It’s always nice to get readers’ questions and this week I’ve been inundated with a frenzied flurry of queries about why I called my blog ‘kookbitches’ (and by that I mean that one person has asked me about it). It’s actually quite a nice story so I thought I would share it…
To be honest this isn’t really my story, because I wasn’t even there when it happened, but it’s such a nice tale that I like to tell it. A group of students and a couple of surf instructors from the Pura Vida Adventures surf camp where I work had gone to surf at a beach called Playa Hermosa which is about 20 minutes drive from our usual spot. The students were all middle-aged women in their late 30s and 40s, and they were all beginners on about day 3 in the white water on foamy soft boards. Hardly a group of intimidating people! The beach was pretty deserted because it was the low season and it was early in the morning.
Fun was had by all and they spent a couple of hours frolicking in waist depth white water. Standing up sometimes, wiping out, the usual stuff. Nothing untoward happened, no running over anyone or anything like that. Then as the group walked up the beach back to the van in the parking lot, the surf instructors noticed that something was written on the van windscreen. Someone had written ‘GO HOME KOOKBITCHES’ in wax on the windscreen. I know it was wax because the person who had to scrub it off told me that it was wax. The surf instructors were worried, they didn’t want the students to see it because it could be perceived as frightening and intimidating. But it was too late, there was nothing the instructors could do, the students had seen what was written there.
The bit I really like about this story is the reaction of the students that day. Those women thought it was hilarious and they laughed at it. For the rest of their week-long retreat they would yell at each other ‘hey kookbitch’ and ‘wozzup kookbitch’. They saw the ridiculousness of the situation and they turned what was supposed to be an insult into a joke. And that sums up exactly how I want to live my life. A woman’s greatest power is not to look sexy in a bikini, or to be skinny, or to have perky tits and a great ass, or even to be an awesome surfer. Our greatest power is to laugh and be funny. Women get so much bullshit thrown at us that if we take it seriously we’ll go crazy. But when you laugh at the asshats, it takes away their power.
If anyone ever leaves a unwarranted shitty note on your car my advice is that you should always get it framed. It takes the sting out of it, and if you get a few you can turn them into a collage or an art installation. It becomes a good talking point when visitors come to your house. I’ll always feel deeply indebted to the guy who wrote that message on the van that day. I’d been struggling to come up with a name for my new blog. The words ‘mermaid’, ‘goddess’, ‘blonde’, and ‘salty’ were all banned for obvious reasons. I wanted something edgy, raw and different. When I heard ‘kookbitches’ I was struck by its synergy, I would never have had the imagination to put those two words together. I knew instantly that I had finally found what I’d been looking for.
I sometimes wonder if that genius wordsmith was aware that the cultural meaning of the word ‘bitch’ is evolving and feminists have reclaimed what used to be a gender based insult. A bitch nowadays can be an educated, empowered, sassy woman who stands up for herself. Surfers were even ahead of the feminists because the word ‘bitchin’ has always been surf slang for cool, or really good. Whoever my linguistic hero was that day, he’s obviously quite the character, and I salute him!
Bitch on, ladies!