I'm looking for a new hobby. The last one involved browsing a women's wrestling company's website and laughing at the double entendres used for their titles.
My wife frowns on this, so I'm looking for something cheap, family-friendly, and involving fully clothed people.
I thought about things I enjoyed when I was a kid. Video games, eating Doritos, and Magic: The Gathering was all I came up with.
Dorito-eating can be a hobby, as long as you have a dentist who is better at filling cavities than killing themselves. There's nothing worse than a dentist who failed to kill themselves operating on you the next day.
That leaves Magic and video games.
I have a Wii, but aside from Mike Tyson's Punch Out, I don't acknowledge its existence.
Gaming is expensive too. Not a huge deal when you have disposable income, but a deal breaker when you're saving up for a Los Angeles love nest to use when you're banging Halle Berry.
Video Games are out.
That leaves Magic: The Gathering. Depending on the format, the cost to play is either $25, $100, or $400. $25 for two pre-built decks at Walmart that anyone can play with. $100 for a decent Standard deck that could last two years. $400 for a Legacy deck that can last many years, and can double in value.
Not that I recommend Magic for investing. Collectors ruin the game and make it more expensive for others to play. If you want to invest money in something, invest in Cow Pie Clocks, not Magic cards.
Now, I want to go balls deep with my new hobby. If you go balls deep eating Doritos, you'll die. With video games, that's more time in front of a screen, and I'm tired of that.
Magic has the Pro Tour with large cash prizes and thousands of people to play with. Most video game tournaments have the same weirdness factor a Dungeons & Dragons game has. You may have won the tournament, but did you win at life?
With Magic, you can ask that, but you can also rifle though thousands of dollars while hanging out in Rome! Rome bitches!
A hobby is useless if you don't stick with it, and the Pro Tour gives me a reason to do so.
My goal is to qualify for the Pro Tour in 2012. In order to do that, I have to learn how to play. You can pick up the basics in under ten minutes, but if you want to qualify for the Pro Tour, you need to know everything, including all the rules.
Why am I telling you this? If by some act of George Carlin Dracula And Kittens gets published, and I get to do a "no-shit this is really a book tour" book tour, I plan to play everyone in a game of Magic: The Gathering.
You better be ready. Read this column. I'll teach you everything you need to avoid an ass whooping.
Follow Brandon Mendelson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stenchoffailure