My Bucket List

For this SCAB I’ve chosen to spend my 500 words discovering how many uses I can think of for a bucket. 

You can think of it as a similar exercise to NASA’s ‘how many uses for a brick can you think of’ test, except this one I just made up. Did I start with the joke about a bucket list being an actual list of buckets? We’ll never know.

The only rules of this super exciting game are:

i) I can’t use any of the main functions of a bucket, i.e. carrying/transporting things or holding liquids/viscous solids; and

ii) No editing answers. The screen is a piece of paper. Once it’s down it’s down.

Is this going to be worth it? Let’s find out.

Uses for a bucket

Stand on to pick low hanging fruit

Live under

Shelter from acid rain

Dig into the ground to create a hole on a giant golf course

Put over head to make Dominic Raab more palatable

Create your own echo chamber

Make a mini sound-amplifier for your phone

Roll a piece of cheese down a hill in it

Use as the perfect helmet for a makeshift knights outfit complete with compost lid as shield

Stack them together and then put them on the floor on their side to create a millipede

Give someone a nice bowlcut

Stack them together and cut the bottoms out to create a sketchy tunnel slide

Cover the bottom in ink and use it as a stamp

Cut holes in one to make a shower

Combine them to create the walls of a building

Build model torpedoes 

Make a lampshade

Turn them into houses for birds/bees/voles

Put copper wire in them and spin them around a magnet to create electricity

Make a backpack

Turn one into a sculpture of a giant bullet casing

Make them into swings for raccoons

Create a drumset

Lash them together to create a huge raft

Make little portable barbecues

Stick them together by the base to create a crude diablo for giants

Soften the impact of boats on harbour walls

Use as a boxing punch bag

Cut the bottom out to create a basketball/netball hoop

House for a massive hermit crab

Put both your feet in them and race each other by hopping

Cut slits in one to make a zoetrope (yes I was listening in your class, Rob. Shame you’ll never read this)

Use one as a sledge

Use them to secure the tunnel you’ve dug into your neighbour’s garden

Play a giant shell game

Cover the inside with mirror coating then reflect a smaller light off it to create a floodlight 

Count them to go to sleep

Paint a face on one and talk to it when you’re bored

Conduct a viking burial for a pet

One-word meditation using ‘bucket’

Use it to build an altar

Put one over your head to block out the light and get some sleep

Wear it as a skirt

Stick two together, cut some arm holes and wear it as a full outfit

Cupping therapy for huge people

Use mental ‘buckets’ to create a memory palace-style system for remembering

Vote for a bucket as Minister for Agriculture

Create a festival dedicated to the wonders of buckets 

Make WW2-style turret-gun bunkers for moles

Paint them brown to make Diglett and Dugtrio models

Attach one to elastic to create a catapult

Use the circumference to wrap the most perfectly circular spanakopita

Create a demo model of a black hole for kids

Roll over one to crack your back 

Make lists about them

Fill them with your hopes and dreams

Stick them to your walls and put huge googly eyes on them

Scrape the bottom of one for SCAB ideas.

So, that was wild. What did we learn?

So slightly surprisingly – or to me anyway – is that I did actually learn at least something from this hodge-podge exercise, and it came from writing ‘count them to fall asleep’. 

Up until that point, I think I had been taking my own game a bit too literally. All my uses were too useful, and too focused on what buckets can specifically do. That one idea reframed for me how I could approach the questions, and how to think about what a bucket can do – what a bucket is.

I now see that a bucket can be anything you want it to be: a passing thought, an abstract concept, a spiritual hallucination. It’s your best friend, your mum, your dad, your lover and your cat. It’s everything and nothing all at once. 

The lesson: always challenge your own thoughts, always iterate everything to get past the boring ideas, and never stop trying to think outside the bucket.


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