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Is Play The Four-Letter Word To Say When Stressed?

Aug 1, 2008
My father's play was golf. To avoid being a golf widow, my mother played too. That left me a golf orphan, but I refused to learn the game. Instead, I watch it on television. For me the slow pace and the announcers' whispering are relaxing. Tiger Woods may have been credited with the spike in golf's popularity, but there are other factors. Golf doesn't have free agency, professional golfers are compensated in direct proportion to how well they play and they don't scratch their private parts on camera.

My escape from the stress of everyday living is movies. Originally I attributed this to being able to lose myself in the lives of the characters on the screen; but if that were the case, I could rent DVD's. No, it's the physical act of going to the movies that's therapeutic. Sitting quietly in a dark room for two hours is like a temporary return to the womb - and I can't be the only one who feels this way. Movie attendance is up 4.5% in spite of a down economy. For $10 we get a socially acceptable Do Not Disturb sign to put on our life.

For those who complain their life is all work and no play, speed-dating might be the answer. It's matchmaking by the clock. Singles arrive at a designated area - usually a bar - pay a fee and have 3-8 minutes to talk one-on-one with possible matches. Participants fill out a date form; and if matches are made, contact information is sent to both parties by the organizers. Studies done on speed-dating found most matches are made by 3-second, first impressions. The studies also found taller men and younger women are more desirable. It seems speed-dating doesn't slow down stereotyping.

Things, however, could be worse. All work and no play describes the life of a species of Madagascan chameleon. This species spends eight months of its one-year life in its egg, those eight months corresponding to the time of year when food is scarcest in the deserts of Madagascar. Its four months of life after hatching are spent fighting and mating. Then, after the eggs are laid, the chameleons die. The females changing color when they reject a male might be the only bright spot in their life, but that bright spot might be enviable. If female humans had that trait, we might not have as many headaches.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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