Over beers one recent evening, my buddy Jim innocently broached a subject that, up until the 2007 Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie, was rarely bantered about publicly.
"What's on your bucket list?" he asked.
"I don't keep one," I replied.
"Maybe because I just don't want to think about putting a timetable on things I hope to enjoy before the icy hands of death snatch me from the Earth."
"Furthermore, what if you died doing something that was on your list? Imagine... you're running with the bulls in Pamplona, mentally crossing off number three, and then boom, you're fatally gored. No thanks."
"Well, this has been a delightful conversation," Jim said. "Waiter? Check please."
Warm weather seems to bring out these bucket list conversations, probably because the summer always flies by so quickly, leaving everyone to ponder the day they will have the time to hang glide in La Jolla, complete a triathlon or tee it up at St. Andrews. I'll admit, listening to somebody blather on about their list, coupled with the oppressive humidity, puts me on edge. This is why I think a "Summer Bucket List" would be therapeutic for everyone. It should be full of items that are cheap, require little to no planning and, once achieved, result in nothing more than a perverse sense of satisfaction. Don't agree? Then feel free to join me next summer when I complete all of the following:
Spend an entire day in my bathing suit.
While in bathing suit, repeatedly dive face first on a Slip 'N Slide in my front yard. Talk my way out of being arrested when police arrive to investigate a public indecency complaint.
Invent and patent a GPS tracking device for sunglasses.
Find the $%*&@ pair of sunglasses I always seem to lose.
Attend a local fair; eat corn dogs, fried cheese and elephant ears; then go for my yearly cholesterol check and insist the results are inaccurate.
Ride through my neighborhood on a Segway, giving my neighbors the impression that I won the lottery and have money to spend on frivolous adult toys.
Take just enough human growth hormone to be able to successfully lift all the junk cluttering my garage.
In mid-July, volunteer to be the guest preacher at my place of worship. Deliver a sermon entitled, "Hell Can't Be Any Hotter than a Church without Air Conditioning. Hint hint!"
While delivering sermon, address anybody whose cellphone rings by responding, "Go ahead. I'm sure the Lord WANTS you to take that call."
Fill plastic bottles with perfectly mixed gin and tonics, and then offer to serve as a water station attendant during a 10K race.
Retrieve the empty bottles and redeem them for cash at a recycling station.
Approach the 10-year-old proprietor of a corner lemonade stand and casually ask if he has a vendor's license.
Successfully organize a Chicago Cubs boycott. While the Cubs play in an empty Wrigley Field, encourage 40,000 would-be spectators to tailgate in the parking lot.
Make both my kids spend one night with me in a backyard tent. When they show up with their assorted electronic devices, entertain them with stories about how bears are attracted to the scent of cellphones and iPods.
Grow vegetables and sell them at a roadside stand. Demand my oldest daughter stand on the highway with a sign proclaiming, "Corn for College!"
After years of trying, finally knock down all the milk bottles at a carnival, win an 8-foot stuffed giraffe and lovingly place it on my wife's pillow.
Replace my lawn with AstroTurf and then politely ask all my neighbors if they could lower the volume on their lawn mowers, as it's interfering with my Saturday afternoon naps.
Finally, time permitting, take up hang gliding.