I did not see The Bucket List. Hence, I cannot pick or pan it (although I dig Jack Nicholson pretty much no matter what). I did, however, roll my eyes at the features that every hack wrote based on the idea of a "bucket list."
I had to buy my kid a bike for her birthday. I went to Dick's Sporting Goods, which is not the sort of place where I normally want to go. I worry there will be guys in there who lean down on one knee in order to talk conspiratorially about game plans, jock itch and cheerleaders.
I did find two guys.
"Can I see that bike up there?" I said.
"Sure," said one, who wrestled it down for me.
It looked like a pretty good bike. The price was right. My kid is only a few inches shorter than me, so I had a pretty good idea what would be comfortable for her.
"Mind if I ... " I paused and looked down the gleaming aisle of the store, "give this a spin?"
"Sure," said the salesman. "Go right ahead."
I mounted that baby and took off. I glided by the fishing gear. I pedaled past the checkout. I flew next to the footwear--all on a frigid February day in Cleveland.
After a couple of laps, I pulled back into the pit area.
"It's great," I said, "but I'm still not sure."
I tried bike after bike, gloriously veering by other sporting goods shoppers. Even though I decided early on about which bike, I kept trying them out.
Couldn't help myself.
Instead of bending conspiratorially on one knee or talking about cheerleaders, the sales guys said things like, "looking good," as I sailed by. They answered all my questions. They were cool. One talked about his 17-year-old grandson, the other talked about his 17-year-old stepson.
"He's making dinner for his girlfriend tonight."
"What's he making?" I asked.
"Don't know," he said. "The wife's doing all the shopping, though."
Then I tried another bike.
So there it is: my silly "bucket list" feature. Go ahead and roll your eyes. But if you have a "bucket list," consider adding try out a bike at the local sporting goods store in the dead of winter.
We gave the kid the bike yesterday. She test-drove up and down our street in the brisk 30 degree air.
She loved it, but I think she was a little jealous when I told her about how I rode it around the store. "Mom!" she said, "don't ride my bike at the sporting goods store again!"
Okay, kid. Okay.