This end-of-decade list I just made kicks so much ass. It is likely the best end-of-decade list you will ever fucking read. I didn’t just make this end-of-decade list. “Make” suggests I just compiled things and transcribed them into an end-of-decade list. Wrong. I conceptualized and created and crafted and drafted and collated an end-of-decade list that will knock your fucking socks off. My end-of-decade list was curated. Like an Edward Hopper retrospective at the Guggeinheim. But in end-of-decade list form.
What’s in my end-of-decade list? Well, the decade’s best books and movies and songs are included in my end-of-decade list. Along with the decade’s biggest technological innovations and the biggest sports moments of the decade. My end-of-decade also contains sub-lists of 5 Fun Things You Didn’t Know About Shirley Jackson and a list of times DJ Jazzy Jeff was literally thrown out of the Fresh Prince’s house and a list of 14 vegan recipes you can make with corn and a list of Mark Wahlberg’s totally insane daily schedule and a list of reasons to buy a Subaru and a list of NFL Quarterbacks Ranked in Order of Their Own Tragic Backstories.
It has so much other listy shit too. Like a list of the poorest zip codes ranked by poorness, a list of the best waterfalls, a list of Mother Teresa’s top twenty heavy metal albums, and a list of the 12 reasons you should be using a cast iron skillet. It’s the end of the decade and I made a kick ass end-of-decade list.
My end-of-decade list has the decade’s most memorable moments and most influential people and listy type sports things. But there’s a twist. A twist in the list. Does the whole end-of-decade list rhyme? A rhyming list? Would you be pissed? Like William Rehnquist? You’ll just have to read it to find out. My end-of-decade list has a sub-list of people who should be bobbleheads, a list of ways the world would be different if the confederacy won the Civil War, a list of rankings of all NCAA Division 1 schools lacrosse teams ranked by lacrosseyness, a list of the 50 best Slaughterhouse-Five covers, a list of prime numbers, a list of 23 things you will never understand unless you have worked in a restaurant, a list of defunct chain drug stores, a list of the eight hottest female snipers, and a list of prepositions. I’ve even thrown in my list of references too. It’s in one list. One huge motherfucking end-of-decade list.
But my end-of-decade list has more. It’s like a grocery list. But a grocery list if Rihanna and Britney Spears and Keith Richards were going to Wegman’s to shop for a party they’re hosting. And they stopped at Leonardo DiCaprio’s house on the way to Wegman’s. And Jane’s Addiction was there. That sort of high-octane grocery list.
There’s also a little bit of bucket list thrown in. Like Morgan Freeman’s bucket list but also with elements of the bucket lists of Laura Dern and Antonio Banderas and Beyonce and Denzel Washington and Betty White and Joaquin Phoenix. Like if all of their bucket lists were melded into one bucket list. And Adam Driver. Like all those bucket lists fully synthesized it into my end-of-decade list.
Is the end-of-decade list scratch and sniff? Like does that portion of the end-of-decade list which lists the top 14 avocados that look like people actually smell like avocado? Scratch it and sniff and find out, asshole. Does the sub-section of the list that ranks the 139 Clash songs in order from worst to best smell like a Clash concert? Scratch it and sniff it and find out, asshole.
I’ve added asterisks to my end-of-decade list. The asterisks contain more end-of-decade lists. Lists within the end-of-decade list. Those end of decade lists are like a list of things you’re going to buy at IKEA. But better. It also contains a list of Bond villains ranked by IQ, a list of secret service code names I would give myself, a do not call list, a list of Heisman trophy winners grouped by double-breasted suit color, a list of reasons to love PBS, a list of places John Belushi probably took off his pants, a list of the coolest elephants, a list of 100 short men in order of height and a list of 16 unconventional songs for high-impact workouts. But all in one end-of-decade list.
I might have even integrated some indices in the end-of-decade list. That’s right. I said indices, bitch. The plural form of index. That is how fucking awesome my end-of-decade list is.
You want to know the 100 best companies NOT to work for and Wal-Mart’s best-selling items by state and a list of the 18 best cognitive biases and 52 places I have puked? It’s in my end-of-decade list. So much fucking data is in my end-of-decade list. Like the 75 most popular dog names. But also the data is synthesized and distilled so that it encompasses things like the list of the 50 most annoying songs of the decade and a list of skills that everyone should master and a list supplied by Paul Thomas Anderson himself wherein he reveals his top five best lemonade stands.
I’ve even included a list of things I’d like to throw at my neighbor and a list of 15 substitutes for eggs and a list of reasons we need to believe in Bigfoot and a list of 88 things about Billy Joel. What sort of things? You’ll just have to consult the end-of-decade list. And in case you’re too fucking stupid to realize it, there’s 88 things about Billy Joelbecause he’s the piano man and there are 88 keys on the piano. You dipshit. That’s how nuanced is my end-of-decade list.
Perhaps you’re not ready for my end-of-decade list. Perhaps you want to stay in the dark about the highest grossing films of the decade and every episode of Three’s Company ranked from best to worst and 12 MORE reasons you should be using a cast-iron skillet and a list of marijuana strains that should be renamed after Kacey Musgravessongs and a list of things you didn’t know about John Kennedy Schlossberg because you were too chicken-shit to even ask. So be it. I don’t want you to read my list. That way there will be more list for those who will appreciate it.
And if you think my end-of-decade list doesn’t contain predictions for the next decade you’re sadly mistaken. Because nestled in between my end-of-decade list of the 35 most iconic foreign language films and members of congress who can just fuck off and job titles with the word “strategist” in them and Adele songs ranked by sadness and 100 fun facts about India and a list of things it’s ok to flush down the toilet, there’s lots of predictions for the next decade. And wait’ll you read those.
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Gary M. Almeter is an attorney who lives in a quaint and cozy neighborhood in Baltimore, MD with his wife, three children and beagle. His short stories, essays and humor pieces have appeared in McSweeney’s, Writer’s Bone, the Good Men Project, 1966, and Splitsider. He is the recipient of the Maryland Writer’s Association’s 2015 Creative Nonfiction Award. His first book “The Emperor of Ice-Cream” will be published in March 2019.