Useful Distractions Designed to Impede Your Reading of “Infinite Jest,” or How I Spent My Summer

I assume that everyone who religiously devours this blog has at least once in their young lives considered reading the literary magnum opus of our time: a little book I like to call Infinite Jest. It’s 1000+ pages, it has hundreds of footnotes in size-zero font, it inspired millions of irritating bro-like copycat writers, it’s immortal, it’s canonized, it’s just something you DO, you know?–like watching Pretty Little Liars, or guiltily feeding your little sister sips of beer. However, just like War and Peace or Beowulf or Ulysses or my wealth of contributor bios around the web, it looks mad intimidating. It’s something for which you have to gird up your loins. (I know: EWWWW. Grossest phrase EVER, Bible!!) I have spent the better part of this fine July reading Infinite Jest, and though I have not yet finished, I am an expert in one thing DFW-related: distractions to keep you from reading Infinite Jest. Here are some of my favorites:

Pet any and all available dogs, except the ones that clearly wish to eat you. My favorite type of dog must meet the following 3 criteria: fat, squishy, attention whoreish.

Sprint down side streets to avoid creepers. FEEL THE BURN.

Lie on the carpet and complain about the heat.

Loudly criticize people’s parenting strategies. It’s surprisingly fun. See that squalling little kid in a wifebeater? Total future serial killer, riiiight? Make sure his mean-lookin’ dad hears you, and then run. (Note: you can also file this post under “summer weight loss strategies.”)

Pour Coca-Cola onto pigeons.

Objectify men.

Accidentally break the following things: large bottles of vodka, tall candles, mason jars, pens flung from rooftops. DO NOT attempt the following: anything that grows on a person, anything you may want to eat later.

Attempt to come to terms with your own crippling materialism, then blame the advertising industry.

Onion pizza.


Rediscover the immortal harmonies of “So Fine” by Sean Paul.

Go on iced coffee runs whenever the sun shifts positions.

Force people to massage you. Complain when people force you to massage them.

Creepy poetry.

Delve deep into the vicious circle of public snickering/guilt.

Ombre your toenails.

Hug a smaller sister.

Find a better bookmark.

Turn on the fan. Collapse on the carpet.



You are truly great.

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