Get one over on the Grim Reaper – draw up a Duck-it List

Don’t focus on kicking the bucket, just keep kicking the can down the road.

Bucket Lists get so much coverage in books, on TV, in films, but the trouble with them is that they have a finite end. You either die having failed to finish your objectives, or you finish your objectives and have nothing left to do with your life.

That’s no bloody good! You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

How about making a list of things you vow never to do before you die?

Maybe, even more cunningly, make a list of things you vow never to do again before you die? That will give you a cop out if you falter; the sort that comes in handy when you are trying to lose weight by “changing your lifestyle” rather than following a diet. You are allowed small failures as long as you manage to do better tomorrow.

So on to the Concept of Duck-It lists

I was discussing this with my wife, who had given me the idea of this blog topic, and that prompted me to dream up a term that would encompass a few of my (least) favourite things – Hence coining the term Duck-it List; a list of things to be avoided until the end of my days (if possible).

I must admit that I felt fairly smart coming up with this name, but that evil know-all Google told me that I was not the first and it didn’t even let me down gently.

Yep, a rudimentary search revealed that Letters from Maggie, featured her Duck It List on November 7th 2011! You can catch it at . So, if you want a transatlantic point of comparison, have a look.

The thing I like most about Maggie’s list is the introduction. She reckons that using a Duck-it list results in far less stress than trying to achieve things on a bucket list.

She says “….each day that I don’t do one of those things, I can check it off my list and breathe a sigh of relief that I’ve dodged another bullet. ” So, her days are peppered with small achievements, rather than the feeling of failing to achieve some great objective like running a marathon.

Having reached a reasonably grand old age, I too can run with that sort of approach (rather than struggling with a marathon). It has the added bonus of providing a “Yes! I did it!” moment if you suddenly pop your clogs. A sort of instant posthumous achievement.

“Grim Reaper eat your heart out!” or,

I hit my Duck-it list objectives before you got me.”

So, undeterred by not breaking new ground, and with respect to Maggie for beating me to the punch, I shall press on with my list and hope that it inspires you to think about your own.

Giving it some initial thought, I reckon my list can be divided into a number of broad categories, starting with:

  • Things I will not eat
  • Things I will not do
  • Things I will not go to see
  • TV programmes I will not watch
  • Books I will not read
  • People I will not torture, in spite of really wanting to inflict pain upon them

and so on. Who knows where it might end?

I’ll pick on them one-by-one in a number of episodes, as the mood takes me, and produce lists with observations that illuminate my choices and, hopefully, provide a little entertainment on the way.

Many of these things are, by their very nature, the result of prejudice, my prejudice. Things that I have never tried but that I have taken against during my life and, after mature reflection, have decided that I am going to stick with. They represent things I cannot bring myself to do or put into my mouth, or simply have a strong desire not to support. These could be based on my own brand of personal morality, personal taste, my own sense of what makes me, me. Or just things that I find conceptually disgusting.

As I work through these thoughts in the following episodes I will indicate if my Duck-Its are of this virgin kind, with a (V) against them on the list, or of the type, where they represent things that I have tried or done that I vow never to repeat – indicated with a (NA for Never Again).

I guess this latter type might give more away about who I really am, but overall I reckon that you could argue that a Duck-it list says more about a person than a Bucket list ever could.


Episode One will follow shortly and is all about the things I will not eat.

2 thoughts on “Get one over on the Grim Reaper – draw up a Duck-it List

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