How to keep an active teen from climbing the walls while he recovers.
October 31, 2008 2:12 PM   Subscribe

How can I keep my convalescing teenager busy after surgery?

My teenage son is having surgery next week. He'll convalesce on the couch full time for a full week, followed by part-time for several weeks using a passive exercise machine. I'm looking for ideas to keep him entertained while he is uncomfortable and mostly immobile. I'm hoping his friends visit, but he'll need stuff to do while they are in school and out doing stuff teenage boys do.

Movie suggestions would be good. He likes things like Monty Python, Simpsons, South Park, SpongeBob... essentially anything that makes him laugh. We're also trying to hook up an XBox 360 in the room, so suggestions of games would be good, too. He reads Mad Magazine and Blender, similar reading ideas welcome. And what else am I not thinking of?
posted by Breav to Grab Bag (14 answers total)
Jeeves and Wooster? A bit brainier and totally hilarious, for when Patrick and Spongebob's F-U-N song gets a little trite.

If your local library is techie, queue up some requests from other branches and equip him with whatever he needs should he Feel The Need To Read!

If you don't have a laptop, perhaps you can rig up some sort of computer-table situation so he can chat with his amigos when they all get home from school.
posted by mdonley at 2:32 PM on October 31, 2008

A laptop with a net connection and a subscription to "World of Warcraft" (aka "Digital Crack").

"City of Heroes" is also supposed to be quite absorbing (of time).
posted by Class Goat at 2:33 PM on October 31, 2008 [2 favorites]

Oh, and he might have more success attracting people over to play video games and stuff if he can offer the bro-squad some major snackage. Stay well-stocked with things that they might want even if he can't eat them, like a giant Costco tub of cashews.
posted by mdonley at 2:34 PM on October 31, 2008

Have him rip all the CDs in your house to high quality MP3s, and organize the resulting mountain of music.

Perhaps he'll be interested in also ripping a bunch of CDs dropped off by friends while visiting.

Failing that, any Zombie video game for the xbox 360 is a good time.
posted by terpia at 2:39 PM on October 31, 2008

As for games, Bioshock is phenomenal, as is Dead Space. Fable II and Fallout 3, both of which just launched about a week ago would definitely suck down his time, I'm sure.
posted by InsanePenguin at 2:59 PM on October 31, 2008

Hi! I'm the 30 year old version of your son. Don't worry, I turned out okay.

For the 360, you might try Fable II, Fallout 3, or Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. They're all pretty absorbing games with hours and hours of play time each. Lots of exploring and adventure - sort of one player World of Warcrafts.

For videos, I say build on the Python. There's a host of British comedy out there that he might like. Spaced, Black Books, League of Gentlemen, Black Adder, Jeeves and Wooster, and so on.

For animation, there's Furturama (they have a couple of direct to video movies now) and the host of Adult Swim shows. Venture Brothers is a must. First and second seasons of Sealab 2021, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Harvey Birdman are also sure fire wins.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:05 PM on October 31, 2008

Monty Python Megaset.

Father Ted Holy Trilogy

Mr. Show Complete Collection

And you can find them cheaper elsewhere, like on ebay.
posted by cjets at 3:12 PM on October 31, 2008

I always hear of musicians who started playing when they were convalescing. So...I'd buy him a guitar, if that seems like a possibility. And maybe some good CDs of something that might blow his mind. I think Aimee Mann started this way.
posted by sully75 at 6:17 PM on October 31, 2008

If he's a reading type by him the complete works of .... When I was sick as a kid my uncle gave me the complete sherlock holmes,it introduced me to something I never would have read otherwise. Since then at unwanted slow down points I've enjoyed reading everything written by one person or another. Another idea is to rent/borrow entire collections of TV series, last year I was stuck on the sofa for two weeks and watching the entire Red Dwarf series in order, they keep a smile on my face.
posted by RobGF at 7:16 PM on October 31, 2008

If the surgery makes him tired/semi-sleepy for hours then audio books might be something. I listened with great pleasure to one of the Harry Potter books after a lasik operation.
posted by flif at 8:28 PM on October 31, 2008

Ooh, yeah, get some pillows in varying degrees of firmness set up, with color-coordinated pillowcases. That way he knows he's got the blue pillow to sleep on, the red one to prop up his feet, the green one for the small of his back...
posted by mdonley at 8:47 PM on October 31, 2008

Please no WoW. There are enough 20-something WoW addicts without creating one while he is convalescing.
posted by hworth at 2:02 AM on November 1, 2008

reading: Pratchett's Guards! Guards!
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:29 PM on November 1, 2008

Response by poster: There are so many good ideas here! Thank you for all of the suggestions. He'll be very busy while on the mend.
posted by Breav at 5:57 AM on November 4, 2008

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