There they were, like clockwork, 8:00 AM, the same booth at McDonald’s; Elmer and Waldo slurping senior coffees.
“What’s on your bucket list?” Waldo said.
“Bucket list!” Elmer said. “What the heck is that?”
“You know, just a list of things you want to do before kick the bucket,” Waldo said. “They made a movie about it. Two old guys doing what they always dreamed of doing before they die.”
“They make a stupid movie and everybody has to run out and do stupid things and act like there‘s something wrong with you if you don‘t comply and do what Hollywood says is normal,” Elmer said. “It’s not normal. People’ve been croaking without bucket lists for millenniums. I suppose you‘re going to tell me next Lincoln wanted to go to the Ford Theater before he died.”
“There’s got to be some things you want to do before you kick the bucket,” Waldo said.
“It all sounds to me like its hastening death,” Elmer said. “You don’t make a grocery list until you’re about ready to go shopping. I’ve put off going to the grocery for at least a week because I didn’t have a grocery list.”
“What are you talking about?” Waldo said.
“I’ll be sitting at home and all the sudden I want cookies and there aren’t any in the house. I could go the grocery right away and get some, but instead, I say, ‘Wait till you have a list.’ It may be a week before I get cookies. Who knows, if I stay away from making a bucket list I can put death off for a couple of years. I ain‘t ready to die and I‘m not gonna give the appearance I‘m ready to die by doing something like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or entering the running of the bulls in Pamplona.”
“But nobody knows when they’re going to die,” Elmer said. “It could be tomorrow. You got to start a bucket list.”
“Let’s say I start one today,” Elmer said. “And I’m laying on my death bead tomorrow. That’s a very unpleasant death.”
“What do you mean?” Waldo said.
“Because first on my list is a beautiful woman waiting for me at the corner bar and I’m stuck on life support,” Elmer said. “Who wants that?”
“Don’t you get it,” Waldo said. “That’s what keeps you alive; planning and doing.”
“It’s a gimmick, Waldo,” Elmer said. “It’s just another way they get us old guys to spend our money and die before our time dangling at the end of a bungee cord. Let‘s just close the subject, I don‘t want to talk about it anymore.”
Waldo waited for a moment. “Elmer, there’s one more thing about the bucket list.”
“Sure,” Waldo said. “What is it?”
“Who’s the woman you got in mind?” Elmer said. “If you ain’t gonna put her on your list it would be a shame not to have her on somebody’s.”
“Elmer,” Waldo said. “There’s something you must want to see or do before you kick the bucket.”
“There is something,” Elmer said.
“What is it?” Waldo said.
“I’d like to see Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson appear on screen together,” Elmer said.