By: Jerry Barksdale
Why do men make a “bucket list”? It’s mostly a male disorder. Sky diving and running with the bulls in Spain top the list. Why does a man want to jump from an airplane and break his leg? Why does he want to try outrunning a bull? It can’t be done.
The idea was popularized in the 2006 movie, The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, one rich the other poor. Both were terminal and in same hospital room. They decided to make a bucket list of things to do before they kicked the bucket. Women snicker at such foolishness. You never hear about a woman who wants to wrestle an alligator or go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. No sir! Women aren’t that dumb. They dream of owning 100 pair of shoes with matching leather purses, sleeping late, Bloody Mary’s with breakfast in bed, weekly massages, hairdos, pedicures, shopping seven days a week, and driving an SUV with a butt warmer. Very sensible things indeed.
The male disorder begins at about age 16. All he thinks about is dating a cheerleader, playing football, wearing Izod shirts and Nike shoes, driving fast, and playing in a rock band. It makes him feel manly. He finally snares a cheerleader, marries her, and they have three ugly kids with buck teeth and big ears. He maxes out his credit cards paying for braces. Unfortunately nothing can be done about the car-door ears. The kids have an average of three car wrecks each, too many speeding tickets to count, at least one DUI each, and spend a couple of nights in jail. A king’s ransom is paid for their college tuition, but they flunk out. The daughter gets a booger catcher through her nose, tattoos on her ankle, and marries a dude she met at rehab, who is unemployed. The boys live in the basement, won’t work and won’t leave home. Thank God they are all normal kids. Is it any wonder that a man wants to outrun a bull? Just for distraction, if nothing else. One morning the man looks in the mirror and his teeth aren’t his, he’s balding, has a double chin and a turkey neck, his prostate is enlarged, and he has ED. He takes action. He begins wearing $150.00 Ray-Ban sunglasses. No help. He’s still bald. He grows whiskers, shaves his head, buys running shoes at Walmart, and takes up jogging. Pretty soon his knees and hips are killing him from pounding the ground. He has knee and hip replacement for which the insurance company refuses to pay.
Meanwhile, his once beautiful cheerleader has gotten fat. She takes action too. She goes on the latest starvation diet, gets a $50,000 bondo body job, along with new bumper gadgets, dresses fashionably, and wears red high heels that match her red toenails. She frets over whether her new dress matches her underwear. Younger men begin paying attention to her. She buys a new SUV with a butt warmer. She purchases more shoes on QVC. Then she gets a tattoo of a feather on her ankle. Running with the bulls is the farthest thing from her mind.
Husband panics. He doesn’t feel manly anymore. He begins consuming mega doses of ginseng. He has more hair growing out his ears than on his chest, and it takes him 30 minutes to pee. Life is fleeting. That’s when he decides to make his bucket list. One would think he has grown wiser with age. Nope! Dumber. He buys a $100,000 bass boat. His little Ford pick-up won’t pull it so he spends another $65,000 on one that is larger than a house trailer with 4-wheel drive. Now, life is really exciting. The bank calls every day demanding payment, he considers suicide. Too chicken. He vows to play every Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Alabama. It gives him no satisfaction.
He needs to live closer to the edge. He considers making a pass at a checkout lady at Walmart, but thinks better of it. Her boyfriend is a former Green Beret and a bouncer at a strip club. Maybe that’s living too close to the edge. Life is passing him by. It’s time for a real bucket list.
I’ve made my list. It’s not what I want to do in the future, it’s what I don’t ever want to repeat.
1. Never pee on an electric fence. Electricity isn’t racist, sexist, homophobic, liberal or conservative. It doesn’t care. It will burn your butt to a cinder. I won’t do that again.
2. Never challenge a yellow jacket family and say such things as “Come out an’ fight like a man.” You can’t outrun a bull and you sure can’t outrun yellow jackets. I won’t do that again.
3. Never mess with a married woman. Some are married to men who have never attended anger- management class, are jealous and unchristian-like and won’t turn the other cheek. I won’t do that again.
4. Never become delinquent with the IRS. They’ll slap you with a 10% penalty and charge you 12% interest. They will file a lien against your home and levy your bank account. They are the most uncaring, insensitive bunch of non-Christian bureaucrats in our government. You can’t beat the IRS. I won’t do that again.
5. Never play Tarzan by swinging on a fuzzy muscadine vine in the woods. Muscadine vines aren’t fuzzy, poison ivy is. It will cause your hands, arms and face to swell with itchy blisters and send you to see a physician who practices euthanasia. I won’t do that again.
6. Don’t ever purchase a parachute by mail order and pack it yourself. No matter how carefully you read the written instructions you can make a mistake and the chute won’t open. Having a properly packed reserve chute packed by a certified rigger is essential and will prevent you from splattering on the ground. It’s good to have that when you are falling at 120 mph and your main chute won’t open. I won’t do that again.
Nowadays, I get my kicks from riding my zero-turn lawnmower. It makes me feel manly. I feel like Attila the Hun leading a marauding Army across the plains of Eastern Europe as I fly across my pasture slinging grass clippings, pine cones, and fire ants. Now that’s living!
Afterwards, I lay back in my Lazy Boy knock-off and daydream about my favorite high school cheerleader from 50 years ago when I was single. Ah, yes! Then, I am rudely jerked from my daydream.
“Will you please get off your lazy ass and take out the garbage?”
By: Jerry Barksdale