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Big Thanks

five things I’m happy we have

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by Mike Paulus illustrated by Ian Kloster

 

Wee.
 
Wee.

Let’s hurry up and talk about Thanksgiving before the already humming engines of the Christmas Hype Machine really rev up and drown out every other cultural happening from now until late January. More and more, it seems like Thanksgiving is getting lost in the shuffle. And to be honest, I’m not surprised.

I’ll just say it: we’re on the verge of canceling Thanksgiving. So before it’s too late, I’d like to give thanks for some of my favorite local stuff.

Exactly what is Thanksgiving bringing to the table nowadays? Not much. A big family meal? A turkey? Christmas pretty much has that covered. And most of people I know actually complain about having to complete two family pilgrimages (yuk, yuk) at such a busy time of year. There’s the story of the pilgrims, but the whole “robbing people of their native lands” thing has kind of put a damper on it. The Autumn-ish decorations are nice and all, but compared to Halloween before it and the explosion of candy canes, snowmen, and twinkle lights soon to follow ... it’s hard to compete. Think about it. Has Santa Claus ever lost a fight? The dude’s got some freaky powerful magic backing him up (not to mention Hasbro, Mattel, and Fisher Price).

I’ll just say it: we’re on the verge of canceling Thanksgiving. So before it’s too late, I’d like to give thanks for some of my favorite local stuff.

Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association
Oh, Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association, you shouldn’t have. When you offered to donate the labor needed to build a second set of restrooms in Phoenix Park, well ... you melted my heart. Some people think a second set of bathrooms is ludicrous, and perhaps (at the original price tag of $280,000) they are right. But after your open-hearted offer, along with a donation from area BID districts, the cost will be only around $32,500. So if loving these public toilets is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Giant inflatable lawn ornaments
Holiday inflatables – what would I do without you? If you didn’t exist, I would have so little to complain about this time of year. And furthermore, if it weren’t for your towering billowy-ness, how the hell would I know what holiday we’re about to celebrate (in a month or two)? If it weren’t for the 20 foot tall blimp-like turkeys wearing pilgrim hats cresting the rooftops of my neighborhood, I’d have no clue it’s time to stock up on cranberry sauce.

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