People are hooked on lists. We make them, we refer to them, and we check them; Santa checks his twice. A list can be for any number of things, like the ten hottest peppers, or the driest years since the dust bowl, or the worst potholes or intersections in your area. Or, a list can be something like your own “to-do” list.
Lists can be objective, or they might be totally arbitrary — based solely on someone’s personal opinion. Lists can be helpful; they can be informative, or they can simply be entertaining.
Here is My Top Ten List of Lists:
10. Your Grocery List. This list is on my top ten because of how helpful it is — like when you only need a few things from the store so you don’t write them down but you should because, when you get home, you discover you forgot something.
9. Mr. Blasberg’s Best-Dressed List. In “Harper’s Bazaar” magazine each week fashion writer, Derek Blasberg, lists the ten chicest looks from around the world. Without this list, how would we ever know?
8. Mr. Blackwell’s Ten Worst-Dressed Women List. Every year, Richard Blackwell selects the ten women who displayed the year’s biggest fashion disasters. Once again, without his list, how would we ever know?
7. Motor Trend’s Hot List. A regular feature of “Motor Trend” magazine is the “Hot List” of car -related topics, like the top ten most luxurious cars, or the top ten most stolen cars, or the top ten cars with the largest engines. Sometimes we’d like to know where our car stands; sometimes we’d rather not.
6. The Fortune 500 List. “Fortune” magazine annually ranks the top 500 world-wide corporations according to revenue. Investors like to know this so they can determine why their investment decisions were no good.
5. The New York Times Best Seller List. If you read, you can check the list regularly to see what books are on it that you might be interested in reading. If you write, you might dream of someday having one of your own books on the list.
4. The FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. This is a list of criminals most wanted by the FBI. (In the interest of personal safety, I have chosen not to elaborate.)
3. The Ten Commandments. This biblical list, also known as the Decalogue, consists of ten principles and ethical dos and don’ts. If you are a Christian, it wouldn’t hurt to check this list once in a while to see how you are doing.
2. The Buddhist Eightfold Path. This is the fourth of the Four Noble Truths, and lists the eight elements of “right” behavior as the means of eradicating one’s own suffering. If you are still suffering, you probably aren’t doing them right.
1. David Letterman’s Top Ten List. This could be any of hundreds of top ten lists delivered by Dave over the years, like most recently the “Top Ten Ways to Mispronounce Idina Menzel.”