Best Cheap Fun!

The price of a movie has gone double-digit. You need a major-league contract to afford an afternoon at the ballpark. Has fun priced itself out of our lives? Not at all.

from Reader's Digest Magazine | May 2007

Photo booths. While you wait for your strip to be developed, reach up and feel around the top of the booth. People often toss their embarrassing outtakes up there.

Bubble wrap.

Your cat. Blow into his face. Stick your finger in his mouth as he yawns. Put him on a leash and try to take him for a walk.

The sight of a dog wearing one of those medical lampshades on its head. For immediate gratification, do a Google image search for “Elizabethan collar,” which is what veterinarians call it.

Wave at people while you drive.

Helium balloons.

The weekly police roundup in any small-town newspaper. I am still laughing over the report of a man seen running naked down a neighborhood street. A policeman who arrived to investigate noticed a note on a car windshield that read “Gone to get parts.” The officer misread this as “Gone to get pants” and, satisfied that this explained the man’s nudity, returned to his beat.

Bumper cars.

The commuter ferry on a blustery day. My brother comes to visit me once a year, and if the weather’s dramatic, we always head for the ferry dock. Go on the weekend and have the ship to yourself.

Order a dish off the Chinese-language side of the menu.

Attempt to sneak a bottle of water onto the plane.
Come visit me in jail after someone from Homeland Security reads the above.

Any toenail polish color besides red.


Type “yink” into your spell checker and read the suggestions out loud.

Those 25-cent horsy rides outside the Wal-Mart.

Root for the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Request a phony page on the White Courtesy Telephone. I once heard (in a hospital) “Al Bumin, dial operator. Al Bumin, operator please.” Someone in my dorm in London once paged “Mahatma Coat.”

Did you know there’s a brand of dishwashing detergent in Iran called Barf? Or that Japan sells a sports drink called Pocari Sweat?

Supermarkets in foreign countries.

Launch a message in a bottle with your e-mail address. For maximum exoticism of response, remember to do it when the tide is going out, not coming in.

Lie down in a cow pasture. If the herd is far off, yell to get their attention, then immediately drop down and lie flat. The entire herd will come galloping over and form a tight circle around you, staring down at you with intense bovine curiosity. I have tried this three times on two different continents. It’s marvelously surreal.

Late night infomercials.

Armpit farts. Here’s a variation that will make you feel less childish (but fools no one). It works best in humid weather. Lie on a wood floor, pull up your shirt and press your slightly damp lower back into the floor as firmly as you can. Then pull away quickly. This is also a good lower-back strengthening exercise, but who cares.

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