A holiday list that's hard to swallow

MICHAEL OLESKER

November 28, 1991|By MICHAEL OLESKER

Lest anyone forget, this is the day for pushing aside not only that second helping of turkey giblets but also our anxieties about the future, as we utter thanks for abundant blessings.

In time, state budgets will crumble, city jobs will tumble, but our column on Things to Be Thankful For . . . well, it's here to stay (unless it's eliminated in the next round of government cutbacks).

And so, for the 16th straight year, we offer you a slight pause between the first battle over who gets the drumsticks and the last of the Alka Seltzer fizzies: a few blessings to count, even in these tough times.

To wit:

Be Thankful you're not the one who suggested Zero Murder Day in Baltimore. Talk about a shot in the dark . . .

Be Thankful WCAO radio, which took generations of listeners through their Wonder Years, made gospel its new format. After firing broadcast legends like Johnny Dark, Bob Bartell and Ron Matz, the station will need all the help it can get from God.

Be Thankful 30 percent of the city's eligible voters showed up on election day. Funny how it's the other 70 percent who complain that we never get any decent elected officials.

Be Thankful you never told William Donald Schaefer, ''Sure, you're upset with all this criticism. Why not work out your frustrations by writing a few letters?''

Be Thankful Dr. Richard Hunter, the former Baltimore school superintendent, is applying for a similar position in Orange County, Fla., which happens to be the home of Disney World. Apparently, they want a Mickey Mouse superintendent.

Be Thankful you've given up your emotional investment in a football team now called the Indianapolis Colts.

Any resemblance between that team and the Colts who once represented Baltimore is strictly an accident of nomenclature.

Be Thankful the city is opting not to cut back the school year. They were calling the proposed week off a ''furlough.'' It meant ''fer low'' grades.

Be Thankful you didn't opt for job security back when everybody said, ''Take a government job. Nobody ever gets fired from the government.''

Be Thankful you're not a state college student, trying to register for next semester's academic load while they're cutting classes left and right. Now, let's get this straight: Students are paying for classes they can't get in hopes of winning a diploma so they can apply for jobs that aren't available.

Yup, that's a great education, all right.

Be Thankful you don't have to pay the electric bill for President Bush's thousand points of light.

Be Thankful that beauty's in the eye of the beholder. Because, when the city closes down the Museum of Art for a few weeks to save money, you won't be able to see beauty up close.

Be Thankful for the stores on Howard Street still selling wonderful old antiques -- a sign that we'd all like something that lasts longer than 15 minutes.

Be Thankful you didn't tell Roger Hayden, ''Why not run for county executive? The city's got all the problems, but Baltimore County practically runs itself.''

Be Thankful no one's actually required to listen to Howard Stern's syndicated show on a Baltimore radio station which will not be identified here. Yeah, Howard, child molestation cases are real funny. Stern's one of those guys who gives freedom of speech a bad name.

Be Thankful you didn't tell Mimi DiPietro, ''Run for re-election. Age doesn't matter, it's dedication to the job that counts.''

Be Thankful you didn't tell Governor Schaefer, ''In Kuwait, when they swear on their camels' lives, they mean business.'' Kuwaitis who promised business with the state of Maryland must be shocked by the level of camel mortality these days.

Be Thankful Mayor Schmoke is still looking for ways to keep libraries open. Boys and girls, can you spell ''illiteracy?'' In The City That Reads, somebody should read the riot act to anyone trying to close a Pratt branch.

Be Thankful you won't be in charge of traffic flow next opening day at Camden Yards.

Be Thankful Artie Donovan's healthy again. Somebody found a pacemaker strong enough for the heart as big as all outdoors.

Be Thankful, if you work for Warfield's magazine, that Business Week just said the same sort of things about Eli Jacobs' troubled finances that you did. Either Jacobs sues big Business Week now, or admits that his suit against little Warfield's is out of line.

Be Thankful, if you're Lt. Gov. Melvin Steinberg, that the governor has pushed you aside. In today's climate, that's considered a political plus.

Be Thankful Merrill Lynch is projecting an annual U.S. growth rate of 2.2 percent for the 1990s. Of course, the rate was 2.1 percent during the Depression.

Be Thankful there are food lines for the hungry in Baltimore -- even though some who used to serve those standing in line are now, unfortunately, standing in the same line waiting to be served.

Be Thankful . . .

''The recession that never happened is now over and the recovery has begun.''

Wait a minute -- who let George Bush sit down at my keyboard?

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