Giving underdogs a bark

Grains of Sand

BY GABRIEL SANDLER

We all have priorities in life. There are things we all want to do, things we hear about and say “Dude, dude, dude, I totally want to do that.” It might be skydiving, seeing a certain movie, or doing some awesome parkour move as seen on Youtube. Admittedly, I am being a little bit bias when writing this column. However, I’m allowed to and that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the underdog activities. Instead of compiling here on this holy periodical a list of top rated shenanigans, I will instead piece together a collection of underrated acts, which bring a surprising amount of satisfaction.

#1-Belly rubs. Some of my closer friends have told me that I was probably a dog in my past life, and I also say it about myself on occasion. Maybe that explains why I like to have my tummy rubbed. But I’m not the only one. I have baby cousins, and when I met them for the first time, I rubbed their baby bellies and they loved it. There is something very soothing about tummy rubs, even if you don’t have a tummy ache. This is an excellent underrated activity for a lazy afternoon. Just find someone you trust, or do it yourself! Whatever works.

#2-Writing letters. This one is a little nostalgic of older times that I wasn’t even around for. So be it. When I say writing letters, I don’t mean go smash all your phones and computers and end multimedia communication. I mean that, on occasion, it’s really nice to actually write and send a letter. It’s permanent in its way, and you can get a different type of personalization in a letter. On the receiving end, I get much more excited if I get a letter in my mailbox than an email in my inbox.

#3-Fishy game. This is a newspaper favorite. It’s more of an obscure activity than an underrated. It’s an online game where you start as a tiny fish and can only eat the fish who are teenier than you. The more you eat the bigger you get, until eventually you can just move the fish up and down the screen and eat everything. Eventually, a little screen pops up that says “You Ate Everything and Completely Destroyed the Pond Eco-System.” And you probably learned a few life lessons too.

#4-Walking a dog. A lot of people tell me about how they always see me walking my beautiful dog, Bailey. I could be wrong, but their tones make it sound like they don’t often walk their pet. It is immense fun, and it could count as exercise if you’re into that sort of thing. And dogs are not the only walk-capable animal. It’s rare, but cats, ferrets and other largerish pets can take advantage of the stroll also.

#5-Verbal games. We did this at crew once. You take a word, like sass, and see how many clever ways you can say it. For example; sassafras, sassparilda, sassquatch, sasshole, sassaphone, and many more can tingle the word-play senses. For “bro,” there’s broski, broseph Stalin, The bat brobile, broseidon, bro Montana, Nebrolean bronoparte, bromine, etc etc to spark a new flare in your conversations. Sass and bro are just two words! The dictionary is massive! Go forth!

#6-Coloring. This one was a suggestion I agree with. Coloring books are a simple and great thing. Dinosaurs come to life, the sky can be purple, and those pesky lines can’t keep you in. But don’t worry teenagers, the corporate world has our back as always. The misconception that coloring books are only for little kids has been obliterated. A quick Google search revealed coloring books for teens and adults! Things we care about, here we come.

#7-Not facebook stalking. I know this isn’t an activity, but it is important to put this down. Going through all your friend’s photos and months, potentially years, of wall posts is not a good use of your time. Occasionally it’s interesting to see what’s been happening, but obsession is dangerous. If you are a Facebook stalker, I promise you, there are better things out there. If you think you might be a Facebook stalker, well, that’s kind of a weird thing to think about.

#8-The Jesus Game. This is a Wikipedia favorite. Find the tab that says “random article,” and select it. Then, try and get to Wikipedia’s “Jesus” page in as few clicks as possible. You can select whatever you want on each page you come to, but you can’t go back to the previous article or use the search bar, obviously. After the page you start, each article counts as one until you get to Jesus. Other versions of the game include Presidents, Historical figures, religious icons, and more.

#9-Making lists. If you get to this point, and you’re not sure what I mean by “lists,” look back at where you’ve read from. This article was fun to write because it was a list of activities. Lists are fun. I’ve encountered lists of questions for “truth or dare,” lists of ambitions, party themes, gifts, pet names, weird baby names, on and on and on and on. You don’t need to be a writer to make a list. Just as for all the other things here written, you just need something to do.