It was a little under a year ago. I had missed out on every monocle sale due to simply not knowing about them and regretting missing that Watermelon fade. I kept an eye on things, then started to see the IRCBOIZ hashtag popup. This led me to discover the last Monocle going up for sale – the IRCBOIZ monocle. I was super excited about this one as it was basically a watermelon fade, but with blue, and going from catch zone to rim, rather than fading the traditional way, “left to right”.
Then came the news…. there was only 3 up to grabs. Once a drop time was announced I had google translate silly british time into good ol’ MERICA time and set an alarm on my phone.
At that time I hadn’t been hanging out in IRC, and didn’t even realize there was a sidebar link. The hashtag everyone was throwing around on Reddit and IG led me to find the channel, meet a ton of cool people that I now call friends, and to my surprise, the people responsible for some good products.
BOOM alarm goes off 15 minutes prior to the drop. I had no idea how easy or hard it would be to get one. As soon as they dropped I had one. I mentioned this in the chat and Jordan confirmed, yes i had one with my name on it.
I watched that thing like a hawk as it flew across the ocean. Checking the status everyday. London Heathrow, Atlantic Ocean, Chicago….chicago….chicago…fuck you usps customs….dallas..austin..door. (just a note, he has switched to DHL and the shipping is from his door to mine in 4 days – quite literally in my hands in 4 days).
I’ll admit at first, it wasn’t love at first throw. It was different than all the others I had been using the year prior, being mainly V style yoyo’s. At one point, I even put it up for sale, but never had the heart to get rid of it. Plenty asked, but in the end I couldn’t let it go.
After a week or so throwing a different yoyo I went back to it. Something about it would call me. I don’t know what it was, but from that moment on THIS was MY throw. No matter what company I bought from, or the yoyo they made, I would throw it for a day and decide “meh, this isnt for me” and end back up on my Monocle.
After months go by I start to think “Man this is going to really suck when this thing is no longer in good shape.” At that point I started to think “I really need to get another one of these, just in case”…. and then things seemed to spiral out of control.
After getting my hands on a couple I thought “Man, I should just try to find all of the originals” a task that everyone thought impossible, even myself. Even Jordan of Smashing said “good luck, if you do it I’ll give you a prize.”
So I set off on this challenge…. and during this time a fine fellow that goes by /u/KesmEyeBall showed up in our chat. Hidee ho… he was from Austin! As I do, he has a slightly obsessive personality when it comes to collecting. So when he saw something I needed he was fine enough to reserve it, put me in touch with the owners, or even in one case he couldn’t find me so he just bought it himself so I could get it later – FINE DUDE THERE! I had no hopes of even finding a Watermelon, Tempest (my moby dick), and a raw. I figured there were just too few made.
Eventually I caught them all. Every single one on the 1st run Monocles. At times I had joked w/ Jordan about buying a ProtoMelon Monocle from him. At first it was “Sorry man, there was only a couple made and this is the only one I have.” Later he would give me another answer.. “Sure for 250 Queen Dollars”. This was out of my price range for any yoyo.
Originally, there was to be a single run. Upon telling Jordan I had completed the collection he had some news for me… he was doing a 2nd run.. oh boy. A great troll if there ever was one. That’s when I had to start clarifying *First Run Collection. Maybe this will be a journey for another time…
Fast Forward to yesterday.. a package shows up on my doorstep with red tape on the border… the prize! HOE-LEE-SHIT – a Proto Melon…. A Team Shirt… Old style boxes to replace all the boxes USPS smashed to shit, and the clear Monocle…. yo wtf!
To put how grateful I am into words would be impossible, and basically an insult, as I can’t even convey the gratitude. I even said “man this is a part of your history, this is one of few, you didn’t have to do that. Just give me the word and I will send it right back.” He insisted. I was awe struck.
So to share the story of the Monocle for me isn’t just simply a yoyo. For me it was a gateway into a whole new life, group of friends, and a community I”m happy to now be part of. Simply wanting a yoyo brought me through the door of the REAL community, the inside, actually talking to those that love it too and have a passion for it.
I’ve made friends I talk to everyday, bullshit with everyday, vent to everyday. Jordan has been a tremendously good guy through it all. Explaining how things work, sharing the knowledge he has learned over the years, and acting a a guide when needed, having his team test my string, and even now assisting with a contest to make it more appealing and help spread the word.
I will be flying to Cleveland in 2019 just to shake this man’s hand. Maybe even give him a hug. You never know what can actually change your life, something big, something small, and sometimes you don’t even know something has changed your life until you reflect later and realize “wow, that’s all it took to make all this change”.
I am forever thankful.
(PS From what I understand this was a one time thing as a gift for being the only person to do this with any of his yoyos. So if you go out and collect all the spectacles or interlagos, dont be mad if a box with red trim does not arrive at your doorstep.)