So many people ask me that question, human beings need explanations – some nailed down, sewn up explanation for the man in the bucket. Well I am hear to tell you there is no easy answer to that question…
All we know is that he was born different, his mother recognised her child was special in some undefined way – the things he saw and the way he experienced things required a new approach – so perhaps she put the bucket on his head to shield him from the world or the world from her child.
Perhaps he put the bucket on his own head as a game and all at once the world seemed a better place.
It seems almost as soon as Mr Bucket gained sense of the world as an infant he started to wear the bucket – and we really don’t know why…
The bucket has somehow fused with his head to become part of his identity, he grew up in an essentially normal family with a brother and sister who teased him about the bucket but deep down they still loved their little brother.
Of course other children weren’t so kind – he had a fear of water and once he was thrown into the local river as kids ganged together and chased him through the streets until they caught him, his bucket filled with water, he panicked and started to sink towards the river bottom. His brother rescued him, but of course his brother could only do so much – it was hard for him to choose between sometimes his own friends and his eccentric younger brother.
It is fair to say in a small country town their really is nowhere to hide and both boys copped a few beatings.
Mr Bucket remembers how he would climb into bed with his sister after his mother had bandaged his wounds. They would wait for their father to return from the pub, their parents would argue in the kitchen usually about him. His sister would read to him from the stash of old books she kept under her bed until he fell asleep curled beneath her arm.
Sometimes he would wake briefly as his mother tucked him in, her familiar aroma – earthy and sweet from cooking and gardening. Other times he would pretend to sleep, he knew his father was standing quietly staring at him from the smell of tobacco and beer. I think it is fair to say Mr Bucket’s father never really understood or couldn’t deal with the “son” beneath the bucket.
So as the years past Mr Bucket began to get lost in his bucket, he would be sent to feed the chooks and the family would find him teaching the chickens a tap dance, he dreamed of fame as a sportsmen or actor, how he would leave this small town and become famous, how he would make his mother and father proud. That the bucket would only make him stronger and nothing would get in the way of him realising his dreams – with his wild, expansive dream, he became addicted to television and superhero’s….
All of that seems such a long time ago now, we now know that from those humble beginnings… Mr Bucket did become famous, …that the wild rumours about Mr Bucket have only got bigger… this larger then life character.. the wild man of fashion, international man of mystery has achieved all of the fame he wanted and more.
Can he now swim, well he eventually swam the English Channel.
Why wasn’t that enough for him, why then did he turn his back on fame to live in the suburbs with his dog and become a recluse who takes pleasure in simple pursuits such as cooking and playing music…
Is he lonely? Does he suffer from unrequited love?
Now we not only have our original question, we now have many more questions.. and we are no closer to knowing the answer to any of them…
Mr Bucket values his privacy, he hides from the paparazzi – he doesn’t care that we are so curious. He would like us to come up with our own answers..
He has completely left it to us, to come up with our own ideas for Mr Bucket.
Our own explanations …
Mr Bucket is an aussie everyman, a flawed individual with a common decency.
He celebrates our difference and that great Anzac tradition which is to take the piss.
Lets not loose that larrikan spirit as we take a few lessons from Mr Bucket…
I do bump into Mr Bucket occasionally we meet up at music festivals or for a cup of coffee, I love my friend, and I begin to see how he is slowly coming out of his bucket. I find him to be an ordinary bloke with such a lot going on in that bucket of his…
He knows he didn’t lead a blameless life, he made a lot of mistakes and yet somehow he doesn’t have too many regrets, except for perhaps one which I won’t go into now, suffice to say there are bridges to mend and people he still misses.
A couple of times I have had a notion that he is almost ready to remove the bucket… but then he will talk about needing the bucket to make sense of the world.
He doesn’t get angry at his own bucket, but he does get angry with the buckets other people wear, particularly when it comes to blundering on with a blinkered view towards change.
I do know that he is a great believer in tolerance, acceptting difference… but then after all he was the kid thrown in the river.
Most of all Mr Bucket wants us to share ideas. He is just an ordinary bloke that wants to weave and engage with others. All of those wonderfully expansive dreams going on in that bucket of his – thats what makes him truly happy.
Just last week I heard him say…..“We don’t live in a bubble, we only wear a bucket”