A memorable article in the June 2005 Men’s Journal which listed “99 Things to Do Before You Die” focused on exotic adventures such as “Sail around the world” or “Ride the world’s largest roller coaster.” If the editors of the magazine look closer to home they might discover a number of less glamorous but still perilous or difficult pursuits.
Jump out of an airplane? Try this: board a plane that leaves and arrives right on schedule.
Play 18 holes at Augusta? Carry 16 loads to the beach in the August and you will get another day older and deeper in debt.
Feed a shark by hand? Great for fellows known as Lefty. First learn to satisfy a cat that turns feral when hungry.
Go on a safari? Go fishing with a daughter who only touches worms that are gummy.
Run China’s Great Wall? Before attempting that, run through the house trying to find some object not made in China.
Complete a triathlon? Exhausting, but hardly as great an accomplishment as completing a 1040 form without a twinge of conscience.
Visit the great pyramids? A cinch compared to a visit to your great-aunt, the one who plies you with fibrous ginger snaps before wrapping an extra dozen to take home in faded antimacassars she made in 1967.
Climb Everest? No need to hike up the Himalayas for chills. Just climb into a wintry attic with an acute case of arachnophobia and an overflowing case of Christmas decorations.
Catch a foul ball? That can be handled with kid gloves. Buy a meager fowl at the last minute before a feast and you will catch it from a bawling spouse.
Own a Ferrari? Not too difficult if one is willing to settle for a 1986 model. Keeping that temperamental vehicle running is still not as great a challenge as learning to operate a remote control that can change channels without making the garage door open.
There is no need to go through all 99 before learning this lesson: dreamers draw up a bucket list and begin scheming while doers draw water into a bucket and start cleaning.