Fuck, yeah, it's finally summer! Golden West College is on break, and it's time to figure out how to fit as much rage time in as possible before you have to go back to your busy six-hour-a-week community-college education come fall. You start prepping by pulling the cover off the ATVs in your parents' garage, giving the jet skis a good wash and lifting your Black Ford a couple of inches more—because the height at which your truck sits is directly proportional to the level of that sea of pussy you'll be drowning in. But it isn't until you hit up Mike or Ry-Guy or Frank “The Tank” to make the yearly plans for Glamis or Havasu that you realize something's a bit off about this season. . . .
Stage One: Shock and Disbelief
What the hell do your friends mean they're “just not feeling” a trip to Vegas this summer? Who in their right mind doesn't want to ditch the beachfront condo for the weekend to stay in your dad's plush-ass suite at the Cosmo? Did they not hear you when you said, “Free bottle service at TAO, yo!”? What does “I don't know man, that really isn't my scene anymore,” even mean? Your texts saying, “were still on 4 sharkeez 2nite tho?” go unanswered. WTF bro?
Stage Two: Denial
All right, so maybe your buddy's phone was dead. Or maybe it's that new chick he's been dating. But after many solo nights at Hurricane's Bar and Grill (200 Main St., Ste. 201, 714-374-0500; www.hurricanesbargrill.com), you start to wonder. . . . Could it be all your buds have moved on with their lives? Nah, dog, if you just head over to the beach and hit up the USO, they'll show up, just like every year since your parents were dropping you off on PCH with your bleached-blond-tipped, spiked hair and puka shell necklace. It's a fuckin' August tradition, man. Sure, you guys never went to actually watch the surfing—who has time for that when there are more pressing matters at hand, such as seeing who can score the most bikini-clad jailbait and busty blond honeys?
Stage Three: Anger
Your bros have blown you off for the umpteenth time for such artsy shit as Once Upon a Mattress at the Huntington Beach Playhouse (7111 Talbert Ave., 714-375-0696; www.hbplayhouse.com) and that Farmers' Market and Art Fair every Friday night. Who wants to do that shit on a Friday night?! In a last-ditch effort to de-pussify the season you've always lived for, it's time to engage in an age-old tradition in H.B.: surf riots. Whether you engage in some good old-fashioned arson à la the OP Pro Surfing Contest of '86 or the more juvenile, Porta-Potty tipping and OC Weekly news rack beating after the U.S. Open in 2013, it'll feel good to get some of that testosterone out and onto the streets.
Stage Four: Bargaining
Okay, so maybe if you join your old pals in some of their new hobbies—including scouring the Golden West Swap Meet every weekend for useless junk such as antique typewriters and vinyl records (it's like they forgot they own MacBooks and iPhones!)—maybe then they'll come back to your old pastimes, such as chugging Keystone beer under the pier before heading across PCH to TK Burgers (110 Pacific Coast Hwy., 714-960-3238; www.tkburgers.com) for the best burgers in town or enjoying the cheap beer and bikini babes pouring it at Distractions Lounge (16612 Beach Blvd., 586-565-2089; distractionslounge.wordpress.com). What happened? Why has everyone traded in their bitchen trucks for Priuses and Scions? Why have they left you in the dust like the sand clouds you used to make in the desert on your ATVs every June? Is there something you could have done to prevent this?
Stage Five: Guilt
Maybe it was that time you puked off the balcony at Aloha Grill (221 Main St., 714-374-4427; www.alohagrill.com) after one too many “World Famous” Rainbow iced hangovers. Maybe it's because you brought home one too many Sand Rhinos—gals on the heftier end of the bro-ho spectrum—from the beach. Whatever it was, you can't help but feel this is somehow all your fault.
Stage Six: Depression
The jet skis remain in the back yard, gathering dust, with other bro shit left undone, and you haven't been to Main Street for three Fridays in a row. What's the point without your bros? Then it hits you: You're a bro. It was all fun and games until you got a Sublime sun tattoo on your arm and had the Monster “M” painted onto the hood of your truck. How could you have been so blind? In a moment of blind passion, you throw away every wifebeater, bit of motocross memorabilia and LMFAO CD you own, leaving your room all but empty. And that last purge brings you . . .
Stage Seven: Acceptance
It was a tough road, but these days, you're a lot happier and—dare we say?—wiser. You've traded your tool bars and beer pong for places such as Johnny's Saloon (17428 Beach Blvd., 714-848-0676; www.johnnyssaloon.com), which declares itself a “bro-free zone,” and Brewbakers (7242 Heil Ave., 714-596-5506; brewbakers1.com), where you've brewed your own craft summer ales that don't taste like the piss beer that has been flowing through your veins since your Ocean View High days. We were all young and naive once, failing to embrace Huntington's true, diverse culture. But now, the reformed bro that you are, you can knowingly laugh the next time some basic bitch asserts that Huntington Beach is filled with nothing but asshole cops and bros.
When not running the OCWeekly.com and OC Weekly’s social media sites, Taylor “Hellcat” Hamby can be found partying like it’s 1899.