How To Be A Slacker


My internet research frequently goes off into the weeds and/or down rabbit holes, so I wasn’t particularly surprised the other day when I found myself reading a list of impromptu speech topics.

I used to enter public speaking competitions when I was a kid, and I enjoy presenting prepared talks to audiences large or small.  But I’ve always loathed impromptu contests, where they assign a random topic and you get one minute to prepare before giving your speech.  (Or, in my case, you get one minute to sit frozen in sheer panic before standing up to mumble humiliating gibberish.)

So it was with a shudder of sympathy that I read the list of topics designed to torture juvenile victims:  Deadly stuff like “Why I deserve an allowance” and “Interesting things you see in the sky”.  Then I came across this one:  “How to be a slacker”.

Wait, what?

Where was this topic when I was a kid?  Not necessarily for an impromptu speech (nothing could have helped me through that) but as a life-skills course.  The more I thought about it, the clearer my realization dawned:  I don’t know how to be a slacker!

I mean, I guess I know the basic recipe:  Sprinkle incompetence liberally over the task at hand, lock up your flying fucks and rat’s asses (you don’t want to give any of those), and marinate the whole thing in apathy before leaving it half-baked.

But it just doesn’t seem to work out for me.

I’ve never quite managed to chase every last flying fuck from the vicinity – there’s always a little one hovering around somewhere.  And I’ve been down to my last pox-riddled rat’s ass a few times, but I’ve never been completely out of rat’s asses to give.

I’ve got a decent supply of incompetence, but I prefer not to use it – it leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

And by definition apathy is hard to procure:  as soon as you attempt to generate it, you’re trying too hard.

There must be some trick to slackerdom.  Maybe I need to drink more.  I’ve heard that rat’s asses and flying fucks dissolve in alcohol, and booze also seems to bulk up incompetence nicely.  Even the elusive apathy precipitates well from an alcoholic solution.

When I told Hubby I was writing a post on how to be a slacker, he inquired, “Why didn’t you ask me?  I could have advised you.”

I replied that I didn’t think he was good enough at it… but on second thought, I’ve reconsidered.  After all, he’s the one who introduced me to this concept:  If you do it badly enough the first time, they won’t ask you again.

So far he’s successfully applied that technique to dusting, being my administrative assistant, shovelling snow, and bookkeeping.  I guess I should’ve been watching him and learning; but every time I try, those pesky flying fucks keep getting in my way.

Any advice?  What’s the best way to be a slacker?

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64 thoughts on “How To Be A Slacker

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  3. I’m having to force myself to not keep walking up and down the hilly streets of Porto at the moment. My legs are aching, so that helps. Slacking? Maybe.

    About 20 years ago there was an attempt to slack, but I got bored. Advice on how to – haven’t got a clue. Does chill out count?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would have to give up a lot of my free time to become apathetic. I just don’t think I am able to give apathy all it deserves. I would be drained from caring about it. It’s just how I roll.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It has been so long since I actually did anything, I have no idea if I am slacking or not. I spend hours on articles from Facebook or my email inbox. Sometimes I troll the Russian trolls just to keep my skills up. Today I was being the Jackass Whisperer on an FB article about Denmark’s proposed red-meat tax. One of the commenters suggested a tax on self righteous vegans. Sounded good to me. Does this count as slacking?

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL! With the kind of in-depth political reading you do, I don’t think you could ever be considered to be slacking. That stuff is about the hardest work I care to imagine.

      But I love your first line: “It has been so long since I actually did anything, I have no idea if I am slacking or not.” Is there such a thing as competitive slacking?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it was Steinbeck who said that it was life’s purest luxury to be able “to sit and to think.” If he was not the originator, he, at least, contributed greatly to the concept in his “Cannery Row/Sweet Thursday” dichotomy.

        I must’ve read those books two dozen times apiece. My first set of paperbacks gave up the ghost decades ago. Just wore ’em smooth out. Nice hardcover editions followed when prosperity permitted. Or slightly before, more likely. Books are a high priority with me.

        Robert Heinlein used that quote frequently, as I recall. He, too, is a lifetime favorite author.

        Anyway, to me, time spent in such a manner as to give one the opportunity “to sit and to think” is another one of those ‘restorative’ pastimes. Slacking? Perish the thought, Sir!

        So sit and think all you like. I, for one, consider you to be hard at work while you are doing so. But that and a fin will get you a cup of coffee some places, too. You pays your money and takes your chances, bro.

        Liked by 1 person

          • You’re absolutely correct, of course. But profs with tenure run the faculty senate or whatever it happens to be called, and so who will vote against them?

            Faculty Committee Chair: Meeting’s called to order. New business?

            Professor Nonslakker: Yes, Doctor McPutz. Since we are all a bunch of lazy, self-serving parasites, I move that we repeal the policy of tenure at this august institution of higher learning and go back to competitive employment based on student and peer evaluations…

            Transcript of Meeting Minutes excavated from the wreckage a week later after the flames were extinguished and the smoke cleared:

            “…at that point, the meeting was interrupted by a considerable number of automatic weapons opening fire. I suppose we could call the meeting adjourned by default at that point…”

            I’ll believe a major research university has dropped faculty tenure when I see it. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  6. I was going to say reading Diane Henders’ Aydan novels was a great definition of slacking – nothing else gets done- but you blew me out of the water with your exclusion.
    My teachers used to force me to do public speaking and to take part in debates – can you believe I used to be shy??? I thank them every day although it was horrendously painful at the time. Now you can’t shut me up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny how things work out, isn’t it? I can’t remember whether it was my parents or teachers who pushed me into public speaking, but I’m quite certain it wasn’t my choice at the time. Like you, though, I’m glad they did!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I used to have a flying fuck years ago, Diane, that I kept for emergencies but misplaced it, and haven’t bothered looking for it since. I ooze incompetence. I don’t think it’s something you do, I think it’s just something you are. I don’t mind being incompetent. You get a lot of great reactions from folk! I wouldn’t know how to be a slacker, though. Being incompetent is a monumental task in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bahahaha!!! What a great line: “I used to have a flying fuck but I misplaced it”! You ought to be careful, though – you wouldn’t want to become hyper-competent at incompetence. That might cause some sort of rip in the universe or something. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

        • I used to keep a rip in a built-in cubbyhole in my office behind a pane of glass. The sign over the cubby said, “In case of emergency, break glass.”

          But the batteries in the rip sort of went flat due to being constantly ignored for most of a lifetime, and it kind of evaporated.

          Somewhere around January 1, 2000, or so, I just gave up and plastered over the hole, textured and painted it, and now it’s a blank wall again.

          I haven’t given a rip since this century began. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t help you here. Being a slacker was never something I excelled at either. But 60 seconds to prepare a speech? That rattles my teeth right out of their sockets. I’ll be sitting on a panel at ThrillerFest this summer, and I’m already quaking. Impromptu questions aren’t always my forte. I like time to process my responses. Which is one of the reasons I’d make a terrible politician.

    Great post, Diane!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hear a continuous dose of a certain herb works wonders on all those trace elements of rat’s asses and flying fucks, but I’m afraid I haven’t had adequate personal dosage levels to be able to verify the claim. Further experience might be helpful.

    One niece’s boyfriend has perfected the titration of the herbal levels and lately has added high levels of alcohol every evening to make sure he hasn’t missed any angle necessary to become a proper slacker. Yet it has been an elusive goal. He has failed to lose his job, which seems to block the goal.

    I’m far from convinced that adding alcohol to the herbal remedy has been helpful at all. It seems to have increased the frictions of daily life AND added to the number of RAs and FFs. If he could only accrue enough DUI infractions to land some jail time, he could lose the job, his driving license, his girlfriend, his home, and rights of child visitation. Perhaps by then those last annoying RAs and FFs would also be gone and he could bask in the glow of total slackerdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • (sniff, sniff) What’s that I smell? Sarcasm? Vehemence? Irony?

      The nuances are subtle at this level. 🙂

      It’s like the teacher who said to a slacker student, “Please define the terms ‘apathy’ and ‘indifference.’

      The student, head down on desk and practically drowning in a pool of his own earwax, replied, “I don’t know, and I don’t care.”

      To which the surprised teacher exclaimed, “Perfect!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I dunno; sounds as though this guy might have overshot slackerdom and rocketed straight into the ‘waste of skin’ category. Perhaps the herbal remedies have confused him to the point where he thinks he has rat’s asses and flying fucks, when in actuality he is a flying-rat assfuck. Just sayin’…

      Liked by 1 person

    • If memory serves, medicinal herbals can, in fact, do wonders to chase away those nasty rat’s asses and flying fucks. Unfortunately it’s a temporary solution lasting only as long as the half-life of said herbal, or thereabouts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Herbal half-life? Sounds something like that optimum beer-level we discussed some weeks back.

        Love the new avatar photo, by the way. RN, you say? Where were you (or anyone who looked like you) the last time I was hospitalized? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m pretty sure couch-potato skills are required. My problem is that I never watch TV, so on the rare occasions that I sit down in front of it I’m ready to run screaming after an hour or two. I guess I just need to build up my tolerance slowly. Maybe there’s a “TV Workout Program” somewhere. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • I think we might need to clarify terminology here. In my book, ‘couch potato’ infers watching mind-numbing TV. Reality shows, soaps, Oprah, Judge Judy, that sort of thing. Sitting on the couch while reading is a constructive, restorative pastime. Reading ANYTHING is not slacking…with the unpardonable exception of closed-captioned subtitles on TV shows of of the aforementioned crap, er, genre. Just sayin’…


          • An excellent point – I don’t consider reading to be slacking at all. In fact, it’s a requirement of my job! Research and continuing education, you know. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?)

            Back in the days when there were programs like Junkyard Wars, I used to enjoy watching TV. I still like any kind of mechanical/invention/automotive show, but the ones I’ve seen lately are veering too much toward ‘reality’ TV with all their personal bullshit and attitude problems. I don’t spend time with people like that in real life, and I sure as hell ain’t gonna sit through it on TV.

            Liked by 1 person

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