Now that the turkey’s down the hatch with the Stove Top stuffing and green bean casserole, it’s time to sit back, relax and recall the real reason for Thanksgiving.
We can start by remembering there will be no more green bean casserole for at least another year.
We can continue by counting other myriad blessings America continues to offer.
Sure, our nation has been in tumult these past several years, but there is still ample reason to cheer. After all, we’re not being indefinitely locked up in a Turkish prison for smuggling antiquities we thought were cheap souvenirs.
And we’re not buried up to our waist being stoned to death somewhere in Iran.
We’re in America, dang it, and there is so much for which to be thankful. We’ll keep it brief with a total of six kooky reasons, including the green bean thing, to be glad we’re here in America.
Our Wal-Marts sometimes house a McDonald’s. This fine coupling exists right here in Tucson with the Wal-Mart-McDonald’s combination at 7150 E. Speedway Blvd. The two entities nestle like lovebirds in a single building, waiting for us to buy cheap furniture and fatty fries in one fell swoop.
Can’t make a large percentage of large Americans much happier than that.
Freedom of speech is aloud and well. From nasty anonymous Internet comments to angry slurs and signs, Americans are free to speak their minds. Well, most of the time.
Just don’t tick off the President. Velma Hart, a chief financial officer for the Maryland veterans’ organization AM Vets, found that out when she told Mr. President she was fed up with the state of the nation with him at the helm.
“Quite frankly, I’m exhausted,” she told President Barack Obama at a September town hall meeting that was broadcast on CNBC. “Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the man for change I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now.”
Guess what? She got fired.
Of course, her employer blames budgetary reasons, but what a coincidence.
Creative money earning is another benefit in this Land of Opportunity. Once we speak out, like Hart, and get fired, we can always turn to creative outlets to rake in some cash. We can babysit poodles, do a McDonald’s run for rich folks, sell creepy artwork or, if we’re really in a money crunch, we can always sue someone.
Frivolous lawsuitscontinue to pile up like dirty dishes. Americans thoroughly enjoy the practice of suing the pants off each other. Here in the Land of the Freely suing, nothing is sacred.
One man sued Providence Hospital in 2002 for $2 million, saying the hospital was negligent because he was able to get away with raping one of its patients.
A woman sued Universal Studios in 2000 for $15,000, saying she suffered mental anguish, emotional distress and extreme fear after paying a visit to its Halloween Horror Nights haunted house.
And then there’s the McDonald’s manager, although he was in Brazil, not America, who sued the Illinois-based restaurant chain for making him fat over his 12 years of service there. He was awarded $17,500.
No word on if he was also suing Wal-Mart for perhaps being too heavy for its cheap furniture after habitually feasting at his job.
At least President Obama is at the helm, which gives us one more reason to be grateful. Even though the country has not magically turned around and even though people like Hart get fired for speaking their minds about the state of the nation, Obama is still a blessing. At least he’s not George W. Bush.
Law enforcement is a tough job, but sometimes a few dimwitted criminals come along that make a cop’s job a tad easier.
Such was the case this week with an afternoon bank robbery from a suspect who appears to have taken hairstyling tips from pop sensation Justin Bieber, and a brazen yet bumbling burglary attempt by suspects who perhaps could use some of those hairstyling tips.
Tucson police arrested the afternoon bank robber Oct. 27 while Pima County sheriff deputies nabbed a trio of brazen burglars Oct. 24, one of whom drove a forklift through a wall to enter a business and another who fought with a sheriff canine, according to news releases from the respective agencies.
The robbery suspect, a Bieber-banged young man, evidently didn’t have much sense when he decided to rob a bank.
In the middle of the afternoon.
In the middle of town.
With no weapons but a demand note – and very slow reflexes coupled with few observational skills.
The would-be robber also picked a branch of the Pima County Federal Credit Union at 3730 N. Stone Ave, a scant 4 miles north of Tucson Police headquarters.
As with many banks, the credit union was equipped with a hold-up alarm, which sends out a 911 to police that a robbery is in progress.
Police were on the scene within one minute to find the suspect still standing there at a teller window.
Brian Maxwell Sallee, 21, was arrested without incident and charged with one count of robbery.
At least Sallee’s alleged robbery attempt was a bit more subtle than an attempted burglary that went down days earlier when thieves blasted through walls with hammers and a forklift.
Pima County Sheriff deputies were called to the bumbling burglary in progress around 10 p.m. Oct. 24 at a strip of buildings in the industrial area of 3100 block of South Dodge Boulevard.
The exact location of the burglary must have been fairly evident when deputies arrived to find a hole cut through a roll up door.
The burglars entered the first business through the hole, went on to drive a forklift through an interior wall to get into a second business and then used hammers to bust through more interior walls to get into a third and fourth business.
“Extensive damage was done to the businesses and warehouse structure,” the release duly noted.
While the Tasmanian-devil approach to burglary may be absurd enough, one of the suspects made the arrest even more absurd by tangling with the sheriff’s canine when the dog found them hiding in crates.
Since all three were arrested, his tangling evidently did not pay off.
Arrested were Wesley Wallace, 46; Michael Fink, 48; and Randall Gray, 40. All three were charged with first degree burglary, felony criminal damage, felony theft and possession of burglary tools. The release did not note if they brought their own forklift.
Gray had the addition charge of harming a working animal tacked on for fighting with the sheriff’s K-9.
Best wishes for the canine’s speedy recovery – and the criminals’ speedy prosecution.
Christopher Columbus may have sailed the ocean blue, since the water in the late 1400s was still clear from major oil spills, but a few other supposed facts about this guy’s journey – and American history – are wholly incorrect.
Columbus did not, as we have all heard, technically discover America, since people were already inhabiting the place. But this is just one historical myth that clearly needs some clearing up.
George Washington’s false teeth were NOT made of wood. His fake choppers were instead constructed of elephant and hippo tusks along with some cow teeth thrown in. They also had hooks to somehow attach them in his mouth.
This, too, may be the real reason he could not tell a lie, as the contraption in his mouth was too painful to talk much at all.
John F. Kennedy did NOT cause the men’s hat market to crash just because he didn’t wear one at his 1961 inauguration. Many have been losing sleep over this one since 1962.
Hat sales declined because they are hot, itchy and uncomfortable. They are also part of the chivalry movement that died with World War II, according to a professor at Brooklyn College who yelled at students who wore baseball caps to class.
Abraham Lincoln’s new line of pennies was NEVER planned with the phrase “In God We Trust” omitted. The rumor started when new coin designs were issued, all of which honored Lincoln’s life. One had a cute little picture of a log cabin, another showed Lincoln on a log, and so on.
Some folks who saw the new designs were appalled to find “In God We Trust” did not appear on any of them and the rumor mill began to churn. The only problem with the rumor’s veracity was that the new designs were only to grace the back of the coins and “In God We Trust” appears on the untouched front of the coins. Penny for your silliness?
Lizzie Borden did NOT administer 40 whacks to her mother, nor did she chop down her dad with 41. First off, the woman killed was not Lizzie’s mother but rather her step-mother. Secondly, the dead woman was struck with “no less than seven wounds,” said an early account in The Fall River Herald, and certainly nowhere near 40.
Since Lizzie was eventually acquitted, the playground rhyme needs to further be amended to include the word “allegedly.”
George W. Bush did NOT wave at Stevie Wonder. This erroneous tidbit came from a 2002 “Washington Post” story that said Bush was attending the concert and excitedly waved at Stevie at his keyboard – and Stevie did not wave back.
Bush did make a hand gesture while Mr. Wonder was settling at his keyboard, but it was not an excited wave. It was more a casual palm raise. It was also not intended for Wonder but rather for event emcee Kelsey Grammer. No word on if Grammer waved back, either.
As more and more Big Macs go down the hatch, it seems more and more folks are crying that fat people have become the new outcasts.
A handful of news articles, opinion pieces and interviews – written by folks of all sizes – insist that the overweight are treated poorly, sneered at and discriminated against.
We agree – to an extent. But we also say they haven’t seen anything yet.
If the husky were truly to be the new pariahs, we would have to treat them the same way people treat smokers.
For starters, we’d have to pick out the food that makes them fat and tax the heck out of it.
Unlike all forms of smoking, we simply can’t ban all forms of eating from the Earth. But we can target what we’ll call fatty foods.
This means ice cream, cookies, caramel, candies, chocolate and the like will now cost at least triple the amount it used to. The new tax will also apply to anything that people seem to enjoy eating or anything with the word “Super” in its name.
Anyone care for a $22 Twinkie?
Next is controlling where people can eat these fatty foods. The foodstuff will be prohibited in both indoor and outdoor sports arenas, bars, bowling alleys, the workplace, any government owned facility, in certain areas of restaurants and on select campuses.
No more honey coated peanuts on the airplane. No more custard éclairs on the bus.
Folks who still choose to poison their bodies with such monstrosities will be forced to stand at least 20 feet from any public building doorway and cower outside in the rain.
People who tip the scales above their recommended body weight will also have a hefty price to pay when it comes to health insurance. No more free meal.
An additional $200 will be added to the annual insurance fees for every pound people are above their target weight.
This means if a woman whose average body weight should fall around 130 actually weighs in at 170, she now has an $800 surcharge added on to her regular annual insurance rates.
Health insurance surcharges for smokers require them to cough up an annual $700 or more.
Once all the technicalities are handled and new “No Fat” laws in place, the public ostracism can begin.
Complete strangers will walk by anyone who carries any extra pounds and make loud oinking noises. Others will glare and wave their hands in front of their faces or abruptly blurt, “Oh, yuck! You smell like food.”
Those thoughtful, do-gooder parents will train their kids to run up to fat people eating fatty foods in a pubic park and say, “Why do you eat that? My mom said it will kill you.”
Help wanted ads will note, “Non-fat people preferred,” while hotels and rental properties will insist upon it.
Once the transformation is complete, and the pleasantly plump truly become the new outcasts, we can duly move on to the next set on our quest to right all societal wrongs.