The turkey was sixty-eight cents a pound. The cashiers were polite, cordial even. The grocery bagger was careful and made eye contact with me. After I tipped him and walked my own groceries out to the car, the tang of winter air on my nose punctuated a paragraph God had been quietly composing for me all day.
And I am. I'm jobless, strictly speaking, and in a way that Official Jobless Figures do not capture and probably wouldn't understand. On 28 March 04, I'll be unemployed again and I have no idea what I'll be doing. But here and now, I enjoy what I'm doing and it doesn't drive me to Zantac, I put my kids to bed every night, another kid is on the way, the mortgage is being paid, I can get these thoughts out of my head and record them here without fear of retribution.
I'm grateful. That gratitude must go first to the taxpayers of the United States of America. I recall somewhere the idea proposed by a libertarian gadfly, that anyone receiving a subsidy, service, or other payment from the government should be asked, not required but merely asked, to sign a statement saying he or she was grateful for the benefit he or she received from the nameless hundreds of thousands of people who actually paid the taxes to make it possible.
Since the FedGov is in no particular hurry to start asking for such statements they won't even prepare blank forms to take them, so I hacked one together by myself. Technically, I receive the privileges of Tricare, the Commissary, and Class Six all in consideration for military service rendered, but since I feel lucky and grateful today, I'll express the gratitude anyway.
If you are a recipient of a similar Government-provided charity, feel free to copy/paste this certificate and replace my name with your own, or work up a competing design. Meanwhile Barbaloot and I consider with whom we will share our fortune, and our turkey, this Thanksgiving Day.