Three Things On My Bucket List

Harumph! (Groundhoggy grumpiness courtesy of International Business Times.)

The term “Bucket List” has become so common these days that most people have forgotten that it was popularized by one of the worst films of Jack Nicholson’s career. Since I don’t believe in inadvertently promoting bad movies (that is why you’ll never hear me say “something’s gotta give”) I would like to replace “Bucket List” with a term of my own:

The-Things-I-Would-Like-To-Do-At-Some-Point-In-My-Life-But-Have-Nothing-To-Do-With-My-Family-Or-Career-So-If-I-Don’t-Get-To-Do-Them-It-Really-Won’t-Be-A-Big-Deal List

As you can see, I prefer accuracy to brevity.

For your convenience, I’ve turned this term into a simple acronym:


Here are three things that top my list:

Visit Punxsutawney Phil

Phyllis would be great, too!
Punxsutawney Phyllis would be great, too!

I love groundhogs. They are cute, cantankerous, and always wear a “Now, what the hell do you want?” expression on their faces. So it seems only logical that I would want to go to Pennsylvania, get up at the crack of dawn, and stand in the frigid cold to catch a glimpse of the most famous groundhog of all time.

My wife, Ellen, thinks I’m insane for wanting to do this — and she has told me in no uncertain terms that she would never, ever, ever in a hillion-jillion-zillion years accompany me on such an excursion. My son, Alex, is more open to the idea of such a trip, but I think that’s because Groundhog Day often falls on a school day.

When I tell other people about my dream of visiting Punxsutawney on the groundhoggiest day of the year, their reactions range from mild amusement to a horrified, “I don’t know-you-anymore!” style of bewilderment.

There is one exception: My mom. She not only endorses such a trip, but also insists on going with me. This is kind of surprising because Mom is whimsically challenged. (She would loudly and proudly agree with this assessment, by the way.) Yet going on a several-hundred-mile journey to see an animal that Mom can find in her own backyard… And then listening to this animal pretending to predict the weather… Well, that’s about as whimsical as it gets.

So I don’t understand Mom’s motives, but, someday soon, she will be welcome company.

Run For President

Let me clarify straightaway that I don’t want to win; I just want to run. My reasoning is simple: I like meeting people, Ellen says I look good in a tie, and a presidential campaign seems like a great way to promote non-presidential things. You know, like a book.

I could certainly do better than this scumbag
Even if I accidentally did win, I could never be a worse president than this guy.

Since I have no intention of winning, I can say whatever I want during the campaign. In fact, saying whatever I want will pretty much guarantee that I won’t win. (I am a student of history and can assert that no presidential candidate ever won an election by calling another candidate a “poopie head.” My first campaign promise: I will publicly and repeatedly call every xenophobic candidate a “poopie head.” You’re welcome. God bless America!)

I also want to run because I came up with a nifty campaign slogan:

Get a Leg Up With Allegra!

I look forward to your lack of support in 2020.

Cuddle a Capybara

Weighing in at about 100 pounds, a capybara is the world’s largest rodent. Capybaras are social, curious, friendly, and adorable. Considering my pro-rodent (prodent) beliefs, I should – scratch that – I must find an opportunity to hug this Godzilla guinea pig.

So what do you have on your Bucket List?

Write me a comment and let me know!

123 Replies to “Three Things On My Bucket List”

  1. What an interesting list! I had never heard of the capybara. I showed it to my son. Now my son wants one. Thanks. So, at the top of my bucket list I’d like to make sure that we never get a capybara. 🙂

  2. It would be pretty hard to top a list like this one … although I must say ‘poopie-head’ is a good way to describe our current Prime Minister, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and an endless list of other political wannabes.

      1. I think I can speak for most of America when I say I don’t want your sorries; I want you to take that brat back to where he came from.

        Deporting Justin Bieber, by the way, will be one of my presidential campaign promises.

        ALLEGRA 2020!

  3. Brevity, sir, brevity: think B.IG.= Before I Get_______(fill in the blank–as in too old, too out of shape, too set in my ways). I don’t have to pet a capybara–I’ve owned guinea pigs and they are smaller versions. Check out Bill Peet’s book about capybaras. At least I think I remember he wrote about one.

      1. But do you have a copy of his The Wump World? Excellent cautionary tale, featuring capybara-ish creatures.

      2. Only because it took you half the morning to type out your acronym I’ll share one: go to New York and do all kinds of touristy things like Statue of Liberty, THE Library, a play, Central Park. Yup, it’s on the list.

  4. What is it about the words “bucket list” that makes me shudder? I don’t know, but you totally nailed it in this post. This is my second favorite post of yours. My first one was the winter story. OMG, I love that thing. You are brilliant.

  5. Capybaras are awesome. I have never cuddled one, but I did have a guinea pig that lived for 7 years when I was kid, and they’re distant relatives of each other, so.

    I don’t know, you’d probably be a better president than at least half the candidates out there right now. Possibly even most of them.

    As for my bucket list?

    I want to ride an elephant. That’s probably the #1 thing.

    1. I’m crazy about capybaras, but I wouldn’t want to own one. For one thing, as rodents, they would need would gnaw on everything to grind down their teeth. It would be like having a family of beavers in your house.

      1. Because the capybara is exotic, narwhal popped into my head. When I looked it up, I found out it was a real animal. I think I laughed for about fifteen minutes. Thought I would share. My husband can’t follow my train of thought either and he’s lived with me for 28 years this Saturday. 🙂

      2. Well, happy anniversary to you both!

        Did you know that the 28th anniversary gift is supposed to be made from narwhal horn? So your husband better pull his whaling boat outta the garage and get shopping.

      3. Hahaha! I’ll text him right now. I still can’t believe an animal like that exists. When I saw it in Elf, I thought it was supposed to represent the North Pole! I’m laughing again. I’m really not stupid. Really!

  6. Love the simple anachronism. Cracked me up. One thing on my, thus far, short TTIWLTDASPIMLBHNTDWMFOCSIIDGTDTIRWBABD list is to go back in time. I’m planning this trip sometime in the next ten years and expect to travel back somewhere around 800 -1000 years. I need to do a little research to pin down the exact time frame and prepare in case I choose not to come back. In the meantime, I’m going to make a pumpkin pie. 🙂

  7. “saying whatever I want will pretty much guarantee that I won’t win.”—I’m not so sure about that. Seems to be working awfully well for Orangie-Porgie Trumpie so far.

    Thanks for the laughs. Between your acronym and your campaign slogan, you gave me some nice laugh-out-louds. Have a good one!

  8. I would get up the crack of dawn to see what Phil says, though it isn’t on my list.

    One thing that is on my list is to swim with the pigs in the Bahamas, though I might have to wait on that since the pigs are probably hiding in some deep recess of the island because of the hurricane.

  9. Oh, dear. I am now convinced that I really don’t know you. Or maybe I know you too well. Possibly both.

    If I could only find a bucket, perhaps I would be more motivated to make a list to put in it. Stay tuned while I go in search of a bucket…..My husband and son, OTOH, would like to go to the moon or Mars, preferably via a space elevator that they have designed and built.

    1. I would buy a ticket for that space elevator as soon as it reaches Pluto — which, as far as I’m concerned, will always be a full-fledged planet.

      My views on Pluto, by the way, will be included in my presidential platform.

      ALLEGRA 2020!

      1. Ooh. Ow. Calling me anti-science? That stings a little.

        My feeling is that once you declare a planet a planet it should stay a planet. No backsies. Pluto, the planet with a heart, deserves better.

        I feel the same way about the name Brontosaurus, by the way. I understand that the bronto is really just an apatosaurus with the wrong head screwed on, but “brontosaurus” is too common and too cool a name to give up. (And it would invalidate every single episode of The Flintstones!) I propose that we rename the apatosaurus the brontosaurus.

        Or if you’re a fan of 19th century literature, may I propose the Bronte-saurus?

      2. I’m just sayin’ that your—ah, scientific stance is in line with many politicians. Not that you’re anti-science. Maybe it should be called Flintstone Science. But I must say that I, too, am a fan of the Bronte-saurus. I can see the last of its kind (I believe his name was Heathcliff) wandering alone on the wild moors, gnawing on a bit of heather and crying “Catherine!” into the heartless wind. And since I’m on a wild moor roll, here’s a sad little tune for you:

      3. Oh, poppycock. The only time politicians talk about science is when they badmouth vaccines, cut NASA funding, or announce that evolution never happened.

        I am the only presidential candidate who supports Pluto. I am Pro-Pluto (Proto).

        Now are you telling me that you have no sentimental attachment to lovely, lonely Pluto? This (*sigh* dwarf) planet represents the most important part of the following mnemonic:


        Are you denying the world its pizza, Jilanne? Are you? Because that’s just mean.

      4. I could see how this could make me very unpopular with my target picture book audience. Hence, I will claim situational agreement, and say: I am a Pro-Plutonium. Does that make me radioactive?

  10. Your TTIWLTDASPIMLBHNTDWMFOCSIIDGTDTIRWBABD List is excellent. Well done. The only problem is that so many of us would vote for you, that maybe you would win, which is something I know is NOT on your TTIWLTDASPIMLBHNTDWMFOCSIIDGTDTIRWBABD List, so I’m conflicted on that one.
    Next, you know I have to say it. Have you watched Groundhog Day? An excellent Rom-Com, even though you have insisted you don’t like Rom-Com’s (except Princess Bride).
    Lastly, your mom may be anti-whimsy, but she’s very pro-MikeAllegra, and THAT is why she’s willing to go to visit the ridiculous Punxsutawney Phil. So there.

    1. I love the movie Groundhog Day. It’s one of my favorites.

      OK, so I’m not as anti-rom-com as I thought. I also like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which also sort of applies. A lot of Harold Lloyd silent comedies would also qualify, think. I’m gonna have to give this rom-com thing a bit more thought.

      1. Ahhh, you have made my day complete!! Y E S!! (and I just saw Groundhog Day two weeks ago – again – as good as ever/always/will be forever). ❤

    1. Be the villain in a play.
    2. Own an Irish Wolfhound.
    3. Live where the temp never gets lower than 65 Fahrenheit.

  12. My lists often involve touching or hugging animals too! Sadly most places you can touch a wildcat are not known to treat them well- I continue to search for a good place that I wouldn’t feel guilty about going to. Capybaras are really cute- I’ve scratched one at a zoo once and he loved it!:) I like the swimming pig idea too! So many wacky animal interactions to add to my list! Thanks for the laughs!

      1. Capybara was at Southwicks zoo- he was at the fence begging to be scratched:) I doubt it is permitted but it was quick and he enjoyed the scratching. Very course hair btw.

  13. I want a capybara! I’ve seen pictures of them before but didn’t know what they were called. Damn it I can’t think of what’s on my bucket list and you always tell me off if I fob you off with something and don’t actually answer your questions! Or if I say I’ll think about it and come back, you don’t like that do you? Ok, so here goes, on my bucket list is….crackle….crackle….wait, the line is…crackle…breaking up….I can’t hear you….crackle…Mike? Can you h….

  14. The presidential campaign thing is a brilliant idea. Considering your drawing talents, I think a t-shirt with “Allegra for President” and an amazing doodle would be cool. No campaign funds necessary since everyone will be wearing your doodle. You’ll be on the ballot in no time! 😉

  15. I’m afraid you would most likely win the presidency. Look at Trump. He’s saying everything off the top of his head (I refuse to say brain) and he is popular. It would be hilarious if he won the Republican nod. Hillary should beat him soundly. Still your . . . unusual acronym of a list is interesting, though why you would want to get up in the freezing cold to check out a groundhog is beyond me. My list would include going on one more cruise (always went with mom and she is gone), tour Europe, and live somewhere near the equator where it is always warm. Good luck with your list, Mike.

  16. That’s a good list. I think one of the jobs in the world is being a former president – you are suddenly respected, get paid an annual stipend on top of speech fees, and get to go and work on whatever world problem you actually care about most. However, you have to be president first.
    Last month, I just made a bucket list for this month because I was so busy with grad school. My current bucket lists includes exciting things like, eat breakfast, get enough sleep, and do laundry. I’ll have to work on finer items for a long-term bucket list.

  17. Uhm… my conclusion?? You’re weird? ha ha! Oh wait! That’s a given! LOL!
    I’m afraid I’m with your wife on the whole Groundhog day thing! First of all, I don’t do cold! So that wouldn’t work for me either. And well, you’re weird for wanting to do that! Wait… we covered that already!
    As for running for President? You might as well.. hell, everyone else is!! *sigh*
    I will tell you what! If you run, I promise to vote for you! 😉

  18. My bucket list consists of going places and doing stuff. It’s a comprehensive and growing list, I assure you. Most recently I considered karaoke and having sex in ‘no mans land’. There’s a few things in life I think everyone should do at least once, and those are both worthy I think. I’d also like to visit Lesoto which I believe is a country ‘within a country’ that is entirely surrounded on all sides by South Africa.

Join the conversation! We're all friends here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: