No where else would a talk titled "Like Listening to Paint Dry" by William Barrett, which is composed solely of reciting every single one of 415 colors (yawn!) listed in a paint catalog, would be a hit other than at ... Boring 2010.
Yes, folks. Boring 2010, organized by James Ward of I Like Boring Things Blog, is a conference for boredom enthusiasts. Betcha didn't know there was one:
Boring 2010 sprang to life when Mr. Ward heard that an event called the Interesting Conference had been canceled, and he sent out a joke tweet about the need to have a Boring Conference instead. He was taken aback when dozens of people responded enthusiastically.
Soon, he was hatching plans for the first-ever meet-up of the like-mindedly mundane. The first 50 tickets for Boring 2010 sold in seven minutes.
"I guess the joke is on me," said the laid-back Mr. Ward. "I've created this trap and there's no way out."
Proceedings at the sell-out event were kicked off by Mr. Ward himself, who discussed his tie collection at great length, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.
He noted that as of June 2010, he owned 55 ties, and 45.5% of them were of a single color. By December, his tie collection had jumped by 36%, although the share of single-color ties fell by 1.5%.
"Ties are getting slightly more colorful," he noted. Also, apparently, his taste was improving. By December, only 64% of his ties were polyester, down from 73% in June.
Even less stirring was a milk tasting. Ed Ross, an actor, swirled, sniffed and sipped five different milks in wine glasses, commenting on each one's flavor, finish and ideal "food pairing." (Cereals got mentioned a lot.)
One eagerly awaited talk was about writer Peter Fletcher's meticulous three-year—and still running—sneeze count. With the help of graphs and charts, Mr. Fletcher disclosed that he had sneezed 2,267 times in the past 1,249 days, thus gaining "a profound understanding of the passing of time."
"I've even sneezed when recording a sneeze," he said.
Gautan Naik of the Wall Street Journal has the surprisingly interesting details of the Boring 2010 conference: Link (Photo: Gautam Naik/WSJ)