I am currently putting the finishing touches on my list of 100 goals, aka the bucket list. I’m also keeping a “reverse bucket list”, or a list of things that would have gone on the list had I thought of them before doing them, because they have a cool factor of “oh, yes.”
Where appropriate, I intend to share the stories here. There are one or two that just aren’t going to be committed to posterity. Suffice to say they were fun.
In hearing or reading the word “bucket” more times than a Kardashian checks make up, I was reminded of a story from my youth.
It bears mentioning that I was a geek in my youth. Big surprise, I know. I was gangly, had little physical prowess, was constantly nose-in-a-book or eyes-agape-at-a-pretty-girl, and had been in more fights than Mike Tyson. My win/loss record was, however, roughly the opposite of his. At zero and all, unfortunately, with 1 draw, my pre-senior year fight stats were pathetic at best.
My dad, wonderful man that he is and was, made many an attempt to put some muscle on my frame, but unsuccessfully. I have to admit in retrospect that he lectured me in rants that left my butt sore from sitting in the chair through the entire monologues. He could go on for hours on the topic of my failings, a perhaps universal danger of fatherhood.
Granted, Dad has some room to talk on this topic. He’d been a first class ass-kicker since his teen years, having been fed the same bully soup I’d been eating regularly at school. He decided to take the path of most resistance, bulking up and going apeshit on all comers. At the age of 50, he was still able to bend a 16 penny nail in half with bare hands, and tricep pull an entire 350 pound stack on a universal machine. Dad’s a fucking gorilla.
Still, he just didn’t get the fact that I’d far rather swim through eight chapters on paleontology than squeeze out 3 sets of benchpress reps. Sadly, I’m still in that same boat, though I’ve found some discipline to keep a bit of exercise in my daily routine.
Thus it was that, fresh from an undeserved ass-whomping after school, I found myself at the kitchen table enduring a vociferous, decibel and profanity laden soliloquy on the finer points of making a bully sorry via fisticuffs and dirty fighting techniques. At what would likely have been the midpoint of the speech, the following was said.
“Son, you just have to have a pair of balls when a motherfucker wants to fight, and I’ve got balls as big as buckets!” He continued to assail my eardrums.
Mom hid her mouth, eyes alight, got up from the table, and walked into the basement.
Dad continued an f-bomb delivery worthy of a Stratofortress.
Mom came back upstairs, silently, and placed a 5 gallon bucket in front of Dad on the table, and pointedly looked at his crotch. She shook her head in mock sadness and walked away.
With an authoritative *clunk*
The lecture came to a screeching halt.
To this day, mom and I can reduce each other to laughter ending in tears with just one word: “buckets.”