A Last Grasp At Wasted Youth.

Ah, summer. Summer, sweet summer. How we long for your reckless abandon, warmth and ice cream trucks seven out of the twelve months of the year. Summer is a beach ball rolling in the sand. Summer is a towel strung up to dry near a crowded swimming pool.

Summer is unbelievably boring.

Think about it. After the novelty of not having to wake up early for classes comes and goes, what are you left with? The novelty of waking up early to go to a summer job? How about the novelty of remembering what it's like to live with your parents or the novelty of remembering why it felt so liberating to get to college in the first place?

While family may drive you insane, if your town's anything like mine, you're not going to get any relief from the townsfolk. The only options for social activities here are renting a movie, going to a restaurant, or going to a restaurant and then renting a movie. Well, those are the LEGAL options, anyway … you can also ride around town stealing humorous street signs, a favorite pastime of mine … but you didn't hear that from me.

So, summer is boring. What am I going to do about it? Whine and complain? Well, yes, actually, but I'm also going to offer a guide to making the most of your scant remaining summer days - something I like to call "The Last Grasp At Wasted Youth."

First and foremost, you must use this time away from your college friends to reinvent yourself for your old friends. This will not only impress your friends from home and make them jealous of your exciting collegiate career, but it can also serve as an exercise in creative ability as well as in the ability to run a joke as far into the ground as humanly possible.

I chose to reinvent myself as "The Baron," which is how I introduced myself to restaurant hosts and to new people at social gatherings. After about a week of this, I found myself uninvited to social gatherings and banned from 63% of restaurants within a twelve-mile radius. I can only assume this was because of my intimidating military rank. That, or the monocle. Needless to say, my new persona quickly gave way to my old persona, which dictated that I spend copious amounts of time in my basement playing computer games and watching movies.

If the persona method fails, you must quickly move on to phase two: family conflict management … and by management, I of course mean instigation. There are two easy ways to accomplish this. The first route is the more unrefined method of sheer, unadulterated annoyance. Things like crossing out days on calendars before they've actually come and gone, breaking all the Vienna Fingers in the cookie jar and placing toilet paper on the toilet paper spindle thing in whichever way has been deemed the improper manner in your household. This is all well and good for beginners, but to gain true satisfaction and boredom relief from this, one must really put one's heart and soul into the operation. Consider this example:

I had been thinking about getting a new computer to replace my trustworthy Hewlett Packard, which was very close to being put out to computer-stud. I'll leave that image up to you. When I finally did decide to buy the computer, I had it shipped to my mother's name and when it arrived in gigantic boxes, the deliveryman asked my bewildered mother to sign for it. After the front door shut, my house descended into bedlam, with pointed fingers flying everywhere. After taking immense satisfaction in the amount of everyone's time I had just wasted, I owned up to my practical joke and was asked to sleep outside for the next week. Well, you've got to break a few eggs, I've always heard, which - now that I think about it - may be the real reason I was asked to sleep outside. That kitchen was a mess.

You could also try to get rid of the summer doldrums by immersing yourself in reading or by really dedicating yourself to your job, but who the hell wants to do that?

Now that I think about it, someone's always going to find something to complain about no matter what time of the year it is. If you always stop to think about the negative things, you're never going to be really happy … but least you can have fun making other people's lives more miserable - I mean "interesting." Just remember these two cardinal rules: "Nobody should be having more fun than you," and "monocles are ALWAYS worth the effort. Always."

… OK, so this wasn't so much as guide as two suggestions for annoying those closest to you. Well, what do you want from me? It's summer.