As the SOTY race of 2015 came to a close, it seemed that there was one man willing enough to play the game by his own rules. He cared not for strategic, fourth-quarter video part releases. Neither did he feel one way or the other about sporting the trendiest of Thrasher gear. He was a man with integrity, and a love for jaw-dropping, flame-emoji-inducing instagram edits.
His name was Brandon Biebel.
Now, I use his name in the past tense here with purpose. Today, as part of my usual post-work, pre-masturbatory ritual, I found myself right where I always do, perusing instagram's ever-incriminating 'Explore' page.
Amidst the thumbnails of tattooed, large-breasted females, hillary v. bernie memes, and occasional skateboarding-related content, I noticed something so disturbing, the absence of which stopped me dead in my tracks.
Where the fuck did Biebel and his solid gold instagram posts go?
Not one to jump to conclusions, I figured I would give him the benefit of the doubt and go straight to the source, @brandonbiebel...After all, I probably just missed all of those posts, my life is so busy, remember? I don't have all the time in the world to keep up with this shit...Then, it hit me: I really, really do have all of that time, and I should have noticed this by now. Fuck.
As I navigated toward his page, anxieties multiplying by the second, all of my greatest fears were confirmed - it had been 3 weeks.
The next five minutes of my life were spent undergoing all of the proper stages of grief that I'm too lazy to google and regurgitate for you in this text box.
Among the many thoughts that crossed my mind was this: how did it take this long for anyone to bring this up? And what does that say about the skateboarding community that the absence of something so dire to the survival of our social media ecosystem could go unnoticed for 21 fucking days?
I'm sure some of you may be wondering yourselves, "How did I let this happen? Am I a bad friend?," or "Will he be okay? Where is he? What happened to him anyways"
Though it's uncertain at the moment, we did a little bit of investigating and foudn that he is alive, and appears to be okay.
Yup, we can confirm that that is, in fact, Brandon Biebel and the boys in front of PLA Skate Shop, in Sacramento, California. Most importantly, he appears to be alive and in stable condition. However, this was taken 5 days ago, and two things are troubling about this shot:
1.) Where is his skateboard?
2.) Why isn't he smiling?
This man is clearly deprived. He is practically crying out for help with that face. Again, I'll repeat: the man has gone 3 weeks without an instagram post. Can you imagine what that must feel like? I pray for him.
Anyways, at this point we can only assume the worst: Blake Carpenter, Daniel Lutheran, Joey Ragali, and Braydon Szafranski, presumably the ringleader here, have taken Biebel hostage.
I want to take the time now to advise all reading not to be alarmed. I repeat, DON'T PANIC. We have a plan.
...Alright, the jig is up. WE ACTUALLY DON'T HAVE A PLAN.
All we can do at this point is send Brandon our deepest, unified message of love and solidarity in this trying time.
We miss you, Brandon. Instagram misses you. Thousands of kids, grown ass men, and women (probably especially women) miss smashing that like button, seeing your posts inhabit the explore page, and waiting for the absolute-fire YouTube compilations to drop.
So, Braydon, Daniel, Joey, and fucking Blake, we beg to you, please, if there's even an ounce of decency in your hearts, drop Brandon back off at the park, and hit up Eric Bork to get back at it with the Olloclip.
Without you, Biebel, how else will we convince ourselves to skate?