<em>“He says we are going the wrong way.”</em>
<em>“Oh, he’s drunk! How would he know where we’re going?”</em>
—from the film “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”.
It is Thanksgiving week. I compiled an “A to Z” list of things I am thankful for. No matter how bad the world is, we have today. Today is enough.
A is for Aggies. More specifically, Utah State Aggies. I am an Aggie. Darn proud of it.
B is for board games. I have loved playing games my whole life. During my years in Utah, I have become close friends with a group of nerds who have introduced me to a plethora of board games that are intricate in stratagem. Currently, this is a golden era for board games. I am happy to be living through that.
C is for Cooper. My dog. There are times when I am laying down that he lays right next to me and we nap together. He puts my mind at ease. All I need to do is get him to stop losing his mind when he sees other dogs and he would be as close to perfect as I can ask for.
D is for the Dallas Cowboys. You appreciate love more after experiencing hate. The Cowboys—along with the New York Mets, the Pittsburgh Penguins and BYU—remind me that sports are great because I love my teams more when I hate their main rivals. The Cowboys play on Thanksgiving Day annually. My whole life, on this day of solemn gratitude, I give thanks that those arrogant ba****s are on my television as I enjoy the holiday.
E is for elephants. If I had a bigger house, and enough money to feed it, I would get a comfort elephant. They are my favorite animal. Loyal, loving and they only attack you if you threaten them. Go to Africa and observe lions at a watering hole. Do you know what the pride does when the elephants show up? They leave.
F is for friends. No one is a failure who has them.
G is for Gemini. My birthday is June 19th. I am fully aware that there is no scientific methodology to astrology. Yet, if you were to read up on the traits of a Gemini, they are spot on in describing my personality. Most profoundly, the dual personality.
H is for Henry VIII of England. He changed the world. It would take a month of columns to write out his historic accomplishments and failings. Look up his biography and thank me after. He is a great read.
I is Idaho. I love Idaho. Beautiful forests and recreational locations. And, on Sundays, if I want to buy beer at full potency, or a lottery ticket, or if I just want to go somewhere that has places of interest open, I can leave Utah and go to the Gem State. Idaho treats me like an adult who can make my own decisions. Utah does not. That is why I give Idaho money that Utah thinks is dirty.
J is for jasmine, my favorite scent. If you want to persuade me to your side of an argument, douse yourself in jasmine and sit close to me. Game over.
K is for karma. More times than not, I believe good and bad people get what they deserve.
L is for Lava Hot Springs. See Idaho.
M is for Mondays. Good things happen to me on Mondays. Great songs were composed about Mondays. It is the start of a new week. You made it through the weekend. Rejoice! Mondays are an affirmation that life goes on.
N is for nachos. Do I need to expound on this? Just nod your head in agreement and we can move on.
O is for “Ode To Joy”. This is a poem written by Friedrich Schiller that is prominently featured in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The 9th sooths me. Hearing the choir sing the Ode To Joy within the 9th stirs my soul to indescribable solace.
P is for “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. I watch this magnificent film every Thanksgiving night. The story of two men on the road trip from Hell trying to get home for Thanksgiving reminds me that home is the place that you would crawl the earth to get back to.
Q is for quips. Humor makes life easier. A clever remark here and there makes the day go by faster.
R is for radio. It is great that technology allows us to play any song at any time we want. But there is something magical about putting on a radio station—terrestrial or satellite—and hearing a song come on randomly that we love. Radio adapts, so it never dies.
S is for Shakespeare. Dressing spiffy to go to a theatre to watch actors perform The Bard’s work is something I could never do enough. The rush I feel sitting in a theatre waiting for a performance is the equivalent of what a young child feels on Christmas Eve. I should be that happy every day.
T is for tea. In Logan, Utah, my quiet time is sitting outside of Caffe Ibis drinking tea. People I know come by and I get to catch up on gossip. Mostly, I just sit alone and allow myself some moments of peaceful introspection.
U is for underdogs. My whole life I have been a contrarian. I root for underdogs. And this does not just apply to sports teams, but to people as well. Associating with winners does not make a person a winner. Being loyal to things and people that are having a bad time makes one a winner. I would never turn my back on a friend having a rough spot. I could not sleep at night if I did that.
V is for Venice. I plan on seeing this Italian city before I die. Whenever I watch a movie or TV show set in Venice, I want to be there.
W is for walking. I stopped trying to drive a car when I was 18. I walk most places. As the comedian Steven Wright once said, “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”
X is for xylophone. This musical instrument is allowed to be used by a Philadelphia Mummers String Band in the annual New Year’s Day parade. I am a Mummer and I needed an X. So, yeah.
Y is for Yuengling. This beer, native to Pennsylvania, is one of my favorites. I shall drink large quantities of it when I am home to march in the parade mentioned directly above.
Z is for zoo. A zoo is the only place I have ever seen an elephant.
I want to wish you and everyone you love a very Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the good things in your life. They are there for a reason.