This weekend marks the official start of the deck-sitting season, and millions of Americans will celebrate by taking to their decks, pulling up a chair, and doing absolutely nothing.
I have always found that deck-sitting is best done with a cold adult beverage in one hand.
At first, as you sit there with your legs up, things may not seem that exciting.
But then you have another adult beverage, and another one, and suddenly it's not so bad out there.
Suddenly, the world begins to look rosier.
The landscape seems to soften.
Your companions become more interesting.
In fact, their conversation becomes positively riveting.
Veteran deck-sitters call this: "Catching the glow."
Just as long-distance runners report feeling a "high" from the release of endorphins during a marathon, deck-sitters will often speak of the "glow" they feel after three or four Coronas.
Often, newbies will come up to me and say: "OK, deck-sitting sounds like the pastime for me. What do I need to get started?"
Well, you need a deck, for one thing.
But after that, it becomes a matter of personal preference.
Deck-sitting may be done in a wicker chair, chaise longues, wrought-iron bench, swinging love seat, even a hammock - although technically that would be called deck-lying.
Some people like to sit on their deck and listen to a ballgame on the radio. But if the ballgame in question involves the Orioles, this is not generally a good idea.
See, people around here tend to get all worked up listening to an O's game.
And the reason for this is that the Orioles - without getting into a lot of technical baseball stuff and medical mumbo-jumbo - stink.
So pretty soon the deck-sitter is shouting at the radio: "Do we have anyone who can throw #$%&* strikes?!"
Or: "We're down 5-0 already?!"
Or: "How does he let that ball go over his head?!"
This is not a good frame of mind for deck-sitting.
No, you don't want to be agitated when you sit on a deck.
You want to be relaxed.
You want your mind to be a vast empty expanse of white, puffy clouds.
So instead of getting aggravated by another shaky outing from an O's pitcher, it may be best to turn off the radio and crack another adult beverage.
Grilling is another activity that is often done while deck-sitting, especially on the weekends.
But grilling can involve standing occasionally: to fire up the grill, put the steaks on, turn the steaks over, pull the steaks off the grill, serve them, etc.
Some deck-sitters feel this is entirely too much activity, and are loathe to rouse from their torpor for all that.
On the other hand, eating steamed crabs goes well with the central philosophy behind deck-sitting - namely, the sitting part.
Dump the crabs on a newspaper in the middle of the table, make sure the beer and paper towels are within reach, and no one has to get up for hours.
This is truly deck-sitting at its finest, a state of being often referred to by veteran deck-sitters as "nirvana."
Reading is another wonderful activity to do in conjunction with deck-sitting.
But be forewarned: Reading on a nice quiet deck, with the birds chirping merrily and a hot sun beating down, can often lead to a condition known as napping.
Suddenly, the deck-sitter's eyes begin to close and his or her chin begins drooping toward the chest area.
If you were to continue watching for a minute or two, you would see the chin fall fully onto the breastbone, a state of being known among veteran deck-sitters as: lights out.
In fact, at this point, you'd almost think the deck-sitter was dead, except for the fact that his or her chest is heaving up and down.
There might also be a soft, but unmistakable, guttural noise escaping from the nose and mouth area, along with the faint sound of whistling.
In the parlance of deck-sitting, this is called snoring.
It is by no means considered unusual.
To hear podcasts featuring Kevin Cowherd, go to baltimoresun.com/cowherd