Has thrift replaced profligacy at the top of your priority list? Are you looking for ways to have fun and save money at the same time? Try some of these next weekend:
- See how long you can hold your breath. Optional equipment: stopwatch, or watch with a second hand, or some other way of measuring seconds. Alternative: just pretend to have a stopwatch, because the trick here is to fool other people, especially noisy children, into having a breath-holding contest. We did this a lot at my house when I was a kid, usually at my father’s instigation, and I only figured it out recently.
- See how long you can hold your hand in icy salt water. This used to be the funnest part of making hand-cranked ice cream when I was a kid. My brother always won, because he was insane*. Necessary equipment: bukkit, water, ice, salt.
- Jump out of a hiding place and scare people. My wife and Gamma did this to me a few days ago, and they laughed so hard!
- Make rubber-band guns out of junk and pieces of inner tubes, and have wars. (My mother still fondly recalls watching the big kids do this back in the Depression)
- Dig a hole.** Necessary equipment: shovel, dirt.
- Meditate. Optional equipment: cats.
- Fly a jumbo jet. I bet that rocks. Drawback: need a jumbo jet. Advantage: if you have a pilot’s license, they’ll actually pay you to do this.
- Go into a Banana Republic and ask to use their telephone. We tried this in Seattle a few years ago, this freaks them out for some reason. Maybe they think you’re poor. When they refuse, ask to at least see their phone book.
- Make a list of all the things you’re doing wrong, and correct them.
- Find out where the nursing college dormitory is, and when shower time is, and sit in a tree outside (this works better in summer than in winter, due to foliage considerations). This is only free if you already have binoculars.
*He no longer does this, having discovered spicy chili pepper eating contests.
**Works for me.
My grandfather liked to get me to play “Let’s see who can be the quietest.”
My mom called that “The Quiet Game”. As in, “Hey, I know! Why don’t you three play the Quiet Game for a while!”
HEY! I invented that game in our family. Except it’s called ‘Shut Up for ten minutes’. The beauty of it is that when the inevitable breach occurs, the ten minute counter resets even for the compliant. A bonus is that on the breach, everyone else gets to shout ‘SHUT UP FOR TEN MINUTES’. It’s really quite refreshing.