Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Things We Rarely Do That Shouldn't Be So Rare

Remember the last time you were enjoying a night out with friends and suddenly thought to yourself, "We should do this more often"? It's a thought that's hit each of us, but for some reason we forget about all sorts of exciting things we could be doing and get distracted by all of life's white noise. Now, as a general rule, too much of a good thing can be bad.

...Actually, nevermind that's a stupid rule.

However, what about those things we only do on rare occasions that happen to be awesome? There are some good things everybody could use a little bit more of, and here they are:

#1- Lasertag

Lasertag is awesome. It's more intense than NERF, and though paintballing has its merits, lasertag has something about it that adds another level of cool. It's cool to shoot a laser gun, the sound effects are satisfying to all of us who at one point in our childhood pretended to be a stormtrooper. 

Read: Everyone.

Then there's the fact that it's not in the wide open well-lit outdoors like paintball is. Instead, it's dark and enclosed fog-machine warfare, fought in what usually looks like the original Terminator film's imagining of the future. Your vision is limited, your gun sounds awesome, you never run out of ammo, and your revenge on the annoying little neighborhood kids is perfectly acceptable (assuming you don't run, jump, kneel, lay down, or swear loudly). It's intense, and like five bucks. Five bucks to do the coolest thing you'll do all day isn't bad.

#2- Bowling

Somehow bowling has taken a backseat to most other forms of entertainment. People want to find a way to be busy, they go drop $13 on a 3D movie or even more money on a spendy dinner. The option to go bowling doesn't cross most people's minds. In fact suggesting it kind of makes you sound like a weirdo. Bowling alleys are places you can only be admitted to on your birthday, everyone knows that.

It's the only place to offer a rave-vibe for 13 year-olds.

This is all too bad because bowling is a blast. Nobody ever wants to go bowling, but once you put those shoes on and the idea of bowling becomes a reality, the game is suddenly over and you have to go pay for another game now that you're all warmed up. We here at MindGrenades would make the bold claim that Wii Bowling is largely responsible for selling the Wii out that one Christmas when nobody could find one. Nobody had Wii Golfing parties, none of the commercials were like "OOH Wii Baseball!"

How come we all instinctively know that floating orb next to him is his hand?

Wii Bowling is what made Wii Sports work, and Wii Sports is the reason why the Wii platform did so well. People like bowling. When you finally do set foot into a smoky bowing alley, you sometimes feel like "You know, I could be good at this game if I came more often". And then you forget until the next birthday. 

#3- Pinewood Derby Racing

A lot of people haven't done this, and that is a little sad. Most boys do it growing up and then don't have another shot at it until they have boys of their own. Going to a pinewood derby race is everything a competition should be though; it's fun, it's competitive, it pits something you created and breathed life into against your buddy's own creation. You can take it seriously and think about aerodynamics, or you can have fun and make it look like a batmobile, it doesn't matter. 

Heck, do both

The point is, this has somehow been designated an activity for boy scouts and nobody else. People like cars, and racing, and winning, and trophies. Pinewood derby has all of these, plus the potential for your creation to get beat by some 8 year-old kid's doorstop on wheels. That's quality entertainment. We'll go ahead and hypothesize that if the internet died tomorrow and all the TVs were stolen, people would turn to more old-school forms of entertainment and perhaps discover pinewood derby racing. 

#4- Skee Ball

Speaking of old-school, Skee Ball. It has that authentic old-timey feel that only a game that's been entertaining people since back when kids collected baseball cards can provide. Somehow Skee Ball has been stuck as a carnival game forever, when really it just needs a makeover in order to be totally acceptable 21st century household item. 

Okay maybe just those rich households that have a lot of extra space, 
and a creepy uncle to take your ticket.

There are some things that are acceptable to see in clubhouses and garages (air hockey, foosball, pool, and ping-pong). But somehow Skee Ball hasn't been able to crack that carny stereotype and become a mancave mainstay. Like lasertag, bowling, and miniature wooden cars, Skee Ball has fallen victim to a mentality that thinks "Those things have their own time and place". Unfortunately, that time tends to be rare, and that place is littered with sticky soda residue and uneaten popcorn kernels. 

These activities should not be reserved for just the one time a year you go to the state fair, or your birthday, or your cub-scout aged son's shop project. These are all things that make you feel like you did something awesome with your day, and should be brought into the mainstream the very day the internet loosens its dizzying grip on all of us. 

This is an acceptable reward for winning any of the activities listed above.


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