40 Things to do before I’m 40

Published: 27th Jul, 2015

It’s basically a bucket list


I’m going to be 40 next year – I KNOW RIGHT! I remember my own dad turning 40 back in 1853 and thinking how old it was and on some subconscious level 40 has always signified a certain agedness and gravitas, neither of which things I can realistically boast on my intricate personality spectrum. I’m definitely not grave, and I’m only age-ed in the sense that I’m nearly 40. Mentally I’m still 15 and physically I am the same as I have always been only much much worse. Anyway, I’m not freaking out, why would I freak out? You’re freaking out. But whatever, I thought I’d do a bucket list of 40 important things that I need to get out of my system over the next 12 months, I’ll be ticking them off as I go…

Anal – I’ve never been really, truly anal about cleaning. That needs to change.

Carry a bottle of water around – I don’t drink much water because it’s boring and invisible, but now I plan to down loads in front of friends and colleagues.

Laugh loudly with a group of people – for once I want to be the guy in the park laughing with his cool mates, not the one watching them from a bus.

Go to the toilet without excusing myself – nothing says “fuck you world and fuck your rules” quite like just standing up and going for a wee unannounced.

Fist bump someone without looking baffled – nor looking overly pleased with myself afterwards, this one’s a real balancing act.

Pay for a whole meal with people – just waft my hand around as if it’s no big deal even though my son will have to go into care for a month.

Convincingly call a girl “darlin” – never pulled this off successfully.

Shout DRINKS ARE ON ME! – in a library.

Do karaoke – I want to take my bra off and show the world that I can SING.

And dance – this is the same as karaoke, but involves dancing and possibly mouthing the words while I faux-massage my breasts.

Order from the kids menu – sometimes I want nuggets and chips, so I’ll unashamedly ask for them and I will then ignore the laughter coming from the kitchen.

Call a bus driver “luv” – like with “darlin” I won’t feel like a real man until I’ve surreptitiously belittled a bus driver. Or bus drivette if it’s a girl one.

Say things like “I always get what I want”– the new me will be shrewd and confident and possibly wear a tie, and he’ll say stuff like this before abruptly leaving the room.

Win an eating competition – as the last chunk of giant burger goes into my mouth, loads of women will get their equivalent of a big stiffy.

Do two pull ups on a tube – nothing says “life doesn’t phase me” quite like me doing a couple of slow motion pull ups on the tube while staring you dead in the eye.

Do an amazing self portrait – it’s easy to turn your phone around and snap a selfie, this is going to be some next level shit like an oil painting or my face whittled in wood.

Learn a new language fluently – I’ll be honest, I pretty much know right now that I’m not going to do this. Yeah I’m not going to do this.

Have a roll of cash in my pocket – once I’m a grown up I assume I’ll be asset rich or everything will be tied up in stocks. Time to withdraw the lot and roll it into a very small ball.

Smile at a girl then point at my wedding ring and shrug – bonus points if she looks even remotely disappointed.

Have a mocktail – it takes a special kind of man to wait at a busy bar then order a Virgin Mojito. Even more amazing if he has two or three and leaves completely pissed.

Do a whole crossword on public transport – nothing says “I’m the best in the world at sex and I don’t even have to try” like doing a whole crossword on a bus.

Sharpen a pencil with a knife – for some insane reason I’ve managed to go this long without doing this. Have I been living in a box??

Smoke a cigarette and drink a coffee – until 30 this was my breakfast of choice then I gave it all up for some daft reason, I need to revisit it, just once. Then back to All Bran and grapefruit jizz.

Win a game of chess – at university I used to sit for hours staring blankly at a chessboard pretending to know what sort of hopscotch the horses were capable of. Now I’ll actually learn and become a champ.

Walk a dog – I’ve never been alone, just me and a dog and a large open space, mainly because I’m convinced it’ll look around for other people then quickly bite my face off and kick me in the nuts.

Make a new friend – the plan being that they would be the main attraction at my birthday party, everyone can coo over them, prod them with sticks and ask intrusive questions.

Buy a Best of Mellow Ibiza CD – I’m going to be hosting a lot of dinner parties and nothing says “eat my chorizo” like the soundtrack of someone’s 2002 ecstasy comedown.

Wear a denim jacket – to really succeed here I have to look 1970s ne’er-do-well rather than 1980s French Exchange. That means I’ll have to lose the bumbag.

Eat a spoonful of Marmite – Never done this. HOW???

Teach my wife snooker – we’ve been together for eight years so my plan is to reinvigorate our sex lives by heavy breathing in her ear while I show her how to vaguely hit a golf ball or not quite pot a red.

Play football with other men – I’ve avoided footie for the last ten years so as to preserve my 20s heyday in brine. Time to uncork the lid and immediately twist my ankle.

Read a book in one sitting – apparently people are capable of doing this.

Stop someone from explaining their dream/holiday – openly and kindly I’ll just say “please, don’t let’s do this, not now” then I’ll whisper “not ever” to camera.

Wear shorts during the winter – people will look at me and think SHORTS? IN WINTER??… or they will think nothing and their lives will just roll out as normal.

Read the explanation next to a painting – over the years I’ve even struggled to get to the end of really long surnames, but my plan is to train my mind to read boring educational material, I will then rehash the information and pass a vague approximation of it down to my many bored children.

Go on a 5:2 shirt tucking in diet – I’ve been alive for almost 15000 days, at least 13/14000 of which have been spent with my shirts flapping around willy nilly. Two days a week, they’re going in the underpants!

Move a car at least an inch – like all of the sexiest and most alluring guys in the world, I can’t drive. My wife in particular finds this a massive turn on, especially when we’re going on holiday.

Watch a foreign movie at the cinema – I will also request the ticket for the film using the required accent for the title. Then I’ll pay in Euros.

Have a night out in Hackney – contrary to what my beard and glasses are telling you, I have never been out for a whole evening in Hackney. Or perhaps I did but I was too high on meow-meow or too steeped in slam poetry to remember.

Pour a glass of champagne with my mouth closed – pouring champagne doesn’t come naturally to men like me who insist on doing it with our mouths open. Like all 40 year old men I plan to drink a LOT of champagne for the rest of my life.


Josh Burt
About the author:
Josh has been a writer and journalist for the best part of twenty years and has written for modern staples like FHM and Cosmopolitan and The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written a small handful of so-so books that you can still buy.

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