Friar’s Never-to-Do List



If the intricacies of life are compared to a palette of subtle tones, my Dad tended to paint in black or white.  He gave fair praise when fair praise was due.  But if he didn’t like something, he would be sure let the world know what he thought, and in no uncertain terms.

One of his favorite expressions was “Never in my whole life…“.  

As in “Never in my whole life would I pay money to go see that movie!”.    Or “Never in my whole life would I buy a water bed!“.    He had quite an extensive list of things he’d never do in his whole life.   He rarely sat on the fence with his opinions.

My Dad sadly passed away two years ago, on this weekend.  In his memory (and because I am my Father’s Son), I’d like to add my own list of things I’d never do… 

…never in my whole life!

I will NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE…go see a Celine Dion concert.  

Yes, I realize this is heresy.   Okay, okay…I know…Celine has a wonderful voice…everyone loves her and yes…if you hear her in person, it’s supposed to give you goose bumps.  

But I don’t give a flying fox.   I despise listening to that caterwauling scarecrow with the huge ego.  If I had my druthers, I’d rather go see Yoko Ono. (At least with Yoko, I would have a good laugh!)

If I was in Vegas and someone gave me free passes to see Celine, I’d stand outside the door,  scalp the tickets and pocket the cash.  And then blow it on Keno.

I will NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE…become a vegetarian.  

Not even for a hot-looking Amazon D-Cup nymphomaniac girlfriend.  Nope.  Ain’t gonna happen.  I like red meat too much.

Like a dog who occasionally eats grass, I have been known to nibble on greens.  And I will humor the cook and eat vegetarian dishes that are put in front of me.   I have no problems eating rabbit food…just not all the time, and not without any other side dishes (like bacon, for example).    


I will NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE…get my face pierced.  

If people want do that, fine.  But it’s just not me.  I have zero interest in putting metal ingots in my head.  Especially multiple piercings (like the record-store refugee who has so many rings in their eyebrows, that you feel you should install a metal rod and hang a shower curtain).

One of my favorite cartoon characters, Hank Hill (from King of the Hill ) summed it up perfectly:

“I think body piercing’s a good thing. It gives us a quick way to tell when someone aint right.”

There’s some truth to that. 

I will NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE…travel to India

My brother and sister-in-law spent 8 weeks there.  Based on their travel stories about dried cow dung and exotic sinus infections, I know that’s a place I will not be visiting any time soon.  

Hey, nothing against India.  If I was rich and could travel the world whenever I wanted, I would probably get around to eventually visiting the Sub-continent.  But right now I have three-odd weeks of vacation a year and only so much money.   If I’m lucky I might take one airplane trip per year, and when I do, I’m going to make the most of it. 

Tell you what.  Before I go see India, I think I’d want to check out Hawaii or New Zealand first.   Maybe the Barrier Reef again.   More skiing in the Rockies. Not to mention France, Italy, Iceland…(moving down the list)…Iraq, Bosnia, Alabama…etc. 

I will NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE…eat a lima bean.

Kryptonite is to Superman as Lima Beans are to the Friar.  Sometimes veggie do-gooders will try to sneak a few into the dish they serve me and hope I won’t notice.  But I’m onto them!  I hate those nasty little green rat-bastard legumes…I hate ’em!

Who actually likes these things anyway?   I bet you the world’s entire demand for lima beans can be met by one single farmer.  I wish they’d find the one lima bean field, and I’d hire some eco-terrorists to torch it!   Kids everywhere would love me for it.

 I will NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE…climb Mount Everest

Assuming I had the fitness level…and the mountaineering skills…and the $60,000 to hire a guide to take me to the top…I’d still NEVER climb that stupid mountain. 

There’s nothing wrong with climbing, but why do people have to ascend into the Death Zone?   Hellooo!….maybe there’s a reason it’s called the DEATH ZONE.   Like…DUH!

Hey, if coughing blood and watching your brain swell inside your cranium is your idea of a good time, then go right ahead.  You go be the mountain-hero. 

Meanwhile, I’ll stick to the lower elevations, where I get to keep all my fingers and toes, thank you very much.   

(Guitar, anyone?)

I will NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE…ever play competitive soccer again.

I loved soccer as a kid, and played it well into my 30’s.  When I started work full-time after grad school, I joined the company soccer team.

That’s when I found out, the hard way, that when you put a bunch of 40-year old men on a soccer field, it’s no longer fun.  Unlike softball or hockey, which is more of a social event, there’s something about soccer that brings out the a-hole in alpha-males.  There’s a lot of yelling, a lot of macho bullshit ego, and lots of dirty pool.  

In my first exhibition game of the season someone was so intent on getting the ball they ended up kicking me as hard as they could in my knee.  Whether this was an accident or not, I don’t know.  But nobody said “Sorry about that buddy” when I was on the ground writhing in pain.

When I limped away, something went POP!  That was my Anterior Cruciate Ligament waving bye-bye.   It took 9 months to finally get the knee reconstruction surgery, and another year of re-hab before I was back to normal again. 

You know, if I had sat at home that night and eaten chips in front of the TV, I’d have been better off.   

I still do sports, but not soccer.  Not when I can’t control how hard some idiot wants to hit me.

I will NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE….work again as hard as I did during my PhD

The last two years of my PhD rank among the worst in my adult life.  It’s hard to describe the burn-out and constant stress one experiences in grad school  unless you’ve gone through it yourself.  I’ve never worked so hard and for so long. It just never ended.  The stress did a number on my body.  I ended up with anemia and pneumonia…I was surprised I didn’t end up in the hospital.

When I was finally done, all I could do for three months was come home from work and watch TV.  It took about half a year after that before I started being active again.

After that, I vowed that I will never EVER work that hard again.  And I haven’t.  

(Though I feel sorry for people who do.)

I will NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE…grow up!

Life is too short.   Growing old, you can’t help.  But growing up…that’s optional.  (I learned that from my Mom).


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38 Comments on “Friar’s Never-to-Do List”

  1. Wow Friar, are we perhaps twins separated at birth? I swear to you, I ticked off all but two things from your list. The PHD as I don’t have this coveted (or not) paper. Plus the lima beans. Their ok.

    But hey, all the rest Yes, I’m soo with you, especially Celine Dion and the Everest.

  2. ….and the growing up of course. Growing up is for boring suckers.

  3. Friar Says:

    Hey, that’ hilarious. I often get scolded for being too opinionated…I figured I’d be catching an earful for writing this post.

    Nice to see that I have a surrogate “twin” who thinks the way I do. (I’m especially pleased to hear you can’t stand Celine…usually the ladies LOVE that pompous diva.)

    Oh, yes…and refusing to grow up. That’s the key. 🙂

  4. steph Says:

    Opinionated?! I loved it! I love it when someone has an opinion! Reading this post, I thought, hmmm, maybe THIS is what I ought to do since I can’t seem to decide what it is I actually want. I’ll figure out what I would NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE… and go from there! Whatever’s left over, that’s what I want. Cool!

    PS. Lima beans are probably the one food I feel so strongly about. I ABHOR them. My dad loves them. He puts them in ricotta pies with RAISINS. But then, my mom loves tomato and peanut butter sandwiches. Also, I can’t stand CD, which I forgot to put on my list of “I am Canadian but…”

  5. Friar Says:

    You make an excellent point. By knowing what you’ll NEVER do, sooner or later, you’ll figure out what you WANT to do.

    Lima Beans and RAISINS?….Auugh (GAGGG!). Man, if there’s one thing I can’t stand besides Lima beans, it’s RAISINS. (I dont’ mind them dry and chewy, like in a trail-mix). But if you put them into baking, where they’re all swollen like maggot-flies, my gag reflex kicks in.

    Congratulations to your dad. That’s the grossest dish I’ve ever heard of (in Friar’s books!) 🙂

  6. wendikelly Says:

    So now we find out you are Doc Friar?
    Why you ol’ Bear… you are chock full of surprises, and wee ain’t even going into the that secret identy that the Kitchen Sink Club knows about.

    I’ve been to a Celine Dion concert once. She has a great voice, she’s too skinny and she changes her clothes every five minutes.
    No way on those lima beans and you can add zuccini to th list.

    Ah Friar, if you weren’t already hanging from a Maypole for mangling my name, and if I werern’t already madly in love with some one else for the rest of my life, many of the things on your list would make me swoon. You’re my kind of guy Doc Friar.

  7. Friar Says:

    @KeniWelly 🙂

    Yeah…I reluctanty admit I’m a “Doc”. But the only time I hear that is when my old Alma Mater phones me up asking for donations. As soon as I hear “Is Doctor Friar there?” I know it’ someone trying to hit me for money.

    Celine Dion. Ugh. Remember her $2 million Vegas Wedding? And when her Prodigal Son got baptized in Montreal? It was at a huge church and it was a media circus. Because she’s the ONLY PERSON in the WHOLE WORLD who’s EVER baptized their kid.

    Celine, you wanna impress me? Here’s an acounstic guitar. Now go up on stage, and play something you wrote !

    As for the other compliments…Aww Shucks. You got the Friar blushing here. You sound like you’re my kind of woman. (That’s the problem though, the good ones are all taken!)

  8. Kelly Says:

    THE GOOD ONES ARE NOT ALL TAKEN. But they don’t necessarily live in Splat Creek.


  9. Ellen Wilson Says:

    I’m going to India.

    I advocate going to Alabama so you can see the American South at its best. They have clubs there called “The White Way.”

  10. Friar Says:

    Well, then I might have to extend my search for a soul-mate. Knobville, Dickweed, and Stillborn are some other local towns I oughta check out! (Local, meaning within a 60 mile drive).

    Mabye I might still get there. If I sell that book that Oprah will endorse, then I’ll spend half my time travelling.

    Never been to Alabama. I got as far as North Carolina. I saw a used car lot called “Dixie Motors”, all decorated with Rebel Flags.

    I hear Mississippi is pretty good too. 😉

  11. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Sweet baby Jesus Friar, look at the harem you got going on here.

    All good Catholics are baptized, like Celine’s little spawn. I’m even baptized. And I’m not even Catholic anymore. But my dad says I have somewhere to go now. Is it like my heaven insurance? Ha!

  12. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Maybe you could do a mail order bride thing. Friar sounds like a monk’s name, and you know how turned on women get by men of the cloth.

  13. Friar Says:

    We had a Jehovah Witness babysit us once, when I was a kid. When my parents came back, the sitter told them she had taken our souls and given them to God, so that we’re guaranteed to get into heaven.

    So there you go. I’m a shoe-in when I die! 🙂

    As for women..there is a trailer park in the neighboring town. I see the polyestser trailer-moms waddling their brood off the school in the mornings as I drive to work.

    Mabye I can show them my iron ring (that shows I’m an engineer) and tell them I’ll be able to pay for their kids “learnin'” and fix their teeth.

    That might get me someone!

  14. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Listening to Neil Young now.

    “Running round the same old town. Doesn’t mean that much to me to mean that much to you.” What song is it?

    There are some really cool single moms in trailer parks. I had a friend that was a 4.0 psych student at MSU who lived in a trailer park. And I was a single mom once. But I didn’t live in a trailer park. Just subsidized housing.

    You can’t judge a book by its cover.


    I’m not fond of poyester either. I have a few biases. But I will get to heaven.


    I would like to come back as a sloth. My favorite animal.

    Keeps me searchin for a heart of gold. And I’m gettin old.

  15. Friar Says:

    There’s a TV show in Canada called “Trailer Park Boys”.

    It’s of the funniest shows on TV (if you can stand the foul language). The characters are all pretty likeable, too.

    There’s also a movie out an DVD…definitel worth checking out, if you ever get that show down where you live.

  16. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Sorry, we don’t do foul language in the US. Unfortunately.

    Such hypocrites we are.

    I’ll see if we have the movie around here.

    Watch “The Savages,” it’s a good movie. I just watched it last night.

  17. Ellen Wilson Says:

    You definitely are a Cancer skirting my questions and all. I know that trick. My son is a double Cancer – sun and moon.

    So, how do I get a harem?

  18. Ellen Wilson Says:

    A harem is good for a day. Then you have to send them away.

  19. Friar Says:


    I like the standards on TV. It’s okay to show Tony Soprano curb-stomp someone till blood gushes out of their face, but then they censor the naughty words (“Mother-jumper” and “Blood-sucker”).

    Thanks for coming out, FCC.

    No, seriously. I dont’ know how to get a harem. If you could bottle my essence, you could market it as a Woman Repellent. I have no idea why its’s mostly women commenting on my blog.

    I’m a Sun and Moon Cancer too. With Pink hearts….orange stars…green clovers..and NEW BLUE DIAMONDS! 🙂

  20. Oh. late to the party. Thanks for stopping by Friar. I was just checking the perimeter before scooching off to sleep. You seem to have a harem happening here. Probably the monk’s robe, kind a like a kilt… 🙂

    I cannot stand Celine, yuck!
    You would love the south. We have alligators and little bitty bears. Trout in the gulf. And ice cold beer…and porch swings where you can look at the stars, smell the jasmine and make a pretty girl smile.

    Sweet dreams.

  21. Friar Says:


    I am still totally baffled at this harem thing happening here. (????). I guess it’s easy to be popular with the ladies when you’re hundreds of miles away and just some written words on a computer screen! 🙂

    We got no gators up here in Ontario, but we have the teddy bears who hang around the garbage dump at work. Though nobody at the Widget Factory has been attacked in 50 years.

    I’m off to bed too. Thanks for dropping by.

  22. Brett Legree Says:

    Holy cow, Friar, you’re definitely “the man” today, I’m with Kelly on this one… all the good ones are definitely not taken.

    (But they don’t live in Splat Creek. Then again, maybe they do. Keep looking, there are quite a few nice ladies here in town if you get to know them. Maybe they should come and meet you here.)

    You know, you should have tagged a bunch of us with this meme, it’s a pretty neat twist from a twisted mind.

    Doc Friar…

  23. Friar Says:

    Hey Brett

    Well, there is that one single woman in Splat Creek! (You know..the one that almost looks like a dude, that two different ladies tried to set me up with!). That alone might be a funny post worth writing about.

    One thing, though. If I start dating someone from the Splat Creek Valley, I better MARRY THEM. Because if I ever break up, the whole region will the reasons why and know who-said-what.

  24. I’m sorry for the loss of your father. This is a great tribute! He’s probably laughing in the sky.

    Me too, I am extreme with my opinions. Though I have definitely done things I said I would never do, so beware! Health problems creep up and force you to change your ways.

    Thanks for coming and supporting my opinion too… as you saw, I got my first bashing. (The one a while back telling me I needed a “shag” doesn’t count.)

  25. Friar Says:


    Thanks. In the Big Blogopshere in the Sky, right now my Dad is probably saying “Never in my WHOLE LIFE would I waste my time writing a Blog!” 🙂

    Yeah, I coudlnt’ believe that dude who scolded you on your own blog. Apparently you’re not allowed to “bash” things that other people think are important.

    Okay…then let’s just all write about butterflies and daffodils and clouds and we can all be happy and agree. Won’t that make for interesting reading? 😉

    Sheesh…someone actually told you you need a “shag”? Wow…some people out there need a smack upside the head.

    Keep up the good work. I think your blog is awesome.

  26. Nice tribute to your dad, Friar. I’m very sorry for your loss.

    (Would you think less of me if I told you that I really, truly enjoy lima beans? I eat them with melted butter and salt and pepper. I’ve loved them since I was a kid … )

  27. Friar Says:


    Thanks. Dad is gone, but whattya gonna do, eh?

    As for loving lima beans. Ewwww…gross!

    You must be one of the few people that Farmer McGregor grows the beans for, in his secret field near Ames, Iowa.

    But, seeing how you used butter and salt, and you didn’t scold me for making fun of Celine Dion, I’ll be willing to let it go this time 🙂

  28. Ellen Wilson Says:

    You know more about astrology than you let on! Thanks for joining my harem.

    Just think what the neighbors would drop on your doorstep if you broke up with someone from Splat Creek. I venture it wouldn’t be gummy bears.

    Hey! Tomorrow is Monday! Life goes on at the widget factory, eh?!

  29. Friar Says:

    No…we get a long weekend (Victoria Day). Now Widget Factory for tomorrow (that’s one less day I have to give my soul to the Evil Machine!)

  30. What’s the go with astrology and you being cancer Friar? Is that true? if so, now you are really excite me even more (LOL, it’s that harem thing again) since I am a cancer too. Wouldn’t it be too funny if we were born on the same day.

    Love your crowd here, just a shame I’m always playing catch up due to time differences and having a life in between my manic bursts of work-a-holic episodes. 🙂
    Your surrogate sis from the other side of the world.

  31. Friar Says:


    Oh, I dunno what’s up with the astrology. I’m a firm non-believer but I think Ellen asked me what my sign was.

    Pinch! Pinch! Pinch! Oooh, I’m a crab. Argh.

    Ugh. Wish I was another Zodiac sign besides a grumpy crustacean.

    Yeah, I have a nice crowd here on my blog. (I dunno where everyone came from..I think they’re a spill-over from Brett’s blog). But it’s a lot of fun.

    You’re always welcome….even though you’re 19 hours late.

  32. Yuhuuu a fellow crab. Wonders never cease to happen. 🙂 What date is your biffday then? Moi, I’m a proud 26th June baby, only two weeks late but happy nevertheless since bing a twin is even worse.

    I was rather crabby while in my teenage years. These days I’m more moon struck than crab. LOL. The irony.

  33. […] in front of the other until we reach our destination. Just imagine a climber to Mt. Everest. While Friar and I never intend to climb this mountain, it lends itself to what I’m trying to […]

  34. Friar Says:


    I’m on July 9th. We’re close…..we could almost be twins (I would have just come out late..that’s all). Maybe that’s why I like to sleep in.

    My beef with astrology. Why is Cancer in July?

    Because 2000 years ago, the sun was in the contellation of Cancer that time of year. That’s the basis of where all of our Zodiac signs all come from. That’s how all our personalities, etc. are apparently pre-determined.

    But the earths’ rotation wobbles slightly. There is a “precession of the equinoxes” that lasts ~ 23,000 years.

    Which basically means that since astrology began, all the constellatiosn have now shifted over by one. In July, the sun is now in Gemini, not Cancer.

    So astrology dosent’ even play by it’s own rules!

    So what am I… a crab? Or a twin?

    (My apologizers to the star-gazers out there, but I’m just stating facts!)

  35. @ Friar: interesting facts indeed. I learned something new here so thanks for that refreshing tut. Good question on what you are? I think in the end, you are what you are and while astrology does kit us out with common traits as individuals we could be made up of two star signs or even more.

    Then there are always the split personalities like meeself. 🙂 So what am I?

  36. Friar Says:


    You and I are the Crab-Twins!

    (Wonder-twin powers…ACTIVATE!)

    Dunno if you get that reference…did you ever watch the Superfriends cartoon when you were a kid?

  37. Well except for climbing Mt. Everest and playing competitive soccer, Friar, you and I are complete opposites. In fact, I’d love to hear Celine in person (hey, not the top of my list, but why pass up those chills?), I have in fact had my face pierced (nose), and I would LOVE to go to India. Plus, I am sort of on my way to becoming vegetarian. Anyway, I think that’s what makes the world so fun and exciting, hanging out with people who are really different and finding common ground. For example, like you, I don’t really plan on growing up all the way. Ever.

  38. Friar Says:

    Hey, that’s okay. Friar’s never-to-do list just applies for me ,and nobody else.

    It’s funny, though, how we’re almost opposites but we have so much fun blogging each other. That’s what makes the world interesting, like you said.

    I think the last point (never growing up) is the most important. It’s a shame more people don’t adhere to that one. 🙂

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