Hobby Combining for Health

Learned academics who trouble to analyse wit often remark that the soul of wit, apart from brevity, lies in unexpected combinations of ideas. So we thought we'd join the dots and create a tired, formulaic feature we like to call...

Hobby Combining for Health

Following the success of 'Food Combining for Health', we all know that it's important to combine different food groups. For example, I like to combine kebabs with lager. But being ever at the dangerous comedy workface of the Jubilee Line Extension, Moose Mansions introduces some ways of combining your hobbies too, in the pursuit of thrills, spills, and some cheap chuckles along the way.

In week 1 we combined:

Cookery

with

Stunt Motorcycling

'Evil Kernievle's Winter Collection' is a familiar sight on bookstore shelves, particularly in the 'all books 99p' remainder shop opposite Victoria Station. Kernievle is perhaps better known for pointlessly jumping over rows of buses than for his culinary skills, but this outstanding book of organic sprout recipes is merely the soggy green tip of a hobby combining iceberg. Thousands of people all over Britain are forsaking the traditional Sunday afternoon boot sale to whisk up a souffle at 90mph. Expert rider-chefs show off their skills by jumping a racing motorcycle from one building to another over a helicopter, while preparing a mouth-watering Salad Nicoise.

Magazines already abound for the burgeoning 'cuisine grand vitesse' market, including 'What Bike and Pestle', and Delia Smith's latest shiny hardback book 'Sauces, Stews, and Stunts' is set to top the best-seller lists in Ilford. You can even take part in competitions. At the First Annual Stunt Cookery Games last July, the TV chef Keith Floyd was crowned British Champion, although he was also banned from driving for three years. So why not contact a stunt cooking organisation near you? Call 1-800-HOBBY now!

Horrified readers had to wait a while for the next excruciating instalment, combining

Clog Dancing

with

Japanese Zen Gardening

Although not previously considered to be among the more recognised activities for rural folk, there has been a resurgence in this international pastime. After the Second World War many of the soldiers from Cornwall landed on the shores of Japan in search of food, water and mail-order brides. What they found was the ancient art of Zen Gardening.

While drinking some of the local Sake some of the enlisted men decided to show the amazed locals the finer points of clog dancing to while away the long hours. During a particularly tricky set of moves one of the men caught sight of a gently curving pattern of gravel next to the hardstanding they were using. He tripped and brought down the whole troupe. They stood aghast as they observed a small wizened old man stepped with impossible footsteps over the gravel disturbing not a stone with his passage as he raked and placed. In that moment something new was born.

To this day you can travel to Cornwall and see the Zen Gardening Clog Dancers of Cremyll, heavy clogs on their feet seeming to float over intricately laid gravel gardens, their raked waves seeming to ripple around the stones and plants laid there. Books on the subject include "Clogging and the Art of Zen Garden Maintenance" and "Clog Steps for Beginners: How to Achieve Inner Calm".

Will the hobby combining craze never cease? The week after that it was

Birdwatching

and

Karate

The small yellow gentlemen of the mystic East have many wonderful cultural artefacts to bring to our astonished Western faces: manga, affordable hi-fis, ritual disembowelling and crap imitation Scotch are just a few I could name. But surely the finest of all is karate, the chosen fighting art of all thinking folk. Not like those big girl's blouses who do Tae Kwon Do. Or those judo jessies.

It wasn't long before some ingenious Occidental came up with the idea of combining karate's speed, power and grace with the noble art of... birdwatching.

Skilled twitcher-karateka think nothing of spotting 25 species of migratory chaffinch and bringing down a brace of crows with a gyaku-zuki (reverse punch) in a single afternoon. Celebrity birdwatcher Bill Oddie, who recently retrained under Sensei Nakashima in Okinawa, has even taken on a full-grown albatross in a recent international bout. The combatants were evenly matched until the third round, when the albatross over-committed itself attempting a leg sweep with its mighty wings, and Oddie took advantage with a devastating hammer-fist strike to end the contest by a well-deserved ippon, or full point.

But of course bird karate is practised on all levels, and many local clubs are springing up next door to pet shops. Children as young as 5 are catered for, with clubs providing suitable sparring opponents such as quails and canaries. For the more mature person who has slowed down a little, a less challenging partner is required, for example a very old chicken.

By this time the police had already been alerted. However, one more pair of intertwined leisure activities was broadcast before plain-clothes officers moved in:

Nightclubbing

with

Necromancy

We all love nightclubs, but to be honest there's very little to do in one. If you're too tired or drunk to dance, you've no chance of talking to anyone over the music unless you happened to bring a public address system. That's where this week's hobby combining idea comes in.

Necromancy, or the black art of communicating with dead souls, is of course familiar to every schoolchild. But most people imagine necromancers as stuffy men in frock coats living in basements and not getting out much. Au contraire, mon petit chou. Today's necromancers are groovy cats, getting down and funking their stuff in London's fabbest nightspots.

In fact, to a tortured soul trapped in a hell of noise and heat, the atmosphere of a nightclub is just like home. And what's more, in a nightclub there are no burly demonic-looking blokes shoving things up your arse. Unless you're out with the rugby club.

So your average Ritzy's is fertile ground for communing with the departed, and even bringing some of them back. Indeed, today's clubbers are quite used to waking up next morning next to a hideous, slobbering beast from the nether hells. And if you summoned the abominable Duke Zaal-Shggnath by sorcery, at least you can send him back again. Unlike Sheena from the estate.

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