GARY BUSEY: They’ve robbed twenty-six banks in three years. And all we know about them is one thing: They’re surfers. You need to learn to surf, infiltrate the local scene, and find out exactly who these guys are.

ME: Great. I’ll get a boogie board.

GARY: What? No! They won’t accept you into their tribe on one of those things, punk!

ME: It’ll be an expensive one. I’ll call it a “body board.” That’s what the guys who are serious about boogie boarding call them: body boards. It’s surfing, but on your stomach.

GARY: Jesus H. Christ on a cracked crutch, rookie! Did I stutter? You need to learn to surf! Actual goddamn surfing! The only way to earn their trust and be accepted into their scene is by becoming a surfer.

ME: Skimboarder.

GARY: What?

ME: Skimboarding. I tried it a few times when I was like eleven or twelve. It’s the thing where you get running along the wet sand with this small oval plywood board. You have to time it when there’s just an inch of water on the surface, and then you sprint, throw the board down, and jump on it, and just like that you’re skimming along pretty fast.

GARY: Goddammit, no!

ME: I’m not gonna be in the precinct tomorrow, I’ll be down at the beach, real deal, just living the life, because skimboarding isn’t a hobby, it’s a full-on lifestyle.

GARY: Pull your head out! They’re surfers! They’re in the goddamn water! Not on the goddamn sand.

ME: Wet sand, plus about an inch of water—it’s basically surfing in super shallow water.

GARY: Listen to me! You need to be next to them, be with them, become one of them!

ME: Oh, I’ll be next to them, trust me.

GARY: What on this goddamned green earth are you talking about?

ME: Think about it. The surfers have to walk past the wet sand to get in or out of the water. I’ll be spending the entire day skimboarding on the wet sand. It’s perfect.

GARY: You goddamn brain-dead punk! If you have one more half-assed idea, I will shoot you in the chest, and you can get a ride back to Kansas City in a body bag, hot shot! You! Must! Learn! To surf! Am I making myself clear!

[He stares at me, a long intense stare. I hold his eye contact to let him know I’m serious now.]

ME: Where do surfers get their snacks and lunches?

GARY: What?

ME: I could maybe work at Hot Dog on a Stick.