As I was randomly looking through some of my previous stories on this web site the other day, I noticed a disturbing trend about how my life gets represented. To someone who doesn’t know me any better I might come across as a lazy bum who stays up all night long laying on my couch flipping television channels between mindless infomercials and fifteenth century battle recreations on the History Channel. Which is absolutely true, but besides the point. In addition to my odd nocturnal habits, I also engage in a vast array of interesting—if somewhat more mainstream—activities. Just the other day, for example, I ran my dishwasher.
I find that many otherwise ordinary activities, such as operating kitchen appliances, become less monotonous when made into some sort of a game. To spice up the extensive amount of time I spend cleaning my kitchen, I have created a game called “dishwasher safe or not dishwasher safe?” The rules are quite simple: one person picks an ordinary household object, and the other person has to predict how well it will survive in the dishwasher. (Side note: For readers over the age of twenty-one, this can also be played as a drinking game.) My experience playing the game has taught me quite a bit about high temperature hydrodynamics. Things that fall into the general “dishwasher safe” category include music CDs, dirty socks, and lava lamps. “Not dishwasher safe” items include wax candles, the Sunday newspaper, and unopened boxes of “Hamburger Helper.”
While I’m no Richard Simmons, I do make an attempt to get to the health club a few times a week. For reasons I don’t completely understand, sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time does not seem to burn very many calories. Despite the feverish pace of my brain during these episodes, I need to supplement this time with activities that require more physical demands on my body.
One thing I have noticed is that people generally don’t look very approachable when working out on fitness equipment. I’m not sure what everyone else is thinking when working out, but I know that while exercising on the stair master every one of my brain cells is preoccupied with keeping my body from falling off. If I did attempt to communicate with the person next to me I believe the conversation would start of with me saying something to the effect of “hi there—so, do you like living in Boulder? I hope the fact that I’ve somehow managed to tip over the stair master doesn’t make you think less of me.”
One day, while riding on the stationary bicycle something hit me. And, no, it wasn’t someone else falling off the stair master. I realized that I spend a fair amount of time surfing the Internet and talking to friends on Instant Messenger. The only thing that gets any exercise are the muscles in my fingers. This led me to realize something totally different than my original realization (which I haven’t gotten to yet—please bear with me). Fingers don’t actually have any muscles in them. The muscles that move fingers are located in the forearm area. Or at least that’s where I think they are.
So, getting back to my great idea—I think someone should build exercise equipment that is connected to the Internet. Since most of the equipment requires the person sit or stand in a stationary position, adding a touch screen would not be too difficult. Everyone seems to stare blankly ahead anyway. I’ve extensively researched many, many web sites on the Internet about people who are addicted to the Internet. Not that this plan would help them out at all with their addiction, but it wouldn’t hurt the situation if they had to pedal a bicycle while they jumped from web site to web site. Sure, they would still be pasty white computer geeks, but at least they would have well defined leg muscles.
Well, I hope this helps shed some light on the subject of “What does Omar do all day long?” I’m sure that if I really put my mind to it I could have come up with a dozen more productive activities in my life. Unfortunately (for you, the reader), I was glancing through the TV Guide and just realized that a three hour special about starting land wars in Asia is about to begin. So until next week, try to think of me as a productive member of society.