The “Anti-Bucket” List

There are so many people today looking at their lives and taking stock of their accomplishments.  It’s easy to find yourself in a moment of quiet reflection considering the things you haven’t done, but have always wanted to do.  Yes…I’m talking about the Bucket List.  And yes, I’ve got mine.

But just as important, I think, is the anti-bucket list.  Not to take a negative approach, but how do any of us intend on living the years necessary to check off all that’s on our bucket list if we don’t also consider those things we’re going to avoid that could maim or kill us?  Huh?  I’ve considered it.  So without further eloquence — my “anti-bucket” list:

There’s just something I can’t understand about the supposed thrill you get leaping from a plane at 10,000 feet. You do know that, as designed, planes can take you up in the air, then bring you back down again?

The only purpose I can see for skydiving is practice for when your flight from Seattle to Miami to take a cruise suddenly develops engine trouble over Denver, and you may have to bail. As my pilot friend Marv would say, “Why leave the safety of a perfectly good airplane?” I agree.

Bungee Jumping
Close behind skydiving comes this ludicrous activity from our very nearly educated brethren to the north…Canada. Tie some rubber bands around your ankles and jump off a high bridge over a raging river. Right?! Someone’s been hitting the Molson a little hard! I’ve seen the videos of those chords snapping under the pressure of 180 lbs humans…imagine the number of bungees (clean out the Ace Hardware boys!) it would take to keep my 3 bills from hitting that water…hard. No thank you!

Swim with the sharks
Technically, having snorkeled in the Caribbean on several vacations, I’ve already completed this task. There are sharks in the Caribbean…they just weren’t around us at the time. And I think I’ll keep it that way. Hey! Get that chum out of here!

Run with the bulls of Pamplona, Spain
Okay…we’ve all seen this on Wide World of Sports, or ESPN. A bunch of idiots dress in all white — except the red belts and red bandanas around their necks — and try to outrun (or run alongside) some 100 fully horned and pissed off bulls. “But it’s a generations old tradition,” people tell me. So what? I…Don’t…Care! It’s not that I can’t run, or jump the fence to safety. White makes me look like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man — I don’t wear it well. Nuff said.

Buy a Harley Davidson
This is a favorite hobby of many middle-aged men…several I know personally. I had a big motorcycle in high school so I understand the attraction: The open road; best girl on behind you with her arms around your waist; wind whipping past your ears so fast that, coupled with the roar of the engine, you can’t hear your best girl hollering at you to slow down; your mustache/beard collecting flying bugs and getting so tangled you can’t comb it out. Total bliss, right?

Step into any local Harley dealer, find a pre-owned bike with low miles (there are plenty) and ask the salesperson why the original owner returned it. Chances are the owner took that Hog onto the freeway and got so scared by the lack of courtesy of other drivers…let alone the lack of steel around the body to protect it…they returned the bike and wondered what ever the hell they were thinking! Operating a motorcycle on anything other than an empty country road just isn’t what it once was…safer. I trust me…I don’t trust the other guy!

Now I’ve been pretty vocal in this blog how I believe that one is only as old as they act. Want to feel young, then act young. But I’m also pretty certain that some things just come with a risk not worth taking. So I figure that sticking to my anti-bucket list gives me a better chance of out-living my lovely wife…which I promised her I’d do more than 35 years ago.

Till next time…cheers!