“What do I do when I’m Bored?”

The above pondering comes from Jose Pisco, from Benecia.

Boredom, the final frontier. Among animals, only humans can laugh, cry in movies, or be bored.

One morning long ago, I awoke to a pink sunrise in a fishing shack on the island of Bermuda. I had spent the night with a Conch harvester of indeterminate sexuality but unquestionable beauty, a cross between between Bjork and Lawrence Taylor. As the flying fish gamboled over the water and the gulls picked apart shells on the rocks, I felt a supreme calm wash over me of utter content. A moment later, however, I felt bored.

As the lone orphan in my oversized family of cheese farmers, when I would complain to my parents.”I’m bored”, my mother would yell back, “bang your head against the wall.” After trying this and recieving only pain and jeers from my siblings, I had to find alternative ways to deal with boredom.

What is boredom exactly? Is it a feeling and a state, or merely the absence of something, an emptiness to be filled? Is it possible or desirable to never be bored?

Or is it somehow healthy and instructive?

Zamboni’s brother in law, Shempkin, is an Israeli businessman, quite rich, who claims never to be bored. He sleeps two hours a night, has a Blackberry for each hand, and can text on one device, speak on another, while doing Tai Chi in a sea kayak. He is always moving, wheeling, dealing and instead of stopping to eat, takes periodic sips from a Power Smoothie lodged in a tank attatched to his back. When I run fast enought to talk to Shempkin, I sometimes ask, “how do you keep this going Shempkin?” And he spit out something fast while geo-cashing like, “rest is for the dead. In the camps they could relax.” Shempkin lost much family in the camps in the war so he have fever to never stop.

There is actually less and less boredom in world today than once long ago. As children we would milk the sheep, dig the dirt, feed the pigs and do a million other chores, all before 11 am. Then we would watch the sky, listen to the wind and feel much boredom. The boredom taught us to climb trees, burn insects, defend ourselves from village drunks, and carve battle scenes in river stone.  We might play football with a large ball of paper and tape, but if it rained we were inside listening to our parents stories about this or that, maybe the time a sheep mated with a pet dog, or the great Cheese Fire of 1898. Or reading the dictionary.

Where am I going with this? It is unclear, even to me, but i can say that I am asked things of this ilk often and can tell you how to best handle boredom so it becomes a friend and not an enemy.

First, when you are bored, acknowledge you are bored, and just sit for a moment being bored. Resist urge to quickly go to facebook or TV. Stare at wall and sigh to self, “this is so f%$king  boring.” Be there.

Then ask yourself, not “what do I feel like doing” but “what is there that must be done?” You never call your mom. Call her. The toilet is stinky. Clean toilet. The carrots are going to badness, so eat a carrot.

See, once you start any activity, especially one that concerns reaching out to another person, you always forget boredom. Your mom will talk, cleaning the toilet you can turn on music loud and is fun, the carrots are healthy and dipped in mayonaise, quite nice- that was main dish at my first wedding to Sheena, a homely horseradish farmer who pulled me out of a quicksand pit…it brings back good memories, so suddenly I am in nice reverie and not bored. Now if your question was more about what I, Zambonesman, does when boredom strikes, I can simply tell you.

-Pick apart crickets then reanimate them using cold fission.

-Shop at Goodwill, always searching for the ideal and elusive fez.

-Fly my helicopter to Peru and make snuggling with Anticucho, a comely dark haired farmer of beef hearts with a lovely smell and voice.

-Try to confuse myself.

-Jog.

And if all else fails, I bang head.

Frustration, or award winning performance art piece?
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