Bucket List With a Twist

A while back, Terry and I watched The Bucket List. Man, I hated that movie. Not because it’s a bad movie, I hasten to add: I just generally try to avoid watching sad movies because, well, they’re sad. And they make me feel sad. And I fear death, and don’t like feeling sad, so when it comes to movies, I’ll settle for any old crap, as long as no one dies. (Unless they die in a creepy old house in the middle of the woods, ideally in the 18th century, and then come back to haunt the new inhabitants of said house. That kind of movie I LOVE.)

Anyway, Terry made me watch The Bucket List, and afterwards, he was all, “Let’s write Bucket Lists!” And I was all, “Meh. Let’s not. Because then we’ll have things to feel bad about not doing, and I have enough things to feel bad about not doing in my life. By the way, did you feed the dog today, because I totally forgot?”

So Terry wrote his Bucket List. And it was full of stuff like, “Jump out of a plane! Climb Mount Everest! Take part in as many, highly-dangerous activities as is humanly possible!” (And at the bottom of it, I wrote, “Take out life insurance, so my wife can keep right on buying shoes after I break my neck bungee jumping…”)

Why is it always like this, I wonder? Why, when people put together lists of Things To Do Before I Die, is it always really dangerous stuff? And why does one item on the list always, ALWAYS involve jumping out of a plane? WHAT’S WITH THE JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE? One of the main aims of my life is to never jump out of a plane. And so it is that I have finally come to write my very own Bucket List. Mine, however, is a Bucket-List-With-a-Twist, the twist being that these are the things I hope to get through life without ever having to do. EVER. In other words:

I Hope I Die Without Ever Having to:

Jump out of a plane.

Well, d’uh!

Take part in any kind of public speaking engagement.

I occasionally indulge in terrified fantasies in which I imagine that I become famous for… something… and am asked to make a speech at… something. I fall asleep counting the many ways in which I would fake my own death before doing this.

Go backpacking

Seriously, screw that crap. If I can’t take my hairdryer and 12 pairs of shoes, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to ever go camping, either, so don’t even ask me.

Climb Everest

No, no, no, no, no. Seriously, what’s wrong with people? You can die up there! It costs, like, a kazillion pounds to go! Did I mention PEOPLE DIE UP THERE?

Do a bungee jump

Basically anything that involves throwing myself off something really tall is out, and you’re not going to change my mind on that. I also never want to do any of those “slingshot” rides where they strap you into a chair and then throw you into the sky. NO.

Um, so at this point I kinda ran out of ideas for things I never want to do, mostly because there are so damn many of them and it’s hard to narrow them down into a list. Then I found this site , which has the following “bucket list” suggestions:

Play golf with Jack Nicklaus

OK, so it’s pretty clear that we can’t ALL do this. Because Jack Nicklaus will be exhausted if he has to play golf with every single last one of us, and that wouldn’t be fair, would it? I’m going to gracefully opt out of this one, then, and let the rest of you have your moment with Jack.

Learn your grandparents’ native tongue.

Awesome! I’ve already done this one! Look, I’m speaking it now! I can even write in it, go me!

Learn to yodel

Um, OK, but NO.

Swim with sharks

Wait… isn’t the aim supposed to be to try NOT to swim with sharks? Because that’s the one I’m going to do.

Dive in a submarine

Yeah, have fun carting my cold, dead body onto your submarine, folks. I firmly believe that people are not meant to live under the ocean, so I intend never to try to do that. Submarines are one of my phobias, actually. I can’t even see them on TV without starting to feel like I’m suffocating. I feel like I’m suffocating NOW, come to think of it…

Keep bees

No, YOU keep bees! Why on earth would I want to keep bees? So that on my death bed I can lie there and think, “Well, I may never have jumped out of a plane, but damn, I kept those bees!” Does anyone else think this is a weird thing to judge the success of your life by?

There is one of these, however, that I can totally get on board with. It’s this one:

“Learn how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty.”

Well, NOW you’re talking! NO. NONONONONONONONONO. No to the jumping out of planes, no to the sharks, and the bees and the submarines. No to the climbing of Mount Everest. NO to you, too, Jack Nicklaus. Don’t you even come near me with your… golf.

NO, in fact, to the Bucket List. I think I’m just going to continue to meander through life in my usual, half-assed, under-achieving kind of way. It won’t exactly be a roller-coaster ride of a life to be sure (Oh, that reminds me: roller coasters. I aim to never ride one. Not since that baby one that nearly killed me that time, anyway.). At least I know I won’t die while jumping out of a plane, though.*

Now, who’s with me? What’s on your Bucket-List-With-a-Twist?

* Touch wood.

That One Time I Tried To Ride a Rollercoaster

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books by Amber Eve
  • ilexica


    This sounds like my favourite trick when doing housework – ‘things I hate more than ‘ (war, Dale Winton, peep toe boots – because my feet are cold enough anyway, cleaning up catsick, people who use mobiles in the quiet carriage, etc). It cheers me up enormously. But then I’ve always been more of a glass half full person.

    As for stuff I never want to do, because I am not very imaginative, it’s mostly not wanting to repeat things I’ve already done. Par example, ‘not get stuck in a Glasgow pub on a Rangers v. Celtic matchday next the drawling drunken flirt’, ‘not do Christmas shopping on Oxford Street’ ‘not see Predators’, and so on.

    September 17, 2010
  • Sandy


    You’ve just reminded me of a book I saw advertised recently…


    I think I may have to buy it too and then be all smug in the knowledge that I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to fling themselves off things before I die….as that bit of flinging will probably be JUST before I die!

    (Apollies if this posts twice…having trouble posting! I think!?)

    September 17, 2010
  • I believe this is called a F*ck-it list! I’m with you on the Everest thing. Humans are not meant to climb big mountains.

    September 17, 2010
  • I’m sooooooo with you on the Mt. Everest thing. You didn’t even mention another reason to avoid it — the cold. Jeez, it’s bad enough winter is cold enough at sea level, never mind at that insane altitude. You did mention the likelihood of death though, which I imagine usually includes hypothermia. No thank you (and no guilt, either).

    I have always wanted to parachute out of a plane though. Much less risky than Everest, and no hypothermia. 🙂

    I would also add that I’d like to die without ever wearing Crocs, Tevas, Birkenstocks, or other similarly hideous footwear.

    September 17, 2010
  • I still want to jump out of a plane (but planned, none of the jumping out of a plane unplanned) and I like rollercoasters (though I was also terrified just a couple of years ago.)
    But…Totally with you on the backpacking. And the Mount Everest Climbing. And the bees. And the submarines. I’m also very against those things. And against the Bucket Lists. Not that I’ve seen the movie. I also refuse to watch sad movies. In my opinion movies are meant to be fun.

    September 17, 2010
  • Amy


    This is a brilliant idea for a list, and an excellent excuse to buy a new notebook (it’s nice to have an excuse to buy a new notebook, especially in September). I’m also with you on not writing bucket lists, because I know I’d go back and look at it and feel bad about all the things I didn’t do. I’d rather keep it vague. Like:
    1. Travel as much as possible.
    2. Eat in as many delicious restaurants as possible.
    3. Buy as many pretty things as possible.
    4. Hang out with loved ones as much as possible.
    5. Never ever swim with sharks.

    September 17, 2010
  • Rock Hyrax


    That’s the trouble with “things not to do” lists – you could easily spend the rest of your life writing them.

    My NOT list (apart from the obvious ones, like wear Crocs or fall into a vat of starving carnivorous piranha) is: work in computer support again.

    My actual bucket list: spend time in the company of hyraxes. (Obvious I know, but very true.)

    September 17, 2010
  • Terry


    I want to get to the base camp of Mount Everest not climb it 🙂 There is 10,000 feet of a difference and the last 10,000 feet are the dangerous bit 🙂

    I would post my bucket list here but it would take you a week to scroll to the bottom 🙂

    September 20, 2010
  • Jumping out of a plane/ bungee jumping/ white water rafting; NO THANKS. Maybe I’m a wuss. but there isn’t a single extreme sport or activity that appeals to me. I thought I was pretty adventurous for climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower, to be honest.

    I’d like to nominate Going on Safari as something I hope I never do before I die. Seriously, camping? In the company of hungry carnivorous animals? NO THANK YOU!

    September 21, 2010
  • I LOVE ‘Keep Bees’. It’s bizarre. Yes, Keep Bees! Paint your house orange! Marry an otter! And then, finally, you can die happy! Millions of people throughout the years have thought, in their final panicked moments, “If I had my life to live over, I really would get round to keeping those bees.”

    I made a bucket list of ill-advised but tempting things to do before you die. I want to be old and irresponsible.

    September 30, 2010
  • Totally with you on a great number of these – and my husband too seems to have a suicidal streak and has actually done a bungee jump, the crazy bastard.

    I do the public speaking thing quite regularly though. And my palms don't ever not sweat.

    October 5, 2010
  • I agree with everything on your bucket list. I know this might classify me as safe and boring but I always see the absolute worst in all those things and choose to remain nice and safe. extreme sports like Roisin said are just not appealing eg anytime I see these skate boarders on those hal pipe things, I just picture one of them missing and cracking his skull open on the edge.

    Sad movies on the other hand I don’t miss. In fact, the sadder the movie, the more I HAVE to watch it. My family all refused to watch the movie Precious with me. I usually cry and give myself headaches and nightmares but the morbid stuff just draws me in as much as horror movies.

    I think I should do your version of a bucket list.

    May 3, 2011
  • Selina


    How I hate bucket lists. It’s only more pressure to outdo everyone else and makes you feel disappointed that you’ve not done things that others have.Everyone has different expectations for their life and bucket lists tend to shame people who haven’t got extreme things on their list as ‘boring’ when they are just different goals for a different person, not to feel like you’ve wasted your life if you’ve not done something

    June 13, 2014