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Autry: 'If I were (blank), I would be thankful for ...'

“The turkeys are coming. The turkeys are coming. The turkeys are coming.”
Isn’t that what Sarah Palin said earlier this year when she commented on Paul Revere warning the colonists AND the British militia?
This writing will not be completely overshadowed by turkeys – the feathered type or the elected politician version – but offers you a side order of food for thought to mix in with your dressing, sweet potatoes and homemade rolls.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I serve up my annual “If I were (blank), I would be thankful for …” If those in town to visit the in-laws for holidays and have never had the pleasure of digging into my “If I” column like a pumpkin pie eating contest, have no fret. I’ll provide you with the skinny (soon to be plump after that big meal). For this tapping away at the keyboard, I, for a sentence or two or half dozen, metamorphasize myself into another person, a non-living thing, or possibly the congealed film that forms on the top of your holiday giblet gravy after it has been sitting out just a little too long. Then I provide you with why that individual or item should be ever so gleeful.
Here’s a quick one just so you get the drift.
* If I were the University of Alabama, I would be thankful I have the option (pun intended) to not schedule Georgia Southern for another football game. Yes, the Eagles lost the contest Saturday, but the Tide gave up its most points and most rushing yards to a FCS school. Not one of the all-mighty SEC institutions. When LSU and Alabama play again for the national title (based on my scientific prediction), the Eagle Nation will have an interesting conversation piece during the game as they munch on chicken fingers and tortilla chips.
OK. I admit it wasn’t a “quick one,” but now I can proceed on all the others.
Buckle yourself up, sit back and prepare yourself for all the “ooohs and aaahs” without the $3,500-plus price tag of a fireworks display.
* If I were a person about to ingest a morsel of turkey on Thanksgiving, I would be thankful the young boys and girls just a little further into this week’s Sylvania Telephone on page 7 didn’t cook the bird. There are some real chefs in the making our community.
* Speaking of eating, if I were kudzu-eating bugs, I would be thankful that Screven County has its fair share of the green leafy vine that seems to have its super-growth aided by Miracle-Gro. I, however, am sad the other staple of my munching fancy soybean plants were in harvest by the time I and my trapezoid-shaped buddies arrived. Farmers were glad I was sad.
* If I were a Screven County resident in January in this year, I would be thankful for the wondrous beauty of the ice storm. The pretty factor, however, lasted about 6 minutes as people’s power was knocked out for days throughout the county. We were all thankful the lights and probably even more importantly the heat came back on because of the hard work of so many.
* If I were Parent University, I would be thankful 170 people attended me 10 months ago. What a fun glorious night for me. I had so much promise, so much potential. Then I was shut down under the pretense others would continue to offer me life. Unfortunately, that has not happened.
* If I were the U.S. Highway 301 Georgia Welcome Center, I would be thankful for all the friendly motorists who have visited me over my 49 years to become the oldest operational state visitors center in the nation. My 50th anniversary is only five months away. When those dignitaries get a look at how resourceful, beneficial and special I am on my birthday bash, our Peach State governor surely would never put me on a list for a budgetary elimination. Right?
* Keeping with the longevity theme, if I were 100-year-old former super teacher Virginia Miller, I would be thankful I have been able to gracefully inspire others. Yes, Virginia there is alotta applause. And it is because we have been blessed to have you a century.
* If I were one of the 700-plus who attended the Black Creek Scout Reservation “Father & Son Freeze-Out,” I would be thankful for the genius who invented toasty warm sleeping bags. Mr. (or Ms.) Bag, thank you for helping keep us moderately comfortable overnight as the temperatures stayed in the mid-20s.
* If I were one of the 920 who attended the Screven County Scout camp’s Haunted Trail event, I would be thankful for being fleet of foot to escape that crazed camp ranger with his gas-powered chainsaw. I could make Jamaican world champion sprinter Usain Bolt look like he is standing still if someone is coming after me with a device designed to slice and dice oak trees.
* If I were Lee Berger, I would be thankful I never lost my passion to keep digging in the dirt. You never know when you might find some 2 million-year-old skeleton bones in South Africa that shed light on human evolution. And the world-famous paleoanthropologist started out in Screven County.
* If I were the new Screven County Animal Shelter, I would be thankful that my presence in the community affords dogs and cats a safe and healthy environment as they await a potential new owner. I just wish there wasn’t so many animals who needed to call me “home.”
* If I were busted by a Sylvania police officer for speeding, I would be thankful I can pay my fine online. I do like to do things quickly.
* If I were Screven County Camera Ready, I would be thankful for the loads of picturesque sites in the county available for settings for movies and commercials, but I would be depressed the old gymnasium at the high school will be demolished within the upcoming weeks. The inside of that gym was an eyesore that could have been profitable as a backdrop for a Turkish prison film.
* If I were Screven County, I would be thankful an appeal is being done on my U.S. Census count so I can find my missing citizens. After we “locate” those paperwork MIAs, we need to get on bended knee and pray for the influx of new industry and shops to employ them.
* If I were immigration service agent, I would be thankful that flashing my shiny badge and saying something to the effect of “If you aren’t supposed to be here, then get outta here” worked in Screven County. No arrests reportedly were made in April, but a few businesses abruptly went shorthanded.
* If I were Osama bin Laden, I would be thankful the U.S. Navy Seals buried my body at sea. If my body had gotten back to the States, I bet some people wouldn’t have been so kind to me.
* If I were the redistricting maps, I would be thankful I seem to look the same in the mirror for the local county version despite my increased age, but I am a little top heavy in the congressional map and kinda flat in the tush area. It is hard to see the ocean now without Chatham County.
* If I were one of the 76 cyclists in the October “Between Two Rivers” Bike Ride to benefit United Way, I would be thankful for the people and scenery of Screven County. And, by the way, those riders were thankful and they’ll bring friends next year. Expect 300 riders in October 2012.
* If I were a SCHS football player, I would be thankful for the memory of the win in Louisville at Jefferson County. It was a great night during a long season.
* If I were Jessica Markovcic, I would be thankful that Homecoming Queen crowns go with practically anything – and evidence proves that definitely includes football shoulder pads, cleats and black sports eyeliner.
* If I were Highway 21, I would be thankful I can expedite your travel times by having the posted speed limit upped to 65, but remind you to be careful around the curves of my body.
* If I were Screven County Senior Deputy Kat Griffin, I would be thankful for the outpouring of love, thoughts, prayers and kind words stemming from being shot during a prison transport. Best wishes on your recovery Ms. Kat.
* If I were me, I would be thankful for my family, my community and my country. Without the blessing of these three, I wouldn’t have been able to grace you with this column or any other writing.
Now I ask that you say grace. If you can, eat early and often, but remember to be thankful for what you have and be mindful of those less fortunate.

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