Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #17 White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting

white water rafting

What it Entails:

What it Entails:
White Water Rafting is a cross between boating and a thinly disguised attempt to end one’s life.

I can already hear your outcry, yes, yes, I know, someone would argue that the attempt isn’t disguised at all. Bear with me.

White water rafting involves getting in an inherently puncturable inflatable water going vessel, powered by nothing more than frenzied paddling of the mentally unstable (Who else would choose to do this?).

Where in that is the disguise you ask? Well, go back to the section where I said “Mentally Unstable.” As a participant, you too are mentally unstable. As a result it’s debatable whether or not you can be said to be doing anything more than participating in the human version of a lemming migration.

Paddle my pretties! Paddle!

1. Should your subconscious plan “Succeed,” it is rare for people to later speak of you as selfish.
2. It’s loud, intense and there isn’t much time to talk.
3. Rocks. They’re big, they’re wet and they go by at high speed. It’s kind of like being Han Solo piloting the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field.

1. Inherently social activity.
2. Inferior to a Viking funeral pyre.
3. Complete absence of sharks in the water.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #16 Hoarding



What it Entails:

We live in a disposable society, we buy things, we use them, we throw them out. Everything comes with disposable packaging. Plastic wrap, paper, bows, grocery bags. We all experience a tingle of guilt… and then we throw them out.

Not you.

You’re going to keep these things. One day someone might need them.

Free space? Who needs free space? Your home will become a temple to filth, and stacked piles of useless precious goods.

1. Develop excellent crazy eyes.
2. You can never be called wasteful if you never throw anything away.
3. No need to discourage friends and family from visiting, your new lifestyle will do that for you.

1. The smell. You don’t know where it comes from, but it’s pervasive.
2. Interventions. People who incessantly throw away their possessions will try to inflict their values upon you.
3. Rodents. These little invaders will constantly demonstrate their jealousy of your possessions by trying to sleep in them. You’re going to have to guard your treasures, like Smaug.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #15 Go on Safari

Go on Safari


What it Entails:

What it Entails:
This is the real deal. A genuine Back-To-Nature experience. Just the sort of thing our distant, distant, forefathers did. Granted, there are some differences. Our forefathers didn’t have mosquito netting, staff, jeeps, guides, malaria medication, metal tools, lightweight breathable fabrics, or regularly served meals, but apart from that, this is legit.

In any case, you and your fellow privileged travelers get in a jeep, and wander off the beaten path in undeveloped Africa while looking for animals going about their day-to-day routine. When you get back to the camp you compete with other travelers to see who saw the “Best” things, (If someone saw a team of ostriches doing merengue, they’re probably lying).

Do the same thing several days in a row. Fly home.

1. Majestic animals in their natural environment (unlike you, they don’t have staff).
2. Trip of a lifetime (like falling down the stairs of the Eiffel tower, but in a good way).
3. Fantastic safari wardrobe (nicer fabrics remember?), and your safari hat (the hat is key), make you feel like you’re having an adventure.

1. Malaria, you are paying to go places where you might catch malaria. Rethink this.
2. The lion just killed something! How exciting! You are now celebrating one animal killing another. You monster.
3. Thousands of pictures! Thousands! …Which you will likely never look at again, but will feel guilty about deleting. Barring a hard drive failure you’re stuck with them for life. Welcome to being a level one hoarder.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #14 Blackmail


black mail

What it Entails:

What it Entails:
You’ve realized that you enjoy photography… but you’re not any good at it. At least not in the artistic way that you always thought that you would be. Still, you’ve told your friends, you have a nice camera, and you have the outfit

You are invested.

What to do?

Monetize your failed hobby.


Incriminating photos.

Is it respectable?

No, but that’s okay, you lost respect for yourself when you realized you take terrible pictures. It’s time to double down on your lie, extort people for money, and claim that you fund yourself through extremely profitable, but discreet, gallery openings.

1. Cash, wet with someone’s tears, heartbreak and broken dreams, but cash.
2. You can keep living your lie.
3. Dovetails nicely with photography.

1. You will be that creepy person in the bushes, like a less likeable version of the paparazzi.
2. In addition to being creepy, it’s also illegal, and you probably don’t look good in orange.
3. Your soul will wither and die inside you.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #13 Photography



What it Entails:

What it Entails:
Choosing to take pictures of the world instead of interacting with it.

Use this preference to form a barrier to separate you from anything and everything. Think of yourself like a scholar in an ivory tower. Think of everyone else (except me) as a peasant. Wear pretentious clothes, and, regardless of gender, grow an ironic beard.

1. No talking required.
2. Should you decide to talk, people tend to do what the person with the camera says.
3. Dovetails nicely with blackmail.

1. You’ll be tempted to review your pictures and be confronted by the mediocrity of your work.
2. You’ll need subjects. This will require human interaction.
3. Should you turn professional, your art becomes more valuable after you die. Better make sure your family loves you…

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #12 Cage Diving

Cage Diving

cage diving

What it Entails:

What it Entails:
Getting off of dry land. You know, that place where humanity evolved. Getting in a boat. Getting out of the boat. Strapping portable oxygen onto your mouth. Jumping into an underwater cage where you’re surrounded by sharks.

Just in case you were wondering, sharks are also known as apex predators.

You’re not even pretending to love life anymore are you?

1. Awesome eulogy.
2. You might snap out of it for long enough to wonder what’s wrong with you. Should that happen while underwater you could well start screaming. Sharks hate that.
3. It’s cold. I hear the cold numbs pain… so that’s something.

1. If you do this, and you survive, you’ll eventually realize that no one loved you enough to stop you. That’s right, surviving is the depressing option.
2. Should the experience turn out to be transcendent and reignite your passion for life, you’re going to be underwater, surrounded by the ocean’s hitmen.
3. You need help. Seek help.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #11 Plan a Bank Heist

Plan a Bank Heist

Bank Vault

What it Entails:

What it Entails:
Go to a cocktail bar and meet a group of bankers. Determine the one you like least. Target their bank.

Ask innocuous questions about their work to simulate interest and friendship:
“What sort of things do you keep in the vault?”
“What’s the combination?”
“What’s security like?”
“Do you have a living will?”

Friendly, friendly, questions, sure to ensure that they remember and like you.

1. Cash, glorious Scrooge McDuck stacks of cash.
2. Adrenaline – In large enough quantities it’s as good as any drug.
3. Bragging rights – Find a country without an extradition agreement and tell the story again and again.

1. You have to speak to bankers.
2. You need a team – bank heists of one just don’t work, you need minions to carry the loot.
3. Non-extradition countries are frequently home to tropical diseases and exciting insects.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #10 Professional Dog Walking

Professional Dog Walking

Professional Dog Walking

What it Entails:

Imagine someone strolling through a park, an ice-cream cone in one hand, a dog on a lead, possibly a newspaper tucked under one arm. It’s a cool autumn day, the leaves are strewn across the ground in a thanksgiving quilt of colours and everyone is happy to be outside.

Then there’s the rest of the year, and you. Six leads, six miscreants, one you.

Which direction are you walking in? All of them. All of them except the one that you want.

It’s hot, it’s sweaty, it’s the time of the year that no one wants to be walking anywhere. Good thing you’re an animal lover.

1. Dog hair all over your clothes.
2. Extra exercise and laundry cycles.
3. It’s better than walking cats.

1. You’re probably going to stop loving dogs, if you ever did.
2. You’re going to go through a lot of baggies.
3. Your dog will judge you each and every time you come home.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #9 Go to the Gym

Go to the Gym

go to the gym

What it Entails:

Allow me to describe your environment. You’re sitting down, probably on a couch. You’re comfortable. You’ve had a long day, you’re tired, the TV calls to you. Your apartment is littered with wrappers from junk food and frozen dinners. Your eyes have lost their shine, this is where souls go to die.

Leave it all behind, go to a place filled with sweaty strangers and engage in mindless tasks for 30-90 minutes, 2-5 days a week. See limited results. Lose hope. Increase the profitability of Nabisco or any company that sells cookies or chips.

1. Temporary belief that you can improve yourself.
2. Justification to buy a whole new wardrobe.
3. Hours of time spent creating perfect exercise playlists.

1. Wow, this is way harder than you expected. Who knew that getting into shape was, you know, work?
2. Risk of hurting yourself and looking like an idiot as you do so.
3. All of this, and you get to pay for membership too. I’ll bet you got it for the full twelve months, because that was the best deal. You went for what sixty days? What a savings.

Good and Bad, Mostly Bad, Ways to Fill Your Empty Soul: #8 Run a Marathon

Run a Marathon


What it Entails:

You’ve decided to get fit, but were too cheap to pay for a gym membership. Well, fine, at least you’re practical, or you would be, if you weren’t trying to run a marathon.

Let’s recount the history of marathons. They are so named in memory of the sacrifice of the Greek runner, Pheidippides, who ran from Marathon to Athens, delivered a message and dropped dead.

This seems like an excellent thing for you to emulate, especially seeing as you just got off of the couch.

You’re going to need workout gear, running shoes, an iPod, sunglasses and to have your affairs in order. You have written a will right?

1. You didn’t have to pay for gym membership.
2. People are impressed when you tell them you’re training for a marathon. They might even compliment you before you’ve done anything.
3. Rarely required to provide proof of your marathon training or participation.

1. May occasionally have to run. It’s that activity where you move your legs quickly and you sweat a lot.
2. You’ll realize what healthy joints you used to have.
3. You’ve already bragged about this, eventually people are going to expect you to back it up. No pressure.