Saturday, February 25, 2012


Taking my hat off.


'Have you seen the movie, The Bucket List?' I asked. 'The one with Jack Nicholson and Morgan..'

'Freeman. Yes, that was one. I've seen that one. Do you know what my brother answered when I asked him about what would be on his bucket list?' Finnie replied. 'He's three years older than me and has been living his whole life on a dairy farm.'

'No, I wouldn't know – tell me.'

'He thought about the question for a while and answered that he'd like about 2500 tiles to make a proper drainage system for his fields. And then, that's it.' Finnie told me.

'I guess quite a happy man, then', I summarized.

'No, he just doesn't know any better.'

Sometimes you meet people whom you instantly take a liking to and you can tell that you two will get along perfectly. In fact, you almost know that you've known that person all your life. These people tell you all the stories they have about their lives and when you've talked for three days straight, consumed a few too many beers and seen the weather change from pouring rain to scorching sunshine, you notice that you haven't heard anything. You've already heard those stories before somewhere. Or maybe it was you that told them?

Finnie, the man with a thousand stories, taught me that travelling is a disease. It spreads and there's nothing you can do to stop it. When you tell others of your disease, they don't know what you're talking about. You tell them you just arrived home from New Zealand, from the other side of the world. They tell you they went to the pub last night. You look at them like they're the most stupid person on the planet and they don't understand anything about what's going on.

And that's true. Only the people who have the disease themselves will listen to your stories about your travelling. Others, they only know what they have. They've never hopped over the fence, set a foot on the road, seen the grass on the other side, been swept away. They just don't know any better and no matter how hard they try they never will.

'So, what's on your bucket list?' I asked Finnie with a little grin on my face. I realized that I had been grinning throughout most of our conversations.

'My bucket list? I've written one and it's got ten things for me to do. The first one is to get my feet nibbled by little fish. The last one, the one I'm going to do right before I pass away is getting a massage in Thailand from a beautiful young woman with a joint in my left hand and a margarita in the other.'

I think Finnie knew better than most people do.

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