What day is it? –

May 9, 2020 – People are so motivated to avoid boredom that they’ll often take unfortunate shortcuts to do so. In The Music Man, Harold Hill cons a whole town just by insinuating that boredom will lead its citizens’ sons to play pool, and from there head down a slippery slope to booze and consorting with “scarlet women.” Restless in self-isolation, you might take a similar trajectory toward bad habits: eat snacks you’re not hungry for, check your phone 800 times, drink too much (happy hour, in fact, was a Navy invention to give sailors a break from the monotony of life at sea), pick a fight, and finally post about it all online, perhaps set to Tyga and Curtis Roach’s painfully catchy quarantine anthem, “Bored in the House.”

If you haven’t done any of these things over the course of social isolation, I’d wager you’ve at least had to deal with someone who has. Arlene Soto, who’s raising seven kids in Brooklyn, told me that she recently had to ban the floor game Twister after it devolved into a wrestling match between her stir-crazy sons. “Their energy,” she said, “is at a thousand.”



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