If ever there was an election to ignore, forget or push off a cliff into a pit of sharp, flaming objects, it’s this one. Our electoral college is the laughing stock of the Western world. We have eight Supreme Court justices. Congress is America’s divorced, alcoholic parents who don't talk anymore and behave like goddamn babies.
If you’re reading this, you are burned out. Everything is terrible. It’s one big waking nightmare we’re all squirming through, just trying to get on with our lives. But you can’t look away from the internet. You're still perversely drawn to all the details, tweets and asinine pundits and disgusting opportunists on all sides.
So, after you vote (or abstain, or whatever — no judgments here), don’t go home and pathologically refresh social media and news sites. Instead, there are other, more constructive options in and around town. Here are a few things you can do with your legally mandated two-hour break to vote or otherwise spend the rest of your afternoon.
But first, get off social media. Turn off your phone. Drop out. And …
1. Buy a gun.
Why tiptoe around the obvious? It’s just practical, like an insurance policy. If the sentient Halloween peanut candy wins, you’re probably gonna want one around, like, just in case. If you keep the receipt, you can return it anyway. Not sure about unused bullets, though.
2. Go to a gun range.
Because that’s where you go after you buy a gun. If you’re not sure about this, refer back to item one. Because if you’re going to own a gun, you might as well practice and blow off some steam in a safe environment.
Los Angeles Gun Club, 1375 E. Sixth St. #7, downtown. thelosangelesgunclub.com.
3. Get your rocks off at the cat cafe.
What an exhilarating, adrenaline-releasing sesh at the old range. Now that you've got that macho, tough-guy shit out of the way, why not embrace small, fuzzy creatures? Crumbs & Whiskers, the recently opened cat cafe on Melrose, is the perfect place to flex your inner ailuorphile [insert your own “Grab ’em by the pussy” joke here]. Not into cats? Go to one of L.A.'s many dog parks and pet strangers' dogs like a creeper.
Crumbs & Whiskers, 7924 Melrose Ave., Beverly Grove. crumbsandwhiskers.com.
4. Go swimming.
Tuesday's forecast predicts it'll be approaching 90 degrees in parts of the Greater Los Angeles area, a week into November. So just shed your clothes and walk into the ocean or go to one of the many year-round public pools in town. The news cycle hasn't figured out how to penetrate water yet. Yet.
5. Go to a Buddhist temple and shed your mortal desires.
And succumb to the core tenet that existence is suffering. 2016 is proof positive of this bedrock of Buddhist belief. We are terrible. We do terrible things. We suffer. This is natural. Hacienda Heights still boasts the largest Buddhist temple in the West at Hsi Lai Temple, but there are many other options out there.
3456 Glenmark Drive, Hacienda Heights. hsilai.org.
6. Join a cult.
Still feeling lost and hopeless? There's someone out there willing to provide you with all the answers and security that regular, secular life has failed to. Los Angeles is one of the world's hot spots for cults, so just throw a rock (or drive a car), and you'll hit one. But why stop there? Start a cult of your own. Become your own boss. California is a mecca for cults and small business owners alike. It’s what we do.
7. Visit the Science Center to put it in perspective.
There are many exhibits that illustrate this, but humans — individually or as a bunch — are cosmically irrelevant. The human psychodrama as it relates to this election probably has no bearing on the fate of the universe, though we ascribe so much meaning to this election. There are other planets and other galaxies and so on and so forth into infinity. Admission to the California Science Center's permanent exhibitions is free, by the way.
700 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park. californiasciencecenter.org.
8. Stand in long line for overhyped food trends of the season…
… which are, at the moment, hot chicken and L.A. bagels. What better way to pass the time idly and catch up with a friend than waiting in unfathomably long lines for food that doesn't take long to prepare?
Howlin' Rays Hot Chicken, 727 N. Broadway #128, Chinatown. howlinrays.com.
9. Volunteer or become politically active.
Law school might be too much work (and money) upfront. But you still want to funnel your frustration and rage into something. You threaten to do so any time an election doesn't go your way, so why not just go for it? Find something you believe in on a local level, and reach out. Need suggestions? Check out our list of places to volunteer when it's not the holidays.
10. Remove whatever bumper sticker you had from this election cycle.
It’s over. Go home. Peel that sticker off. And spend time with your friends and family you don’t get to see very often. Besides, it's time to start talking about 2018 and 2020, y'all.