John Hoskinson is the communications director for the Surfrider Foundation.

Monday, 18 Oct 1999

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.

Dear Diary: Today I got a pimple … YUCK! And Jenny Pitrizoni pulled my hair and said that I was ugly … Oh, wait … wrong diary. I’ll start again.

I thought I’d start my week of entries explaining how I got stuck — uh, I mean, blessed — with being this week’s diarist for Grist Magazine. I will then demonstrate why I am such a horrible choice.

The original plan was to have Surfrider Foundation’s new executive director, Chris Evans, do it. Chris would’ve been a perfect fit. He’s witty, intelligent, a great storyteller and — other than being freakishly tall — he’s damn near perfect. In fact, I hated him with an intense passion until I found out that I’m a much better guitar player than he is. (I still think he’s faking his incompetence in an attempt to build up my self-esteem.)

When Chris had to back out due to his current workload, I thought Chad Nelsen, Surfrider’s environmental programs manager, would be a great replacement. Chad is one of those rare individuals who possesses both a great knowledge of environmental science and the ability to explain it to us lowly plebeians in a clear and concise way. He also has a great sense of humor and usually has a hard time saying no.

Well, after Chad said “no” (albeit in a clear, concise, and humorous way) I decided I’d give it a try. This could be a HUGE liability for Surfrider Foundation. You see I have a penchant for saying incredibly inappropriate things. What makes this particularly dangerous is that I think this is one of my best attributes.

I’ll give you a recent example.

This summer saw the closure of a large section of Huntington Beach due to high bacteria levels in the water. A local assemblyman reacted to this by saying that maybe we needed legislation that would allow coastal cities the discretion to overrule their county Health Department’s recommendations. I thought our official statement should’ve been: “I guess the Assemblyman spends so much of his time with his head up his butt that contaminated water doesn’t seem so bad.”

So you can see why this whole diarist experiment could be a very bad thing indeed.