The Hard Taco song for October is called, "The Balloonman." I know of no nobler profession than the dauntless balloon driver of yesteryear, or even the somewhat less purposeful balloon driver of yesterweek. You, Balloonman, are the very image of strength, your lusty arm guiding our nation to prosperity with a firm tug on that cord... the one that adds more hot to the hot air.
Riding a hot air balloon is actually the entirety of my bucket list. To clarify, I'm using the original definition of a bucket list, which is a slate of activities one hopes to pursue while standing in a bucket. My list used to include, "do an impression of the Nefarious Man-Mop," but I got to cross that one off last Halloween.
The more familiar kind of bucket list, of course, is inclusive of both intrabucket and extrabucket activities. When you finish everything on this bucket list, it's time for you to die. As of this morning, hot air ballooning was the only thing I had on that list, too. This is cause for concern, since I hope to go on a balloon ride in the near future, and I'm hardly ready to be dead.
This led me to www.bucketlist.org, where you can write personal goals or steal them from other people, and then check them off as you accomplish them. Everything on my list is a genuine ambition of mine. Maybe some of them are no great shakes; I could probably bang out half of these in a weekend. Others, however, are implausible enough to keep me alive for quite a while.
- Ride in a hot air balloon.
- Pinch a celebrity's cheeks.
- Serve my family a spaghetti dinner with no plates and no silverware. Just our hands and a tabletop covered with spaghetti, sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
- Go airport bar-hopping. (Fly from airport to airport and have a drink at each one.)
- Get a hollow body guitar.
- Run across a rope bridge in the Andes.
- Set fire to a pile of money.
- Write thank you notes to a few of my favorite teachers.
- Go on a vacation, but don't pick the destination until getting to the airport.
- Have an actual live Hard Taco show.
- Have an injury that requires stitches.
- Shoot a dingo who has wronged me.
- Write a strongly-worded letter to a corrupt official.
- Fill out a Mad Lib narrative without any potty words, and have it still be funny.
- Find the wristwatch my dad lost in the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes in the 50's.
- Ride an octopus.
- Go Skijoring (Cross country skiing, pulled by a horse.)
- Design a corn maze in the shape of a bank logo.
- Go to Oktoberfest, Carnival, Day of the Dead, The Running of the Bulls, and Mardi Gras with Ricky Gervais.
- Let a goat walk around my house unsupervised.
- Join the "Furlong High Club" (A furlong is 1/8 of a mile, so this goal can only be achieved during take-off or landing.)
- Fall in love all over again in a Native American Sweat Lodge.
- Adopt a three legged animal or child.
- Throw a dart at a map and travel to wherever it lands.
- Throw a dart at the blueprints of my house and go into whichever room it lands.
- Pick someone's pocket.
- Learn to ride a unicycle.
- Return a stolen wallet while riding a unicycle.
- Own a four poster canopy bed with translucent sheets for walls and ceiling.
- Go swimming with a camel.
- Win more than $10 on a scratch off lottery game.
- Give a TED Talk or a celebrity roast.
- Eat illegal meat.
- Get into a fistfight.
- Ride a snowmobile out of a helicopter into a seaplane.
- Pay a surprise visit to an old friend who lives in another part of the world.
- Fall off a dogsled (I did this one already.)
- Ride a mattress down a staircase without spilling the goldfish.
- Help someone else accomplish something on his or her bucket list.
So what's on your list? If all you want to do before you die is fake a realistic seizure, I can definitely help you with that!
With warmest regards,