Blog: Happy Thanksgiving

Burt Ross

If you are reading this column today in its printed version — the very day The Malibu Times hits most newsstands, then you are reading it on Thanksgiving Day. You should not be. If you are a true American, you should be watching at least 18 hours of uninterrupted football, interspersed with enough stuffing and pies to set your diet back a minimum of two months.

Thanksgiving is a secular national holiday, but, in some way, it’s also our most spiritual holiday, since we take the day off to give thanks for our many blessings. Ironically, many religious institutions are closed for the day. (Try to figure that out in your spare time.)

Of course, I am grateful for the same things that many of us share: America with its guaranteed liberties, good friends and family, and Malibu — the town we are fortunate enough to call our home. 

But, each year around this time, I like to think way out of the box and come up with things I am grateful for which I ordinarily take for granted. For instance, as I get older (and that seems to be happening every day), I more and more appreciate the omnipresence of public facilities.    

Now, I don’t mean to be flippant (oh, yes I do) when I tell you I would forfeit the entire Bill of Rights for a public facility when I need one. Who in his right mind would prefer the right to bear arms to immediate access to a public facility when the call comes? 

As for the rights of free speech, assembly, religion and the press — all these rights pale in comparison to the right of a free accessible public facility. Who, I ask you, cares more about the separation of church and state than potential separation from a public facility? You get the point.

That’s not all I am grateful for. I readily give thanks to the person who invented the DVR, whoever he or she is. Yes, the DVR. It has changed my life, and for the better, I might add. Whereas you might watch those 18 hours of football today, I can watch the same amount of football in slightly less than 20 minutes. 

I simply fast forward through everything, including the huddles (I have no need to watch grown men conducting business meetings every few seconds). I view only the actual playing time which is almost nonexistent compared to the endless time the television stations spend promoting various products, especially those which cure symptoms I don’t have. This saved time allows me to stuff additional carbs into my mouth while the rest of you are still watching the games.

And so, when you get a chance to be reflective on this Thanksgiving Day (perhaps during a halftime), give some thought and appreciation for something we all take for granted but without which life would not be nearly as dear.

Happy Thanksgiving!