As our leisure time increases, so does our confusion. Time to
peel back our foreskin of fun and gain intimate access to the
sensitive glans of the Hobby World...
Anti-war protesting can lead you into all sorts of adventures!
A simple pastime to start with. First catch up with someone towing a caravan on the motorway, then draw alongside them in your vehicle. Now stay there for an unnervingly long time, either staring dead ahead with a borderline psychotic expression on your face or looking over at the driver while pointing and laughing. The Extreme version of this game involves ramming your car repeatedly into this tupperware on wheels in an effort to force it off the road and into a ditch. Where a caravan belongs. In pieces.
Upsetting Superstitious People
This can be great fun and the main effort involves finding someone with such antiquated beliefs in the first place. Perhaps you'll notice a stranger deliberately changing his path so as to avoid walking under a ladder or taking great care not to step on cracks in the pavement. Once you've identified an appropriately fearful yokel follow him home and, at various points over the next few weeks, release black cats into his path, spill a load of salt without throwing any over your shoulder, or even break into his house with a new pair of shoes and leave them on this kitchen table. The look on the face of this primitive believer as you encapsulate all his worst fears will be truly priceless!
A nice hobby for students or the unemployed. Team up with a buddy and get dressed in ill-fitting clothes from the charity shop so as to resemble nerds. Then borrow a camcorder and wander about all day in character as retard geeks, filming people's reactions. For added spice, try hanging around primary schools and looking suspicious, although this will probably require participants to be good sprinters, particularly if they look like Matthew Kelly.
Chris Ryan (not that one)
Hunting Chris Ryan
No, not the psychotic SAS media whore and best-selling author, although this time-waster is somewhat inspired by his mongoloid antics on rigged TV shows. Instead, our hobby is meant for those of you who went to school with someone called Chris Ryan (and there's more of them out there than you might think). Chances are Chris was a regular bloke, perhaps he possessed one or two idiosyncratic personality traits such as studying the food while eating it or keeping hold of the shot putt as it sailed through the air. You probably haven't seen Ryan in years, so now it's time to have a bit of a laugh. With the help of Friends Reunited, telephone directories, and possibly a gumshoe for hire, track Chris down to wherever he lives today and attempt to capture him without being arrested. Perhaps you could use a trident and cargo net.
Parking Attendant Chicken
Not a particularly cheap pastime, since your car will inevitably become plastered in Fixed Penalty Notices, but if you've more money than hobbies this could be the one for you. Here's how it goes, simply drive up to a double yellow line and park on it in full view of a parking attendant (nee 'traffic warden'). Then see how close he gets to sticking a ticket on your motor before you roar off in puff of blue smoke. Of course, once the ticket is written you'll still have to pay the fine, but hey, it's a laugh.
Some would say that all tattoos (and piercings, and cosmetic surgery, and decorative hats) are pretty
stupid, but I'm not talking flavour of the month Celtic symbols or Japanese lettering here. No, the point
of this hobby is to confuse or upset acquaintances by having something huge and pointless
permanently inked onto your stomach, like a house with a lovely garden. Sound nasty enough?
Perhaps the Marks & Spencer logo stencilled on your forehead would be preferable? Adopt this hobby,
and not only will you suddenly become the favoured topic of conversation amongst people you've known for a while, but you'll also give the local tattooist a pride-swelling anecdote if you go into his studio and ask for his face on your left buttock.
Nice tattoo kid! Shame it's permanent.
Go to a Shit University
This is time-consuming and also has severe career implications, but it'll stop you from actually doing any taxing study during that interminable period between eighteen and twenty-one. Ideally your shit university should comprise a strung-out selection of polytechnics (now called 'satellite campuses') which resemble nothing so much as church halls or primary schools, all around a small town with nothing to do but smoke dope and hate everyone. Stick at it and you'll get a nice bit of paper at the end of the three years, plus some letters after your name which might as well stand for 'Bugger All' (Hons).
Putting Nappies On Animals
Not just an absorbing way of spending one's time, this is a real service to the community. First design your own diaper to suit whatever animal it is you own, from cat or dog all the way up to the magnificent shire horse, then never again have to worry about litter trays, fines for fouling the footway or having to let Fido outdoors again. Of course, changing the blighters can be unpleasant, but you can probably get the wife to do that for you, and it's a small price to pay for not having the children walk horse shit all over your carpet. This hobby is not recommended if the only animals you own are an ant farm or flea circus.
Sting's horse won't drop doo-doo!
Chatroom Yank Baiting
We've all done it, bitter British people hate dumb Americans, and even if they didn't start out with the
intention of getting their 'dander' up, within ten minutes of logging on to an international chatroom festering
with Americans who can't spell, you're playing Devil's Advocate and slagging off their 'Great Nation'. Or
maybe you'll accuse anyone who fancies Meg from The White Stripes of being a pervert because "she looks like she's got Down's Syndrome". Those Yanks with no sense of humour or irony are the best and fortunately that seems to account for most Americans wasting their lives online. Try this for an opening line guaranteed to provoke outrage and patriotic fervour: "Someone bought me a Stars and Stripes flag the other day. I used it to wipe my arse."
Chasing A Tyre Down A Hill
Finally, some good old-fashioned exercise out in the fresh air. All you require in this instance is a
battered car tyre and possibly an ambulance crew on standby. First find a picturesque hill and let the
circular rubber object loose. Then follow it down the slope, perhaps whooping wildly as you do so, or
imagining you're a great hero from history such as Geronimo, Evil Kneivel or Compo from 'Last Of The
Summer Wine'. This hobby also works well with round cheeses (you can eat them when you reach the
bottom as a reward) or even woodland animals. Chasing after a vole or shrew adds an extra dimension
to this sport by turning it into a real battle of wits.
This is the sort of thing you want.
If none of these appeal, why not waste your strictly finite time on earth writing something for our website? Either adapt one of the regular columns or create an article of your own devising - we really don't mind! Simply send your literate guff to [email protected]. We can't promise you payment, recognition or any kind of spiritual satisfaction but.... Hang on, I'm sure there was a but.