5 Supposedly Fun Activities Nobody Actually Enjoys (Part 2)
You may remember that a few weeks ago, I wrote an article called 6 Supposedly Fun Activities Nobody Actually Enjoys. In that piece I took to task some of the nation's most (allegedly) widely enjoyed activities and exposed them as the mind-numbingly dull farces that they really are. The response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
As happy as it made me to know that my words resonated with so many people, I was a bit troubled by one recurring theme that permeated the discourse. People seemed to think that I was voicing displeasure with these things because I simply don't like going outdoors. Let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. I enjoy the outdoors just fine, but I figured that, seeing as how spring has finally sprung, Cracked readers would enjoy hearing that their summer plans will be a monumental waste of time. That doesn't mean I never leave the house; it just means I don't like doing boring shit when I leave the house.
So, in the name of making peace with all of the people who were offended by my alleged hatred of the great outdoors, I offer this article. Here are five more supposedly fun (mostly indoor) activities that nobody actually enjoys.
"Hey, you know what would be fun, a trip to the museum!" The preceding sentence is something no person has ever said with any semblance of honesty in their voice. Don't get me wrong, I know people claim to love museums. I'm sure tons of them will take to the comments section and call me an unsophisticated philistine for not feeling the same way. But that doesn't mean they're correct.
Deny it all you want, but the truth is that arriving at a museum is right on par with arriving at one of those national monuments that I made fun of last time around. Once you get there, literally the only thing you can do is look at a bunch of shit that you could just as easily see in a book or on the Internet. But at least in a book or on the Internet you could just skip over all the boring shit without feeling guilty about it. That's not the case at a museum. Instead, you have to stop every 50 feet or so and pretend you give a damn about what's written on the placard below whatever lifeless artifact you're looking at. Otherwise, you look like some maniac who pays $30 just to power walk your way through the Ice Age exhibit.
A stock image search assures me that this picture is what the Ice Age looked like.
When you get right down to it, museums are basically zoos for inanimate objects. Paying an admission fee to enter a place where everything is locked away so you can't touch it is a fine idea if the stuff you're looking at is flinging feces at unsuspecting spectators or swinging around on ropes and whatnot. That's just a barrel of fun. But not once in recorded history has a painting ever leaped from its enclosure and mauled the teen who had been mocking it. Real live angry tigers know how to entertain a crowd, and they don't need a ridiculous Glamour Shots for Men backdrop behind them to do it. That's more than can be said for the stuffed animals in the above photo.
"But if I could pick a backdrop, this would be it."
Let's be honest, nobody loves going to museums. What people do love, though, is anything that makes them seem a little bit more cultured and educated than the rest of us lunkheads who just waste away our free time ogling boobs and betting on cockfights. People don't go to museums because they get off on looking at a collection of fossils -- they do it because it gives them an excuse to shake their head in pity while muttering "You just don't get it" under their breath. Anyone who claims otherwise is either the most easily stimulated tourist of all time or a straight-up liar. Sorry, museum fans, there is simply no middle ground to be had there.
Alright, so I know that some of the picks on the previous list and on this list do not sit well with people. But for the life of me, I can't imagine that a single person won't agree that Monopoly is the most dreadfully boring board game of all time. As just a rough estimate, I'd say I've probably played Monopoly over 100 times in my life. Of those 100 games, maybe four of them were played to completion. A "quick" game of Monopoly is something that doesn't even exist. Your only options are "play for six hours" or "fall asleep at the table."
"Nuh-uh, dude, they have that speed die now," to which I replied, "Shut up, nerdlinger."
The only real winner in a game of Monopoly is the person who knows better than to play that shit in the first place. In fact, if you ever have a group of people over and one of them spots a Monopoly game and suggests a quick match (which, as stated earlier, is not possible), it can mean only one thing. The boredom at your gathering has reached such a critical mass that people would rather play a game that perfectly captures the feeling of being screwed over by a landlord than sit and listen to your boring ass talk about anything for the next four to six hours. Clearly, it's time to take inventory of your social skills and see what's lacking.
But the popularity of Monopoly raises a pretty obvious question: Who in the hell is still buying this game? It's not like Monopoly is just barely clinging to its last vestiges of relevance. No, it's thriving. Just about every franchise or famous brand eventually gets its own Monopoly game. The Simpsons have a Monopoly game. The Beatles have a Monopoly game. Everyone has a Monopoly game made in their honor. So, surely, this is a game that has its fair share of fans. And that's fine, but I just want to know one thing. Fucking why?
Attending Live TV Tapings
So you're a huge late night TV fan and you're planning a trip to New York or Los Angeles. The natural inclination would be to catch a live taping of your favorite show while you're there. It will be just like watching at home, except instead of watching it in bed you'll be watching it in person. How great is that? It's like you're in their living room!
Yep, you are in their living room, and that's what makes attending a live television taping so awful. Think about what kind of condition you have to be in before you willingly sit through an hour of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Half asleep, no makeup on (ladies), the day's now dirty thong strung across the back of the chair you sit on to tie your shoes in the morning (ladies and fellas), wearing "sleep clothes" that would make for a million-dollar paparazzi photo if you were famous (and walking with a kid you adopted from a Third World nation). You wouldn't get past the ticket window in that state. But it's being in that almost-asleep-not-a-care-in-the-world state that makes watching late night television fun in the first place.
Even Jay Leno is tolerable if you're asleep.
Watching late night TV is something you do during those "me" moments when the world works on your terms, when you can curl up in bed with a bowl of cereal (or weed) and fade off to sleep. All of that comfort and convenience flies out the window when you show up to watch television in person.
For one thing, there are no lines when you're watching television at home. Live TV tapings depend on audience enthusiasm to make them go well. What that means for you is that you'll spend a solid hour (at least) standing in line while a bunch of college interns command you to "MAKE SOME NOISE!" so you can prove you're worthy of even being in the same building as your favorite television stars.
If you're lucky, though, after waiting in line for an hour or so, you'll be whisked off to a bar where you wait for an intern type to escort you back to the theater. It makes sense. No crowd cheers like a crowd that's liquored up, and you really can't beat an $11 beer in [insert absurdly overpriced city name here]. But as nice as the bar layover may be, it presents another problem.
If there's one thing that lends itself as well to drinking as operating heavy machinery does, it's being able to comfortably hold it when you need to use the bathroom. After spending the past hour or so getting television audience level drunk (or just having one drink, prude), there's a fairly good chance you'll need to use the bathroom. Bad news -- unless you remembered back at the bar or any other point before you got in line, you're screwed. Getting out of your seat and locating a restroom while a live show is being taped is not something people look upon favorably.
"Yeah, I got a piss you can take right here. Back to your seat!"
That said, if you notify the proper authorities on your way in that you need to use the restroom, they will usher you up to a seat in the balcony with the rest of the colostomy bag wearers who can't hold their bladder long enough to watch David Letterman interview Jon Hamm. Up there, you can use the balcony restroom during commercial breaks. It's like the stoner bench in high school, but sitting there means people look down on you for possibly pissing your pants during the guest musical performance instead of for being a degenerate drug user.
Also, television shows don't just film themselves. There is a lot of equipment that goes into a production of that nature, and trust me, it's not discreetly hidden in the back where nobody can see it. Rather, it's placed directly between you and what you're trying to watch, effectively ensuring that you won't be able to see shit. That's cool, though, because they do put television monitors everywhere so you can see what's happening. You know, just like you have at home.
Watching Hockey in Person
Listen, we need to get one thing clear right off the bat. I'm not saying that hockey as a whole is a boring waste of time. I mean, it totally is, but I respect that some people feel differently. That said, as someone who has tried it several times, I can honestly say that there is no sport that's less interesting to watch in person than hockey. What's that? You think soccer is more boring? Yes, technically it is. But here's the thing: With soccer, at least you can see the ball. Hockey doesn't use a ball. It uses a tiny little puck that, when the action is really intense, will have several men huddled over it. It's the only sport where, nine times out of 10, you don't even know that someone might score a goal until they've actually scored. Prior to that moment, it's just a hunched over mass of jerseys that you, as a spectator in the stands, are completely incapable of deciphering. With most other sports, the action is spread out enough that you can accurately grasp what's taking place even if you can't see perfectly. Hockey is not like that. Once the action gets close to the net, you don't see shit until the puck is slapped somewhere clear of where all of those toothless Canadians are standing.
Because no matter where you're from, if you play hockey, you're Canadian.
"Oh, but dude, they fight in hockey." Yes, they do. And that should tell you everything you need to know about how ridiculously boring hockey is as a sport. They literally have to stand by and let people come to blows from time to time just to make things seem interesting. That's not a benefit, that's an indictment. If you're so interested in watching people fight, why not just watch boxing or UFC? If hockey was so much of a blast to watch, it wouldn't need fights to spice up the action and the NHL would have clamped down on that shit a long time ago. But they can't, because the NHL knows that the only draw when it comes to hockey is that, occasionally, the players get to throw padded glove punches at each other's helmets for a few minutes. They don't allow it because it's good for the game. They allow it because it's the only thing interesting about the game.
So why would a person ever need to see hockey in person? At home, you get the benefit of tons of slow motion replays that allow you to make heads or tails of what you've just seen. You don't get that in person. Baseball might be boring to watch in person, but at least you have a little bit of advance notice before something exciting happens. When people start making noise, you have plenty of time to look up from your book and take in the action. When you're watching hockey in person, you're literally clueless as to what's taking place until what you're hoping will happen has already happened. I mean, they have a fucking red light on top of the net. It's not there because it's pretty. It's there because even the players aren't 100 percent sure if a goal has been scored until that stupid light goes off. If the people on the ice can't even figure out what's taking place, what kind of benefit do you think you're going to gain from watching hockey in person as opposed to watching at home?
And to close things out, here's what would qualify as an indoor and outdoor activity. Going on a cruise. It's all the fun of going to an exotic resort, except if you leave that resort for any reason, you'll likely be eaten by a shark. Also, it's not exotic in any sense of the word. You and a bunch of people you probably wouldn't care to spend time with will be herded around like cattle from one tourist trap to the next. Imagine sitting in traffic school with a bunch of idiots. Now imagine paying thousands of dollars to hang out with those idiots for days on end.
Let's not sugarcoat this at all: If you're the type of person who thinks a cruise makes for a good vacation, then you're clearly one of those people who will buy anything that has a halfway decent commercial attached to it. Here's hoping that KFC Double Down chicken sandwich you most likely scarfed down the second those ads hit the air was worth the intestinal trauma.
Just joking. I know it was.
If you've never been on a cruise and are therefore wondering why such a seemingly wonderful experience would make a list of lame activities that nobody really enjoys, allow me to explain. It is my job, after all.
For one thing, one of the dirty dark secrets the cruise industry would prefer that you didn't know is that, when booking a cruise, you should immediately shave two days off of the length of time you'll actually spend enjoying yourself. Why? Because boarding a cruise ship is a lot like boarding an airplane, except instead of a couple hundred people, you're now dealing with thousands. So, if you book a three-day cruise, what that really means is that you'll spend one entire day just getting on the ship and another entire day getting off of the ship. This is time spent sitting around huffing impatiently and standing in lines that never seem to move, all so you can gain access to what amounts to a floating hotel that you can't escape from. It's like that "Hotel California" song with tropical drinks and a staff magician.
He's also understudy to the staff rapist.
Once you do actually make it on board and find your cabin, you'll be dismayed when you realize that your "luxury suite" features a front door that literally makes contact with the corner of the bed when you open it. If you can walk four steps in any direction in your cabin without running into something, well, congratulations. You probably own the entire ship. As for the rest of the travelers, they're all going to be crammed into tiny boxes with bathrooms that are so cramped you'll be lucky if your wife has enough room to bend over and shave her legs.
And even if none of those problems existed, that wouldn't change the fact that, of late, people seem to just be getting sick as shit every time they step on a cruise ship. Fine, maybe it's not every time, but if one person comes down with the yucks, it's a safe bet that damn near everyone else on board will get it, too. In those tight quarters, it's inevitable.
So, to recap, we have a slow process for getting in, cramped quarters and way too many people jammed into a small space. You know what else has all of that? Prison. Have a great trip!
For more from Adam, check out The 5 Most Ridiculous Causes to Ever Get a Website and 5 Tiny Mistakes That Led To Huge Catastrophes.