The Stone has hurt feelings but I know a perfect cure!
(A version of this story appeared first on LodgeGrit. Your other least favorite website!)
I have been a fly in surf’s soup for the better part of fifteen years. I laugh and kick and poke and cajole and bop and twirl and laugh again. Oh it’s all part of my dance, baby, and I have the most anti-depressive fun ever but it’s a dance that enrages, every once in a while, and particularly enrages the brands.
Their feets just sometimes get in my way. Their Volcom Creedlers. And I stomp and laugh and grind and bounce and laugh again but the owners of the Volcom Creedlers are not amused. They are not having fun.
What do you think they do though? Do you think they shout at me? Do you think they scream, “Nobody is enjoying themselves except YOU, asshole!” Do you think they holler, “Get off the floor, prick!”
And here’s the craziest thing. I have never once in all my better part of fifteen years been called by a brand for laughing and poking and kicking. Not once. I sometimes hear through friends of friends of friends that such and such a brand is apoplectic or upset or hurt but nobody from the brand ever calls me.
And the flailing brands, the Volcoms, wonder why their sales are down through the floor and the dream is slipping from their grasp. We used to be outsiders all of us. We used to really and truly be against the establishment. We used to know, deep in our hearts, that what we did was not serious and that is exactly why we did it. We used to laugh and not be afraid to laugh even when other’s poked fun because we were all in on the same joke.
We used to step lightly.
Though no longer. Now dark and serious clouds fill the horizon. A Heavy and depressed march. Not reaching sales goals. Not matching market expectations. Stock prices slip, slip, slipping.
I will say, though, the brands lost their senses of humor long before they lost their sales.
So here we stand. Impotent rage boiling but never given release. A private gnashing of teeth. A public miscalculated failing.
But Mr. Brand Manager who refuses to call, would you would permit me one small bit of analysis? The posted fun-making stories about you soar. Their traffic goes through the roof and do you want to know why? Because when you forgot who you were and chased a market that doesn’t exist your core consumer was left heartbroken and alone. So now he cheers for your demise. Now she mocks your failure. Now he shares stories stomping your Creedlers.
Oh It’s not too late! The heartbroken are only ever waiting for love to come calling again. For love to present a hand and loosen its hips.
And while I have you, Mr. Brand Manager who refuses to call would you permit me to share one story?
When I was so fresh in the professional surf game I followed the tour through Europe, reporting on the World Surf League when it was called the Association of Surfing Professionals. The then CEO, for whatever reason, got caught in my crosshairs and I would laugh and kick and poke at him for Stab (when it was alive) about his baby blue shirts etc. etc. etc.
I made so much fun!
Would you like to know what the then CEO did? He challenged me to an arm-wrestle! He bounded through the door of the bar where I was drinking a stolen beer and arm-wrestled me into sweet submission!
I have loved Brodie Carr dearly ever since.
The moral? Let’s arm wrestle Mr. Brand Manager! Or tango! The music is still playing and it’s oh so anti-depressive!