In this world there are a few different strains of celebrity. There are Celebrities with a capital C, and then there are the countless incarnations of the idea which include, but are not limited to: B-list celebrities, C-list celebrities, indie musicians, race car drivers, porn stars, cartoon characters, talk show hosts, and then a gaping comet’s trail away – pro surfers.
Your jaw drops in disbelief. You can now drink Kelly Slater. You can get drunk with Kelly Slater.
Pro surfers have fallen into the category of vaguely familiar, homeless looking personalities for quite some time now, but one man by the name of Kelly Slater has made considerable strides to change that – whether he wanted to or not. The fact is you can’t get away from him any more.
Imagine this. You are in Times Square about to meet a buddy for lunch (that’s a safe enough distance from the surf world, right?). You pick up a copy of Outside Magazine from the newsstand (you’re going camping in two weeks), and Kelly’s stare pierces your forehead from the cover while he simultaneously sprays you in the face from his full window ad on the wall of the Quiksilver Times Square retail store.
Just as you wipe the Atlantic from your coat, the friend you’re meeting whom you surf Montauk with every once in a while asks if you’ve heard about the new Slater statue in Florida.
“Did you see it? It looks gnarly. It’s like a perfect replica of a Slater turn. The chick that’s making it, Natasha Drazich, based it on an old photo of Kelly’s patented snap, and they’re going to put it in Cocoa Beach.”
“Shouldn’t he be dead?”
“What the hell is wrong with you? Are you a Slater Hater?”
“No. It’s just that usually memorials are constructed to honor those that have passed.”
“You’re a real assh*le, dude.”
You walk the few remaining blocks to the restaurant, and after being seated a waitress explains the specials and lights up for a second before announcing, “Oh yeah, I almost forgot. We have a new Hinano Kelly Slater Edition Beer if you’d like to try it. They’re two-for-one right now, even though they’re imports.”
“Hell, yeah!” your friend exclaims.
Your jaw drops in disbelief. You can now drink Kelly Slater. You can get drunk with Kelly Slater. Not only can you read up on camping with Kelly, watch Baywatch reruns, get barreled in his video game, learn about his tabloid relationships with the world’s most beautiful women, hoot him towards his 9th world title (he’s already won the tour’s first two events), honor a bronze statue made in his name, and watch him play live shows with Pearl Jam, but you can also drink him.
Kelly Slater has officially made the transition to Celebrity. The moment any iteration of your identity becomes wholly drinkable, you get a capital C.
Back at the restaurant, you stir in your seat for a moment, but contemplating these hard facts leaves you with nothing left to do except signal to the waitress:
“I think I’ll have a Slater when you get a chance.”