Flat spells are inevitable. I know this. Even after a run of incredible swell, I know this. But every time it happens, I kick and scream my way out of denial and into depression. It’s not supposed to be flat. But when it is, you need something to pass the time. As such, I present you:
Man’s Guide of (Four) Things to do When It’s Flat
1) Stare vacantly at the ceiling.
This can pass a surprising amount of time, depending on your dedication to ceiling-staring. Proper body positioning is of paramount importance for this one.
Step 1: Find a couch with the bum cushions running parallel to the ceiling.
Step 2: Remove pants and one sock. Find old bathrobe. If necessary, rip a few small holes in the fabric, allowing time for the proper amount of fray. Leave the robe undone, allowing your saggy, flat-spell toned abs to hang out. Look down at them, and think bitterly, “If I could surf more, I’d have a 6 pack”.
Step 3: Lay down on couch, with the sensory organ side of head (hereafter known as the “face”) oriented towards intended staring surface.
Step 4: Cross arms over chest, wiggle toes of socked foot until sock sits comfortably on them, and sigh deeply. The latter step is designed so that anyone in the vicinity will be tempted to ask, “What’s wrong, Poopy-Pants?” Your reply should be a forlorn sidelong glance and another deeper sigh. A good rule of thumb is a three-second inhale followed by a five-second exhale. Because they don’t understand, man.
Step 5: Think long and hard about the best days you’ve ever had surfing. Neglect to think about the shitty sessions when you sat for hours looking for knee-high wind-chop. At this stage, it’s important to remember that when wallowing in flat-spell self-pity, there are never any bad days – only epic, spitting stand up barrels, even if you live in Southern California.
Step 6: Orient face (see Step 3 for definition) towards ceiling. Open eyes as wide as the eyelids will permit, allowing maximum airflow over maximum surface area. Focus on nothing in particular, like one of those Magic-Eye books. Commence staring. Continue staring through any and all distractions, regardless of what they may be, barring house fires and unprovoked attacks by murderers and/or rapists.
Nothing adds to a deep, dark, wave-deprived depression like basking in it. Wallow deeply. Think of the Hippo. Only your eyes are permitted exposure to life outside the bed sheets. If executed properly, the bed sheets will begin to turn a yellowish color and assume the rank, semi-sweet stench of a dead squirrel. Neglecting personal hygiene is a must. As a precaution, before entering your bed, rub canola oil in your hair and on your face for that “I’m so sad, I can’t manage to get out of bed” look. If anyone knocks on the door, don’t answer with words, but let out a grunt of acknowledgment, just loud enough for them to hear, but quiet enough to question whether or not it was intended for their ears. This may take some practice, and is heavily dependent on the interrupter’s hearing ability.
When they tentatively step in and inquire what the matter is, don’t respond verbally, but look directly into their eyes and sigh deeply (see Step 4 of Stare vacantly at the ceiling), then roll over and bury your face in the pillow while waving distractedly at them in a “get-out” gesture.
3) Avoid physical activity.
This is a particularly important step. Any type of physical activity releases unwanted endorphins into the bloodstream and greatly increases the chances of feeling better, thereby ruining your hard-won depression. The best kind of medicine for wave-starved melancholy is alcohol. Hit the bottle and hit it hard, but only if you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to do intense social activities after imbibing. Social interaction only serves as a form of distraction, unless you are interacting with someone with the same wave-depressed, “can’t-do-it” attitude that you’ve got. Exercise also inevitably leads to diversion from what you should be concentrating on: the current flat spell.
4) Get over it.
It’ll get better. It always does.