What is it about lists?

IT’S A MARKETING ploy as old as Moses and his Ten Commandments. You can’t possibly stay healthy / stay fit / enjoy yourself / progress your career / do anything at all without doing these 100 / 50 / 25 / 10 things which somebody else has determined are must do’s for you.

The Top 10 places to see. The Top 10 places to be seen. The Top 10 books to read, movies to watch, songs to listen to, activities to experience, things to do without which achievement your life will not be worth living.

The tragedy is that I am now surrounded by lists which are a good deal longer than the years I have left. I am lying awake at night in the knowledge that my tombstone will read: ‘Here Lies Len. An Unfulfilled Life.’

The pressure is such that I am now beset with short-term imperatives. The Top 10 places you must visit this summer. The Top 10 books you can’t do without this August.

My house is festooned with yellow stick-it notes which remind me that the end of August is nigh and I still have eight books to go. Or summer is nearly over and I am sunning myself by the pool in Marrakech when I should be enroute to the Andes and then to Russia to board the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Were it not for the fact that Moses engraved his list in stone, I would blame the relentless march of technology. After all, today’s marketeers are employing all the techniques of modern communication modes to beseech me to do this or do that before I drop off the mortal coil. The bucket lists are so plentiful that my overflowing pails of unrequited wish lists could encircle the world.

So what can we Baby Boomers do? Well, I’m not quite sure…but I’m making a list. I’ll let you know.

Len Horne

2 thoughts on “What is it about lists?

  1. You should read ‘The Book of Lists’ by David Wallechinsky, Irving Wallace and Amy Wallace. This is the book for someone who can’t get enough of lists.


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