There has been a term that’s been floating around within the past twenty or so years-give or take. It’s a term that could be considered as a euphemism that means, according to the folks at Merriam-Webster as “…the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant..”

The term this writer will focus on is the term “bucket list” that means roughly, an event or task one desires to do before they die. In other words, before the “kick the bucket”.

It’s a description that’s been used so many times, it’s somewhat turned into a tired cliché. It served a plot line in a number of media elements, down to a feature film called The Bucket List that starred Morgan Freeman and Jack Nickerson as two older men meeting inside of a hospital room diagnosed with the same illness, and decide to fulfill their “bucket list” of things they wanted to accomplish before they keel over and die. The movie itself is “OK” for what it is, and since it was released by Warner Bros., one can assume it’s available for streaming through the HBO Max portal. (Check your local listings for details!)

This writer hears this term every so often. Interestingly enough, that “so often” tends to limit itself through social media. When this writer trolls through “Sherry Dunhurst”’s page found on Facebook, a “friend” of hers will place some kind of something or another announces to the world (or the person’s world anyway) that they are going to perform some kind of series of tasks they wanted to do that just so happens to be on their bucket list, such as taking a trip to some exotic location, or maybe some physical activity that is a bit out of the ordinary such as rock climbing, or perhaps create an object that was never done by this person before, so so they claim. Once that element is created (and assumed to have its results posted on the usual social media platforms), that assignment is crossed off the bucket list, only to move on to the next item up for bids!

You can guess that people’s bucket lists consist of those unique tasks and journeys that not everyone can or would take care of. Those new and exciting things are what making a bucket list is worth its while. If one posted things such as “pay gas bill on time”, or “call up Cousin Ambrose on the phone when there is something to say”, not only would make the list seem dull, but those commenting on it through those social media platforms wouldn’t have anything witty to post. Granted, some people would find that attempting to call Cousin Ambrose on the phone would be a major accomplishment. For the rest of the world, all they would say is a polite “that’s nice” or even an angry “who in the hell is Cousin Ambrose??” You get our drift here!

And when one views that bucket list term, it tends to focus upon the user that seems to be of a certain age. That is, usually somebody of the “baby boomer” generation that tends to be in a state of retirement (by choice or through circumstance), or are getting close to their state of entering their “second act”. This makes a whole lot of sense because somebody over the age of 55 tends to have more time on their hands and thus, can explore those things they wanted to do or go to because they never got around to it. Now they have the opportunity through that access of time and perhaps a bankroll they can use to fund such an accomplishment and thus, cross off their bucket list since their time to kick the bucket is a lot closer. That element is based upon living a standard life free from demise from natural causes or through a tragic episode.

Nearly everyone has some form of list of places to go and/or activities to do that they carry with their person (real or otherwise) that they would like to take part of before it’s their time to check out. This writer has that as well. However, much of these accomplishments are based on practical desire rather than something that would be nice to finally get around doing or seeing. If I, let’s say, wanted to go on a tiger hunt in India, and finally got the gumption to head off to that place in the Orient with a shotgun in hand to bag that tiger, I can say that tiger hunt was completed and thus, off the ol’ bucket list. And if I always wanted to be as a stand-in to the fifth leader performer in an off-Broadway stage musical, I can head off to that little theater off Times Square, audition for that part, and then be cast as the stand-in to that musical showpiece, then another event can get the old “X” on that list. However, upon glancing at that list, I don’t see an entry that reads. “Go to India to participate in a tiger hunt” or “Become cast as a stand-in for the fifth lead for that musical stage show playing off-Broadway”. Maybe I have the wrong list, or maybe I just didn’t get around to jotting those events on the said list.

The only list I have on me at the moment is a tally of what I’m going to pick up at the grocery store next week, such as “cat food” and “beer”. Those things may make an amusing video piece posted on TikTok. However, I’m not of that TikTok generation. I’m living in the “bucket list” generation that details items that are more suited to a person that has experienced more that they can express. I’ll tell the grandkids about that idea. But first, I have to get grandkids. Second, I have to get kids. I’ll just place those options on the ol’ bucket list, and I’m good to go!

So much for pathos!!


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