You are a sad sack of zero erudition or achievement: the cat hisses on your return home, and toilets don’t flush for you; if you were a fire hydrant, even the mutts would ignore you. Your pay scale is constantly reworked downwards, and the village idiot gets promoted faster. The family constantly finds ways to have dinner, go out or head off on vacation without you. Years of being browbeaten by your boss, your wife and your kids has left you a neurotic mass of twitching nerves heading nowhere quickly.
You start feeling strange pains that are unrelated to the sums of money everyone keeps asking you for, or the indigestion their cooking inevitably engenders. When – after six months of making appointments – you finally get to see the specialist, he mentions rather offhandedly – while perusing his morning mail – that you have one year to live (and then takes a call from his golf pro).
You return home, ignore the cat, kick the mutt, shout at the family, then lock yourself up in the Harry Potter style broom closet that is now your personal study, and contemplate the negative space your totally insignificant and useless life has become. After considering that maybe the Great Hereafter might be a trade-up, you get that mulish obstinate look in your eye very remniscient of the aforementioned promotable idiot as he is passing gas (usually in your cubicle), and something happens.
A light grows in your eye, music (and your bony chest) swells, nostrils flare, you stand up straight for the first time in decades (immediately wincing and grabbing your spleen), and make a vow that life will not beat you. You make a solemn oath to the effect that there are ten things you intend to do, no matter how crazy or unlike your normal character’s modus operandi, before you croak and get planted (cremated actually, and your ashes fertilize the apple tree – it costs a few grand less).
You sit down, clutch pad and paper, rest it on the bony and arthritic knees which are drawn up to your chest, and start to write the Ultimate Bucket List…..
Start your engines, gentlemen, and let’s have your submissions of the ten things you really want to do before you die. Quickly, now….it could be tomorrow, and I want to know if any of your list items concern me.