Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reversing the Bucket

No, it isn't what you might be thinking and has nothing to do with the stomach flu my family was passing around two weeks ago. At Christmas, which is the BEST TIME EVER to be puking sick. But I digress.

I was scouting around the internets yesterday, catching up on reading at some of my favorite news sites and blogs, and it seems that the latest craze to hit the blogging world - now that the nosy, intrusive and self-indulgent meme seems to finally be over, thanks all the holy saints and angels - is the reverse bucket list, the ten things you NEVER want to do before you die.

Some of the things I read were pretty darned funny. Others weren't so much funny as they were relatable, making me shiver in sympathetic horror. "Live alone in a huge mansion with only my life-sized Victorian doll collection to comfort me," was an item on one person's list, and I can spot a person who read Stephen King's The Tommyknockers twenty-five years ago and never, ever, ever forgot about that room full of dolls: I can spot that person from a thousand yards.

The only stipulation is that the list has to include things you could actually do.

So here's my Reverse Bucket List. Do you have one you'd like to share?

Things I Never Want to Do Before I Die

1. Remove 1970s groovy gold flocked wall paper from a room with ten foot ceilings. Again.

2. Stick my hand into the back of a baby's diaper while thinking, "I wonder if she pooped?" (I found out later that it's much easier to determine this status if you just hold the baby's diapered butt in front of your face and take a deep sniff.)

3. Be on Survivor. Because being hot and being hungry are never a good combination with me, plus I'd have to participate in all of those gym-class-from-hell challenges. It's not for me to be the plucky middle-aged mother figure who bosses everyone around and gets voted out either first or second and no one can even remember her ever being there after episode three.

4. Go to a Mass where all the music is the guitar-strummed kind and where we all stand around the altar holding hands during the consecration. And where there's a liturgical dancer. My experiences with being on the viewing end of liturgical dances? Negative, every last one of them.

5. Be a liturgical dancer. Even though I do fit the demographic, which is middle-aged, lumpy, and not necessarily a great genius in the art of dance.

6. And continuing on with the performing arts thing, EVER EVER AGAIN play the piano for a friend's event, no matter how wheedling her voice, how hopeful her puppy eyes. See Item #4 from this post if you'd like to know why.

7. Eat another raw oyster. Grandad once told me, when I was about ten, that he'd give me five dollars if I'd eat a raw oyster. He spoke to me of the horseradishy deliciousness of cocktail sauce, and how oysters were just fishy enough to lend a piquant air of the seaside to the sauce. He pointed out quite reasonably that he himself was eating an appetizer of a dozen oysters on the half shell, which he considered to be a particularly delightful treat. He would, he pressed, be happy to share one with me.

I should have known that there was something behind all this urgency because he was a prankster, a ruthless cutthroat gin rummy player and a twister of fairy tales, where the witch ended up eating Hansel and signing Gretel on as her apprentice. Anyway, I put the oyster in my mouth, which was not piquant at all, but tasted more like something that had washed up on the shore at high tide last week; it immediately grew to the size of a wadded up gym sock in my mouth, and UGH, so slimy. Grandad was laughing so hard, he couldn't even make noise. I promptly went to the ladies' room and threw up, which made me throw up more, because regurgitated oyster? Looks even worse than it did before, which was pretty bad.

Grandad apologized, tried to reassure me that his motives had been as pure as the water off the beaches in Bermuda, and gave me twenty dollars. I allowed myself to be only slightly mollified.

8. Learn to like football. It would make the previous forty-something years of my life, years I have spent telling people, "Look. SHUT UP," whenever they've tried to explain the game of football to me, such a waste of time. I plan to carry on being massively bored by football - and baseball, basketball, hockey and every other sport you care to name - for the remainder of my life.

9. Become a member of a certain political party, which I won't name because I don't want to hurt any reader's feelings or tick anyone off, but my mind just doesn't work that way and I wouldn't want it to if it could.

10. Go to the Indiana State Fair and leave without visiting the horses, the goats, the pigs, the cows and most of all, the zonkey. I don't care how stinky everyone thinks the animal barns are. I don't care if the whole family heads back home without me. I don't even care, much, if I step in something icky. I don't feel like I've had the whole State Fair experience unless I've gone to see the animals and petted the zonkey and remarked on how big the hooves on the draft horses are and how fat the pigs. Some people go for the food, some people go for the midway, but I like the farm animals and I'm tired of having to apologize for that. So YEE-HAW! Wilbur, here I come!

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