The days have grown longer and brighter, the temperatures have grown balmy, the sun brings a warm glow to our brow and gentle zephyrs waft the sweet, intoxicating scent of flowering plants to our quivering nostrils. This is one way of looking at it. The other way is to notice that various forms of skin cancer are on the rise and the latest pollen count is through the roof.
Still, with Memorial Day at our throats and the great outdoors beckoning so seductively, what’s an Idler to do? A much easier question to answer is what shouldn’t an Idler do, and since the Idler is always eager to take the easy way out, here are some activities you should absolutely avoid:
Don’t join a Motorcycle Gang – The great thing about growing up is that you gain some perspective about life. Not all old people are wise, but the passage of time tends to somehow, um, remove a lot of the ones who are bat-poop crazy. The years should teach you what is truly important as opposed to what is frivolous and transitory. For example, what sort of patch you have on the jacket you wear while motorcycling is a childish consideration and therefore unimportant. Staying alive, on the other hand, is universally considered to be of great importance. Based on recent news reports, there are motorcycle gangs whose members are willing to kill members of other motorcycle gangs over the patches worn on their jackets. These are grown men, mind you. It could be that those whose corpses littered the tavern parking lot in Waco, Texas, were scheduled to be culled from the herd anyway, probably in a high speed encounter with a bridge abutment. But why take the chance of being the mature, innocent bystander knocked off in a clash of morons?
It’s Sometimes Okay to Bike with Children – Just to be clear, we’re moving on from biking with criminal idiots on motorized bikes to biking with one’s children or grandchildren on motorless bicycles. “But hold on there, Idler,” you say, “how can you engage in the strenuous sport of cycling and still claim to be an idler?” I’ll tell you how, wise guy. It’s a simple trade-off between forking over major cash for amusement parks and summer camps vs. low-cost excursions on the Great Allegheny Passage. Biking is a cheap date. Sure you could toss the kiddies a couple-three benjamins and wave goodbye as they piled into the minivan for Sea World. But what if you can’t quite pry the cash loose? This is where cheapness trumps idleness – you take them on a bike trail excursion. The trick is to avoid both the cruises that end at the Cheesecake factory and the ones like the Duquesne – Waterfront leg that have you climbing coronary-inducing bridge ramps. Come to think of it, maybe you’re better off cracking the IRA.
Avoid Anything With “Extreme” in its Name – The guy they scraped off a boulder in Yosemite a few days ago was a well known “Extreme climber” and all around nutjob who jumped off a 7,500 ft. mountain wearing a “wingsuit.” This violates any number of time-honored Idler precepts including, don’t climb anything you intend to come right back down, don’t jump off of mountains, and don’t turn up dead wearing a funny costume.
Happy Memorial Day!
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