Murphy’s Corner: Avoiding summer monotony

John Murphy

Class serves a very important purpose: it takes up time. Between going to class or doing work for it, much time is consumed. There are surely plenty of people that would rather be doing nothing at all. Of course, that’s why we have summer. Obviously, most people have to work in the summer in order to better their chances of being gainfully employed after graduation. But you’ll be bored at one point or another.

Sometimes being bored is okay, and TV just gives everyone a reason to sit around and remain sedentary. But what if you get tired of sitting around? After the irony fades, and the boredom remains, it is then time take out this brief list of activities that are sure to cure monotony. This is not, however, a cure for incontinence. That’s a personal problem between you and your diaper.

Before you’ve tried it, don’t think you can successfully jump into a hammock. It’s not as easy as it should be, and it’s certainly not as easy as it looks.

Let me tell you a little something about hammocks. They’re shifty. They don’t want you to know that, but they are nonetheless. For most people, getting into a hammock is a delicate process. Don’t let yourself fall into the rut of easing your way into one. If you have some time, an audience, and a willingness to get hurt, then try heaving your body into a hammock. The problem with the whole process is that if you don’t hit the exact center, then the whole thing is going to jump right out from underneath you. The source of the problem isn’t that the hammock moves, rather it’s that the ground doesn’t. If the ground were good enough to get out of the way, this would give you time to get your bearings straight and land when you felt like it. Here is a small poem that expresses my disdain for the physics of hammocks:

Hammock, hammock–oh don’t move, Of your radial motion, I do not approve.Your netting entices just like a bed,But when I hit you wrong I break my head.

The only person in the brief history of hammock jumping to actually land in the hammock after attempting to jump into it is Villanova’s own Matt Duffy. His ability to locate the centroid of the hammock while in flight is uncanny. Concussed, we look up to you, Matt Duffy.

Most people will agree that monkeys are an infinite source of amusement and feces. What the ocean is to water, monkeys are to fun. If all the monkeys were a planet, they would be Uranus. (It is my dream to one day have a mailing address on Uranus.) Another one of my dreams is to own a monkey. Boredom can quickly be resolved if you just think about monkeys and all the wonderful things they do. A credo that involves being true to yourself is a good one, but a credo that involves monkeys is much better.

Boredom cure number three, involves going to a place you normally would not go to and meet as many people as you can. For example, I go to the Quakertown Mart, or Q-Mart. The Q-Mart is a gem. If you fancy people-watching, then the Q-Mart will become your mecca. I’ve never actually heard it called the “Quakertown Mart.” I always just assumed that the Q stood for Quakertown. Anyway, if you enjoy the company of mullets, then the Q-Mart is for you. I don’t think they still sell livestock, but there’s a good chance they used to.

Among the other fine products you can find at the Q-Mart are swords, army supplies and a banjo. It may sound like I am poking fun at the Q-Mart (and I am), but there are some quality products in there too. A couch or two is vital to any house or apartment, and the Mart has very much to offer in that department as well. Be careful what you buy, though–an unnoticed cigarette burn in a couch would be disappointing.

Which brings us to the next point: the Q-Mart has got to be one of the last places in America that still allows smoking inside. It seems that the Mart’s caretakers are not concerned about second-hand smoke affecting dogs, because you can bring them inside, too. As you can see, the Q-Mart is an everlasting source of all-around goodness and dogs.

A final game I have devised involves going to a public place and challenging passers-by to a lung capacity contest. (A lung capacity contest is just a fancy phrase for challenging someone to see if they can hold their breath for as long as you can.)

Be sure to keep your money hidden, though. If you happen to pass out as a result of the game, then vagrants and derelicts will be more than happy to run off with your wallet. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen a thousand times.

Enjoy the games. Have a nice summer. Don’t forget to write…and remember: hammock jumping is fun, but not for the weak-minded.