Columns » Ranger Rich

Reasons to give thanks

Ranger Rich



Many of us will gather with our loved ones on this Thanksgiving Day, celebrating our nation's proud heritage and, after dinner, taking turns winding up like major-league pitchers and firing honey-roasted almonds into grandpa's wide-open mouth as he snores on the couch.

Amid all the festivities and traditional holiday sounds of laughter and grandpa choking, we should also pause to remember that first Thanksgiving in 1621 in a place called Plymouth, which was named for the automobile. To this feast celebrating a successful harvest the Pilgrims invited the local Indian tribe, the Wampanoag, which combines the words wampa ("we") and noag ("can't thank you enough for the food, the friendship and, oh yes, the smallpox").

So here we are in our own colony 389 years later and we, too, have plenty to be thankful for. For example, we're thankful each stunning Rocky Mountain sunset brings us a day closer to the moment when our mayor, who is a turkey, stops stuffing himself with developers' money and is term-limited out of office.

We are also thankful for the three brave Fort Carson soldiers who recently broke into a marijuana dispensary in the middle of the night — locking themselves inside because they had apparently not yet received Army training in the area of how to operate a door knob.

One of the soldiers, as reported by the Gazette, actually told police, "We were just trying to get rid of all the marijuana." Previously, these moral and civic-minded soldiers had joined comrades in the 28,000 bars in our downtown area making an almost super-human attempt to get rid of all the tequila.

On a personal note, I am thankful for politician Scott McInnis, so that even on a rare week when our City Council doesn't do something stupid I will have someone to make fun of.

McInnis, you might recall, was paid $300,000 by a foundation — it apparently confused Scott McInnis with F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby, Tender Is the Night, Lassie Come Home, My Friend Flicka) to write a water-rights essay that was worth about $3. But McInnis didn't even write the paper. A huge chunk was lifted, word for word, from a decades-old essay. McInnis blamed the entire thing on an 82-year-old "friend" who later called McInnis a liar. All of which resulted in McInnis losing the Republican gubernatorial nomination to Dan Maes, which is not unlike losing a debate to a mime.

We're thankful, too, that we can keep laughing at Focus on the Family. Our village's "nonprofit" evangelicals in their $55 million castle recently stepped up to the homophobic plate by vowing to sponsor a national anti-gay "Day of Dialogue" next April. On that day, Focus hopes "Christian" students in America's schools will tell other students that being gay is a sin.

This gives us five months to organize and counter the so-called Christians with "Bring a Lion to School Day."

We are also thankful for a hint of rising sales and use tax revenues in our high-tech village, giving us hope that perhaps one day all 14 of our streetlights, which are currently fueled by whale oil, will be powered by a cleaner and more modern source of energy, such as bacon fat.

We are thankful for bicycles, too, especially the refurbished bikes given to the homeless by big-hearted village cyclist and top-notch bike mechanic Brian Gravestock. Because there's nothing like free bicycles to get homeless people off the streets and back onto the sidewalks where, if there is a loving and compassionate God, they will learn to ride fast and recklessly and run over Doug Bruce.

And let us not forget to say thanks for an actual program at Penrose-St. Francis Hospital treating wounds by covering them with honey. From an Indy story: "Honey actually has several beneficial properties for open sores."

However, like all medications these days, this new honey treatment for wounds comes with possible negative aspects, which are listed in very small print like this: "Side effects may include rash, swelling, nausea, headaches, fever, itching and being attacked by bears."

So all of us should think about our loved ones and honey and open wounds on this special holiday. Especially as we're tiptoeing toward the couch with a handful of almonds.

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