I never feared turning thirty nor put any emotional value to this age, as it’s really nothing but a number. But then I actually turned thirty… Even though I still feel the same and convinced myself that wrinkles give me that classy look, I somehow became more observant. Or was I just in denial before, unwilling to give into my intuitions and admit to my observations? Somehow, my first holiday as a thirty-year old has changed my perspective and I can no longer look at people in the same way, or at myself for that matter.  

It started with an innocent trip to the zoo. Seeing these beautiful and strange animals, whether they were birds, antelopes or cats, all looking like pieces of evolutionary art. But then I also saw the creatures on the free side of the fence, and I had a little out-of-body experience. I became aware of my fellow humans who were, unlike the caged animals, not a pretty sight. Their bodies all of a sudden seemed odd to me. Standing upright with their arms hanging beside their plump bodies. A concentration of fat around the nipple area, and bulky bellies with no tail to outbalance them. The humans around me were hairless, except for a patch of excessive hair growth on top of their heads. The heads were sized out of proportion, with noses that stuck out, and a skin that displayed an array of colourful sunburns, pimples and rashes. Sexual selection clearly wasn’t favoured during human evolution. 

When I came home, I tried to shake my thoughts off and recover faith in human aesthetics by watching movies starring the Collin Farrells and Scarlett Johanssons of Hollywood. But soon after I went to an entertainment park, which didn’t do much good regarding this matter. The many day visitors were no treat to the eyes, and I was often stuck in queues with people who did the exact opposite to my eyes. Again I pictured those majestic tigers, colourful parrots and fluffy tamarin monkeys, wondering where it all went wrong. But it didn’t just stop there. I became aware of the ridiculous situation I found myself in. There were about 150 people standing in line to sit in a little train that went up and down a track. Everyone was waiting for the duration of an hour, to get a little rush of adrenaline that lasted no longer than two minutes. And that’s not all we do outside working hours for entertainment, this is only the beginning. 

We most commonly involve ourselves in sports, either out of social desperation or to rid ourselves of excess weight caused by consuming food items so unnatural that our bodies are incapable of digesting them. After eating potato chips and sugar cones, we go out to get exercise in ways that can also be considered somewhat unnatural. We run for hours to return to the very same place and call it jogging. We move limps under the weight of water and call it water aerobics. We sit on mats to bend our bodies in impossible ways and call it yoga. And we lift objects so heavy that our muscles can hardly support them and call it weight lifting. In nature, these activities would be a complete waste of valuable energy, and evolution would have filtered this nonsense right out. 

But we have outsmarted evolution by domesticating animals, cultivating crops, storing water supplies, building houses, and inventing means of transportation. These days, we only have to walk from our doorstep to our car to get to the nearest shopping mall. We have made sure that even the very weakest will survive. The downside is that we have become spoiled, overweight and bored. And boredom has a hold on us, as we seemingly do anything for some entertainment in our corporate, westernized and digitalized lives. We jump out of aeroplanes with a parachute, climb up walls only to descend again, and hit balls with a golf stick so far that it can take up to an hour to find the damn things. People have also made a sport out of cars, by driving down impossible terrain or in endless circles. We also run in circles, or wear ice skates while doing so, and jump over high obstacles, and throw heavy discs as far as possible, or slide down snowy mountains. Just to kill time or see who does it the best. 

Humans who aren’t fit enough to run or jump tend to avoid boredom in other ways. They throw darts at a board trying to hit the highest number, fill in numbers on a piece of paper in hopes it’ll match somebody else’s, or throw numbered cards on a table in a variety of ways. People also take jigsaw puzzles apart and mix rubik's cubes up, just so they can return them to the original state. Some collect miniature trains, others list all the bird species they see in the wild, and yet others dive into a digital world full of dragons, fairies and Pokémons. 

Some humans get bored with their own bodies and dedicate their time to getting as skinny, tanned, or muscled as possible. These people even gather on stage sometimes to compare their lack of body fat or excess of muscle tissue. There is a tendency to focus on clothing during these little get-togethers, specifically on the fabric, shape, colour variation, and person who designed the costume of choice. There are often hundreds of people who spend their free time to go look at these people on stage, while clapping their hands to make noise whenever they get the chance. 

In addition to slim bodies and stylish outfits, people also cheer up their ugly appearances by putting make-up on, ink in, and metal through their skin. Some people wear so much make-up that it’s hard to tell their ethnic origin, or have tattoos so numerous that they start looking like lizards. Others put piercings through their gum, or even their private parts, for reasons yet unknown. People sometimes even jam metal hooks through their skin so large that they can hang from them, called body suspension. It’s not uncommon for these people to do it publicly as well, and they’re not shy to hold competitions either. 

And it gets more bizarre. Humans consume things that were never intended to be consumed, either by swallowing, smoking, injecting, or snorting it. Just to feel a bit happier, crazier, or more relaxed. It was boredom that led to the invention of these drugs, and chronic boredom that led to excessive consumption at the cost of people’s own health. Many people choose drugs over basic needs in life, such as nutrition, sleep and sex. Not everyone though… some people rather solve their boredom by having freakish, totally unnatural forms of intercourse. The way in which some people have misunderstood sex has shocked me to the core. Absurd role playing, disturbing fetishes, violent bedroom rituals; let’s rather not go into detail. We surely got some explaining to do when intelligent, alien life forms find our planet… 

Suddenly, I get snapped out of my thoughts as it is finally my turn to hop in the seat that will make me go up and down, and do a few loops and flips along the way. After these exciting few minutes I go home. First, I watch a little story on a screen about somebody else’s life. Next, I put some metal objects through my ears, hang some beads around my neck, apply some dark lines to my face, and make my eyelashes look bigger than they are. I’m meeting a friend and we normally do little more than sit at a table, while drinking alcoholic beverages that make our brains feel funny. When I come home after hours of endless babbling about nothing memorable, I cuddle my bunny; a little being that probably doesn’t even recognize me and has no recollection of me feeding him every day. I go lie in bed to read a story about yet another person’s life. I’m either too drunk to admit that I’m just the same as all those other ugly and bored people, or just too young. Maybe I’ll be ready when I’m forty.