(Reprinted from Nov. 23, 2000)
For several years now, I’ve put up with complaints from friends and associates around this time of the year.
The point of contention is my temporarily reduced workload. Specifically, they chastise me for continually relying on what they deem a shopworn column to fill this space in our annual Thanksgiving edition of the paper.
(Actually, that paper is no different than any of our other editions, except for the fact it happens to come out on a holiday every year. But I digress.)
You see, back in 1989 I created a timeline column, which described in some detail my hour-by-hour — and occasionally minute-to-minute — plans for that particular Thanksgiving day. Each year since then, I’ve repeated the column and, whenever possible, the activities themselves.
But instead of appreciating the column for what it is — a now-retro piece designed to conjure up amusing memories and a shameless way of simplifying my life for a week — those closest to me criticize. So I decided to take a fresh look at the supposedly stale musings and see if I agreed.
(For those of you who’ve never read the column — and if you haven’t, how the heck could you have missed it 11 times? — see if you can scrounge up a past copy of one of our Thanksgiving papers. If you don’t, you surely won’t understand the references I’m about to make. If you do, you still may not. But I digress again.)
Let’s see — Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade being aired that morning on each of the major networks? Yep, still there, along with all the inane ramblings of your favorite celebrity announcers. A “Get Christie Love” rerun alternative? Not easily found, but I’ll keep searching.
The Dallas Cowboys lousy? Well, maybe not as bad as they were in 1989, but certainly closer to that level than the championship one they reached a few times during the first half of the 1990s.
The Detroit Lions lousy? They’ve been bad enough to chase away Barry Sanders and head coach Bobby Ross over the past few seasons, so I say to my well-meaning critics: Tell me again how I’m off-base with the sarcasm first aimed at the team 11 years ago.
Hulk Hogan a kick-butt wrestler? Sure, whenever he decides to don the tights and invoke the creative-control clause in his contract, which we’ve learned in the ensuing years since 1989 was the single biggest factor behind all those miraculous in-ring recoveries from mock beatings and subsequent victories. Hulk isn’t doing much right now — and when he does, he isn’t doing it for the WWF — but never say never in regard to history repeating itself in pro wrestling.
The ill-fated Miles Standish imitation? Nope, the family still doesn’t get it.
Post-gorge nap? Then, now and forever a beloved holiday staple, although the young relatives have grown and purchased their own sofas upon which to laze while waiting for the effects of the Pepto Bismol to kick in and relieve that bloated feeling.
Worried looks on the faces of Ma and Pa Bartosh, who are contemplating the prospect of their baby boy returning to the homestead for an extended stay? Still visible if I hang around for more than two desserts.
So you see, the more things seem to change, the less they really do, especially when you wait long enough to let life’s natural cycle take hold and complete its 360-degree turn.
Therefore, I will never again bow to familial pressure and hesitate to trot out that moldy oldie of a column — unless, of course, I start using this one instead.