A while back, Terry and I watched The Bucket List. Man, I hated that movie. Not because it’s a bad movie, I hasten to add: I just generally try to avoid watching sad movies because, well, they’re sad. And they make me feel sad. And I fear death, and don’t like feeling sad, so when it comes to movies, I’ll settle for any old crap, as long as no one dies. (Unless they die in a creepy old house in the middle of the woods, ideally in the 18th century, and then come back to haunt the new inhabitants of said house. That kind of movie I LOVE.)
Anyway, Terry made me watch The Bucket List, and afterwards, he was all, “Let’s write Bucket Lists!” And I was all, “Meh. Let’s not. Because then we’ll have things to feel bad about not doing, and I have enough things to feel bad about not doing in my life. By the way, did you feed the dog today, because I totally forgot?”
So Terry wrote his Bucket List. And it was full of stuff like, “Jump out of a plane! Climb Mount Everest! Take part in as many, highly-dangerous activities as is humanly possible!” (And at the bottom of it, I wrote, “Take out life insurance, so my wife can keep right on buying shoes after I break my neck bungee jumping…”)
Why is it always like this, I wonder? Why, when people put together lists of Things To Do Before I Die, is it always really dangerous stuff? And why does one item on the list always, ALWAYS involve jumping out of a plane? WHAT’S WITH THE JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE? One of the main aims of my life is to never jump out of a plane. And so it is that I have finally come to write my very own Bucket List. Mine, however, is a Bucket-List-With-a-Twist, the twist being that these are the things I hope to get through life without ever having to do. EVER. In other words:
I Hope I Die Without Ever Having to:
Jump out of a plane.
Take part in any kind of public speaking engagement.
I occasionally indulge in terrified fantasies in which I imagine that I become famous for… something… and am asked to make a speech at… something. I fall asleep counting the many ways in which I would fake my own death before doing this.
Seriously, screw that crap. If I can’t take my hairdryer and 12 pairs of shoes, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to ever go camping, either, so don’t even ask me.
No, no, no, no, no. Seriously, what’s wrong with people? You can die up there! It costs, like, a kazillion pounds to go! Did I mention PEOPLE DIE UP THERE?
Do a bungee jump
Basically anything that involves throwing myself off something really tall is out, and you’re not going to change my mind on that. I also never want to do any of those “slingshot” rides where they strap you into a chair and then throw you into the sky. NO.
Um, so at this point I kinda ran out of ideas for things I never want to do, mostly because there are so damn many of them and it’s hard to narrow them down into a list. Then I found this site , which has the following “bucket list” suggestions:
Play golf with Jack Nicklaus
OK, so it’s pretty clear that we can’t ALL do this. Because Jack Nicklaus will be exhausted if he has to play golf with every single last one of us, and that wouldn’t be fair, would it? I’m going to gracefully opt out of this one, then, and let the rest of you have your moment with Jack.
Learn your grandparents’ native tongue.
Awesome! I’ve already done this one! Look, I’m speaking it now! I can even write in it, go me!
Learn to yodel
Um, OK, but NO.
Swim with sharks
Wait… isn’t the aim supposed to be to try NOT to swim with sharks? Because that’s the one I’m going to do.
Dive in a submarine
Yeah, have fun carting my cold, dead body onto your submarine, folks. I firmly believe that people are not meant to live under the ocean, so I intend never to try to do that. Submarines are one of my phobias, actually. I can’t even see them on TV without starting to feel like I’m suffocating. I feel like I’m suffocating NOW, come to think of it…
No, YOU keep bees! Why on earth would I want to keep bees? So that on my death bed I can lie there and think, “Well, I may never have jumped out of a plane, but damn, I kept those bees!” Does anyone else think this is a weird thing to judge the success of your life by?
There is one of these, however, that I can totally get on board with. It’s this one:
“Learn how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty.”
Well, NOW you’re talking! NO. NONONONONONONONONO. No to the jumping out of planes, no to the sharks, and the bees and the submarines. No to the climbing of Mount Everest. NO to you, too, Jack Nicklaus. Don’t you even come near me with your… golf.
NO, in fact, to the Bucket List. I think I’m just going to continue to meander through life in my usual, half-assed, under-achieving kind of way. It won’t exactly be a roller-coaster ride of a life to be sure (Oh, that reminds me: roller coasters. I aim to never ride one. Not since that baby one that nearly killed me that time, anyway.). At least I know I won’t die while jumping out of a plane, though.*
Now, who’s with me? What’s on your Bucket-List-With-a-Twist?
* Touch wood.