Tuesday, March 24, 2020

101 Things #80 - Disporting in the Drizzle

I have been building up my little collection of ideas to avoid for some time now. Most of them have been culled from websites full of earnest advice to others about the goals that should be inspiring them to action. I am equally earnest in my desire to be the bloke on the sidelines proudly and ostentatiously not doing whatever it is that is being proposed, whilst adding the recommendation to my justly famed anti-bucket-list index 101 Things I Refuse To Do Before I Die.

Today's piece brings together suggestions that may be found on many bucket-list websites, usually without any explanation as to why they are worth considering. Personal Excellence reckons you should walk or dance barefoot in the rain. BucketList.org is a trifle bolder and opines that you should kiss in the rain. The common denominator here is pretty obvious and therefore let me state my rejection of any suggestion to

Do stuff in the rain. 

I blame Gene Kelly. The musical Singing in the Rain made getting soaked seem romantic and cool. Countless movies have since featured couples smooching under a light shower, or running in slow motion through glistening drops, the female shaking her hair seductively whilst her admirer gallantly lends her his raincoat or extends a protective umbrella.

Let us first deal with the barefoot business. We do not go barefoot normally because city streets are hard and often plastered with noxious substances. Feet are delicate and hurt woefully easily, a really poor design flaw in homo sapiens. Stub a toe and it will throb for a ridiculously long time afterward. Striding out shoeless in the countryside is little better. There are stones, mud and uneven ground to negotiate. We may be fine in smooth grassy fields or on beaches, and some climbers like to scale rock faces unshod, but these are really rather special circumstances. Furthermore, walking through wet fields is not particularly pleasant, being on the beach in a howling gale with the sand being whipped up is a no-no and few climbers would want to try to scaling wet, slippery rocks with the rain soaking their clothes and masking their vision.

How about kissing in the rain? 

Pic: clipart.email

Why? Why make this a bucket-list objective? If you fancy a kiss, go for it. Waiting while the sky darkens and the temperature drops, and your partner starts worrying about missing the train or being late for dinner, seems utterly futile. Equally if it has began pelting down and you are both doing up your raincoats and dashing for cover, suggesting a quick snog while her hair gets utterly ruined is unlikely to earn any brownie points. Frequently the rain in these parts can become torrential, if only for a few moments, but quite enough to soak through trouser legs and shoes.

When I am presenting awards at the 2040 Ramblings Festival, and the interviewer asks me to list some of my greatest disappointments, I will not be musing about that chance I had to plant a quick peck on the cheek of a casual acquaintance during a cloudburst in Ruislip High Street.

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