Car surfing has been appearing a little more regularly in the news recently due to the rash of deaths that have occurred. A 17 year old boy in Huntington Beach, a 19 year old Kentucky student, a 17 year old Quebec girl. As sad as it is that these lives are cut short, one can’t help but shrug and think “stupid, reckless, thrill-seeking teenagers!” Well, dig a little deeper – you won’t even need a shovel. A 38 year old Quebec man also died from car surfing, the same month as the 17 year old girl. Isolated incident, you think? Try a 55 year old CFO in Phoenix in 2004. Or the 10 year old Utah boy who nearly died of his injuries in 2008. You are probably quick to assume an older teenage sibling or friend was driving the car, but no, that privilege goes to his mom. Yup. Mom, who by the way had no license or insurance, decided it was ok to let her 10 year old kid (and his 8 year old sister) hang off the side of the car while she did the tour of the trailer park.
There are those that blame movies like Teen Wolf (1985) or Grindhouse (2007). There are, apparently, even neurosurgeons who are blaming the increase in popularty on the game Grand Theft Auto and everybody’s favourite scapegoat – YouTube. Idiots. Car surfing’s appeal started to surge in 1990 – 5 years after Teen Wolf and 17 years before Grindhouse. When cro-magnum teens raced their brontosauruses (brontosauri?) through a herd of raptors, who was to blame? “Kraaghugh, you no look at cave drawings no more, they make you stoopid!” Sigh, and if you play Grand Theft Auto backwards, it says that Paul is the devil. Time to face the facts: 1) teenagers were stupid before movies, videogames and YouTube were invented and they will be stupid long after we invent new shit for them to abuse; 2) some people never grow up and therefore will remain as stupid as they were when they were teens for the rest of their lives and 3) sometimes stupid teenagers, and those adults who never outgrow stupid teenager-hood, have kids.