Bored People Play
Stuck in the seasonal doldrums? Switch on your brain and
create a brand-new summer pastime
it’s the heat, the extra daylight, or the overall feel of
the season, summer can make people do crazy things. Or,
some might argue, it inspires them. Summer can force us
to be creative, especially those of us living in areas with
very little to do. Sometimes, when another evening of sitting
inside and watching summer reruns sounds absolutely unbearable,
a little ingenuity is in order, say, taking what you have
around you and reimagining it in different ways. Like the
following, a couple of cheap, alternative, and original
summer activities we’ve heard of that were concocted, surely,
out of sheer boredom.
you feel the need for speed, and relief from the sweltering
sun, try ice blocking. What could quench your desires better
than sliding down a hill on a piece of ice? Ice blocking
is an inventive way to beat the heat, and answers the age-old
question: What is there to do with a block of ice?
The two essentials one will need to go ice blocking are
a block of ice and a grassy hill. Grass is the key word
here; you want to make your ride as smooth as possible.
Or not, if offroad ice blocking sounds appealing to you,
but the objective is to make the ride last as long as possible,
and getting stuck on twigs and roots would certainly prevent
that from happening. Besides, getting stuck on a root while
sailing down a hill on a block of ice would cause one to
fly down the hill face-first. Which can happen with grass
also, but you want whatever your face comes into contact
with to be as soft and nondamaging as possible.
Towels are optional, though not necessary. At first they
may seem like an accessory for wimps, but after your third
ride down the hill, your numb, wet butt will thank you for
that towel. Obviously, the towel should be small enough
or folded enough to only cover the portion of the ice you
plan on sitting on.
There are many opinions on the best way to mount a block
of ice. Some favor sitting squarely on it, while others
prefer to place it under their abdomen and go down headfirst,
fulfilling childhood Superman fantasies along the way. The
more adventurous—or intoxicated, you decide—try going down
sitting backwards. It really doesn’t matter how you do it,
the only thing that does matter is keeping your arms and
legs off the ground long enough so they don’t interfere.
So hop on that block, give yourself a push, and away you
go! Think of it as summer sledding. It’s an entertaining
way to kill an evening and competitive enough to be considered
a team sport, and it’s always fun to break up your block
of ice when you’re done by throwing it against cement. If
you want to up the ante a little, try doing it naked. But
don’t forget to bring a towel, or you could end up like
Flick in A Christmas Story, and the fire department
probably wouldn’t think it was very funny.
Another bizarre summer activity, and one that is far less
advisable, is rock rolling. Rock rolling is a kind of outdoor
bowling that, much like ice blocking, involves hurling objects
down a hill as fast and hard as humanly possible. The appeal
to rock rolling is its DIY attitude. If digging a giant
boulder out of the ground with your bare hands sounds like
fun, this may be the summer activity for you.
Practicioners of this “sport” say the ideal setting is a
hillside crammed with as much stuff as pos- sible. Trees,
shrubs, other boulders, you name it. Obviously, conscientious
rock rollers make sure there are no people, animals, or
structures waiting at the bottom of the hill—and that they’re
not trespassing on private property. There’s nothing like
a lawsuit or a trip to the hospital to kill the fun of a
breezy summer evening.
After dragging said boulder to the top of a hill and heaving
it down, the object is to see how many things can be knocked
over, at least audibly. Points can be assigned to the various
types of flora present on the hill, and also designated
to the level of destruction attained. It’s cheaper than
going bowling, and hey, who wants to knock over 10 measly
little pins when you can take out a bush?
So on a balmy summer night when there’s seemingly nothing
to do, crack open a beverage and take a cue from the young
folks whose boredom drove them to invent these unique summer
pastimes: Put your mind to work and create a brand-new summer
activity. All one needs to survive the lazy, hazy, crazy
days of summer is a little resourcefulness, and a big sense