Saturday 5 May 2012

A Real Bucket List (Part One)

In my last post, I invented my own Bucket List with the help of my good friend Mr Google (read about it here ).

While I was researching that post, I encountered a few “real” bucket lists and began to consider whether I had managed to achieve any of the items on such lists.

And I was quite surprised.

I have picked one at random, listing 100 things to do before you die. Most of it is bollocks but it did tweak my interest enough to inflict yet more random thoughts on you, dear reader. I shall do this over the next few posts, because the list is just too big.

Without further ado, here are the first 20 items on the list:

(     (1)  Attend at least one major sporting event: the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the U.S. Open.

I have attended quite a few sporting events in my life, some of which have been “major”, others that have been minor but far more significant to me – for example seeing my beloved Walsall beat Manchester United in the F.A. Cup in 1973. I have seen many football matches, involving massive English clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, Manchester City and many others. As well as that I have seen Australia kick Great Britain’s arse at Rugby League and watched England play Australia and most other nations at cricket. I’ve also seen the England football team play a few times too as well as watching Germany v Italy in Euro 96. I think I can safely cross this one off the list.

(2)    Throw a huge party and invite every one of your friends.

W, my ex-wife, threw a surprise 30th birthday party for me but didn’t manage to invite every one of my friends. I also married W, of course, and most of my friends were there too. I can’t say that I can cross this one off the list, though, because not every one of my friends attended either event. In fact, I’m not sure that I want to do this as I am not comfortable being the centre of attention; so I’m not going to attempt this one.

(3)  Swim with a dolphin

I have a friend who has done this and to be honest it might be worth trying if I get the chance.

(4)  Skydive

Regular readers will know that I am terrified of heights; in fact, I would probably expire the moment somebody threw me out of the plane. This is a definite NO!

      (5) Have your portrait painted

Through the miracle of technology, I can paint my own portrait (well – doctor a photo anyway). How about this?

      (6) Learn to speak a foreign language and then use it.

I can speak Australian and American fluently. I can speak French well enough to order food and ask for directions and have a very basic conversation. I can speak German and Spanish well enough to ask for very basic things.  I can speak very basic Latin so I could in theory ask a Roman where the forum was if I were to travel back in time.  I can order beer and say “Thank You” and “Hello” in Dutch, Mandarin, Cantonese and Russian. I can cross this one off the list too, methinks.

(7) Go skinny-dipping at midnight in the South of France

I will almost certainly visit the South of France again in my lifetime but I do not want to inflict my naked body on the French – or anybody else for that matter. The cats are still in a state of constant fear that I will choose to walk around the house naked. I think I will give this one a miss.

      (8) Watch the launch of the space shuttle

I’ve seen the space shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center and witnessed everything involved in propelling it into space. I guess that doesn’t count in terms of achieving this particular bucket list item. Instead I will say that I have experienced it vicariously, thanks to this song by Rush:

      (9) Spend a whole day eating junk food without feeling guilty

When I was a poor student I had very little money and often ended up eating crap from places like McDonalds and KFC. I don’t do it now, thankfully. Another one crossed off.

      (10) Be an extra in a film

As a child I wanted to be an actor and part of me still does.. Being an extra would be the next best thing and, to be honest, this is something that, perhaps I could do with a little bit of effort. Also, it would give a Hollywood megastar the chance to meet the Plastic Mancunian. Lucky them.

      (11) Tell someone the story of your life sparing no details

About six months ago, I started thinking about what life was like when my grandparents were kids and it got me thinking about future generations. With that in mind I actually started writing an autobiography of sorts called “Insignificant Memoirs”. Bizarrely I have plugged away at it bit by bit and there are a few chapters now. I think it might be very interesting for my lads and any further offspring to read in years to come – if I can keep it up that is. And it will be “warts and all” too.

      (12) Make love on a forest floor

I am scared of most creatures that have more than four legs. The prospect of getting in any state of undress near to the homes of spiders and flies fills me with revulsion. I know there are people out there who want to be “at one with nature” but to me, the thought of a spider getting involved, even as a spectator, would make me unable to concentrate on the task at hand. This is therefore a big NO!

      (13) Make love on a train

Again, risking any member of the public seeing me half undressed and fumbling around on a train has no appeal whatsoever. Another big NO!

      (14) Learn to rollerblade

I can ice skate a little bit. When I say “ice skate” I mean I can whizz around an ice rink in a state of perpetual peril praying to any higher power that is listening that I don’t fall over and brain myself on the ice. I have rollerskated in the past and that is so much more difficult; I was covered in bruises. Yet another NO – unless I can sneakily persuade you that ice skating somehow counts.

      (15) Own a room with a view

When I worked in Hong Kong for three months, I stayed in a hotel that overlooked the fantastic skyline and every morning I had a magnificent view of Hong Kong in all of its glory. Sadly, it cost an arm and a leg (which the company of course paid for).  Unless I win the lottery, I will have to content myself with watching cars drive up my street.

      (16) Brew your own beer

When I got married, my work colleagues had a whip round and bought me a home brewing kit. It gathered dust in the garage for around six years before I finally got rid of it. I love beer but having tasted other people’s home brew, I prefer to leave this particular task to the professionals. That said, when I retire, I might have a go – just to pass the time of course.

      (17) Learn how to take a compliment

I love compliments, particularly from women. In my youth, I used to think that if a woman complimented me, all she really wanted to was drag me upstairs and ravage me. Sadly, this was never the case and I made a complete arse of myself on several occasions. Nowadays, of course, I know different and I love being complimented by women on those rare occasions when it happens. I guess this means that I can take a compliment.

      (18) Buy a round the world air ticket and a rucksack and run away

This is my dream – and hopefully it will happen. The only thing I would change is the rucksack – I prefer a suitcase.

      (19) Grow a beard and leave it for at least a month

This is a tricky one, if you are a woman. I have actually grown a beard so technically I have crossed this item off the list. However, I hated having a beard and it was extremely embarrassing to have one. You can read about it here. And before you ask, there are NO pictures to prove that I had a beard. I wouldn’t want to inflict yet more trauma on myself.

      (20) Give your mother a dozen red roses and tell her you love her

 I have given my mother flowers in the past and told her that I love her. They weren’t roses but I won’t tell if you won’t.

Over to you, dear reader. How may of the above 20 items have you achieved?


Unknown said...

I attempted to learn to roller blade once, when they got big for kids in the 90s. The girl next door but one was obsessed with teaching me how, but I was terrified of it!

Anonymous said...

Generally speaking - a few. I've had sex in a lot of strange places...

Elephant's Child said...

Very few. I suppose this means that I have more challenges ahead.

River said...

#18-rucksack vs suitcase. I'd take the rucksack. A suitcase needs to be carried and will weigh you down on one side, necessitating constant hand changing if you're not to get a sore shoulder/arm/wrist. a rucksack with sit on your back, sreading its weight comfortable and leave you hands free. For taking photos, eating as you walk and you don't have to look for somewhere to put it down when visiting the loo.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Reece,

Don't blame you for being scared. If its like rollerskating, it is quite hard - and slightly perilous.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Grace,

Do tell ...




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Only if you want to pursue those challenges. Whatever makes you happy.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

The only reason I prefer a suitcase is that you can get more stuff in. And if (when) I win the lottery, I shall have somebody carry it on my round the world trip.




drb said...

I have only done 8 out of the 19 (growing a bread is impossible). I was going to skydive when I was a PhD student but a conversation in the lab on Friday arvo changed my mind forever:

Andrew (Fellow student): What's your plan for this weekend.

drB: We are going skydiving, really looking forward to that!

A (big blue eyes tearing up): NNNOOOO! please don't do it, please please don't do it!!!!

B: Doing tendem jump, so should be safe right????

A: I went and I loved it. Told my housemate and she went. She and her tendem jumper both got killed. Both parachutes failed.
Please don't go!!!! Please promise me you will not do it!!

B: Ok, I won't do it.

A (teary smile, quivering lips): Thanks!!!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

Agree totally with Andrew; there are too many "what ifs" involved in skydiving - with potentially fatal consequences - plus the height thing of course.




MedicatedMoo said...

I skydived back in 1989 when there wasn't the 'safety' of a tandem jump. You did it yourself, by climbing out, stepping onto a landing wheel and grabbing hold of the wing strut. One of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.

Does Wimbledon count as a sporting event?

Sex in strange places? Er, no thanks. Being caught, getting leaves caught in places that hurt - why when beds are so comfortable?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

I imagine skydiving is exhilarating but my fear would overwhelm me and I would hate it - I just know. You are SO brave.

Yes, I reckon any of the four major tennis championships count as a sporting event.

Totally agree on the weird places for sex. Some people are just strange.