Thanksgiving is almost here, the chosen turkey is dead, and all that hard work Peyton Manning and I put in during the offseason has really paid off for Denver. Yet Grumpy has 9 more reasons to give thanks this year. Here they are.
#9. Grumpy is grateful the withering drought that devastated America’s Heartland this summer didn’t extend to his part of Alabama. Reading the struggles of those endeavoring to keep their gardens alive just underscored my belief that, with all due respect to crab fishermen on the Bering Sea, the most challenging and heart-breaking job of all is farming. A farmer can do his job perfectly, but if it doesn’t rain, it’s all for naught. A big Grumpy Shout-Out to all the nation’s farmers and ranchers who put food on our tables every day.
#8. Grumpy is grateful that when a junky auto owned by “those people across the street” burst into flame in the middle of the night and transformed itself into a molten pool of steel and rubber, it didn’t kill the nice rose bush planted planted next to it. Roses are tough.
#7. Grumpy is grateful he infuriates so many people across the country for defending the All-American lawn. The very fact that frothing e-mailers insist their way of gardening is the only way and that anyone who plants a lawn is the Devil’s spawn convinces me to seek a mysterious place called “middle ground,” where extremes do not exist and black and white make gray.
If that makes you crazy, take a look at this! Grumpy is reclining on a a glorious, living lawn growing on the forward deck of the cruise ship, Celebrity Equinox, as it transits the Mediterranean. What have I done to deserve such ecstasy? Heaven, I’m in Heaven……….
#6. Grumpy is grateful that he marked his 29th year at Southern Living. The fact that I’ve been sitting down at my desk every morning for such a long time can mean only one thing. Like Bruce Willis in “The Sixth Sense,” I’m dead and just don’t know it. Hey…….maybe I’m not on a cruise ship after all. That’s so unfair.
#5. Grumpy is grateful he planted sweet “Giant Marconi’ peppers in the front garden this year. Boy, did they produce! My freezer in the basement is stuffed with ziplock bags filled with these babies, and I cook with them all the time, whether I’m making Tiki Masala, Cuban black beans, spaghetti sauce, whatever. Definitely going to plant them next year. Have you priced red peppers in the grocery store?
#4. Grumpy is grateful that his son, Brian, is coming home from college for the first time to help build our underground survival vault in anticipation of the impending collapse of global civilization. We’ll stock it with all the vital supplies we’ll need to endure 7 years of chaos and deprivation, such as beer, sports DVD’s, my personal copy of Passalong Plants, Balvenie Double-Wood single malt whisky, caramel ice cream, Fabreeze, gummy worms, pink flamingos, and Christmas fruitcake (which lasts forever).
I’d like to tell you where our shelter is, but we only have so much room. However, you can secure your place in our survival shelter by making Grumpy the sole legal beneficiary of your 401k no later than midnight December 20, 2012. Balance must exceed $200,000 to cover shipping and handling.
#3. Grumpy is grateful that thanks to global warming, his Lenten roses (Helleborus orientalis) now start blooming in December, instead of waiting until February like they used to do. Honestly, this perennial is so easy and so good that anyone with shade who can grow it should. It’s evergreen, blooms for two months, comes in lots of colors, has no pests, and deer won’t eat it. You can let it wilt to the ground for weeks in summer and as soon as it rains or you water it, it pops back up like nothing’s happened. Totally awesome, baby!
#2. Grumpy is grateful that he finally has picked out the perfect Christmas gift for his lovely wife, Judy.
For years, she’s stubbornly maintained that after 20 years of marriage, if I really loved her and I really knew her, I would get her an appropriate gift and need no prompting or hints.
Well, I took her criticism to heart. After all, there was Christmas 2003, when I gave her a paper shredder. And there was Christmas 2006, when I presented her with a model of the U.S.S. Enterprise (so cool!) from Star Trek. Not to mention last year when I gave her a complete Raid Sampler with all the different fragrances (I like shrimp & grits the best). Her displeasure caught me off-guard at first. I mean, when you have company coming over and armies of roaches are skittering over the kitchen floor, you’re going to want that Shrimp & Grits Raid!
But I’ve learned my lesson. After searching hither on yon for months on end, here is her present for Christmas 2012. Now honestly…..how can she NOT like a Garden Yeti?
#1. Most of all, Grumpy is grateful for you, his loyal readers. You make this job something I look forward to every minute of every day, even when the President’s on the phone, beefing about me blowing the White house’s party budget. Hey, Barack, Grumpy just does the people’s bidding. (They wanted that monogrammed platinum flatware!) And he promises to serve his audience faithfully for yet another term.