5 People So Blinded By Their Hobbies They Forgot To Live
Not everything we do needs to have this super-special, universe-altering purpose behind it, especially since the universe could give negative shits about what us sentient specks of space dust do with our brief love affair with consciousness. So go ahead, indulge in a pointless hobby or 10 -- play the shit out of your video games, color all the adult coloring books, get that doctorate that everybody spits on because you weren't born with 35 years' experience. Just don't let the pursuit of pointlessness consume your life to the point where actual important stuff goes forever ignored.
If you ever find yourself doing anything like the following, burn it all to the ground, hug your family, and apologize profusely for so coldly ignoring them all these years. If you don't have a family, hug Mario and Luigi. They miss you too.
Don't Blow 40 Years And $2 Million Building A Giant Boat, Especially If You're Landlocked
Dillon Griffith isn't the first person to build his own boat. But while most content themselves with stitching together a pile of wood and praying to the Sky God that the Tuna God doesn't whisk them away for a forced marriage to Aquaman, Griffith went and built himself a 64-foot, 40-ton, steel-and-electric monstrosity that he dubbed the "Mystic Rose." It took him 38 years and cost roughly $2 million to complete.
Naturally, he did it to earn money.
Now we know who taught Axl Rose everything he knows about managing start-up costs.
He was inspired to build his own giant boat in 1977, after chartering his first, less-giant boat for fishing trips failed to earn him any money. After concluding this was because his galley was too small to allow for truly hardcore fishing, he set out to build his own, ginormous fishing boat. That way he could charter more people for more trips and make more sweet, sweet mackerel money.
Reminder: He spent $2 million to get there.
Unless somebody catches the Kraken, good luck breaking even before the next supercontinent forms.
He also took 38 years to finish, because Dillon Griffith is not a professional huge-boat maker. What's more, he eventually moved away from the ocean and into a land-locked area, yet he continued to build his boat. That's like moving to Death Valley and trying to build your own ice hockey rink. Oh, and the project damn near killed him, and not in the typical "oh, all this hard work is killing me" kind of way. No, more like a crane fell on him once and shattered his body. That kind of killing. Also, an 11-pound cylinder once broke his neck. After that, it was probably less a labor of love and more one of pure stubbornness. He saw a ship that steadfastly refused to be built, and he stared it right in the barnacle-encrusted porthole and said, "Fuck you, thou shalt be built."
And build it he did -- after nearly 40 years of lonesome, dawn-to-dawn work days, the ship is ready to sail. Finally, as Griffith says, he'll "make money and [he] won't have to worry anymore."
Of course, there's still the issue of getting the boat to sea, since he lives far away from it and all. He estimates it'll cost an extra $55,000 to have it towed there, but then he'll make money for sure! He's set up a GoFundMe to cover these final costs, so feel free to help him if you like. He's almost there; he just needs a little push over that finish line.
Well on his way!
Don't Waste Half A Century Building Your Own Helicopter Out Of Garbage
Like so many children of the pre-1950s (and post-2020s, after President McCarthy executive-orders all vaccines into the same dirty pit where we stashed those Atari ET games) a Honduran man known simply as Agustin contracted polio. He's been unable to walk since.
Young Agustin dreamed of being a pilot, so he's spent the past 50 years constructing a helicopter out of garbage. This despite knowing precisely dick about helicopters aside from "they exist." And he insists his will fly, despite it never coming even once close to doing so. Ever bet 99 percent of your poker chips on what winds up being a 6 high? That's this, in weird mutated sorta-copter form.
And this is insisting your 2-2-4-5 is a royal flush and the dealer's just blind.
Agustin started this project in 1958, thinking it would take only three months because what's a helicopter compared to a soap-box racer or a homemade turkey sandwich. So already we have a grown man cock-sure that he could build a working helicopter, single-handedly, with everything that Oscar The Grouch had grown sick of masturbating to, in three months. He missed that deadline by a mere 573 months, because, according to him, "Things kept getting complicated." Big flying machines that typically require an entire crew to assemble do tend to be that way, yes.
Nothing should take 20 years to finish except raising a child. And writing The Winds Of Winter.
But still he perseveres, tinkering with his helicopter daily, all by himself. He gathers junk, trash, and spare parts wherever he can find them and assembles them all on his own -- even the propeller's chains are DIY. It's neat, but it's also Fallout 4: Saddest-Ever Edition. And I do mean he finds those parts wherever -- for years, Agustin used an old, rickety wheelchair, until his friends and family bought him a shiny, new, working one, direct from the United States ... which he immediately disassembled for helicopter parts.
If this were simply performance art, it'd be one thing. But Agustin still believes, and will likely keep believing until his final day, that his literal pile of garbage will get visited by the Blue Fairy one night and become a real helicopter. He outright admits that it "looks like a caricature of a helicopter" but somehow doesn't grasp that that's exactly why his only hope to fly is the same as ours: Board a plane, get drunk on boxed wine, and let someone who knows what they're doing help him roam about the country.
Don't Spend 17 Years Building A Wooden Lamborghini In Your Basement
Hey, let's watch 1/27th of a movie!
That's the intro to Cannonball Run, and even non-carheads can see it's awesome, as is the Lamborghini Countach Tara Buckman zooms around in. Ken Imhoff certainly agrees, but unlike us the film didn't inspire him to drink shitloads of beer and fantasize about getting coldly laughed at by Buckman if he dared approach her. He was instead inspired to build his very own Countach. Out of wood. And not just some rinky-dink model for his mantel. He was going to build a life-size wooden Lamborghini, engine and all, and he was going to drive that motherfucker.
Maybe he drank shitloads of beer after all.
He can't drive 55. Or 45. Or 35. Or 25. Or 5.
Like most people who don't know what they're doing but confidently stumble through it anyway, Imhoff figured his "Bull In The Basement" project wouldn't take long -- five years, tops. It took him 17, the literal length of childhood. That's an appropriate analogy, by the by, since he missed much of his kids' own childhoods while locked in his basement sanding, polishing, fucking up, redoing, sanding, and polishing again.
Wouldn't want to enter the void with anything but a perfect shine, after all.
By 2007, his Treeborghini was finally finished and ready for unveiling. Except, he couldn't get it out of his basement, since basements don't have garage doors. So, Imhoff did the only logical thing he could: He paid a guy to cut a big hole in his basement, dig up a gnarly dirt ramp, and tow the car out of the basement and into the light. He would've driven it out -- it theoretically being a car and all -- but it's a chunk of wood.
Good thing he brought those protective blankets. Wouldn't want anything to get damaged
and plummet in value or anything.
He eventually powered it up enough to joyride around the block, bring his kids to school, and gather a few termites. But, after five years, Imhoff decided to sell. He claimed the maintenance was too much to handle; all that wood polish sets you back, but presumably he'd also love to recoup some of the "unimaginable [financial] extremes" his Cannonball Pratfall put him and his entire family through. At least we know he won't try anything this dumb again.
Oh wait, no. He immediately started work on a wooden Studebaker Hawk. Check back with Cracked in about 20 years for an update.
Don't Do Anything The Graceland Too Guy Did
If Graceland is Superman, Graceland Too is a shitty Bollywood knockoff starring some dancing asshole in ratty blue pajamas.
After all, Graceland is a sprawling, multi-acre labor of love, right on The King's huge, spacious, luxurious estate. Graceland Too, meanwhile, was a two-story shack in Mississippi whose owner, an Elvis fanatic named Paul MacLeod, stuffed it with random Presley memorabilia to the point of it being a literal fire hazard.
The basement full of moldy peanut butter 'n' nanner sandwiches was a particularly popular exhibit.
MacLeod started collecting Elvis stuff as a boy and didn't stop for 60 years. He had everything: Elvis records, rugs, newspaper write-ups, curtains, phones, Christmas trees, and even his fucking high school report card. And he insisted every last item was real, elaborating with, "If it's not, I give you permission to take a shotgun, saw off the barrel, and shoot off the heads of me and my family." That's probably not enough for a court to acquit anyone who'd actually do it, but it's certainly a ballsier guarantee of customer satisfaction than, "I'll refund the 5 bucks you paid to gawk at an Elvis-and-Jesus frisbee."
We'd show you the frisbee, but we don't want to risk condemnation to a hunka-hunka burnin' lake of fire.
Turning one's antebellum into a creepy, overpacked shrine to a long-dead rock star would be weird enough, but MacLeod took it to superhumanly insane levels by welcoming guests 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Remember: This was his home, but if some drunken frat boys wanted to check out the world's largest ceramic-velvet orgy at 3 a.m., and they had the money, MacLeod would happily give them the grand tour. This is partially because MacLeod was a caffeine uber-addict -- claiming to down two dozen cans of soda per day -- and partially because he was quite literally insane.
What did his wife think of all this, you ask? Who knows. According to MacLeod, she ultimatum'd him with, "It's me or Elvis," and he chose Elvis. How about his son, what does he think? I can't say for sure -- I don't know the guy personally -- but I'm guessing Elvis Aaron Presley MacLeod was conditioned from an early age to be totally cool with the whole arrangement.if
So much for not being cruel.
As befitting a man who worshiped a gun nut, MacLeod shot and killed a man in 2014, claiming it was an attempted robbery. Nothing ever happened to MacLeod, as he promptly died one day later. It was deemed natural causes, or as natural as any man who drank nothing but soda 24/7 can die. As for his tons upon tons of Elvis kitsch (plus a non-working electric chair, for variety's sake), it went on auction soon after. That must've fetched millions, right? It's all things King, after all!
Nope. Try $54,500. For all that. Sixty years of psychotically obsessive collecting, complete with a broken marriage, and the final worth was less than a used pink Cadillac. Apparently stuffed, thangyuhvuhrymuh'-sneering reindeer plummet in value once they're out of the box.
Don't Spend Decades Building The Greatest Dollhouse Ever If Nobody Gives a Shit
Kathleen Droll had a dream -- not of world peace or seeing Billy Joel live, but that she would get to raise a girly girl. Unfortunately for her, her only daughter, Dina, was a tomboy, with no interest in dolls, dollhouses, frilly dresses, menstruation, or presumably anything else that girls are theoretically into.
Once Dina grew up and moved out, Droll turned to dollhouse-making as a way to channel her frustrations over being denied the pinkest of timelines. And she was ... awesome at it. Look at this thing, which took Droll decades to assemble, and tell me it's not the most amazing dollhouse you've ever seen.
"Barbie can't sit with us."
Every last detail of this three-bedroom, three-story house is perfectly shaped and perfectly proportional. There's a cupboard stocked full of fake food, along with laundry detergent, cat food, a fully set dinner table, a picture-perfect garden spout in the yard, all the furniture a growing porcelain family needs, an adorable doggy, and even carefully placed clutter on the floors. Usually the only people this obsessive over detail have crawlspaces you get to see one time only.
Here's a close-up of the bathroom sink. Keep in mind, this is still a dollhouse's bathroom. I did not sneak into your house and photograph your bathroom while you slept. That you know of.
Totally unrelated, but you're out of toilet paper.
She designed little tiny towels. She designed little tiny cotton balls. She designed little tiny dentures. She even made little tiny rinsey cups. Clearly, Kathleen Droll had found her true calling in life ... which she proceeded to do jack shit with. Like many a tortured artist before her, Droll toiled away for ages on incredible art that she gave no fucks about exploiting. It was all about her private expression and not about the millions she could've made designing these things for Hollywood blockbusters (or Tinkerbell-based pornos, whichever pays better).
Droll died a while back, having bequeathed her art to nobody. When her daughter, Dina, came to her mother's house to sort through everything, she stumbled upon this amazing dollhouse and more or less reacted with, "Cool." Dina still doesn't like dolls or dollhouses, and she definitely doesn't like them when they're gigantic and taking up precious space in her house. But she can't trash it, because it's her mom's life's work -- plus, she's not blind so she absolutely sees it's basically the greatest dollhouse of all time. But that doesn't mean she wants it.
"It's too heavy to lug around, but not heavy enough to crush my enemies with. Talk about useless."
She'd like to sell it but isn't willing to work overtime to hustle the thing. As far as I know, she's still waiting for her wallet in shining armor to knock on her door, throw a handful of jewels her way, take the dollhouse, and leave. I assume this much because, when researching this story, I got exactly one result, from 2010:
Those ads for much shittier dollhouses don't count.
No follow-up article in six years almost certainly equals a grown woman still stuck with a giant, psychotically detailed, Hollywood-worthy dollhouse that she can't sell and wants nothing to do with. At least she'll never want for cotton balls.