Friday, November 02, 2012

Witz Pickz: The Post-Hurricane Lifestyle

("They named it Hurricane WHAT??")
I was one of the incredibly fortunate people whose home was almost entirely unaffected by Hurricane Sandy. We never lost power, nothing in our neighborhood flooded, and the local stores began reopening 24-48 hours after the storm. However, with the subway closed and with power out around most of Manhattan, most people I know have either gotten time off or have been working from home, and have been going a little stir crazy from being inside and isolated for so long. This made me realize something: I've been living a post-hurricane lifestyle for months now.

Most days, I don't commute to work, I eat more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than my sanity would appreciate, and the most talking I do during the day is to an unblinking rabbit with a flagrant crack-level addiction to golden raisins. So, as the seasoned veteran, I thought I would offer some suggestions on how to occupy yourself until you can escape your neighborhood and return to  your usual routine:

I've always found that when I'm not working to maintain my finances, going to the gym at least makes me feel like I'm maintaining SOMETHING. It also helps maintain Not Being Sad and Alone Forever. People seem to be gravitating this direction already, as the gym has been looking like the first week of January, when for 5-7 days every year Resolutionists flail like terrified gazelles on the ellipticals, push weights mightily towards and away from their bodies, and yoga the shit out of their ligaments before remembering that it sucks to do all of that stuff.

My tip to you is to try making up stories about why you're doing the different exercises. Maybe you're trying to bench-press your own body weight so that when your eight identical evil clones fall from the sky onto you, you can throw them off. Maybe you're not running redundantly on a treadmill, but steadily chasing that semi-attractive girl or guy on the treadmill in front of you. And using that ab crunch machine is never not gonna look like you're straining to make your head reach your crotch. Them's just the facts.

After a few days, you're going to get bored and while Netflix boasts all the under-the-radar gems you never saw from 1987, you are going to need an alternate entertainment source. allows you to answer that question, "Under what circumstances would I watch 'Magic Mike'?" and gives you complete justification for watching, "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and "Tower Heist." Keep an eye out for some legitimately good/interesting new movies to watch before they're out on DVD or just because they're free. "Ruby Sparks," "Safety Not Guaranteed," "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap," "Shut Up and Play the Hits," "The Campaign" (which I can honestly say is 90 minutes of time that will pass...), and lots more. Big smiley faces with teeth = great quality. Buy the HDMI cable on Amazon and hook your laptop up to your TV.

For those of you without power, thanks for making a ridiculous effort to read this and here's a game I was taught recently by my buddy Zopf The Hook. It's called Greed and will keep you sharp for your return to capitalistic society. All you'll need are six dice, paper and a pen, and either the basic remedial math skills you drank/smoked away years ago orrrr a calculator. Take THAT, school!

"But I don't have six dice!" you say. Yes, you do. Check all those old board games--Parcheesi, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, or the mother-load, Yahtzee. If you don't have those, check old drawers and boxes. I don't know what it is, but something in the universe guarantees that everyone has dice somewhere in their home (it's probably to remind us that everything is up to chance and we have very little control over our fragile, desperate lives).

(It's looked down upon to shout "Yahtzee!" while looting the game for dice, but also very fun...)
Each person rolls all the dice on their turn and earns points. The goal is to get to 10,000 points. I could give you all the rules here, but instead, just read this Wikipedia article. To make it more fun, add incentive prizes at different point levels, and/or (like everything in life) make it a drinking game.

Thousands were affected by the Hurricane in much worse ways than you or I, so I would first suggest seriously that people volunteer in their community or help someone in some way, even if that just means letting someone without power crash with you, donating blood, or supporting a small business which lost money during the storm and needs your business to, ironically, stay afloat. Now on to my next-level charitable ideas (read: schemes):

-Give one homeless person peanut butter, another jelly, and another bread. You've just built a community (or death match).

-Crash Cab: let people sleep in your car.

-Rob people taking photos of the devastation and of the people who are working to rebuild. Donate that money to collection funds in those neighborhoods.

-Can-non Fooder: PVC piping + hairspray + lighter + canned goods = hunger relief. Launch non-perishable canned goods directly into the windows of those in need. 

-Since Halloween was a bust and the subways still aren't fully functional, if you have a car, use it to pick up passengers and drive them where they need to go for free. The twist? Dress you and your car up as the cab and cab driver from "Ghost Dad"! Then you both can be like:

I have more ideas, but I've already opened myself up for a lot of scrutiny and lawsuits, so I'm gonna stop there.

Everything will be back to normal, for better or worse, in the next few weeks, so until then, I hope these few tips make a difference and if anyone shows up at your door posing as ConEd or Time Warner people, punch them immediately in the face and shut the door. Worst case scenario, they were actually people from ConEd and Time Warner, so they'll understand...

Our Old Breakfast Lady In High School Was A Greek Woman Named Sandy, and While She Never Destroyed a Coastline, She Got Pretty Worked Up When We Asked For Extra Cheese On Our Breakfast Sandwiches, So I'm Just Saying I GET IT and Also I Miss Breakfast Lady Sandy (and You Should Too),


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