My beloved wife, Ellen and I will be celebrating our 15th anniversary later this week. (According to Ellen, the traditional 15th anniversary gift is a kitchen remodel. I, on the other hand, think a more appropriate 15th anniversary gift is to pay a kid to cut the lawn.) Continue reading
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:
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
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.
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!
I went to Disney World! Woo!
And I’m home now! Double woo!
Yep. Disney will do that to you. A person can absorb only so much whimsy before he feels compelled to run screaming for the airport.
I’m kidding, of course. I didn’t run screaming for the airport. I was too tired to either run or scream; I crawled and groaned.
I also had fun. Lots of fun, really.
And I return to the blogging world bearing three pieces of wisdom! Take from these nuggets what you will:
Beware The Enchanted Tiki Room
Everyone knows that the way-too-catchy song “It’s a Small World” will adhere to your brain like a barnacle to a ship’s hull. Armed with this knowledge, each Disney vacationer is able to make an educated decision: If you want a song stuck in your head, go on the ride. If you don’t, then don’t.
The unassuming Enchanted Tiki Room, on the other hand, catches you off guard. Most people who sit down to watch this robotic bird show do so because it’s one of the few attractions where the lines don’t stretch back to Newark. Crowds aren’t expecting a way-too-catchy song, but, oh, baby, do they get one. They get one that even out-catchies “It’s a Small World.”
Don’t get me wrong, the Tiki Room is a fun little attraction. But if you don’t find yourself humming “it’s the tiki-tiki-tiki-tiki-tiki room” over and over again while showering, eating, driving, sleeping, and going potty for the next several weeks, then you, my friend, have dodged one lethal bullet.
There is No Such Thing as a Non-Awkward Conversation with a Disney Princess
The best meal I ate at Disney was in Cinderella’s Castle. Unfortunately, they serve up your meal with a side order of social awkwardness. During the lunch, I was interrupted by four – count ’em, four – different Disney princesses.
“Don’t worry,” our server told us at one point, “all four princesses will visit every table.”
“That’s why I’m worried,” I told Ellen.
I’ve discovered that talking to a stranger wearing a princess gown is weirder than talking to a stranger wearing a giant duck head. I’m not sure why this is, but if I was to guess, I think it’s because a duck head provides you with some psychological distance. When I don’t see a person’s face, it’s easier for me to play the game and act like I am in the presence of a cartoon celebrity. When I met the princesses (all four of them), however, I just saw 20-year-old girls playing pretend. It made me cringe a little.
The Hall of Presidents May Prompt Emotional Outbursts
I have always loved the Hall of Presidents. Always. I saw it when I was 7, 11, and 17 and it got me every time. Seeing Robot Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address dazzled me. Seeing all the the Robot Presidents introduced at the show’s finale dazzled me even more.
I saw it again last week, and the show is still dazzling. In fact, I would argue that The Hall of Presidents is now better than it’s ever been.
Disney has made a few changes in recent years, and the attraction’s narrative arc is now pitch perfect. Lincoln gives his address and then, after the Presidential roll call, another Robot President faces the crowd and delivers a short, inspiring speech. I won’t say who this other Robot President is, but I will say that he is a fine representation of Lincoln’s dream of equality for all Americans.
I will also say that this particular Robot President tends to prompt certain people in this very partisan political climate to sigh with rigor and mutter with displeasure.
If you think you might be one of those folks who might be compelled to sigh and mutter at the sight of a Robot President, then, well, you gotta learn to cool it a little. Or, if I may put it another way, I didn’t hoof it all the way to Florida and spend all this money to listen to your mutterings. I did it to get whimsified. And the way I fill my whimsy tank is by oohing and aahing my Robots-In-Chief.
So, Mr. Disruptive Person, why don’t you run off to see something else out of my earshot, OK? Have you considered the Enchanted Tiki Room? It’s awesome. And look! The lines for it are really short! Go! Hurry!