Ben and Siya’s Top 5 List… OF LISTS!

Lists are dope. If only there was some simple and repeatable way to demonstrate this, an example a reader could easily follow and reference for later use…  Hmm, I’m sure we’ll think of something! There’s lots of reasons why you need nifty lists (especially to start your week, your fall, your football season, expansion of your content-fillers on your blog, or filling out your parenthesis game). But what exactly makes lists so great? Let’s make a list to demonstrate!

  1. They help organize.
  2. They break down larger concepts.
  3. They’re easy to digest.

See, wasn’t that fun? You know what’s even more fun? Making a list of LISTS. So we did that! Together we’ve compiled the undisputed (heavily disputed) Top 5 List of Lists that impact your everyday life. Our rules were simple:

  1. To qualify, an entry must be a list.
  2. All lists must be practical and have every day usage.
  3. The lists must be usable by you, the listmaker.

There were lots of lists that could have made our Top 5 List of Lists, but for one reason or another they just didn’t quite make the cut. So in their honor, here’s a few Honorable Mention Lists in a list:

The Terminator List
Very helpful if you’re an assassin cyborg from the future sent back in time to quash a human rebellion, but not so helpful if you’re just a normal dude.

Emergency Contact List
Technically doesn’t count because it’s not a list you use. It’s a list your employer digs out of your HR file when you choke on a donut during a meeting.

The Constitution
Again, great list, but it’s not a list you made, and we’ve got a lot of love for our international audience.

Your Will
A very practical list, but at the end of the day it’s just a compiling of where you want your shit to go when you’re dead. Not a very fun list!

NSA Watch List
Hello, we are good upstanding citizens who love The United States of America. Please don’t add us.

Schindler’s List
An incredible, heartbreaking film, but (hopefully) not a list humanity will ever need again.

Allergy Label List
Undoubtedly, an important list, but is it a TOP 5 list? We say no. Then again, we don’t go into anaphylactic shock anytime we accidentally consume a peanut.

The Magna Carta Holy Grail Track List
Not even a good album, TBH. But technically a list you could use. (Keyword: COULD.)

So here we are! You now know WHY lists are necessary. You also now know HOW lists are formed. You also now know WHAT does not constitute a necessary list, however noteworthy. That said, here’s the quintessential list of lists for your survival in business, health, and general human aliveness:

5.) The Bucket List* (*Ben Objects)
*[Ben’s Note: We’ll get to my objection later on, but long story short, I’m pretty sure this is just a subset of a different, more important type of list.]

This story looks familiar; black man (Morgan Freeman) explaining life-spanning concept only to be mocked by white friend (Jack Niklaws):

Kicking the bucket” is an old English idiom for different routes to death. Whether it be because there was holy water in the bucket to splash you into the afterlife, or any other explanation, this is a list of things to be done before death. The ONLY paramater is ‘before death’. So… “climb Mt. McKinley Denali” BEFORE DEATH. Visit the Pyramids… not those pyramids, the other pyramids, BEFORE DEATH. Yes, there’s other pyramids, geez, you really need to live. Might we (just Siya) suggest a “Bucket List”?

4.) The Celebrity Exception List
As seen on Friends!

This is not just a novel concept, folks. Even celebrities have celebrity exception lists. The key to this list is using it properly. This should NOT be considered a hit list. Don’t go stalking your favorite celebs. Rather, consider this a fantasy list. Everyone is entitled to fantasies. So just like you don’t want your partner mad at you, you can’t get mad at your partner’s fantasies. They’re not likely to ever come to fruition. But, should that rare flower blossom into a night of Walk of Fame bliss? Just be happy for your partner! Because they just landed Ryan Reynolds, Brad Pitt, or Larry King (yes, Larry is on many a list) and thus, by extension, so did you. Great job, you!

[Still need help visualizing? She (or he – whatever way you float, dude) got Ryan Reynolds – you found Blake Lively. You and Halle Berry shared a hotel room floor (thanks to incredible savings from, and she might have just ran into Brad Pitt on that red eye flight back from vacation (No Ang in sight!). She got Larry King (because yes again, Larry is on many a list), AND YOU GOT LARRY TOO. EVERYBODY’S A WINNER. Just try not to be a sore loser if Larry shows more attention to your partner’s “breaking news” ;)]

3.) The Wish List
Look, we all want things. So much better when those things are FROM others, with little to no effort on our part to work for or acquire them. Enter the Wish List!  In case you live in a place where love and calendar-based sentimentalism does not exist, here’s an introduction list to popular lists in the give-me-stuff world we call Wish Lists:
Birthday Lists: These are stuff and things you want from people on the specific day yo lil self-centered ass decided to show up to the earth party. How bout that, superstar? Congratulations on arriving, here’s more stuff and things just for being here.
Christmas Lists: Since one day is not enough time to get free stuff and things, try the “birthday” of a Palestinian refugee about 2,000 years ago! Yea! Reachin’ much? On HIS “birthday”, whether you believe he existed or not – you probably compile an even MORE egregious list of wants and non-needs.
Wedding Lists: Okay, this one might be the most practical. We get it, weddings are super expensive (no thanks to overpaid wedding organizers – whose only job is to combine and keep the list of lists). Anyway, since those wedding day expenses will add up, and you’re counting on starting a life together, it would be nice if the friends and family spotted you on things like new bedding sets, blenders, couch sets, and maybe fees for that Green-Card certification. Which they can only do if you make a registered list of the domestic debris you desire. In turn, the least YOU could do is maybe offer us guests an open-bar wedding reception, but no, no.. it’s cool JANET!

2.) The Grocery List
Fairly self-explanatory here. Simple, yet indispensable. You’ve really got limited options for avoiding this one. You could eat out everyday, or grow everything you need in a cult-like self-sustaining community where everything is shared or bartered for unconventional favors… like arranged marriage. It’s that OR make a list of groceries, aptly named a “Grocery List”. Out of milk? GROCERY LIST. Low on detergent? GROCERY LIST. Paper towel shortage? Well… in that case, use a dirty sock, a pillowcase, or anything else… just not the grocery list. Apparently.

Also, without this list you would starve to death. Because you’re stupid. And won’t remember to buy food. You’ll just blow all your cash on [POPULAR ITEM] or [POPULAR ITEM]. Don’t lie. We know you will. Shh. It’s okay. Just put them on your Wish List.

1.) The To-Do List
*[Ben’s Note: Isn’t the Bucket List just a To-Do list with longer parameters? If you’re using the Bucket List to determine what you’re doing before you die, then you’re using it as a To-Do list. Siya and I had a long fight about these semantics. He thinks they’re separate ideas entirely. I think the Bucket List is bullshit. We negotiated the asterisk. I’m still not happy. Discuss amongst yourselves.]

This is the basis of your entire existence. Without doing, do you even exist? And without a list, can you even do? Answer: Probably, but it’s a whole hell of a lot easier to remember to do things if it’s on your To-Do list! And really, any single organizational tool you use is just a modified form of the To-Do list. Your calendar? A To-Do list. Those Post-it note memos on your bathroom mirror? A To-Do list. Your illegible back-of-the-hand scrawl? A To-Do list. To-Do lists are how we filter out the important from the mundane. They’re how we organize our chaotic existence. They’re how we get shit done. Without To-Do lists and organizational tools we’d all be adrift in the universe, floating around with no direction or purpose. Imagine your life without knowing what to do next. Imagine being all alone with no task required of you. Imagine a world without To-Do list.

You can’t. You literally can’t. Because if you just did the things we told you to do, then you’ve just completed a To-Do list.

Go ahead and put “Unblow my own mind.” on your To-Do list.

Can we work for Buzzfeed now?

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