Gasbag – Take One For The Team

When our posse pulled up to a popular bump in Long Beach one night, little did we know that on account of this mission, Ryan, Lindsey, and I would a few months later be skimming the waters of the Long Beach Marina with nets in order to work off the 24 hours of community service we had earned for trespassing. And for the record, we didn’t even get the trick that night.

Being a sponsored skateboarder or a photographer and working for that sponsor sounds like an easy life. At times, it is-you’re getting paid to skate. However, that’s not to say this job doesn’t come with a very unique and ironic occupational hazard. The lady at the volunteer office nailed it when she remarked, “So you basically get paid to break the law.” Well, technically … yeah. We all know fines, confiscation, and community service are bound to happen sooner or later. When you’re constantly scouring the streets trying to shoot photos several days a week, you’re likely to catch a vocational hang-up every once in a while. The old “school project” bit may have worked for Heath’s bluntslide cover, but it’s a long shot when the team van you’re driving isn’t even registered in your name. In the last year alone, I can’t recall the countless number of lectures, sit-downs, and searches with police telling us how we should find “real jobs.” We’d been lucky for most of the year, but I guess all our warnings had run out.

So here we are, day two of swabbing the decks and picking up trash in order to “give back to the community.” Although we’re still trying to figure out what we took away from the community in the first place, overall the 24 hours of community service are really just a slap on the hand. We got away lucky, because fishing for trash isn’t that bad-we got an hour break every couple hours and the time goes by pretty fast when you’re working with your buddies. We’ve even found a couple new skate spots-we’ll just have to be a bit more covert next time. In the end we decided to hold onto our neon-yellow vests-you never know when we might need them again.-Shigeo