Apparently a goldfish outdoes a human teen in attention span these days. So it is easy for humans to get ‘bored’. We gather this from our usual method of studying on the sofa breathing into our Folks’ ears as they read and of eavesdropping on human conversation. So, instead of WOD (Word of the Day), we have LOD (Line of the Day), the line we have picked up from our young friends of the species who have shorter attention spans than our little goldfish – or so they say. It is hot, there is nothing to do but flop down with tongues hanging out, Big Sis is out on a holiday with Big Bro in the same place we told you about earlier (When the cat’s away ….), none of our (alright, her) friends drop in to say hello – Voila our LOD: Man, it’s boring… No offence to Mom. She’s doing a great job holding the fort; still, we are bored.
Funnily enough, being bored can be very stimulating. Ever since we have caught the ‘Man, we’re so bored’ bug, we have been successful in compiling a list of top bored (note ‘bored‘, not ‘boring‘) things to do:
- When you get bored of sleeping, rise and shine no matter what time it is, even if it is between 5 and 5.30 a.m. Never laze but jump over the tummy of a sleeping person and dash for your leash. Clamp your jaws over each other’s leashes until you become a messy entanglement of paws, jaws and leash rushing from room to room, trying to find your way to the main door: after all, you have to take each other for a walk. Don’t get caught by a bleary-eyed Mom chasing you all over till she runs up and down the length of the flat at least twice. Then, and only when her voice calling out to you reaches Now-I-am-getting-annoyed level, get caught for the collar to be slipped over your necks. But, just for fun, don’t let go of the leash until the voice reaches Now-I-am-really-getting-annoyed level.
- Slip out into the balcony in the morning while Mom is refilling the bird feeder and bath. She will usually place the latter at a height you cannot reach while she fills it. Never mind. Just puncture the pipe by playing tug of war with her. For days after, you can chortle every time she turns the tap on as you watch her getting sprayed from the most unexpected parts of the pipe. Behave yourself for four days, and when you have convinced her you are no longer interested in the bird bath, on the fifth day pounce on it to paw out the water while she is talking to her plants. Her shrieks as she whirls around and the confused birds flapping away are well worth being locked out for your paws and ears to sun-dry.
- When you are bored of lying around, saunter up to a sitting person, especially a person deeply immersed in work. Sit at that person’s feet. Whine. Whine in varying pitches. Don’t stop until that person looks up. Make that person get up and take you out into the balcony. Do not enter the room for as long as the said person is standing there waiting for you. Pretend to be busy sniffing around. Keep the corner of your eye on that person. As soon as that person returns to abandoned task and just about settles down, charge to the closed balcony door, rub your nose against the pane, scratch away as if there’s no tomorrow, and yelp as if you want the neighbours to shoot you. If you wish, you can extend this game to run away the moment the person opens the door to let you in. You can do this any number of times. Rest assured, despite all threats, there is no way anyone will leave you out for very long in the peak of summer. So you got ’em where you want ’em. [Note: this will only work if your Folks are so petrified of lizards and other summer creepy crawlies getting into the room that they keep the doors shut.]
- This one is a bit dicey and can get you in trouble, so it requires care. Identify the softest target, one who is all sound and no fury. Don’t try it with anybody who will kill if his or her gizmo smashes to the ground. If the target has been too quiet for a while, playing on the gizmo, belly crawl to him or her and attempt to start a conversation. You’ll be lucky if it works; most probably you’ll get a cursory pat and be shooed away. Wait and watch. You’ll soon get into the rhythm of things. When you sense the game is at a crucial point, nudge the gizmo out of the target’s hands. The wail that emerges when the game literally slips out of hands, slides to the floor, and results in grave loss of score will be sheer delight for you.
- Finally, when things are too quiet and lethargic and bore you to tears, stir. Stir things up a little. A few tips:
# Yap, bark – suddenly and for no reason. Look as if you mean business, and just when everybody’s disturbed and wondering enough, zip up and roll over to go back to sleep. You’ve had your break. And fun.
#Take your rubber squeaky ball close to the ear of a dozing member of the family and at the count of three, c-h-e-w.
#Tip the dustbin over to pull out a shred of paper or wrapper, all the while looking at the one person who will be affected by the threat of mess enough to walk over to you.
#Even better, tip over the toy bin – it’s yours, isn’t it? – scrabble around and transport piece by piece each toy to different parts of the house. Do this in the first 30 seconds of every attempt by someone to collect the toys and place them back in the bin.
#Nose slippers under the bed or sofa while the attention of an unsuspecting victim is elsewhere and pray the doorbell or the phone rings, or even better, this victim wishes to go to the washroom. Watch gleefully as at the doorbell/phone/call of nature, there is a frantic hunt for the missing slippers. You can enhance the experience by pretending to help in the search and blowing into the frenzied person’s face from under the bed, even as you push the slippers right to the middle of ‘under the bed’.