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
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.