20 November 2006

"20 Things you forgot to be thankful for"

I like Gilbert and Sullivan and so I have a "Google alert" that sweeps the internet for references to G&S. (I also have one for Silver Spring Stage and one for me. These last two have a lot less traffic than the one that looks for references to a couple of guys who've been dead for nearly 100 years, but who wrote some pretty faboo operettas.) And so even though I don't live in New England, I found this essay by Pat Cahill in my net in today's "catch."

The essay ran in the Springfield, Massachusetts Republican. My thanks to Pat for her permission to post it here.

Count your blessings

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Here are 20 things you forgot to be thankful for:

1. Taxes. They're the dues you pay for living in a democracy. Thanks to them, you don't have to worry about falling into the drink every time you drive across a bridge.

2. Stadium seating at the movies.

3. Red lights. Imagine the chaos without them.

4. Music. In Biblical times, you had to be a king like Saul to summon David and his harp. Today everyone has music at their command, whether AM, FM, CD, Ipod, elevator...

5. Winter. It makes summer feel so good.

6. Your body. You complain about it, puncture it, burn it, starve it, stuff it, scratch it, poison it with smokes and drinks, and it still keeps plugging away, doing the best it can right up to the end.

7. Swiffer.

8. Thanksgiving. It's one of the few things that make November worth living through, along with maybe the NFL and the annual Gilbert and Sullivan production in Amherst.

9. Taking your medicine. In the old days, you lived with your headaches - or turned to opium. And don't even try to imagine dentistry back then.

10. The Socialist Party. They advocated for the 40-hour work week, restrictions on child labor and the female vote back when those were crazy ideas. They remind us that even extreme views have value.

11. Long lines at the airport. You'd prefer maybe wrestling a gun from somebody at 40,000 feet?

12. Polyester. Check with any grandmother who used to iron her husband's shirts.

13. Capitalism. Without money as an incentive, who would have come up with airbags or scoopable cat litter?

14. Some of the things we should be thankful for have a flip side. Be thankful you can go to a pizzeria or ride a bus without worrying about being blown to smithereens by a bomb. That's what some people live with every day.

15. Do-it-yourself books.

16. Two parties and three branches of government. Sure, it makes change slow and frustrating. But despotism has its down side.

17. Advantage. People with animal companions shudder at memories of flea baths and flea bombs.

18. Meaningful work. Lucky are those who have it.

19. The dark-chocolate fad.

20. Aging. You probably don't want the other choice.

No comments: