Incidental Amusements

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they are suddenly no longer satisfied with how they spend their time. I imagine the internal dialogue goes something along the lines of, “I should do something other than drink beer all day,” or maybe, “I should just drink beer all day.”

Since the latter inevitably leads to the former, you eventually come to the realization that you need a hobby.

A hobby should be something that interests you, something with which you have a personal connection. The problem is that if you were really that interested in anything, you’d already be doing it and wouldn’t have this issue in the first place. So you start to look at other people’s hobbies for inspiration and this can be a little depressing.

From an outside perspective, others’ hobbies appear meaningless. It’s hard to imagine hustling down to the post office ecstatically awaiting the release of new stamps, eager to see what “novel” collection the United States Postal Service has devised (usually something along the lines of National Peat Bog Month). The real fun comes in when they make a misprint; imagine the hilarity that would ensue from “Beat Pog!” Endless hours of enjoyment.

If that idea doesn’t float your boat, take a cruise down to the local hobby store and pick out a random hobby. You could be flying a miniature airplane or constructing a miniature alternative universe where people still use trains to get around. A hobby is ultimately an activity that feels rewarding but has no real value other than the conversations you can have with other people who do things like collect coins.

My advice is to find a hobby you can easily drop as soon as you get bored of it, so you don’t wind up deceiving yourself into thinking that doing puzzles every day is fun. This means making a hobby out of destroying hobbies.

Collect some neat stamps and then lose them. Buy a kite and fly it into a tree. Ruin all your tiny train sets by causing horrible tiny train wrecks that will have grave impacts on tiny imaginary lives since they have no little cars.

If you don’t have a hobby, you shouldn’t feel pressured to find one because you could be doing something actually worthwhile in your life (like drinking beer all day). Find the best way you know to kill time and pursue it mercilessly until you’ve become an expert on the subject. Then you can have fantastic talks with other nonhobby enthusiasts like, “Well I had already clipped my nails and I wasn’t really hungry, so I just sort of spaced out for an hour or two.”

So climb a tree, fly a kite or try desperately to be funny despite your hangover. But if nothing interests you, don’t feel bad – you probably just aren’t that interesting.

Frolic in your boredom and look forward to regaling your children with tales of how back in your day, kids could waste every hour of daylight on the Internet.