Time is a rare and precious commodity. We only have a limited amount of it in our lives, so it’s sensible to make every minute count. If you aren’t really in the mood for Free Comic Book Day, the wonderful opportunity to interact with other fans, and see no reason for visiting your local comic shop and picking up some fantastic free comic books which are yours to enjoy and keep forever, then there are other ways to spend your time…

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1) Wash your hair. Repeatedly. There may be a water shortage but don’t let that stop you from lathering, rinsing and repeating for 24 hours. Your hair will be shiny and smooth, and smell like whatever chemicals they add to shampoos and conditioners to give it an odour not entirely unlike lavender. Please note, if you’re bald then you may experience problems here. If that’s the case, just polish your head for a while until it’s shiny.

2) Start reading War & Peace. Ah, the classics. Nothing says classic literature like Russian author Tolstoy’s1869 novel about the Napoleonic era and its impact on Tsarist life. It’s Downton Abbey meets philosophical narrative, with romance and war abounding. Just remember, if you think it’s a simple adventure story then Lex Luthor has your number and he won’t expect you to unlock the secrets of the universe in a chewing gum wrapper.

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3) Learn the meaning of life. Who are we? Why are we here? What’s our purpose? These are the questions which have plagued mankind’s very being since the dawn of time. It’s the sort of thing which keeps philosophers up at night and also made for a somewhat decent Monty Python movie – although Holy Grail and Life of Brian are better. Maybe you – yes, YOU! – will be the person to unravel this greatest of mysteries. Surgeon General’s warning: learning the meaning of life may lead to all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule of your body exploding at the speed of light. Then reality disappears and is replaced by something even more wholly inexplicable.

4) Learn the meaning of phrases. Take a long walk off a short pier. Install a screen door on a submarine. Find out what bears really do in the woods. Hey, those Mythbusters are retired now so someone has to find out what the truth is about these things.

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5) Re-organise your sock drawer. This may sound easy, but when you’re organising things according to size, colour, length, alphabetical order, type of fibres used and debating about whether they should go in a higher or lower drawer, this can get complicated. Not for the faint of heart.

6) Do some gardening. Flowers are pretty and can brighten up anybody’s day, so there’s nothing quite like a session of digging little holes in the ground with a trowel and pruning the bushes. However, as the old saying goes, you can’t eat flowers. So rip them all out and turn your garden into a giant vegetable patch. Wait a while, then harvest them and make some soup with your own home-grown ingredients. This may take longer than just doing a packet soup or buying a ready-made one from the local Chinese take-away but, hey, you aren’t that hungry are you?

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7) Watch a round of golf. Hitting balls with sticks. Hitting balls with sticks again. Knocking balls into holes with other sticks. This is the exciting world of golf. Sadly, no professional golfer acts like Happy Gilmore, but you can watch professional golfers play this exciting, action-packed sport for hours on end. Thrill as they walk around giant lush green gardens wearing hideous clothes! Cheer as they debate over club selection with their caddies! Feel the adrenaline race through your body as you try to spot a tiny white ball fly through the white cloud-filled sky, while everyone pretends they can see it and makes “Aaah!” noises!

8) Take up an unusual hobby. There’s no world record for recycling rubbish from a dustbin whilst riding a BMX bicycle off a mountain top, leaping onto a hang-glider and then catching a shark with a fishing rod from 10 000 feet. Why not? Because nobody’s tried it yet. You could be the first brave soul to attempt this amazing feat! Or how about taking up building origami, seeing what interesting shapes can be made by folding in the corners of steel and concrete walls? Or cat collecting, sticking them in to little albums? These hobbies may seem unusual, but that’s just what people said about karaoke and see how popular that became.

9) Watch Batman v. Superman. Uh… no. Don’t. Nobody’s that desperate, are they?

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10) Watch Captain America: Civil War. A far more sensible choice! One of the best, most complete superhero films of our time, it’s got more action, adventure, emotion and humour than almost anything else out there. With a tight plot, great acting and well-rounded characters, it’s a great way to spend two and a half hours. Then just watch it another ten times and you’ll have passed FCBD completely. Of course…

…if you do any of these things, you’ll be missing out. Free Comic Book Day is fun and an ideal opportunity for you to see what all the publishers are up to, pick up some great deals, maybe dress up in cosplay, and spend time with like-minded people discussing why Time Remnants are a load of hooey, how cool it is that Captain America’s hard-light shield and the Kree showed up in Agents of SHIELD, why BvS sucked or why Fant4stic sucked even worse.

Free Comic Book Day is the one day a year when, worldwide, comic book fans get to celebrate their love of the medium. It’s a day for celebration and enjoyment. Plus, once you’ve done that and enjoyed reading all your free comic books, there’s still time to go and watch Civil War at the movies.

Images sourced from hrjoephotography on Facebook and Instagram.

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