ON THANKS, AND NO THANKS

Some things are just too big to ignore, and Thanksgiving is one of them, so rather than write a post that has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, here’s one that gives lip service to the holiday but is really just a bunch of stuff I like and don’t like.

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, we will give thanks for our loved ones, family, friends, and pie.  If you are in my family or a friend, my gratitude will be expressed more directly tomorrow, over said pie.

Today, we shall address the things we are thankful for in everyday life, and also things that we are so freakin’ unthankful for we want to hurl.

Let’s start with the thanks, because even though that means we’ll end with unthanks, thanks is not as funny.  Except for this.  I am very thankful for these little birds you see at the beach, who are feeding on something just below the surf on the sand, and run into get food and then run away from the waves like children playing in the water.  They kill me, the little tweeters.

I’m grateful for the whole beach thing, as you are well aware if you’ve been reading these even a little.  And, it’s a great way for me to help Kiki meet her 20K steps/day goal.

Next, there’s this pepper plant.  I have mixed results with plants, but this one and the tomato plant that recently passed made it through two growing seasons.  Not sure if that happens much with peppers, but it never happens with tomatoes.  Anyway, this guy made it through last winter, then grew as a dwarf (no offense) pepper plant, only with big fruit.  Like a little person with a big… nose.

Peppertree
Small plant, big peppers

The Woodland Hills summer, with daytime temps at or over 100° is not good to potted plants.  So I pruned it way back.  Now, November is almost over, all the flowers are hibernating, the tomato plant, after providing fruit all summer, has finally succumbed to nature, but there’s this guy still pumping out peppers like nobody’s business, whatever the hell that means.

pepperplant.
This is one badass pepper plant.

And finally, there are horn sections. We go to a lot of live music performances, many of them in small venues, and once in a while, you get a horn section and your realize, or at least I do, that this is one of the greatest things.  Everyone has a drummer, a guitarist, a bassist, maybe a piano… but a horn section?  Almost never.  Who can afford one?

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I want these guys. I mean, why should Conan be the only one with his own horn section?

Anyway, let’s give thanks for horn sections.  I have this idea that anyone with clinical depression should get their own horn section for a week. They follow the individual around and punctuate his or her life with great little riffs, while stepping back and forth in unison to the rhythm of life. My theory is that this will cure almost anything.

Now for the no-thanks.  I know, you think I’m this mellow dude sitting here at my desk looking out at the window at the sunny Southern California skies and writing whimsical, curmudgeonly, and occasionally humorous stuff that about 60 people will read.  And you’re mostly correct.

(SINCERE THANKS TO THOSE 60 PEOPLE. REALLY. GRATEFUL FOR YOUR READERSHIP!)

But seriously, get me in a car and I’m a lunatic.  I hate everyone. And I live in LA, so that means I’m driving a lot over roads filled with idiots at speeds exceeding 75 MPH (though often it’s about 5) while late to a doctor’s appointment.  Get out of my way, you moronS!

And of course, I know that’s unfair.  I’m a pretty good driver but I get my share of middle-finger salutes on the 101. We all do dumb things on occasion.  But the thing is, I know I’m a better driver than them, and not only that, they are indeed idiots.  I would venture to say, at least 35% of LA drivers are idiots.  Not you, of course.

How do we know this?  The mean IQ in the US is 100.  Average range is 80-110.  What can we learn from this?  Chances are, when you see a person, they are either below average. Or above average.

Now, I know, you say your friends are all above average and that’s probably correct. For example, doctors. Sure, we all know a doctor and we wonder how he or she ever got through high school, let alone medical school.

As George Carlin once mused, and this is paraphrasing: Here’s a scary thought: somewhere out there is the absolute worst doctor in the world.  There’s always a best and worst, and the worst doctor is out there.  You know what’s even scarier? There’s someone sitting in his waiting room.

But generally, doctor’s IQ’s average 120-130, which is pretty damn smart (this is all based on very superficial google-type research, but go with it).  And if you’re a doctor, you hang with doctors and nurses and other high IQ individuals, so yes, you can’t play this game with your friends. But you can do it in a movie theater (not including foreign films) or on the freeway.

Here it is: look to your left.  Now, look forward to make sure you’re not about to plow into someone.  Now look to your right.

One of those people, either the one on the left or the one on the right (assuming you are at least average), is an absolute idiot.  Yes, a low-IQ moron who is driving a 65 MPH, half-ton torpedo.  Let’s be unthankful for them, all at the same time.  Here’s one:

trucktires
There is no visible rope holding this all together, but even assuming there is, this guy is an idiot.

The other thing that sucks involving cars and driving in most cities is trying to figure out whether you can park in a spot or not.  I was late for an appointment and found a decent spot, but then it took me ten minutes to figure out that yes, indeed, I could park there.  Screw these people who make these rules and signs.  Anti-gridlock, my ass.  Who wants a parking sign that require a bookmark?

parkingsigns
Finding change is the least of your problems

Sure, there’s more, on both the thanks and no-thanks side of things, but since we all notice the things we hate that cause us stress everyday, it’s a good idea to notice the other things too.

So what have we learned, besides that we’re not the idiots?  We’ve learned that Thanksgiving isn’t the only day we feel thankful for things, and often we forget on that day, while being thankful for the other great things, the big things, that there are small things, like funny birds, hearty plants with big fruit, and horn sections, that we can be grateful for every day.  And also, it’s fun to complain sometimes and feel superior, even if we’re not.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your Thanksgiving!  I need to go spatchcock the turkey now. Don’t ask.

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