At this time of year we’re inundated with top ten lists. Ten best albums, ten best TV shows, ten best Tuesdays, ten best best lists. I find it horribly annoying, because few of them ever differ drastically, and it seems like lazy content. How many journalists/bloggers/CFL cornerbacks do I need to tell me how good Breaking Bad is? I mean, I’d post a top ten albums of the year list, but all ten would be Bon Iver’s Bon Iver. Also, apparently I’d have to know who Adele is. And I don’t. So I’ve decided to make a list of the top things to come before 2011. Because, if you consider the entire existence of existence, 2011 was pretty pedestrian. Oh, and it’s a top eleven list. Because a top eleven is better than a top ten. You know, because it goes to eleven.
Shoes are greatly underappreciated for their role in the development of contemporary society. Before shoes, people just walked around in great discomfort and cutting up their feet. It was like being Bruce Willis in Die Hard, but every day. First came sandals, but they were inherently flawed, poorly suited for winters, and, really, no one wants to see your toes.
Also, without the shoe industry, we’d have one less way to exploit the lax child labour laws in Third World countries. Only an impoverished and malnourished Third World child can manage the intricate stitching on my Nikes. Go capitalism!
The best of all sports. The hard collisions of football, the athleticism of basketball, the violence of boxing, the history of baseball, the best trophy in all sports, speed like no other team sport, and Canadians are good at it. Oh, and it can be played on a frozen body of water. Suck it, Lacrosse.
And, as I wrote about last week, hockey gave me one of the best springs of my life. So there’s that.
Only two arguments are required:
Does the imagination dwell the most
Upon a woman won or woman lost?
If on the lost, admit you turned aside
From a great labyrinth out of pride,
Cowardice, some silly over-subtle thought
Or anything called conscience once;
And that if memory recur, the sun’s
Under eclipse and the day blotted out.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
And if you need to know who wrote them, you’re fired. (Also, for the purposes of this list, experimental poetry, Jewel, Billy Corgan, and work produced in or for high school creative writing classes are not considered to be poetry. Also, anything celebrated by grad students. Because, as I’ve said previously, grad students are the worst.)
8. The Bible
As a writer, I have a lot of respect for a book that is a perpetually on the year’s best seller list. Plus, without the Bible there’s no country music, and I don’t want to live in a world that didn’t know Johnny Cash.
And there’s this: “And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.” (Songs of Solomon 7:9)
Plus, it’s just some great storytelling. It’s right up there with Dan Brown and Stuart McLean.
6. (Tie) Bacon and Cheese
If it doesn’t taste better with bacon and cheese, it’s not worth eating. If there was a way to mainline bacon and cheese I would. Lately, I’ve taken to stuffing everything with cream cheese and then wrapping it in bacon. Jalapenos, mushrooms, pork tenderloin, bacon, chicken, my 1985-86 O-Pee-Chee #9 Mario Lemieux rookie card, some girl named Sadie. As soon as I can find the proper butchering tools and skill set, I’m going to bleed a pig, stuff it with cream cheese, and then wrap it in bacon. You wait. It’ll be a thing. Meta-food.