primitive man overcame the need to search endlessly for food, a bit of a
gap opened up in the average human’s schedule. As if that wasn’t bad
enough, the advance of modern medicine has given most of us seven or
eight decades to fill up with distractions. Here are seven bizarre
hobbies people have found to make the time just fly by.
1. Bizarre Hobbies : Filing Lawsuits
Use of this image is considered “fair use” under US Copyright law. Not that that will stop him from suing ATI.
Going to court is something most sane people try to avoid.
Fortunately, the insane have valiantly stepped up to plug that gap. Meet
Jonathan Lee Riches—listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the
world’s most litigious man. A listing that prompted Riches to sue
Guinness because of course it did.
Riches has a history of mental illness and a felony record that saw
him serve time in Kentucky federal prison. We bring this up mainly as
part of our inevitable legal defense for calling him “insane” in the
preceding paragraph. You can’t be too careful.
In pursuing what Riches calls his “legal masterpieces” (of course the
phrase comes from a legal filing he wrote), he’s managed to file some
2,600 lawsuits in federal district courts since 2006. He has also driven
to Connecticut in an elaborate scheme that involved impersonating Sandy
Hook shooter Adam Lanza’s uncle, which we include to further indemnify
this website for the above assertion regarding Mr. Riches’ mental
Targets of his legal ire have included former President George W.
Bush, Somali pirates, and Jimmy Hoffa. He has also sued the surviving
victims of the Holocaust, the Roman Empire, and “various Buddhist
monks,” though it isn’t certain how much money he thought he was going
to get out of the latter group. In an all-out effort to be extra
cray-cray, Riches has also sued various inanimate objects and academic
ideas such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Dark Ages, and the Eiffel Tower.
2. Bizarre Hobbies : Collecting Ecstasy
In 2009, Dutch authorities got an unusual report. A man, who has
never been identified, reported the theft of his ecstasy collection,
which he had been keeping in coin folders. According to the report, a
burglar broke into the 46-year-old man’s Eerbeek home and made off with
more than 2,400 tabs of ecstasy.
Apparently, the man had been collecting the pills out of an
appreciation for the different colors and logos stamped on them. He
denied using ecstasy himself. He was fully aware that his collection was
ridiculously illegal, but chose to report the theft out of concern over
the forty or so pills in the collection that he said were poisonous.
Dutch police declined to press charges against the man, on the
grounds that they technically lacked evidence to support a possession
charge. For his part, according to police spokesperson Esther Naber, the
man had given up hope of getting his collection back. She added: “Why
would you make something like this up?”
3. Bizarre Hobbies : Flying . . . Without a Plane
So you’re tough. We get it. You jump out of planes and stuff. We get
that, too. But have you considered the advantages of jumping out of a
plane wearing a wingsuit and gliding like Rocky the Flying Squirrel
across the countryside?
The earliest wingsuits went into production as early as the 1930s,
and were made from canvas and whale bone. We’ll pause here for a moment
to let the Steampunk potential of a whalebone flying suit sink in.
Modern wingsuits permit up to a 10:1 glide-to-drop ratio, meaning
that a drop from 15,000 feet could potentially allow the diver to cross
thirty miles of countryside, although the current record is “only” a
little over 17 miles.
Unfortunately, it isn’t as if you can just go and buy one of these.
The US Government, as well as several wingsuit manufacturers, requires
that you have a minimum of 200 standard freefall jumps in the last 18
months before you can even ask for a suit. Unless you have the whalebone
to make your own, that is. (Note: Please don’t do this.)
4. Bizarre Hobbies : Extreme Ironing
You know what’s boring? Ironing clothes. If only there was some way
to combine the boring work with the soul-crushing terror of rock
climbing, snowboarding, and other extreme sports. Hey, would you look at
that? There is!
The “sport” in question is extreme ironing, and it has its own
international associations and everything. The whole thing began in
1997, when East Midlands resident Phil Shaw was faced with a choice
between taking care of his ironing or going rock climbing with friends.
Despite allegedly being sober, Mr. Shaw (who now calls himself “Steam”
in EI forums) decided to do both and took his ironing kit with him for
the climb. And thus a new hobby was born.
The practice has spread around the world over the last 15 years.
Devotees of extreme ironing have had themselves photographed pressing
their shirts on kayaks, mountaintops, and even in the middle of busy
freeways. Nobody seems to have been killed doing this yet, but it should
be noted that nobody has been photographed ironing on top of Mt.
Everest, either. Get on that, Internet.