Thankful for the right to be unthankful
Thanksgiving is upon us. Again.
I understand the idea behind it. This is the day when everyone gathers with family and loved ones to celebrate their blessings by eating until we're barely able to walk.
We do this on the fourth Thursday of every November.
On the fourth Friday, we convert the food into energy in order to shop.
Now, before I delve into the real purpose of this column, I want to preface it by saying that I have a great many things of which I am truly thankful. All of the usual things such as health, family, plenty to eat and four walls and a roof. I have a great job, all my original teeth and my brain remains relatively intact and functional. I have also been blessed with rugged, rock-star good looks and a six-pack abs body to die for that, despite my advanced middle-aged years, are still with me and is the envy of all my same-aged friends and family.
Oh - did I mention my vivid imagination and my ability to see what I want to see?
But I digress.
I like Thanksgiving. But, to be fair, and especially in this age of political correctness, why shouldn't there be a day where we can freely voice things of which we may not be quite so thankful? I mean besides war, famine, poverty and all of the obvious things that every Miss America hopeful wishes would go away when what they really wish is that their competitors suddenly sprout zits and gain ten pounds right before the swimsuit competition?
In case you're still not sure what I mean, I'll start the list.
I'm not thankful that Oreos taste so good. When I was a kid I could eat a whole bag and not worry about anything except where I could get the next bag. I wouldn't gain an ounce. I had no cares about things like blood sugar, calories or cholesterol. If I even think about one of those cookies now, my pants get tighter.
I'm not thankful that cars now decide where they want to go and the driver is at their mercy. For example, if I so much as look down and change the radio station, my car has decided it no longer likes the lane I was in and drifts two lanes over even if that lane is already occupied. Also, if I need to make a left turn to get where I want to go, my car emits some sort of invisible, odorless gas of some kind that renders me semi-conscious and babbling, "Must… keep… going…" for a half-mile or so before I finally realize I missed my turn.
And I'm not particularly thankful for the language I then use, but it does make me feel better.
I'm not thankful for the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Grocery. Oh I love the people there. I love the convenience. I love the products they sell. But what I'm not thankful for is this: I go in there to get a gallon of milk and maybe a loaf of bread and I leave with $247 worth of groceries. And it's not until I'm in my wandering car heading home before I think to myself, “What the heck just happened?”
It's like a casino. You just can't stop.
I'm not thankful for colonoscopies. I've had one and I have no plans to ever get another one. I think eventually they will fade into the land of procedures you really didn't need. Like tonsillectomies and ear tubes.
(I now have to put in this legal disclaimer: the views expressed here in this column do not necessarily reflect those of physicians and health experts. Colonoscopies save lives and everyone should get one at age 50. Thank you.)
I'm not thankful that a lot of my hard-earned money goes to those who are quite capable of working and won't. I feel strongly that those on welfare and food stamps should be required to not only take a random drug test but also a physical. If they fail the drug test and/or pass the physical, the free ride is over.
I'm not thankful for our military because it takes my sons and their families to far away countries and puts them in harm's way. And this means there remain people in this world who want what we have and therefore our military is still necessary. What a shame. Can you imagine the good we could do if we didn't have to spend money on military and war?
(Another disclaimer: on Thanksgiving I will be voicing eternal thanks for our men and women in uniform and their sacrifice. It just didn't belong in this non-thankful column. Thank you.)
I'm not thankful when our Memphis Tigers get beat.
I'm not thankful that my grandchildren are growing up so quickly.
I'm not thankful that my hair and my hearing decided that I no longer need them.
I'm not thankful that my sister has cancer.
Of course, there are far more things in my life that I'm thankful for than not, but they won't give me that many words in my columns. Instead, I will end this one with these words of wisdom:
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. – Eric Hoffer
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!