fine art of going topless at the beach is surrounded by convention
and etiquette, I reflected, as I lay on a lurid towel warming my fur
at South Maroubra.
weeks, my investigation of Liverpool Council had dragged me back to
Maroubra, on the other side of the city, where I was keeping a merchant
banker, a prominent local politician and their colourful associates
mammaries of the human female have always held a relentless fascination
for this marsupial, I suppose because lady possums carry their nipples
demurely hidden in their pouches.
I mused, idly scanning the talent on the sand, there are two unforgivables
in the art of toplessness: vulgarity and self-consciousness.
genre hasnt changed much in a quarter of a century so even rank
amateurs have now mastered the basic plays. The most common is lying
demurely on the back, a decent distance from the crowd. Sitting up
chatting to friends is okay, but although animated conversation might
make the performance more engaging, such ploys have long since failed
to impress the judges.
ritual of rubbing on the sunscreen provides some scope for individual
flair but few can carry off the touching of the breasts without vulgarity,
and having the boyfriend massage in the sunscreen is the pits. At
least, Ive never seen it pulled off successfully.
up and walking into the water (let alone running), is edgy stuff indeed.
In the first place, convention dictates that be done at least 50 metres
outside the flags. Somehow it always seems tainted with self-promotion.
its not often you see the bar raised by a performance that threatens
to rupture the envelope, but just then right in front of me, I saw
snuck up on the audience with an innovative curtain-raiser. Young,
brunette, athletic, with a short gamin cut, she trotted out of the
surf with three young male surfies, well-waxed surfboard under her
few metres up the beach they stopped. The young Amazon dropped her
board, ripped off her leg rope and peeled off her wetsuit.
she wore only a skimpy white bikini bottom.
nice opening statement. Easy, natural, original. Straight away, the
judges pencilled her in for 15 points.
the mammary scale from small-but-perfectly-formed to Rubensesque,
she rated closer to the former than the latter, the perfect physique
for the performance that followed.
foursome broke into a lively and lengthy discussion of surfing technique
with much fighter pilot-type handplay as they debated the finer points
of left- and right-breaks. The young men behaved impeccably, their
eyes never straying below her shoulders.
five minutes the assembled judges agreed, by a process of mental telepathy,
that this was an impressive performance. It was certainly worth 70
points but how would she bring it to an end?
leaving the boys to their discussion, she sauntered over to her gear,
crossed right in front of the crowd and picked up a couple of items
of clothing. Nice work. Not a hint of self-consciousness. 75, maybe
only question now was the end-game
could she cover up elegantly,
for a high 85?
wait, a sensation! Without putting her gear on, she sauntered
back through the crowd and resumed her animated conversation with
the boys. Ambitious stuff. She was shooting for a ton.
was a high-risk strategy. The seconds crawled into was it two,
three minutes? The tension was almost unbearable. Finally,
she unfurled a wrap. Another small item of clothing fell to the sand.
audience sweated out the seconds, praying for the sort of relief you
feel when an Olympic gymnast completes a heart-stopping performance
on the bars, but she wasnt going to let them out of their misery
tied the little sarong around her hips and went on animatedly
discussing the finer points of pulling off the wave. There was an
inaudible collective gasp. The judges pencilled her in for an average
of 95. Surely, surely, the end was in sight.
seconds stretched out like hours.
finally, she reached down to the sand, plucked up a tiny sleeveless
white top, slipped effortlessly into it, picked up her board, and
wandered off with the boys.
judges agreed theyd witnessed a hot new talent, whose performance
this late in the season was unlikely to be beaten. It was hard to
see how it could have been better but we put her down for 99 points
(because only God can be perfect).