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A comment on a Reddit post four years ago by u/Yoinkie2013 has inspired thousands to participate in what is known as the Ulysses Bucket List Challenge. Now, Endless Thread hosts Ben and Amory have gotten in on the action too. That's how Amory ended up performing comedy in front of an audience at the local bar Tavern At The End Of The World.
So...that happened. Here's Yoinkie's original comment and the story that started it all:
When I was 15 years old, I ran away from home because I was pissed off at my parents for a reason I can't remember. I didn't have much money, so I decided to hop onto the SkyTrain (public transport train in British Columbia).
Yoinkie was beginning to plan out his life on a napkin when a girl just a few years older than him got on the train and started asking about what he was doing.
I told her the story and, after a few laughs, we began talking about everything and anything. Her name was Amanda, 17 years old, and absolutely wonderful.
Eventually, Amanda convinces Yoinkie to make amends with his parents and return home. In fact, she practically walks him all the way back to his house.
Before saying goodbye she turned to me and asked me a question that has become a wonderful part of my life; she said to me, “Tell me something you have done or want to do that you think I should do. It can be anything, as challenging as you want it to be, or as easy, as long as you give me the rest of my life to complete it.” I was confused as to why, but I thought about it and told her, “Sing a song acapella in a room full of strangers.” She asked me if I would like a challenge as well. I told her I did and she told me, “Read, from start to finish, Ulysses by James Joyce.”
Boom! The Ulysses Bucket List is born. Yoinkie goes on to explain how that chance encounter changed his whole outlook on life.
In the 12 years that have past since, I have tried to read [Ulysses] in over 150 different sittings. Every time I open my copy of the 780-page monster of a book, I always think of her and I always think of that day ... [It has been] a completely wonderful and amazing thing for me. So I decided to keep it going ... I don't want to just have experiences and then let them go. I want to remember these meetings and embrace the fact that they happened. So, whenever I leave someone who has left an amazing impact of my life, I always make sure to add them to my Ulysses Bucket List. I ask them to give me a challenge, as difficult or as easy as they want it to be.
Boston local Andrea Ruano, aka u/TheTipsyYogi on Reddit, read Yoinkie's story and immediately went to r/UlyssesBucketList, a Reddit community with more than 14,000 subscribers where people exchange their own challenges with one another. She jumped right into the conversation.
Hearing about all of this led Endless Thread to experiment with their own Ulysses Bucket List challenges. Amory challenged Ben to get hypnotized. Ben, of course, challenged Amory to do stand-up comedy at a local open mic. Mortified, Amory's first step was a public cry for help.
While Amory will be sticking to podcasting for now, not a bad first foray into comedy! Ben, on the other hand, turned to hypnotist Peter Gross for his journey into the world of trance. Listen to the full episode for more about Ben's hypnosis experience and Amory's comedy routine.
Do you have a bucket list item you want Ben or Amory to do? Email them at email@example.com.
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