Many of you out there in the greater blogosphere have doubtless been concerned that you are not as praiseworthy as so many people you read about. You know, the wonderful sort of person who volunteers at homeless shelters, or creates multi million dollar foundations dedicated to eradicating plaque in 3rd world countries, or marching in anti Trump parades. You compare yourself to these saintly people (or in some cases, violent anarchists,) and you think, wow. I waste my time watching mindless reality shows (such as Face the Nation), drinking beer in sports bars, and reading obscure blogs (like this one).
Most of us are never going to dedicate our lives to fighting poverty, or marching with Elizabeth Warren in the “Lots and Lots of Angry Broads” march coming to Washington in the near future. Let’s face it, most of us are just lazy, booger picking reprobates.
However, to help you boost your self esteem, I have taken the trouble in investigate really fun hobbies that you could waste your time on, but not feel guilty. After all, you are just following you heart and dedicating your life to your hobby. Like millions of kindred and overly obsessed hobbyist souls, none of who are called mindless booger pickers by unread social satirists like myself.
As is my usual practice, here I need to digress. There is a huge retail chain called the Hobby Lobby (600 stores full of gimrackity knick-knackity junk). It has 600 stores and sales of $3.3 billion, all dedicated to satisfying the needs of people who dedicate endless hours to their pointless…er, wonderful hobbies. Such as scrapbooking, and creating custom home décor much more cheaply and easily bought online on Amazon. So hobbies are big business, you need to get yourself one. But I can recommend some that are practically free, (besides the psychotherapy.)
My recommendation comes from those whacky folks in Japan, best known for eating uncooked fish and making better cars than we can.
They also appear to lead the world in idiotic hobbies. They have almost 10 different varieties of wasting time related to trains, I quote from the Washington Post:
“…there are the vanilla trainspotters who take photos of various trains around the country. They’re called tori-tetsu. (Tori means to take, and tetsu means train.)
But there are also nori-tetsu, people who enjoy traveling on trains; yomi-tetsu, those who love to read about trains, especially train schedules; oto-tetsu, the people who record the sound of trains; sharyo-tetsu, fans of train design; eki-tetsu, people who study stations; and even ekiben-tetsu, aficionados of the exquisite bento lunchboxes sold at stations.
And that’s not even getting into the subcultures of experts on train wiring, the geeks who intercept train radio signals or the would-be conductors.”
While it may take you decades to catch up to this level of dedication to the study of all things pertaining to trains, if you start now you are sure to have many guilt free hours of fun. You can be the first to start up a local Meet Up Group of ono-tetsu!!
I recommend you read the entire article, (below) which enumerates new heights of mockable weirdness beyond the warped belief system of the most credulous Birther or 9/11 Truther. I kid you not. These people are one misfiring synapse removed from involuntary relocation to padded cells.
For those that doubt me, I quote again from the WaPo; :
“Take Tetsuya Suzuki, a 48-year-old yomi-tetsu who has more than 660 volumes of train timetable books dating back to April 1980. He uses the latest edition — yes, Japan still prints phone-book-size schedules — to map out imaginary journeys just for fun.”
Doesn’t that sound much better than watching cat videos or Fantasy Football?
I hate to say it, but these Japanese disposer brains make me almost accepting of our native time wasting hobbyists. People like, say bird watchers. These are the sort of people dedicating their lives to tramping around the woods, looking at birds easily observed online, or on the Nature Channel. Or plane spotting, which is another transportation based invitation to bore people at neighborhood cookouts. In this hobby you track the movement of specific planes from one airport to another. Huh. (Three minutes on Google indicates that this risible practice keeps some large number of people unaccountably occupied). Or tombstone rubbing, (is this sort of like grave robbing?) Here you can lurk about graveyards hoping no one asks you which plot you want to occupy in the next few minutes. These are just a few examples of wierd American hobbies.
Back to those who obsess about train wiring or capturing train sounds. With your new, fascinating hobby, you can become the life of the party in the break room at work. Formerly, when asked how your weekend was, you could only mumble, “Well, I watched a marathon of Broke Girls and cleaned my gold fish bowl.” Now, you can raise your head high, puff out your chest, and proudly exclaim “I got ten killer pictures of the Amtrak GE P42DC, serial number B428-T. And, I planned a train-only travel itinerary that can get you from Chicago to Sacramento in just four and a half days. It was SO exciting!”
The good news, is that people will stop asking you about your weekend forever, freeing you up to fantasize about taking the Siemens ACS-64 from Orlando to Mobile.
ALL ABOARD THE CRAZY TRAIN!!!