- Have you changed the air filters in your house? It’s probably been a while, and you should change those because they are filthy. Air filters always win, because even if you think they don’t look THAT dirty, well...they do have dirt on them, yes? And you don’t want your children breathing dirt, you filth-mongering horrible parent, would you? The answer to whether an air filter needs to be changes is always yes. You should probably never stop replacing them, ever. You could replace them all afternoon, like, from four p.m. Eastern time to 8 p.m., give or take a few minutes in either direction.
- Considered a four hour bike ride? Biking is low-impact, great for the environment, and a great way to get to know your city and community. Just the wind through your hair and the sun on your face, free and unaware of the world’s troubles, or even the result of a football game! Bonus: you’ll work up quite an appetite, and can indulge it because you burned the calories. Try some sprints to keep it interesting.
- When was the last time you watched Lawrence of Arabia? Sure, it’s almost four hours, but sometimes you have to stretch your eyes to see a canvas as big as the one David Lean paints here. Fun thing you might have forgotten: Having hired Omar Sharif for one role, they got Alec Guinness to play brownface because there was literally only one Arab actor in the world at that time, according to Hollywood. You can start it at four, and be done just in time for dinner and the Big Ten Championship game, but only after mouthing along with a beautiful young Peter O’Toole: “I LIKED IT.”
- Read an Elmore Leonard novel. You’ll have to hustle a little, but no reason you can’t polish off most of a breezy classic like Maximum Bob in an afternoon.
- Yard stuff. Something’s wrong with your yard. Make up something wrong with your yard. Before you say all the plants are in the right place, ask yourself the question: is there ever a totally right place for a plant? They could be anywhere, that’s why they’re plants, they just go anywhere, they’re stupid and take orders. Just start digging and leave it when you’re tired of it, say, around the four hour mark. If someone asks, blame the dog. If you don’t have a dog and they point this out, blame their dog. Go make new friends to replace the ones you lost from slandering their dog, you didn’t need those friends anyway. Never fix this, say this is the way a yard’s supposed to look because it has to reflect the violence of nature and negligence of man at the same time.
- Pick a spot two hours outside of your city and drive to it. It’s amazing how fast you can get in the middle of nowhere if you try. Bring a friend and discuss life with them, and lie to them about how great yours is, and see if they do the same. By the end of two hours, you’ll both feel better about yourselves, in addition to passing by at least one factory you didn’t know about and seeing a bunch of scary Christian Fundamentalist billboards. “HELL IS REAL, PLEASE STOP AT EXIT 58.”
- Take a nap. Four hours is really a stretch for a nap. It’s really just “falling asleep”. But can you sleep four hours in the middle of the day without binge-drinking at ten a.m. and letting nature take its course? There’s only one way to find out. Volunteer to be the one who doesn’t stay sober in a test of this theory, get drunk at 10 a.m., and then sleep it off for a few hours in the afternoon. When you wake up you will not even know what century it is, or what football is. Run to the nearest window and go directly through it to freedom! Do not stop running until you feel safe again or until you reach a Panera. You live at the Panera now; when loved ones visit you, recommend the soup and salad special, and remind them that the WiFi is free.
- Play a full-length game of the video game football franchise of your choice. Really, simulate the whole thing. Set the clock for 60 minutes. Time out commercial breaks. Read out commercials to your family and pay them no mind when they beg for you to stop. If they don’t like how the sausage is made well then they don’t have to eat it, do they? These ads support this family. Now let Daddy finish this 444--0 blowout of Alabama on the XBox. (Team chosen AT RANDOM.)
- Work on a jigsaw puzzle. One of something big and monotonous, like a barn or a field, with no easy patterns to pull out. The hours will fly by.
- Recruit a quarterback for the University of Florida. Shouldn’t take longer than four hours, quarterbacks are everywhere. Try looking at Purdue, or better yet, at a school known for shedding five dollar quarterbacks who become hundred dollar signal callers elsewhere: The University of Florida. Some people take three years to do this, but if Hugh Freeze can finesse a three-star JUCO into a guy who beat Alabama, then we’re reasonably certain anyone can find a passable QB for the Gators. Get two while you’re shopping! They’re like dogs: one of them could run away, or get hit by a car, or maybe test positive for steroids at any time.
- Take young children to the grocery store. How could this fill four hours, you ask? Oh, oh, you naive, childless soul: you’ll need a minimum of four hours to get in and out of a grocery store with young children. To leave young kids unrestrained for even a second at a grocery store is to bring your own personal poltergeist with you. Those watermelons rolling off the produce display mark the presence of one, possibly moving towards dairy; the yells in the seafood department make a pretty good argument that your youngest has pried open a container of California Rolls, and is assaulting the rest of the selection like a bear trashing a campsite. This is not fiction. It is your future.
- Watch a bunch of Lucha Underground. Unlike in the real world. sometimes the underdog wins. SOMETIMES THAT HAPPENS. NOT IN REALITY BUT CERTAINLY IN SCRIPTED LUCHA LIBRE-BASED TELEVISION DRAMAS YES.
- I dunno, go outside? Not watch the Florida/Alabama game? Because you know how this ends, and need to spend your mental stress budget carefully? Some of us will watch it because we’re beyond hope, but you don’t have to, you really don’t. Hope is a great thing. It’ll keep you alive when things seem dark. It’ll get you to make plans as the room is filling up with water and the door to the next room in the submarine is shut and the people through the window are like too bad hoss hope you can hold your breath for a few years. Hope is great but you have a finite amount of it to apply across all the burns in your life. Spread it carefully, and not across the SEC Championship Game, because it’s not happening, and that’s okay. Sometimes you have to take a beating. Sometimes you have to take six or seven beatings in a row. And sometimes, if you can just go sit outside and get some Vitamin D while those beatings occur, you should, because there is nothing you can do to change this, just a whole lot of nothing, so you should. Every civilized citizen should be against punting. But sometimes, dear reader, sometimes you must admit that the solution, in a playsheet devoid of answers, is to punt. Sometimes punting is winning. This is when you punt.
LIFE IS REALLY BROAD, YOU SHOULD EXPLORE IT