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After three bottles of red plonk, Hakman was so frustrated that he finally blurted out, "How can I prove to you that I'm committed to this in my heart and soul?"
Green impassively stared back over the rim of his wine glass.
"How about I eat this doily?" Hakman asked.
Green recalls saying, "Yeah--you eat the doily, you get the license."
According to Hakman, Green smiled and said, "That's a good start."
What neither man disputes is that Hakman tore up the 18-inch-by-15-inch paper doily, then chewed and swallowed it, washing it down with more red plonk.
Green watched--half-intrigued, half-disgusted--and when Hakman finally got the whole thing down, he laughed, "All right, Hakman, you can have the f-----' license."
After Hakman had swallowed that doily and made the deal, his first thought was, How is this all going to come out?
Today the company that emerged from that meeting sprawls over a 30-acre campus in Huntington Beach. There are employees riding around on skateboards. An atrium cantina serves fresh vegetarian burritos. Some employees, like Quiksilver president of entertainment Danny Kwock, don't even have offices. They just flop themselves down wherever and fire up their BlackBerrys.
The atmosphere at corporate headquarters is intended to remind visitors that Quiksilver lives the lifestyle it is selling. It is practically a requirement to surf, skate or snowboard if you work there, and it's hard to get through a meeting at Quik without being invited on a surf trip or a skate session.