Friday, 20 November 2020 11:00

COLUMN: Being thankful in the dumpster fire of 2020

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I think a lot of us would agree that 2020 has been a bit of a dumpster fire. It's not quite a nuclear holocaust, but it's a hell of a lot worse than a cup of spilled milk. We know better than to cry over one of those, but some folks I have been talking to lately just want to sit down and cry. 


They have had enough, they tell me. They have had enough of politics, the coronavirus, people not getting along, businesses closed, masks, and governors talking to us like parents scolding misbehaving children. 

I think a dumpster fire is a good analogy. No one is getting hurt, we are all looking at it from a safe distance, but it looks horrible and smells even worse. Like a lot of people, I had been looking forward to 2020. I'd like to say I am looking forward to 2021, but I'm afraid it will just be a lot of the same. 

This is the time of year when we all normally should be mentioning all the things we are thankful for. I talk to a lot of people and some of them have been telling me they aren't thankful for anything other than 2020 is coming to a close. They will deal with 2021 when it gets here, but they just want 2020 to be in the past. I can't say as I blame them. I've got my own complaints about the last year, but no one wants to hear those. I will say a few good things did, in fact, happen in this ridiculous year for my family, but largely we dealt with the same nonsense the rest of the country has been dealing with. 

I'm as tired of the nonsense as you are. I'm tired of everyone being at each other's throats because of politics. I do my best to avoid politics in the column, at least seriously, but enough is enough. Eventually we are all going to realize that we don't have much of a say and the politicians, both Republican and Democrat,  are in it for themselves and not the people. It's a popularity contest for eggheads and hasn't had anything to do with the constituents in generations. 

For the record, and this is the only time I am going to mention it in any column, so listen and listen good: I am more conservative than you think. Maybe we should just start fresh and stop electing people who have been in office since the ‘60s and stop electing people who are too young to have any real life experience. Surely there is a pool of 40- to 60-year-olds who have something to say about how things are run. Elect them. I'm pretty certain Thomas Jefferson is looking at the state of affairs now and spinning in his grave fast enough to generate electricity. The founding fathers are probably embarrassed to see what their framework has become. 

I am thankful for 2020 because there has been plenty of fodder for the column. I have written some fiction and nothing I could ever think of could come close to 2020. Those disaster movies about 2012 had it all wrong. The natural disaster is ourselves. I am thankful for my family who believed in me when I said I wanted to write a newspaper column. I am thankful for the five or six of you who read the column and are not related to me. I am thankful that, in this crazy world, I am still able to see the humor in things and share it with you. 

This is a short column this week, I apologize. If you are one of the ones who keep writing to the paper saying how much you hate the column, you can thank me later. We are at the beginning of the holiday season and it is unlike any one a lot of us has seen before. Be thankful. Be careful. Be kind. I wish all of you, even my critics, a very happy Thanksgiving. I'll be back in two weeks with a little more nonsense. 

Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.