Monday, March 03, 2008


Is there a field of science devoted to the study of hobbies and their implications about the individuals who pursue them? If not, let's start it: hobby-ology.

I was biking through the park early yesterday morning. I passed two middle-aged men in camo-fatigues, baseball caps, knee pads, and giant earphones slowly sweeping their metal detectors around the empty playground.

I thought to myself, "That holds absolutely no appeal for me." I don't care if there's gold bullion buried there (which I'm pretty sure there isn't). Spending hours swinging some big electronic thing back and forth listening for telltale blips (grumbling in frustration each time it turns out to be a bottle cap or half-buried beer can) just doesn't sound that fun. So who does it appeal to? And what does it say about the people who do it? What's the hobby-ological analysis of metal detecting?*

And what about other hobbies?
  • scrap booking
  • fly fishing
  • train spotting
  • record collecting
  • crossword puzzling
  • blogging**
Oh, hobbies... There's still so much we don't understand.

* Shortly thereafter, I passed the (exuberantly gay) owner of the Magazine street flag shop pedalling along on his three-wheel recliner nouveau-tricycle-thingy. Flapping behind him was a large rainbow tie-dyed flag with a skull and crossbones under which was written "GIVE UP THE BOOTY". What's the hobby-ological analysis of that?

** Dare I ask?

1 comment:

  1. "Give up the booty" has got to be because you live in New Orleans!

    The one hobby which has always bored me to tears is genealogy. I care about my immediate relatives, but distant ones- well, who cares?

    And yet, I'm a quilter. I'm sure quilting has got to seem very dull to the outside observer. It puts me into this peaceful trance to work out the design in my head and then sew it.

    I have an uncle who loves to fix old pianos and pump organs. I could see doing that, too.

    I guess I'm an antisocial hobbyist.

    Bloggers, though- I'm not touching that one!