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Sometimes, it’s not about the hobby itself, it’s about the people.

Disclaimer: I’m talking about hobbyists as they exist in Australia. May not be applicable overseas.

Swing dancers: I’ve lost several friends to this mob. Nerdy, needy girls and guys. The single ones are a bit too friendly. The couples who dance together are toxic couples. Then there’s singles who find a partner “for dancing and much more”… Enough said. After awhile people only socialise with fellow swing dancers (because they’re doing dancing activities every day) and the only way to see your friends is to sign up…

Salsa dancers: Similar to the above but with flouncier dresses and electronic renditions of the Macarena.

People who play D&D outside of a computer game/LARP: Oh dear god. If arguing about dice throws, abstruse rules and your dwarf with -6 charisma and a cloak of intestinal duress sounds like your cup of tea, then you are probably mad. Basically full of self-righteous, nerdier-than-thou, pedantic types who seem to get a lot of joy about just being right. Kind of like the Penny Arcade guys. For some reason that I cannot fathom, polyamory is over-represented amongst this group.

Tabletop gamers and Magic the Gathering players: Similar to the above but 90% patronising, misogynistic wankers.

Renaissance faire/historical re-enactment types: Similar to the D&D players but with an unhealthy belief in the awesomeness of the middle ages. Reads too many Tamora Pierce books, conveniently forgets that 99.9% of people were illiterate serfs living in hovels paying exorbitant taxes to syphilis-ridden wankers who didn’t bathe. Also unaware that “ye” is pronounced “the”.

Hunters/fishers/shooters/archers: In tribal cultures, the taking of an animal’s life is a sacred rite paid with utmost respect to the taken prey. “Hunters” in Australia (bogans, some of whom “hunt” by shooting a gun out of a ute) ignore all of that and revel in foul, offensive displays of “how awesome” it was to scare and slaughter animals. Blood and intestines! Awesome! What they describe in their bogan magazines as a “primal”,”father and son” activity usually comes across as proof of sociopathy. Have names like “Beau” and “Champ” or something. Also apparently have a political party.

Harley riders: Rude, insolent, middle-aged, bearded wankers on wheels who think they’re better than all other riders on the road. God forbid they acknowledge or help someone else.

Hipster Motorcycle Couples: They’re a bit alternative (but not too alternative). They go to South East Asia and learn to ride a scooter there (and are now experts of course). They always eat organic. They drink Coopers (because it’s vegan) and eat gluten free (because it’s “healthy” ). He writes poetry, she knits. They’ve both read Naomi Klein and Naomi Wolf. The guy has a Triumph or a Honda CBR or an R1. The girl always has a scooter. A tiny scooter. They never ride without each other… True Hipster Love!

So many of these things could be cool. They really could! Except they’re not. Because engaging in them means engaging with the people who do them.

Don’t make eye contact. Just walk away.