Monday, June 8, 2009

How to waste time

Do you have one of those troubling lives where everything you do seems to actually mean something? Do your actions fill you with a sense or purpose? Do you look forward to the future with optimism that your hard work will pay off?

If so, you need to get a life.

Such a life, of course, is found by wasting time. Goals, work, intelligent conversation with actual carbon-based life forms — all those things are meaningless smoke in the wind.

How do you waste time?

Spend time on Facebook. It’s an excellent black hole for time. It’s easy to interact virtually with hundreds of people without ever putting on pants. You can even update your status so often you begin to refer to yourself in third person.

Watch 24. This is a TV show where every episode depicts an hour in real-time of a day in the life of federal agent Jack Bauer. In the course of 24 hours, Bauer always manages to kill dozens of terrorists without ever needing to use the restroom or eat. It has the potential to hook you, like televised cocaine, until your heart beats tick-tock and you can’t walk around in a normal social setting without searching for an exit and a place you can hide and call for backup during a firefight.

Play World of WarCraft. Trust me, nothing impresses a girl like describing your level-67 Night Elf Rogue and your quest to find the Lost Trinket of the Faraway Voodoo Isles — except maybe telling her that you haven’t slept in four weeks and are currently alive only because your blood is pure Red Bull.

Have a marathon of all the extended edition Lord of the Rings movies. Want to see the entire quest, from ”The world is changing” to “Well, I’m back”? Want to travel from the Shire to Mordor and back again? Want to see Saruman and Gandalf, Aragorn and the Army of the Dead, Theoden and Eowyn? Want to watch approximately 32,000 orcs with the combat prowess and aim of turnips be skewered by the good guys? With the minor sacrifice of twelve paltry hours of your life, all these things can be yours.

Play Halo on XBox. Have you ever awakened at two a.m. wishing you had the Halo theme stuck in your head? Have you ever cursed yourself when Jeopardy comes on, frustrated at your inability to answer Alex Trebek when he reads, “This is the best way to snipe out the pilot of a Scorpion tank from atop the Blood Gulch cliff”? (Answer: “What is a rocket launcher?”) Have you ever possessed the mad desire to suddenly snap to consciousness, a game controller in your hand, potato chips on your face, and no memory of the last day and a half? Halo can help your dreams fly higher than a Covenant Banshee.

See all the benefits of wasting time? Why would any one harbor a productive desire when so many wonderful options are available?

Time to get a life.

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