Slightly Off Center: Thankfullness Is a Year-Round Job

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Slightly Off Center: Thankfullness Is a Year-Round Job

Thankfulness should stretch well beyond Thanksgiving Day because it keeps us grounded during the glitz and mass commercialism of the holiday season, all the way to Valentine’s Day.

The first Mormon joke I heard 31 years ago was:

Q: Why do you always invite two Mormons with you to go fishing?
A: Because if you only invite one, he will drink all your beer.

This is why I’m glad both Romney and Huntsman are running for president—they’ll keep each other honest.

For these and many other 2011 oddities I am thankful.

Thankfulness should stretch well beyond Thanksgiving Day because it keeps us grounded during the glitz and mass commercialism of the holiday season, all the way to Valentine’s Day.

I’m thankful for the small picture.

I’m thankful for plumbers, city utility workers, electricians, waste removal specialists and anyone else who makes it possible for good stuff to flow into our homes and unpleasant things to efficiently flow out. I’m also thankful for all the people at the landfill who make so many of our mistakes disappear. Likewise I’m thankful for white elephant gift parties so I can get rid of stuff I can’t bring myself to throw away. I’m thankful that Deseret Industries takes stuff that should be thrown away and gives us a tax deduction for it. Seriously, I think a lot of people go there just to avoid the tipping fees.

We flush, drain, donate and throw so much away that maybe this should be as important an economic indicator as buying stuff; because most of us don’t have room to buy new stuff until we throw away old stuff.

I’m also thankful for the people who patiently paint thousands of miles of white lines, relatively straight and of consistent width, on roads and highways, thus preventing us from running into each other more often than we do. In my imagination, they are art school graduates who didn’t quite make it.

I’m thankful for the self-service checkout lines that most grocery stores have now because they allow me to buy more junk food and questionable items without being subjected to the disapproving stare of the checkers. Scanning and bagging also makes me feel as though I’m training for a backup career.

I’m thankful for tech support lines, especially the ones in India because if they can understand the game of cricket, they can probably understand any obscure technical question I could come up with.

Even though I didn’t miss them, I’m thankful that the NBA decided to start playing again because we need more highly paid sweaty tattooed guys playing sports to distract us during holiday family gatherings.

The Occupy movement makes me thankful that I’m neither as young nor as idealistic as I once was, because I don’t even like to sleep in a tent for fun. Similarly, the Tea Party serves as a cautionary reminder that hate and stupidity are as American as mac n’ cheese and can rise up at any time.

To a lesser extent, I’m thankful for pizza, photosynthesis and ibuprofen, not necessarily in that order. 

Dennis Hinkamp is perpetually thankful for anyone who still reads.

 
 
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