Let's raise a Bromo toast to another Thanksgiving

November 23, 1995|By MICHAEL OLESKER

While salivating over thoughts of turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, this column takes pause, somewhere between the first of the TV football games and the last of the Bromo Seltzer, to present the 20th annual listing of things for which Baltimoreans should give thanks.

To wit:

Be thankful we have a chamnpionship football team and a National Football League team in town. Too bad they're not the same one.

Be thankful the city was able to seduce Dr. Robert Gallo here for AIDs research. Other cities draw world-class people to town by boasting of their rich cultural fabric, their grand public schools, their first-rate work force. We boast of our large number of AIDS patients. At last, AIDS as an economic development force!

Be thankful, if you're a drug trafficker, that the city's now drawing the line on bags of dope. Any possession of more than 30 bags, a felony; anything under, a misdemeanor. Apparently, it hasn't occurred to the state's attorney of Baltimore that dope dealers can count.

Be thankful you've spent years putting money away for your children's college tuition. Now that the Browns are coming to town, you can blow the entire savings on two personal seat licenses and a hot dog.

Be thankful you didn't tell Kurt L. Schmoke, during last summer's election campaign, "Let's see if we can play the race card. It'll guarantee victory, and a week after the election, everybody in town will forget what you did."

Be thankful American Joe Miedusiewski's not the Dean of Dance at the Peabody. What's the thinking here? That nude dancing will clean up the city by eliminating semi-nude dancing? (Although, now that you mention it, why aren't dancers currently permitted to perform adult dances in front of adult audiences without the cops making it their business -- including those dancers on The Block?)

Be thankful if the U.S. attorney's office doesn't stop its Housing Authority investigation just because they made one case against one contractor bribing one manager -- even if it was a case involving more than $1 million in no-bid work.

Be thankful if you got tickets to Tony Kushner's magnificent "Angels in America" production at the Mechanic Theatre. It's full of laughter and rage in the face of the dying of the light.

Be thankful Baltimore County schools have gotten so much quieter since a certain guy gave up his superintendency. Education minus politics -- what a concept! If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the sound of learning going on.

Be thankful they've been running nostalgia shows on the Beatles this week on television. It's a reminder that Dave Clark is about the only Clark(e) who didn't run for mayor of Baltimore this year.

Be thankful Sen. Barbara Mikulski wasn't hurt worse when she was mugged in Fells Point. But don't believe City Hall when they followed the incident by promising a cleanup of the neighborhood. The panhandlers are still there, and they're more aggressive than the Cleveland Browns defensive line.

Be thankful the Baltimore City Council voted itself a 27 percent raise. Does this mean they'll be doing 27 percent more work? That they'll be 27 percent more thoughtful? Haven't these people heard that the city's deep in debt?

Be thankful so many of our noble politicians fought the legalization of casinos in Maryland. It'll free people's time so they can visit nude bars while carrying only 29 bags of dope. The politicians say they're worried about creating gambling addicts. Duh, where were they when they first heard about a state lottery?

Be thankful for all the years of heavy lifting performed by William Donald Schaefer and Herb Belgrad to get Baltimore a National Football League team (even if it isn't precisely the team they, or almost anybody else, actually had in mind).

Be thankful the city school system plans to drop Educational Alternatives Inc., a program working so well that some of the high school kids can actually spell EAI.

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