Bucket List

Dare to dream BIG!

Talk at middle age birthday parties focused on bucket lists, the cool stuff one wanted to accomplished before biting it.

The birthday ‘girl’ Barb longs to see Alaska and Hawaii before the ice caps melted and Alaska had the potential to turn into Hawaii and Hawaii into the lost continent of Atlantis. She might accomplish her list before the world went to crap if the lottery ticket I tucked in her card was lucky. More likely, the gift bottle of vodka will give her a few freaking good hallucinations.

If he lives to be a hundred and twelve, our middle-aged friend, Rod, wants to float the Juniata River in a canoe. His wife also wishes for a cruise, but in a bigger boat that didn’t require catching your own dinner with a fishing pole and cooking it over a campfire.

My crazier friends have practical, but unrealistic wishes, paying all their bills on time, having enough money to buy everything on their grocery lists, and facing down zombies.

Unrealistic unless surviving rush hour traffic counted as facing down zombies because most drivers piloted vehicles at high rates of speed while on smart phones. One could then move on to more mundane pursuits like cliff diving or running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Our kids’ bucket lists hold the enthusiasm and naïveté of youth. Backpacking Europe (really a backpack after the ten trips to get all your junk to an apartment), trekking to the Pyramids (our kids can’t trek to the kitchen to put dirty dishes in the sink), and travel by hot air balloon (where’s the bathroom on a balloon)?

Unless the economy makes a sharp turn and all college loans are forgiven, their dreams will only be fulfilled if we middle agers die and leave them a substantial monetary inheritance. Hysterical, like I said “the naïveté of youth.”

I asked co-workers about their bucket lists. Number one is to find a new job where leaders recognized hard work with practical rewards like money. Real money, as in one wasn’t left with an empty bowl begging the head master, “Please sir can I have some more.” The number two response is not to die in Hell, which was just a different way of saying number one.

After losing our vacation and sick days, Tammy, my dispirited co-worker, didn’t have a damn thing on her bucket list unless you counted her wish to get through one day without wanting to kill someone including her kids. Understand, she’s employed in Hell AND raising teenagers. A better job would give her a better bucket list and less chance of twenty to life.

My husband believes a bucket list is synonymous with kicking the bucket. Mr. Death Wish wanted to ride a Brahma bull, blow something up, and grab a Rattle Snake by the tail without the snake’s head in a vice.

The knucklehead recently fulfilled the last wish while on a hike. What was he thinking? Our health plan carries a huge deductible for emergency room visits. He could’ve grabbed my tail. If I bit him, no venom or an ER visit would’ve been involved unless his ticker wasn’t up to a little hanky-panky.

He’s lucky I wasn’t there when he touched the snake. I’d have killed him, therefore null and voiding his only reasonable wish, to retire before he’s ninety-seven.

My bucket list includes many of the practical, but unrealistic elements of my friends’ lists plus I want to believe in a retirement that didn’t include standing in line at the soup kitchen.  Like Tammy, I need a better job to dream up a better bucket list and to be able to move where their weren’t any snakes, explosives, or Brahma bulls so I won’t kick the bucket while doing twenty to life.

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