Wherever the Road Leads

The Origin of the Species

“Bucket List”



As previously mentioned, I am deathly allergic to commercials. However, I do  watch a lot of movies. (Just how I acquire these movies will never be discussed, thus avoiding a threatening letter from Hollywood, via my internet provider.)

An invaluable resource in deciding which movies to… uhh.. acquire and which movies not to bother with, is the Internet Movie Data Base, www.imdb.com. Here, descriptions, actors, directors and plots of movies are given and also a forum to discuss each movie anonymously with people around the world.

I commented on a particular movie where, at the end, an indecisive man had paired up with a fragile woman who he had previously dumped. She asked him, “Where do we go from here?” He replied, “I don’t know.”

I commented in the imdb forum that the relationship was doomed. The fragile, already-dumped woman needed someone decisive and ‘confident’, not a wishy-washy wuss.

A fellow ‘imdb’-er asked for clarification and since then, through the imdb forums, I have been corresponding with a woman about whom I know little and will never in my lifetime meet. All I know is she lives in London, England and I am guessing her to be mid-forties.

We both watch and comment on French films. I mentioned to her that on my ‘Bucket List’ was a Viking River Cruise through the south of France. She asked me what a ‘Bucket List’ was.

I tried to explain, giving her the general idea. I couldn’t explain in great detail as “The Bucket List”, despite Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson starring, was a movie that I suffered through the first half and fast-forwarded through the second. Basically the expression means, ‘things I want to do before I die’.



…is another movie expression that has worked its way into everyday vocabulary. Most people know that it means a ‘no-win situation’ but few know its origins.


Joseph Heller wrote his WWII satire, “Catch-22”, first published in 1961. I bought the paperback in the Toronto Bus Terminal prior to taking a ride to Sudbury in the late sixties. The book is about a US Air Force bomber squadron stationed in Italy and flying dangerous raids in the north of Italy.

As simply as I can explain the actual Catch-22: A pilot was crazy for flying missions and should be grounded. If he asked to be grounded, it proved he was sane and had to continue flying.

Quoting from the book…

[quote]There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr [a pilot ] was crazy and could be grounded.

All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them.

If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian [the book’s main character ] was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.

“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.[/quote]

“Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop.”

We all understand that the expression means, Event ‘A’ has happened, we must now wait for the inevitable Event ‘B’. I first learned of the story as it was my French reading comprehension exam in Grade Ten. Almost fifty years later, it is the only time I have seen the expression explained in any language.

[quote]In a French harbor town a man got a job working shifts. He rented a room on the first floor of an old Rooming House. The room above him was rented to a man working a different shift. This upstairs man would come home, sit on the side of his bed, remove his first shoe and drop it on the floor. He would then remove his second shoe, also dropping it loudly on the floor.

The man renting the room on the first floor was a light sleeper and this woke him up night after night. Finally, he approached the second-story man, asking him to remove his shoes quietly. The man agreed.

That night, the man on the first floor heard his upstairs neighbor come home. The upstairs man took off his first shoe, noisily dropping it on the floor. The sound made him remember his promise, so he quietly removed the second shoe. Fifteen minutes later, he heard a knock at his door. Answering it, he saw his downstairs neighbor who asked him, “Please drop the other shoe. I can’t get to sleep until you do.”[/quote]


I’ll let a picture explain it simply….. (thank you Beth Bookout and Jeff Foxworthy)


“You guys”…


Can ANYONE from north of the Mason-Dixon Line explain “You guys” to me?

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  1. Iceman Ogre  March 14, 2013

    First of all, it is not You Guys.
    It is You Guyz or Yous Guyz.
    And all of us Northerners ask every Southern that we meet when we were living up North, “Hey guyz, What’s up with the Ya’ll?

    Its all the same. I bet up in Minnesota or even Oregon, they have something totally different that what the New Yorkers or the Georgians say.


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