Bryan Herman’s Eyebrows
(Emerica Ams Visit Miami)
We’d heard that Miami had some good spots. The annual Tampa Am contest was coming up and I knew we were going to be out there for that, so I asked Bryan, Spanky, Matt and Leo if they wanted to fly out to Florida early and skate Miami for week before heading up to Tampa. There was absolutely no hesitation and they were into it—it was that easy.
Normally, we’d posse up at my place in Hollywood the night before we were to fly out of LA and have one of our notorious Emerica slumber parties. This usually involves going out skating until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning then coming home and playing PS2 for an hour or so before falling asleep on the couch, floor or wherever. This time, however, I dropped everyone off at Reynolds’ place so he could deal with their torture for the night instead of me. After all, I was going to be with these hyperactive sugar freaks for the next two weeks. I needed at least one good night’s sleep.
I realized I had made the right decision when Andrew dropped everyone off the next morning. The kids looked tattered, but they had their shit together—they always do. It’s just that waking up before the crack of noon is not something these guys do regularly. I was caught off-guard when I noticed Herman’s eyebrows were missing. Nobody even mentioned it, so it took me a second to figure out what was different about his face. When I realized what was wrong, I asked him what happened. The story I got was that he fell asleep earlier than everyone else and woke up looking like the hideously maimed freak that now stood before me. Drew screeched away, heading back to two weeks of juvenile delinquent-free peace and quiet.
My consternation fell upon Spanky, Matt and Leo for so maiming Bryan in his slumber. Nobody would fess up to the deed and, in fact, they turned the blame back to Bryan, saying he did it to himself—a shameless tactic indeed. "Nobody in their right mind would do this to themselves," I figured. As Bryan’s protector and the Emerica team’s surrogate father figure, I kept the pressure on and the brow beating ensued, despite their pleas of innocence. After a good five or ten minutes of banter, I was happy to see they had finally dropped the innocent act and had resigned themselves to hearing my lecture.
Now they could quietly reflect on what they’d done to their friend and teammate, and, hopefully, they would realize that you just don’t do this type of thing to another human being. Maybe they would also learn a valuable lesson about actions and consequences and people’s feelings, etc.—important stuff. Just look at poor Bryan, sitting quietly over there in his leather Member’s Only jacket, face disfigured by his so-called friends. "What a mistake he’d made in trusting their friendship," I figured. Turns out I figured wrong. The only thing they were quietly thinking about was what an ass I was.
Turns out that Bryan is not in his right mind. It also turns out that not only is Bryan a self-mutilating psycho, he’s also a liar and he finally confessed that he’d shaved off his own eyebrows in a moment of extreme, sleep-deprived Bowie worship as a symbol of solidarity with a distant image of his musical idol. Of course, he only confessed that after five hours onboard a Boeing 737 headed to Miami. Five hours of me figuring out exactly what I was going to say to Andrew and how I was going to self-righteously scold him for allowing this to happen to poor little helpless Bryan, who trusted Andrew enough to close his sleepy young eyes and peacefully doze off under his protective roof.
I had the conversation mapped out and was about to call Andrew and vent all this steam that had accumulated over the last five hours. I mean, you expect this type of behavior from the kids, but Andrew is supposed to be an adult. When Bryan finally shared with me that Matt, Spanky and Leo had been telling the truth all along, even he seemed to think that this was somehow amusing and he began to laugh. "Ha, ha, ha. Laugh it up, laughing boy!" I thought, "At least I have eyebrows, freak."
Oh, yeah...Miami. The city was awesome and the kids got a lot done. You can see footage from the trip in the Emerica This Is Skateboarding video and DVD. Everyone seemed to love this certain white hubba—especially Leo. It’s the one Spanky backside Smith backside 180s out in his part. Matt killed a couple of monster rails. Bryan hurt his ankle, but was still able to get in a sick hardflip sequence despite the swollen appendage. Scott Pommier came with us to shoot photos and pen a funny-ass article for new The Am Issue of TransWorld (July 2003). Be sure to check it out—we know you’ll be stoked. The Emerica ams are ruling. Spanky won the contest in Tampa. Here’s some photos the kids and I took on the trip. Enjoy.—Justin Regan, Emerica Team Manager