Compiling a bucket list, that morbid agenda of stuff to do before you die, is, like death itself, a rather self-defeating experience. Whatever the desired activity listed, whether it be a travel destination or an extreme sporting pursuit, chances are that you will modify its details over time as new horizons and the desirable objects they reveal are encountered. For instance, when I was in my profoundly pretentious twenties, at the very top of my bucket list was the cherished dream of making a pilgrimage to the annual Noizestadt Festival, to hear cult composer Ludwig Maniak's Schitzmuzik performed in its natural habitat, an über-intellectual event I'd read much about in various artsy magazines. Then I actually heard several minutes of Schitzmuzik and traveling to Noizestadt was suddenly toppled from its lofty perch by a profound wish to avoid Noizenstadt and its atonal festival at all costs (an ambition so far fulfilled, except for a brief scare when I got lost in the Austrian Alps six years ago).
Since those days of misguided youth, I have attempted to keep the contents of my bucket list less defined and more symbolic; so symbolic, in fact, that my bucket list these days is actually just a list of different buckets with symbolic value; buckets that I consider to be somewhat emblematic of the riches life has to offer. There is the champagne bucket, naturally, because we should always be celebrating something. The small domestic tub for turning upside-down and wearing on our heads for playing Game of Thrones with a toilet brush as a sword when we should really be doing the household chores. The red fire bucket for running around with while screaming "Fire!" just because we're bored at work. The elegant clay urn that adds a romantic, classical Italianate touch to otherwise neglected gardens. The antique silver pail for attending Halloween parties or Zodiac theme evenings dressed as Aquarius the water-bearer. The mysterious copper cauldron that we only use to brew outlandish and experimental soups and broths from weird, witchy recipes. And finally the seaside-souvenir sandcastle bucket, obviously, for erecting a temporary perimeter of coastal defenses around the area of the beach we're sitting on.
Although the order of precedence might change from season to season, this bucket list of must-have buckets can surely be carved in stone. So far I have succeeded in only obtaining six of them. One still eludes me. Can you guess which one it is? ... Yes, that's right. It's the small domestic tub. I'm damned if I'm going spend $4.98 retail on something that costs less than fifty cents to manufacture, even if it is made of stain-resistant durable rubber and features an easy-grip molded handle. But anyway, I don't believe I will yearn for any other types of buckets until the day I finally kick the big metaphorical bucket: a day I hope is far off in the very distant future.