Be thankful you're not on this list

November 25, 1993|By MICHAEL OLESKER

With pride on this Thanksgiving Day. . . .

With great heapings of thanks for all blessings. . . .

And with, let's be honest about this, more than a little sarcasm. . . .

This column hereby presents its 18th annual collection of things for which Baltimoreans should give thanks.

Thus, without further ado, dear friends:

Be thankful if Dr. Neil Solomon finally understands the phrase: "Physician, heal thyself."

Be thankful Mayor Schmoke only got shoved by that 13-year old whose fight he broke up. Sure, the kid's behavior was appalling. But, around here, we've got 13-year olds who carry artillery. It makes this kid look practically civilized.

Be thankful Stephen L. Miles' greatest attempts at comedy have come inside courtrooms. Unless, of course, you're one of his clients.

Be thankful if you're Sid Fernandez's pitching arm. The newest Oriole won five games for the New York Mets last year, and now he's signed a $3-million-a-year deal with the O's, which is a $600,000-per-victory reward any way you figure it.

Be thankful you didn't tell Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, "Go on the radio and tell 'em the Democrats tried to bribe you on NAFTA. Who's gonna check if you're bluffing?"

Be thankful you're not the state employee who forgot to pay that big Blue Cross and Blue Shield bill. Whoever you are, you'd better hope the state's paying its unemployment insurance bills, because you're about to qualify.

Be thankful, if you're running NationsBank, if Baltimoreans haven't been paying attention to the bank's dealings for Charlotte in the pro football expansion business.

Be thankful for the forward-thinking folks at the Walters Art Gallery, who canceled their contract with a new director and catapulted themselves into the sunlit heart of the 15th century.

Be thankful Speaker of the House Clayton Mitchell decided it was time to step down. As a leader, Mitchell had all the delicate finesse of a German jazz band.

Be thankful you didn't get any early bets down on the governor's race. The closer we get to filing deadline, the more likely somebody's got to look at the existing field and say, "I could beat any of these people," and jump in.

Be thankful Officer Friendly really was. The city police officer who got punched in the stomach by an elementary school child could have booked the kid for assault, and lots of people would have cheered.

Be thankful Boogie Weinglass kept the faith with his hometown, even if some of his hometown's leaders broke the faith with him.

Be thankful you didn't tell Joe Curran to bow out of the governor's race. The attorney general's got to be staying up nights asking himself, "What was my rush?"

Be thankful if you're homeless in parts of Baltimore. At least you don't have a front stoop to be shot on, or a window to be shot through.

Be thankful your dog didn't pose for those Wegman photos at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Putting animals into human clothes makes them look grotesque. (Plus, the styles are soooo tacky.)

Be thankful the state wants to take over some "troubled" schools. What a shame they can't take over some troubled parents who don't pay attention to their kids' lives in those schools.

Be thankful Keno's finding its legitimate place as a loser. Most people know a sucker bet when they see one.

Be thankful that four pro football teams are looking at Baltimore if we don't get an expansion team. But let's not be jerked around. We should tell these clubs: You've had months to study Baltimore's plans. Now you've got 72 hours to make up your mind, and then we'll look elsewhere.

Be thankful if Stuart Berger's "inclusion" plans actually work out. But who made this abrasive man part of the inclusion plan for the life of Baltimore County schools?

Be thankful if city proposals for so-called Prostitution-Free Zones work slightly better than the so-called Drug-Free Zones. Which is to say, at all.

Be thankful that Frank Perdue won't be joining the effort for a Baltimore football team. The plucky chicken producer would have set the offense back to the old single "wing" days, leaving not a drumstick to stand on. Well, that's enough fowl puns for any column.

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