My “To Do (Without)” List

Getting Rid of the Stuff that Bugs Me

Do you have a "To Do” list?  I do.  In fact, I’ve kept a running one for years.  My favorite was a notepad with a cowboy motif that said "Fixin’ To Do”. (What can I say?  I’m a Texan.)  Like most people, I use my "To Do” list for jotting down little reminders to myself, like "Call Roto-Rooter” and "Buy All-Bran” (those are unrelated, I promise.)

So anyway, I was lying in bed watching TV in a hotel room last week (sorry, I meant to warn you about the sharp right-hand turn in this discussion) when a commercial came on for this weird little contraption designed to give you a poufy coif style.  (Picture your hair combed over an inverted cantaloupe half, sitting on top of your head.  There now.  Doesn’t that look natural?)  Of course admittedly it’s probably just my age – or maybe it was because even though I had absolutely no intention of buying one, it still irked me that the "Bumpit” came in every conceivable hair shade except gray – but at any rate I literally said outloud, "Well that’s certainly something I can do without!”

Back home two days later, when an ad for a bagel guillotine (seriously!) caused me to make exactly the same remark, I started to wonder – what else is out there that I could do without – I mean aside from all those ridiculous "what kind of idiot would buy that?” products on the market.  In other words, what would I never miss, even if it disappeared from the planet forever?  The first thing that came to mind, of course, was all the junk lying around my own house that I could stand to pitch.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that rather than just eliminating unnecessary clutter, what I’d really like to do is rid myself of the kind of annoying stuff that bewitches, bothers, bewilders, and downright bugs me.  So I took a Sharpie, added a word on my current notepad, and came up with the following:

"To Do (Without)”

• Plump lips.  What is the point, really?   To offset my plump thighs?  If so – news flash – there’s not enough collagen on the planet.
• Eardrum-shattering, chest-vibrating, teeth-jarring music.  And yes, "Praise and Worship Team” at church – I’m talking to YOU!
• The soothing recorded voice while I’m on hold for tech support, that assures me my call is very important and that someone will be with me shortly.  It’s a big fat lie on both counts and everybody knows it.
• Authors that feel compelled to drop foul words into what would otherwise have been a perfectly enjoyable read.  I’ve thrown so many novels in the trash (some in mid-sentence) that I’m thinking of mounting a campaign.  After all, if food manufacturers can be required to list the ingredients on a package of hot dog weenies, why shouldn’t publishers have to print the objectionable language contents on the covers of their books?
• Zoomed-in, closeup shots of sweat dripping off the faces of basketball players on a giant, hi-def TV screen.  Gross Toasties!
• Political ads – especially the ones with the scary music and the dark, blurry photos of the evil opponent looking like he’s in a police lineup (although sometimes he is.)  Honestly?  I’d rather see a Bumpit commercial.
• Details.  About your flight delay.  About your kitchen remodel.  About your recent gum surgery.  About the precious thing your grandchild said last week. Oh wait.  Scratch that last one.  (And then remind me to tell you about the precious thing Aidan said last week.)
• Candid shots of celebrities’ "baby bumps” on tabloid magazine covers in the checkout lane.  Do they honestly expect me to believe those women are pregnant?  Please.  I have a bigger "bump” than that, following a hearty breakfast!
• The full-color commemorative photo of my colon that my doctor sent home with me following my recent colonoscopy.  It was a thoughtful gesture on his part; however I am at a loss as to what to do with it.  (I’ve ruled out using it for my Facebook profile photo, and I tend to prefer group shots of my family for Christmas cards.)  Until I decide where else to put it, I’ll just leave it on my refrigerator door.

Well, I guess that’s about it.  If I forgot anything I can always add it later.  However, there is one item you won’t find on any such list, now or ever – and that’s bacon.  After all, I could never be expected To Do (Without) that!

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