With Thanksgiving sneaking up on us on pointy turkey talons, we begin to reflect upon all that for which we are grateful ... which leaves us precious little time to brood upon those things that annoy us. So forgive me if I use this column to flush my soul of its irritants. Maybe though, you’ll thank me for this cathartic catalyst ... which will give you a head start on the whole thanking thing.
In no particular order, here are some of my present nettles:
Halloween for Adults: I would never take away the joy of sending children’s livers into toxic sugar shock, so let the kids dress up as hobo tramps, and Miley Cyrus (kinda the same costume), and go door to door grabbing at mini Snickers, but let’s keep the over-14 celebrations of this holiday to a minimum. Sure, carve yourself an elaborate design of a celebrity in a pumpkin, but keep the $29.99 Job Lot sexy vampire costume on the shelf. Nothing good has ever come from a costume party with beer and guys in wigs and ladies’ underwear. Nothing.
Oak Trees: Maybe it’s time for these deciduous fellas to take a cue from their coniferous brethren and drop their unwanted foliage in neat piles directly beneath their branches. Next to my first golf green, I have a copse of pitch pines whose number exceeds 50, with one lone oak tree in their midst, but what do I find on my green this time of year after even a mild wind? Pine needles? No — oak leaves. All over the place. I search high and low for oaks that I may have misplaced, but only see that one smug oak. Have some respect, dude — control your leaves.
Canadian Geese: First, before I begin my displeased discourse on this bird, let me address those of you out there snorting into your dark roast that, yes, Canadian Goose is just as acceptable as Canada Goose. If you want to get persnickety, call it by its Latin name (and see what reaction you get from that). Back to the bird itself, these geese make my aforementioned oak look like a positively pristine housekeeper. I’d venture to guess that were any other guest to arrive in droves on your property and poop all over it, you’d be livid. But these big goofy fowl just stop by wherever they please, and make their surroundings one large latrine. Look around geese, see all those crows, they live here all the time and somehow they manage to clean their house. Not you guys, though. Jerks.
Chappy Ferry Line Loiterers: These days we are down to one ferry, so a wait is inevitable. But it’s no big deal — we all have books, iPads, knitting, imaginary Shakespearian characters (maybe that’s just me) to keep us entertained during the pause between boats. So we bury our faces in our whatnots, and then when we hear the ramp clang down, and see that first car pass by, we start our engines and return our attention to traveling that 60 foot progress in line. But sometimes, we fire up the engine and wait. And wait. Someone is not moving. We would like to continue reading or talking to King Lear, but we can’t — because we’re ... not ... moving. Eventually we turn off the engine, giving up on the expected rolling forward. Some of us, the more curious, perhaps more irritable among us get out of our vehicles to take a look at who or what the obstruction might be. More often than not, it’s just someone slumped down in their seat, their mouth set in a “I’m a lone wolf — no one tells me when to move” expression. Maybe we should start to let lions roam free along the ferry line — see if that’s an enticement to move your darn car.
The Strand and Island Theatres and the old bookstore on Main street: Really? Nothing you can do to maybe make these buildings look like they aren’t stage props from an apocalyptic western? Gosh, give me a paint scraper, a ladder, a couple gallons of paint, a brush, two days and I can at least make it look like there aren’t zombies threatening to break through the windows.
Harleys: Shut up.
Okay, that’s all for now. I feel better. Do you? And now I’ve cleared space for all that lovely cornucopia of thankful thoughts.
Speaking of nice thoughts, please accept this change of pace and read with interest the following from Hospice of MV:
Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard will present Handmade from the Heart again this Christmas season. All local and visiting artisans from candlestick makers to bakers are invited to contribute to this holiday fundraiser for Hospice. Hospice is seeking any unique, handmade items, including jewelry, needlepoint, knitted items, paintings, photographs, Christmas ornaments and more. The items will be sold at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House in Edgartown. We will host an open house evening with the Preservation Trust on Dec. 13 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. with champagne and treats for $20 admission and again on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. free admission. All proceeds go directly to our patient care, which we provide for free. Anyone interested in donating to “Handmade from the Heart” can call the Hospice office at 508-693-0189.