Fifty Things to Do Before You Die

1. Portray Blanche Dubois in a stage version of A Streetcar Named Desire.
2. Affix postage to a live duck and try to mail it to Walla Walla, Washington. It only counts if the stamps are canceled.
3. Shave a swear word into your pubic hair with a straight razor and a stencil.
4. Dance the Flamenco with Bruce Villanche.
5. Share a firm handshake with the sideshow’s glass eater.
6. Deliver a ten minute speech about radishes.
7. Put an eight dollar trifecta on “Lucky,” “Chance,” and “Fortune.”
8. Write several letters to a Colombian pen-pal.
9. Make a toast in honor of the Prime Minister of Canada.
10. Lose a backgammon tournament, but remain a good sport about it.
11. Dial a number at random and ask for Steven.
12. Chase an escaped canary across a frozen lake.
13. Play Trivial Pursuit with members of your local VFW.
14. Sneak seven kilos of heroin through customs.
15. Have sexual intercourse with Sarah Polley.
16. Eat an entire Virginia ham in a single sitting.
17. Swindle a vegan.
18. Attend a rodeo while dressed as Thomas Jefferson.
19. Smile at an albatross.
20. Break a glass and then blame it on your sister.
21. Pretend to date a cute blonde girl named Samantha.
22. Get winked at by a fat guy using a gas station slot machine.
23. Feign interest when Isobel talks about her back ache.
24. Discover a new atomic element.
25. See Rock City.
26. Face down an angry moose while bearing only a can of Pepsi.
27. Receive your ordination by mail and bless water fountains in your town.
28. Put on your aviator sunglasses, grab your corn cob pipe, and show that Chester Nimitz your MacArthur impression.
29. Ridicule an old lady’s knick knacks.
30. Lay underwater cable across a local pond.
31. Dress up like a samurai to impress girls.
32. Dress up like a gun moll to impress boys.
33. Fax a crossword puzzle to a dairy farmer.
34. Perch on a tree limb and pretend to be a songbird.
35. Make nuclear reactor construction plans out of origami.
36. Put chain link fence around a cubic foot of space.
37. Eat spaghetti (with or without meatballs).
38. Deride the works of that tart Chopin, but get him confused with Franz Liszt.
39. Cross the streams.
40. Buy something, anything, that says “manufactured in Micronesia” on it.
41. Play your wax paper and plastic comb harmonica for a bus full of graveyard shift factory employees on their way home in the morning.
42. Argue with a German about how Cologne is really part of France.
43. See Daniel Bester, Inc.’s Humongotronic, the audio-visual telescreen borne aloft by four zeppelins, as it makes its stately procession over Katharinetowne.
44. Play drums in a band which achieves minor celebrity amongst the nation’s so-called tastemaking class.
45. Engage in sexual activity with someone who isn’t that into it.
46. Attempt to organize the defense of a bee colony. Exhort them to go down fighting if the operation wavers.
47. Sell charcoal-filtered air on a street corner in brightly-coloured plastic bottles.
48. Remind five people a day for an entire week that Mark Twain’s real name was Samuel Clemens and it rhymes with lemons.
49. Construct a ramshackle Greek trireme on wheels, plug your ears with wax, give it a good push down the road and strap yourself to the mast. Include some friends who are easily distracted by singing if you want verisimilitude.
50. Experience the groaning agony of pancreatic cancer.

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