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Monday, August 28, 2006


What to do when your'e bored

By Vince Johnson

I used to get extremely frustrated whenever I got bored. The cure was surprisingly simple. I started making a list of things to do in order to switch from boredom to something more stimulating. Here are some of the things on my list:

1. One of the things I've wanted to do for several years is write to NIKE about their slogan. "Just Do It!" I've wanted to ask them where they got the idea they have a right to tell me to "Just Do It?" I don't want to "Just Do It" and I don't have to "Just Do It." The word "it" will always remind me of NIKE, just like word "is" reminds me of Clinton. Neither one will tell what "it" and "is" stand for, so I'll stick with my Bass loafers, thank you.

2. Sometimes I take a famous slogan and think of ways to improve it. Like "Drivers Wanted!" for example. This slogan was used by Volkswagen. What they really meant was "Buyers Wanted!" If you don't believe me, stop by one of their showrooms. (Hmmm. Maybe NIKE should switch to "Do Be Do Be Do." Frank Sinatra did.)

3. How about this slogan? "Breakfast of Champions" Everybody knows this one. Wheaties of course. A lot of famous athletes have appeared on their boxes. Michael Jordan. Joe Dimaggio. Dizzy Dean. Tiger Woods. Etc. When I’m bored, I try to think of all the famous athletes we will NEVER see on a box of Wheaties: After thinking up Barry Bonds, Dennis Rodman, and Randy Moss, I move on..

4. During dinner conversations, finish all of your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy!" I've never had enough brass to try that. So I think about sending this idea to Al Gore and George Bush. They both seem to get bored easily and they both make a lot of prophecies. This suggestion would be non-partisan. Wouldn't it?

5. Five days in advance, tell your friends you cannot attend their party because you're not in the mood. I don't know if I have enough brass to do that either, because no one asks me to their party five days in advance. Maybe I'll try it anyway. The imp in me gets a charge out of watching peoples jaw drop.

6. Park the car along the highway sometime. Put on some dark sunglasses and point a black hair dryer at passing traffic. Make a list of how many slow down. If a Trooper asks if you're having some sort of a problem, show him the list and offer to discuss the situation over a cup of coffee at Dunk'n Donuts. Sir!

7. Go to the local grocery store and check out the produce section. If approached by the manager, suggest that he pipe in sounds of thunder and the aroma of fresh rain just before the water sprays over all the veggies. Remind him that the idea works at some really cool supermarkets in Honolulu, so it ought to be worth a try. Be subtle. Don't push it. He’s probably read about this in one of the trade magazines.

8. Check out the dairy section and suggest he pipe in the sounds of cows mooing and the aroma of fresh cut hay. If he starts backing away, tell him to relax and think about his customers. They appreciate clever little surprises like hearing a cow moo and smelling the clean, natural odor of fresh cut hay when shopping in the Dairy Section.

9. After doing #7 and #8, you will have him set up for #9 which is the Big One. And what's the "Big One"? Go stand by the toilet paper. When the manager approaches, take a long deep breath and give a smiling glance toward the ceiling. If his jaw drops, take his picture and move on. If his jaw clinches hard, forget the picture and move on. Quickly.

For me, the process of reviewing my list of boredom breakers has always resulted in making the monotony go away. Maybe this technique will work for you.

If reading this again doesn't do it, try #6 above. I can absolutely guarantee that your boredom will vanish before you get your dark glasses on.
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