I'm 18 And I Don't Know What I Want
So there I was, pouring my daughter a nice healthy bowl of Reese’s Puffs, a delicious, nutritious cereal that tastes like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The cereal is actually not too bad. It’s no Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but who am I to split hairs?
The reason I bring this up is not celebrate this fantabulous new cereal with you. No, as I was pouring my daughter that healthy bowl of Reese’s Puffs, I noticed the back of the box, which had a checklist on it named 18 things to do before you’re 18.
An interesting idea, I thought to myself. Distracted, I began to read. And here is the checklist that Reese’s/General Mills would have us believe are accomplishable goals by the tender age of 18:
1 – Ride the world’s biggest rollercoaster.
Well, I’m probably not the only one who’s done this. I rode the Magnum when it was the highest/fastest, the Millennium Force when it was the highest/fastest, and the Top Thrill Dragster when it was the highest/fastest. Apparently, the honor now belongs to a coaster named Kingda Ka at Six Flags in New Jersey.
Now I know that New Jersey is one of the prime vacation destinations of all human beings, but I think I’ll just wait for Cedar Point to come out with the newest topper.
2 – Bungee Jump!
Did this too. When I was in Interlaken, Switzerland, there was a locally famous bungee jump from a cable car that was over 300 ft. And, of course, there’s the Bridge Day (which used to have bungee jumping) from the span over the New River gorge in West Virginia, a bridge I have been to/over/under multiple times.
I didn’t do either one of those jumps. The cable car jump in Interlaken was not running the day I was there due to the Swiss national holiday, and I’ve never been to the New River on Bridge Day. I don’t even know when Bridge Day is.
I did my jump from a shitty little 50 foot contraption alongside a road in a touristy section of Florida.
It was still a pretty good rush, though.
3 – Score the winning goal/basket.
I have no idea if I ever did this. I played soccer when I was 11 or 12, and in one game I scored a goal, and the other team didn’t score, so technically, I scored the winning goal. But I think this is referring to a Michael Jordan-esque dramatic whoopedee-doo type of situation, and the only time I remember doing this was in backyard football or driveway basketball.
4 – Win an award, trophy or prize.
I have a trophy for being Most Improved Golfer from my sophomore year of high school. And that same year, I was also Outstanding Student in Chemistry. But I think the pinnacle of that year was my other notable achievement – Finally Getting Laid.
Glory be to driver’s licenses and the 1980 Honda Prelude.
5 – Learn an instrument.
I took piano lessons for about 2 years in my pre-teens, and it paid off somewhat in my later teens when I would be drunk at parties and I’d play the piano and get silly drunk girls to think I was deep and/or passionate.
Now, I’m lucky if I can play Chopsticks.
If I’m ever single again, I’m going to learn to play the violin. I like the way it sounds, and, well, drunk girls don’t get that much less silly when they’re in their 30’s.
6 – Go backstage at a gig.
I worked on several concerts during my time in Miami, including a Pearl Jam concert at a baseball stadium in Ft. Lauderdale in ‘96. Don’t believe me? I have the shirts that prove it. Nothing in life is real unless you have a shirt that says so.
Anyway, everyone who was backstage for Pearl Jam (including myself) was later questioned due to the fact that someone stole the Stone Gossard’s guitar. Seems he had had that guitar since damn near birth, and his mother blessed it on her deathbed, and the Dalai Lama and Margaret Thatcher had bled on it, and DJ’s all over South Florida hit the airwaves begging whoever stole the guitar to please please please return it – no questions asked.
And someone did. Just when you think humanity is utter sewage…
It was also backstage at that concert when I met Bernie Kosar. I was about to head out to pick up some carry-out for the band (my job was as a runner) when I saw him standing in the backstage parking lot talking to someone. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I just ran up to him and said, “I’m from Canton, Ohio. I just wanted to shake your hand.” And I did.
A much bigger thrill than bringing Eddie Vedder his Olive Garden take-out, I assure you.
7 – Meet Your Idol.
I don’t have an idol. I think it is foolish and degrading to have one. There are a lot of people that I respect profoundly and would have loved to have met, but usually people don’t turn out to be nearly as fascinating as they might seem, and perhaps it is a blessing that I never met them.
8 – Play a part in your favorite TV show.
OK – this one is damn near impossible. Do you know how many actors wait tables and drive taxis for year and years and years just to get ANY part, and just because a box of cereal told you so, you’re going to call up the producers of said favorite show and just magically get on?
My favorite show is Cheers. For the entirety of its existence, I was below the drinking age. The degree of difficulty for me getting on that show was probably higher than me developing the ability to stop time with my spleen.
9 – Meet someone with your own name.
Can safely say this has never happened. There are others out there. I just haven’t met them.
10 – Make a discovery.
I discovered that vomiting on someone’s couch at a party will get you non-invited to their next party. No one ever knew that before me.
11 – Get away with the perfect practical joke.
Now, what exactly is the “perfect” practical joke? I’ve employed many a practical joke, but “perfect”? I guess the closest I’ve come is the time I drove my friend’s car into a lake, then blamed it on his brother. Boy, that was funny.
12 – Own a pointless collection.
I have more Legos than you. I guarantee this.
13 – Invent a word that makes it into the dictionary.
I don’t know if any of my words have made it into the dictionary. I have a few that I have high hopes for (ignogant, spork). But the word that I’ve invented over the years that I enjoy the most is “clapter”. It’s another word for applause.
I’m also fond of “skadappa”, which is a hex you lay on someone right before they’re about to putt.
14 – Conquer your biggest fear.
For many years, I had an irrational fear of spiders. In California, the house that I lived in had a black widow’s nest in the crawlway. They occasionally got into the house. I went to sleep one night with my hand hanging off the bed, and woke up the next morning to find it swelled to the size of catcher’s mitt. Doc said it was most likely a black widow bite.
Since then, spiders don’t worry me at all.
My current biggest fear is something bad happening to my children. That is a fear I will never conquer.
15 – Raise money for charity.
I’ve given money to the homeless and to many many charities, including Ex-Wives For Misery, the Internal Revenue Service, and Bartenders of America. Now, I’ve decided upon a new fantastical charity – Pennies for Hiko.
16 – Pass your driving test the first time.
Nope. Backed over one of those damn cones. Apparently, that cone could have been a person. So I promised the tester that I would never back my parents’ minivan through a maze of people.
It’s a cone!
17 – Complete a road trip coast to coast.
I’ve done this about 10 times. I once logged 70,000 miles on my car in one year. I’ve been to 46 of the 50 states. And I can safely say that there’s almost nothing better than road-tripping through the western states. It’s like driving through a fantasy.
Avoid Nebraska if at all possible.
18 – Reach 18 years of age – yes!!!
That feat I accomplished far too long ago. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, until I compare a picture of Hiko circa 1991 and Hiko of 2007.
Dude. What happened to you? You were rode hard and put away wet.
Smoking, drinking, lack of sleep, exposure to the elements, poor diet, inconsistent exercise. That’s what.
I like to tell myself I’ve sacrificed accomplishment for life experience. And to some extent that is true – I’ve done a lot of stuff, I’ve been a lot places, and I’ve experienced a lot of things.
But 16 years slips through your fingers like wind. Maybe checklists like these are good to remind you how much fun that breeze was.
***6/12 – Cavs vs. Spurs Game 3 “Thoughts”: It is amazing that it was less than a week ago when the Cavaliers season unofficially came to a close. It seems such a long time ago…
Here’s the link to the article I previously wrote regarding this game.
***6/12 – Cavs vs. Spurs Game 4 “Thoughts”: It is amazing that it was only 4 days ago when the Cavaliers season officially came to a close. It seems such a long time ago…
Another link to another different article that I wrote regarding this game.
***6/14 – Cavs vs. Spurs Game 5 “Thoughts”: I have a template that I copy and paste each time I start a new Moot Points. Since I have been offering up my futile Cavs “Thoughts” each week, the template has contained “***(Date) – Cavs vs. (insert team here) “Thoughts”:”. I inserted three copies of “Game Thoughts” into this week’s template, since I guess I assumed that there would at least be a 5th game.
Daily, I am reminded of the heavy price of optimism.
Today, it means that I must write a game review for a game that did not happen. So here it goes:
LeBron was T-riffic last night, but it was really the rest of the team stepping up and complimenting his effort that led the Cavs to the 32 point home win before a joyous home crowd at the Q.
After a 2 point win in Game 3 and a 4 point win in Game 4, the Cavs now head back to San Antonio with a 3-2 series lead and a heavy dose of momentum.
Ah, if only the past week had gone differently…
And now, an ode to the future.
Alas! The season is done for our frustrating, scintillating Cavs.
They found out the difference between the Have-Nots and the Haves.
How will next year go?
Will we grow? Or will we blow? Or are we destined to be so-so?
Will our emotions be thrown to and fro?
I do not know. Go ask your ho.
***And now the basketball season is over, and what I like to call the Dead Season has begun. Now, I know there are lots of you that like baseball, and, I’m trying. I’m really trying. I’ve watched many more games this season than ever before. I no longer cringe when baseball highlights come on Sportscenter. I even joined a fantasy baseball league for the first time.
But, sadly, baseball will never be a sport that really interests me. It’s just too blasé for my tastes. Many of you enjoy it, so I shall not besmirch its good name. However, for me, it’s a poor substitute for football or basketball.
Football is by far my favorite sport, so once the Dead Season begins, I turn my lonely eyes towards Training Camp. Yes, I’m the fool that wishes Summer would hurry up and be over just so the football can get started again. A crisp fall night, the sound of the band in the air, bonfires, tossing the pigskin around the parking lot, beers and brats…
Unfortunately, during the Dead Season, there’s not so much as a peep from the Land of Football. There’s no mini-camps, there’s no OTA’s, there’s no Rookie symposiums… there ain’t shit.
A month and a half to go… sigh. Time to tune up my Jarts commentating skills.