. Bwack Dike, solo, first ascent, 1923, naked, no tools or nuthin’. He muthafuckin’ LEVITATED up that cwimb, Mawwrty!”
With all that in mind, and for those still tuning in to my senseless and good-natured babble (please don’t flog me to death with your Supergaiters), it leads to the below.
What makes a good troll? I dunno, I guess it has to be somewhat believable, enough for the gullible to bite. Talking not only content, but details. It must contain the requisite spelling errors and bad grammar. The appropriate level of douchebagginess in tone and cutesy/stupid/offensive phrases. Emoticons help. It’s more art than science.
But I don’t think it should be mean-spirited. Fine line, for sure. I don’t think it’s fair pick on the downtrodden, or do that bullshit second-guessing that every brave soul does after every climbing death or accident. I suppose I’ve most enjoyed luring-in the self-serious. Or just having fun. Right, anyway, yeah, so that’s like a trolling code of honor.
Here, I come clean – I was the illustrious ShredDawg, posting on NEIce.com a couple of years back about his desire to ski (shred) the Black Dike:
“Hey Bros! I got this idea to do a qwest where I climb up and then shred the raddest unskied lines that are also climbs…I’ve honed my skills out there in the ‘Rado and I guess you could say I shred the gnar, but I don’t like to brag. I’m just in it for the fun and for the kids.”
Something like 80 replies (can’t remember, the thread is no longer active). Some “bit,” for sure, and even got genuinely pissed at da Dawg. Screen shot below (click to enlarge), of the original post. Alas, I was gimped-up and now it’s too late – mud season, I believe – my ski descent of the Dike must wait (nevermind that I’m a terrible skier). But it was one of my better works, and my last troll. I’m far too busy – and mature – for such foolishness these days. Besides, it’s good to go out on top.