Party of One - Published in Valley Planet, January 2012

The New Annual List
                We’ve rung in the New Year and let’s face it – you’ve made your resolutions.  You are really going to stick to it this year.  Good for you.  I’m not.  I’m not even going to make that list of what I’ll do this year.  I’m taking a new approach in 2012.  I’m making the opposite of a Bucket List.  While the name I call it in person rhymes with Bucket List, for this column, we’ll call it the Anti-Bucket List.  The following is a list of things I refuse to do this year and hopefully beyond.
                1. Noodling.  Have you seen this God Awful Adventure?  It is my version of Hell.  It is fishing for catfish using your hands.  I came across this wicked phenomenon while flipping through the TV channels.  It starts with a group of 4-6 strangers arriving in the rural South.  I am totally fine with that part.  Here’s where my version of hell begins:  the soon-to-be fishers sleep in camping trailers during this escapade.  The next morning starts with the group accompanying the hosts into muddy water (ughck), then they individually stick their bare feet (uhhgck) into caves in hopes of luring the catfish toward them.  Once they’ve lured the fish, the fisher sticks their hand into the muddy water cave and if the heavens have their way, the catfish chomps down on their limb.  At this point they pull their arm and attached fish above the surface to show off their catch.  Did I mention that throughout this excursion the hosts, who are teeth-impaired, have their hands all over the fishers?  And the water is so deep that the muddy liquid ebbs around their face and INTO THEIR MOUTHS?  No way.  Noodling, you and I will never, ever, ever, ever have the pleasure of meeting.  This is why you’re atop the anti-bucket list. 
                2.  Appear on America’s Got Talent.  I have talent.  My talent is knowing that the title of the show is grammatically incorrect.  But my bigger talent is writing.  Writing and the act of writing doesn’t translate onto American television.  This is the scene that is taking place right now:  I’m a bit stinky from my evening run.  I’m wearing blue, flannel pajama pants, a granny sweater, and a purple tank top.  My hair, which also stinks, is up in a pony tail; but my bangs are tucked behind my right ear.  I am sitting on my tan couch, with my legs propped up on the discount ottoman.  Modern Family is on the television and I’m belly laughing at it.  The laptop is on my lap and I’m easily distracted by the missions I’ve got to complete in Zombie Lane.  The Hoff would not buzz me through to the next round.  Now that Howard Stern is apparently judging the talent, I stand no chance.  This I know.  I’m cool with it.  I know I have talent. 
                3.  Lunch with a famous person.  We’ve all had dreams of lunching, dining or drinking with our celebrity hero.  I do not.  I’ve met famous people.  Through my current job, I’m meeting a few more.  But here’s the thing about really famous people:  most of them really just want to talk about them or listen to you talk about them.  No thanks.  If I’m going to get all gussied up for a meal with a stranger, it better be someone with whom I can have engaging conversation.  I’d much rather laugh, ponder, and opine with my dearest friends.  Famous people, you can have them.  I’ll take the real people.
                4.  A potpourri:  run a marathon; I’ve done eight half-marathons, that’s enough.  Post pictures of my naked self online.  Read self-help books.  Sleep on the street (this is important now that I’m so close to New Orleans).  Eat pâté.   Have low expectations.  Micromanage my future.   Never make references to The Office.  Give up television.  Wear pleather.
                This is just a brief list of what I’ll never do not just this year – but forever more!               



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