Instead of doing my homework the other night, I watched a Doctor Who panel at Comic Con 2013 on YouTube. Because Comic Con is in San Diego every year, many of the audience members are American, and this occasionally presents a communication issue because the Doctor Who cast is vastly British in composition. During a Q&A, an audience member asked lead actor Matt Smith what was on his bucket list. He didn’t know what a bucket list was. Doctor Who head writer Steven Moffat cleared up the confusion for him: “It’s an American colloquialism that means something that you want to do before you ‘kick the bucket’, meaning die.” Matt was somewhat startled, but, after pondering a moment, he wittily replied, “What do I want to do before I die? … Jennifer Lawrence.”
I find it interesting that bucket lists are American in nature. I suppose the idea fits in with the never-ending pursuit of status and stuff in our culture. We want what we can’t have, to the point that we create lists of all we desire, and then we check off our accomplishments, equating the shorter to-do list to a shorter distance between ourselves and true happiness. Before this post, I had never written down my own bucket list. Sometimes I say I’ll “mark that off my bucket list,” but I’ve never had an actual list to draw from–I just say that for a humorous effect when I do something absolutely outlandish or ridiculous.
To quote Lorde, “I don’t ever think about death. It’s alright if you do. It’s fine.” A bucket list suggests that after it is completed, one would be ready to “kick the bucket”, seeing that all his or her goals in life are met. I would like to keep my bucket un-kicked for as long as possible, even if I am someday presented with the opportunity to skydive or shake hands with Amy Poehler.
All that being said, a bucket list is as quintessentially American as Starbucks and baseball, and I thought I would give one a go.
My Non-Binding, only Valid at Participating Locations Bucket List
1. Lick a Stonehenge stone. I’m not sure if this is legal, and I don’t know how I would be able to casually lean over and pull a prehistoric Miley Cyrus mid-tour, but this is an experience I would like to have.
2. Take a chair aerobics class. That’s a real thing. Old people actually work out to smooth jazz music while sitting on folding chairs. I just want to walk in with eighties leg warmers and a sweatband, pop a squat on my special workout chair, and feel the burn.
3. Eat exclusively at Chipotle for an entire year. I would be the new and improved Beautiful Existence (the chick who only ate from Starbucks for an entire year).
4. Meet Jimmy Fallon. Or Steven Moffat. Or Justin Timberlake. Or Tina Fey. Or Seth Meyers. Or Matt Smith. Or Amy Poehler. Or Benedict Cumberbatch. Or Mark Gatiss. Or Conan O’Brien. Or Dylan O’Brien…. Or anyone else I idolize.
5. Write for SNL. If even one of my sketches got even two minutes of airtime, I would cross this goal off my list and then die because that’s how I want to go out of this world.
6. Build a castle out of jello. I already tried this once, and it didn’t work, but bucket lists are supposed to require effort and perseverance for maximum satisfaction upon completion.
7.Ride my unicycle downtown. I’m not skilled enough to navigate flocks of small children and yappy labradoodles on the crowded Mass Street sidewalks (yet).
8. Have a cat named Hugo. Or a child, I don’t really have a preference. (I am fully aware that cats and children are vastly different and will use discretion as an adult when determining which to have.)
9. Perform at a comedy club. I want to try stand up at some point, because, if you’re going to make a fool out of yourself, why not do so at a venue where everyone specializes in making fun of people?
10.Run through an important government building dressed as a giant M&M. Notice how I did not specify the important government building to which I was referring. I believe that keys to a successful bucket list are both attainability and flexibility.