I called in my best pal the other evening. It was a sombre affair, with dark mood music, low lighting and a bottle of suitably heavy red. He was very worried, and immediately thought that I had destroyed yet another valuable collector’s kit with my misguided attempts to create the ultimate custom.

No, this was far more serious. I had been to see my doctor that morning and he had told me that I was dying. I was suffering from an incurable, fatal condition ‑ mortality. He said that I have no more than about two or three decades of useful life left and that he suggests that I set my affairs in order…. which was where my pal comes into the picture. He would need to help me draft the necessary documentation, namely my “things to-do” list.

It is funny how your outlook on life changes when you know that you are dying. Small things like sitting watching the sun set become important, while big things like chasing that promotion to Johannesburg drop right off your priority list.

Well, at about 5am the next morning we finally had it done…

Grumpy’s To‑Do List

Friendships come at top of the list. With so little time left, I cannot waste it on people I don’t care much for. That time is better spent on my friends who mean a lot to me. We are going to spend endless hours in the model room, bench-racing, talking models, rock music and cars. We are going to go on plenty of road trips ‑ to street rod events, motor shows, drag races and other major life‑changing events. But even more life‑changing will be the trip itself, spending time together without outside interruptions. Everyone needs a friend to be freaky with. I already have the friends, now is the time to get freaky!

I need at least one more trip to the USA. I need to spend more time with my friends in New Jersey, I need to take up the offer of going to the Indy 500 with my new pal in Indianapolis, I still need to see the Daytona 500, Sprint Car racing, NHRA Nationals, the SEMA show and the Street Rod Nationals. Perhaps we should make that five more trips to the USA!

Everyone needs a party‑car. Something that puts a smile on your face every time you turn the key. Something that you cruise around in on those balmy summer evenings. Your own little world, where you and your friends hang out and where the cares of the world are forgotten. What could be better than a ‘71 Mustang convertible, Cutex Red, slotted alloy wheels and a deep throated rumble?

On the modelling front, I need to prioritize! Select the top twenty kits out of my collection and build them first. No regard given to value ‑ after all, it is just a collection of cardboard, styrene and four rubber rings. It is the loving care that we lavish on them that gives them value. And if some collector cries his eyes out and calls you a Philistine for building the rarest Jo‑Han kit of all (that he needs for his collection), tell him about the ten other ultra‑rare kits that you are about to chop up and turn into customs, beaters, dragsters and stock cars. Oh, and tell him that they have no value whatsoever to you, but that they are not for sale!

At that stage, the eastern sky was starting to lighten and we called it a day. However, the list is far from complete, and I reckon we will need quite a few more sessions to fine‑tune it.

By the way, I suggest that you get down to your own doctor and have a check-up. I suspect that this disease of mine may be contagious. And remember ‑ death is not the ultimate failure; the failure lies in not pursuing your ambitions.

Till next time –

Get Those Priorities Right!


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One thought on “

  1. Shaun Commerford says:

    Very profound! Spurred me on to do some bucket list thinking of my own.


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