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Here’s what you really should have been thankful for

Congrats.
My applause goes out to you because even without injecting the Thanksgiving bird with Prozac, you survived all those extra relatives sandwiched into your house.
With the big eat fest and the multiple turkey-induced naps behind you, please take a moment to consider what others should have been thankful for on the holiday.
This is my sixth annual “If I were (blank), I would be thankful for …” column. For those who may have missed any or shamefully all of the previous five writings breached on this subject, please allow me to explain: I morph myself into other people, places or possibly woodland creatures to explain what someone or something really ought to have bowed their heads and voiced as a simple, but stern “thank you.”
With the premise set, here we go …
* If I were “Big Red,” the new 8-foot addition that graces Screven County High School’s Kelly Memorial Stadium, I would be thankful Jimmy Ondriezek, who sports a striking resemblance to Popeye, rescued me and helped make me the center of attention.
* If I were a bat who – with hundreds of my buddies -- overtook the Sylvania public safety building, I would be thankful I had the wisdom to relocate before Lily Munster or Count von Count got sick and went all vampire on somebody by nipping them in the neck.
* If I were Sam Baker, Georgia Southern’s athletic director, I would be thankful I saw the errors of my ways and chose to hire a head football coach who would return the vaunted triple-option to the Eagles’ arsenal.
* If I were a member of the Eagle Nation, I would be thankful that not only did GSU return to the FCS playoffs this season, but those clad in blue and white won in the opening round. The Eagles now play at William & Mary Saturday afternoon. It is honorable to get beat by William, but not so much by Mary. All joking aside, W&M will be tough, but don’t be surprised if GSU squeaks out another “W.”
* If I were the Sylvania McDonalds, I would be thankful that another fast-food mega-franchise eating establishment has not graced our fine community. Just think Screven Countians, we could have an eatery that did not run out of meat, cup carriers, coffee, hash browns or large cups. The thought makes your hair stand on end with excitement doesn’t it? A healthy competition is good for the soul and good for Sylvania too.
* If I were Glenda Everett or her daughter Vicki Craycraft, I would be thankful that my passion to do what is right overrode the suffering of my feet. These two ladies walked for 20 miles three straight days as part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for a Cure event that raises money to combat the seriousness of breast cancer.
* And keeping with the logging in of boocoo miles on foot theme, if I were Lindsey Williams, a high school teacher and coach, I would be thankful for my willingness to do something people only talk about and never do. Williams ran in and completed the New York City Marathon Nov. 7 in five hours and 39 minutes. That definitely is impressive.
* If I were Palin, I would be thankful for my ability to captivate the nation despite my obvious inability to take the correct steps to achieve a goal. Oh, you thought I was referring to Sarah Palin? No, actually this was for Bristol, the “Dancing With the Stars” headache. For starters, I cannot wrap my brain around Bristol as a “star.” As for Sarah, well she has her own reality TV show. That should qualify her to become president, right?
* If I were a child in Screven County, I would be thankful I have parents who took an abundance of photographs of the South Georgia February snowstorm. In 30 years when our little part of the world has yet another such arctic blast, there will be photographic documentation that it has occurred before.
* If I were a drug dealer who somehow avoided being busted back in March with law enforcement’s Operation Crackdown, I would be thankful I plucked a four-leaf clover that day. If, now eight months later, I am still a drug dealer, I should expect the authorities have their eyes on me. Private eyes are watching you.
* If I were part of the nucleus who have made a concerted push to bring business to Screven County, I would be thankful our local leaders are not just saying “Yeah, yeah, sure, sure” and then dismissing the notion entirely. They see the light too. We must lunge forward with a strategic plan as an entire community, not just pieces parts.
* If I were a resident of Newington, I would be thankful of how my town has evolved over the last few years. Not only has that section of Screven County been the site of new business like the recent Subway opening, but it continues to be where younger couples settle to raise their families. For extra verification, take a gander at those yellow school buses loaded with children.
* If I were one of those thousands of little yellow butterflies who fluttered to and fro in August and September, I would be thankful my visit to Screven County was vastly less painful than the experience of the deer. The car-to-deer dating service needs a serious overhaul. It just ain’t working.
* If I were one of the members of the Central High School 1969 girls state-title winning track team, I would be thankful for my ability to rapidly pick them up and put them down 40 years ago. Now I have the ability to pick my grandchildren up, put the tykes on my knee and tell them all about it.
* If I were one of the two local celebrity pet-de-jours -- Beau the Cat, who got more “votes” for county commission than the two-legged variety, or Dee Dee, who cheated death at the animal shelter -- I would be thankful that this community went front and center for my rights and the rights of my flurry friends.
* If I were James Livingston, the 86-year-old WWII veteran graduate of Screven County High School, I would be thankful for my country, for my high school diploma, and for how youthful I am at my age. Mr. Livingston, if you and Sylvania’s Virginia Miller could bottle up how you stay so young and sell it, the two of you could make billions.
* If I were a Screven County resident, I would be thankful that the United Way is there for me. Remember 99 percent of all the money donated to your local United Way stays in Screven County as the funds support 21 agencies.
* If I were one of the 21 inmates who were baptized out front of the Screven County Jail in July, I would be thankful that my sins were washed away by the power of the saving grace, but must remember that we all fall short of the glory of God each day. To counteract that, repent vigorously, read the scriptures with a passion, and talk to your friend Heavenly Father daily.
* If I were one of the deputies who arrested two people in June during the duo’s failed attempt to flush marijuana and other drugs down a toilet, I would be thankful the suspects had a crappy toilet.
* If I were a Buddy Ball participant, organizer or helper, I would be thankful the modified baseball game for the handicapped and challenged was such a whopping success that another season-long schedule is in the works.
* If I were Jessica Collins, I would be thankful my best friend Victoria Bohannon persuaded me to enter the 2010 Miss Screven County Livestock Festival Pageant. Following the prompting of Victoria, the 2009 Queen, Jessica now wears the crown and will do so until March 2011 when she turns the reign over to another lady.
* If I were me, which I am, I would be thankful for my family, college football, the Sylvania Telephone staff, this community, the brave military men and women around the world, cheesecake, another year with our nation’s oldest operational state welcome center, the birth and development of a new Boy Scout camp, and fried turkey.
I am thrilled your Thanksgiving went well and I hope your upcoming Christmas will be the most memorable ever.

Enoch Autry is the publisher-editor of the Sylvania Telephone.