I came across this list of 18 things to do before you’re 18 on the back of a box of Reese Puffs. Basically it’s a list of 18 life goals that I suppose the people at Reese think kids should be striving for. Below each one they’ve included a little tip or factoid.
Now, last I checked, I’m 25 so I guess I’m a few years late in sizing up my life accomplishments with regards to this list but I thought it might be fun to give it a go anyways. Also, in fairness to myself, I accomplished a good deal of these things before I was 18. Anyway here goes:
1. Ride the world’s biggest rollercoaster.
Dare to keep your eyes open and hands in the air for the whole ride.
Does the Goaster Coaster at Canada’s Wonderland count? If not I’ve also been on a rollercoaster with at least two loops as well as Space Mountain at Disneyland. Space Mountain is in the dark so really, no one knows how big it is.
2. Bungee jump!
Scared? At 700ft, the Bloukrans River bridge in South Africa is the biggest.
I jumped off a portable once. There was no bungee cord involved but it was probably a good 13 feet or so.
3. Score the winning goal/basket.
Remind all your friends at every given opportunity.
I’m not by any means an elite athlete but I’ve played enough hockey, basketball, soccer and so on that I must have scored at least a few winning goals or baskets. The one that sticks out most however was scored when I was in grade three.
I had to stay in class along with a few other students for third recess for some reason but the teacher left us out with about one minute left. I threw my shoes on as quickly as I could and bolted out the door. There was a soccer game going on across the playground and when I got to the edge of the playing field the ball was rolling towards me. I slid into it and kicked the ball just before it rolled out of bounds. It sailed over everyone including the goaltender and went in the net. Then the bell rang to signal the end of recess. I hadn’t even joined a team but I had scored the last goal of the day. That was pretty great.
4. Win an award, trophy or prize.
Write that acceptance speech and thank the world.
I won “most spontaneous” at prom which was strange because I don’t consider myself to be particularly spontaneous. Pretty much everything I do involves a lot of thought and planning but I guess it all appeared to be spontaneous to others. My speech however was spontaneous. I said something along the lines of “This award is the proof. Proof that I’m better than all of you. That’s why I’m up here... and you’re not.” Scout’s honour. I’m still not too sure why I said that.
5. Learn an instrument.
No air guitar.
I played trombone for one semester. I learned to play the Batman theme song from the movie. It consisted of the same note played over and over again. Every sixteen bars or so there would be a slight variation. Additionally I can also play “”Block Rock and Beats” on acoustic guitar.
6. Go backstage at a gig.
It’ll be something you’ll boast about for years to come.
I had a dream once that Jack and Meg White from the White Stripes were on my Yahoo! Fantasy hockey team. They played for Minnesota who was having a pretty crappy year but they were great for the pool because they were the only players on the team and therefore got all the points whenever they scored a goal. It was kind of like having Marian Gaborik on your team except without teammates.
Does that count?
7. Meet your idol.
Being a celebrity stalker might not go down too well.
In my last year of high school I went with my ladyfriend Kate and my friend Dan to go see Lou Reed play as Massey Hall. We all went to different high schools and both of their schools were having their proms on that night, though they didn’t really care as they had gone to their grade 12 proms the year before.
Dan and I had made a banner out of a bed sheet. We had painted “We ditched our prom 4 Lou!” on it and our seats were on the first balcony. We hung it over the edge but an usher came by and told us that it was a fire hazard and that we had to take it down. I might have complained but he had a point, Massey Hall is really old and would probably burn down pretty quickly if a banner caught fire. We were still able to hold it up in the aisle at various times throughout the show however.
Afterwards we waited out back with some other fans in the hopes of catching Lou on his way out. We didn’t get to see him but we did see his guitar player Mike Rathke who told us that they all saw the banner. I realize that’s not quite a meeting but it’s pretty close.
I also share a correspondence with my other idol Raphael.
8. Play a part in your favourite TV show.
Be an extra and learn to speak without talking.
When I was in grade four we went to Disneyland. I was chosen from the crowd to participate in this thing where, using a green screen, they’d insert you into the theme song from a famous television show. I got to be in Bonanza. The guy on stage asked me if I like Bonanza to which I replied “I don’t know what that is” – big laughs.
Also, they made a movie in my hometown when I was growing up. I wasn’t in it but my brother was and so was Walter Matthau. Apparently Walter Matthau is a great source for dirty jokes.
9. Meet someone with your own name.
With a world population of 6 billion it should be easy.
I’ve met several of them. We all added each other on Facebook. Turns out we don’t have all that much in common.
10. Make a discovery.
Whatever the discovery, make sure it’s named after you.
I discovered this map, as well as the frame, for $12 at Value Village. I call it Ben’s incomplete may of Canada.
11. Get away with the perfect practical joke.
Be careful of retaliation, it could end it tears.
In high school I spent about a month and a half of one summer working at this horrible warehouse. My job was to gather bins of car parts onto a big metal cart and line them up to be loaded onto a trailer. With the help of a co-worker I started a rumour that I was a math prodigy. People would stop me on the way to get a bin of parts and challenge me with very long math questions. The questions were always too long for anyone to ball park (ex. 221 + 48790 / 77.392 x -448934) so I’d just pause for a moment, star upwards as though I were thinking, blurt out some random number (ex. -687 234.345644644444444...) and walk away. It worked like a charm. After a few weeks everyone who knew me, or knew of me, thought I was a genuine whiz kid.
Strangely enough no one ever brought in a calculator and, even when I came back for a few weeks the following summer, no one ever asked me what I was doing there if I really was a math prodigy.
12. Own a pointless collection.
One persons junk is another person’s prized possession.
Done and done.
13. Invent a word that makes it into the dictionary.
Make it a part of your crew’s lingo.
Seriously? That’s almost impossible. Even if you can make a word part of your crew’s lingo the chances of it actually making it into the dictionary must be slim to none. Also, why does this one get the light bulb/”no sweat!” graphic?
14. Conquer your biggest fear.
If you’re scared, try hypnotism.
I used to enjoy vanilla yogurt but I was eating a cup of the stuff when I was a young boy and, to my horror, discovered that there was a bunch of disgusting fruit hidden underneath the yogurt. I haven’t gone back to the stuff since. I consider this one a work in progress.
15. Raise money for charity.
Get some exercise by signing up for a charity road race.
A few weeks ago I cleaned out my apartment and arranged to have a whole bunch of stuff (some dishes, sheets, towels, clothes, computers etc.) picked up by the Cystic Fibrosis foundation. It was good for my apartment, good for the stuff and good for Cystic Fibrosis. In addition I got some exercise my lugging all that stuff up and down the stairs.
16. Pass your driving test the first time.
Go straight to the next task.
Mission failed. It took me three tries to get my license. I failed the first two times in Barrie so I went to Orangeville for the third attempt, which I passed with flying colours.
17. Complete a road trip coast to coast.
Only 7,821 km from Victoria to B.C to St. John’s, Nfld.
I’ve been as far East as Boston and as far West as Detroit. Also I don’t have a car. It might be a few more years before I can tick this one off.
18. Reach 18 years of age.