Thanksgiving. Time to count my blessings.
Tallied them up, realized I had six fewer than my neighbour. Ticked me right off.
Which is why I’m writing to you, God. Having taken the time to reflect on all the good things in life, I demand to know why I don’t have more of them. Frankly, I’m surprised we’re having to have this conversation again.
Being an important middle-aged Canadian man like myself, God, You know full well there are certain benefits to which we are inherently entitled: clean water, a warm bed, the latest
iGadget, whatever we want to eat whenever we want to eat it, RRSPs, Netflix, $4 coffees, extended health coverage, bicycles that cost more than the average Mexican makes in a year.
Others might be satisfied living in a country where words like “democracy,” “gluten free” and “I want your badge number, officer” have no meaning, but here in the Great White, where we explode like Don Cherry stepping in dog crap when Rogers cell service disappears for a couple of hours, we assume a higher standard.
This is quantifiable. When the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development released its Better Life Index this spring, measuring everything from disposable income to housing, Canada ranked third-highest in the world, trailing only Switzerland and Australia. (Here’s a quirky stat: Canadians average 2.6 rooms per person, more than anyone else on Earth. We also report the fewest assaults.)
But wait! A separate study, the UN’s Human Development Index — which in the 1990s regularly rated Canada as the best country on Earth — saw us continue a decade of slow decline, plunging all the way to 11th place. Imagine that, only 11th best out of 187.
Quick, call the grief counsellors.
Likewise, there are indicators that my own quality of life is in decline. The dishwasher broke. My phone is a BlackBerry that looks like it lost a hammer fight. My car has manual windows (what am I, Amish?).
I circled the Safeway parking lot FOUR TIMES but only the handicapped spots were empty (those lucky handicapped people get everything). Then I got stuck in line forever at the checkout because everybody was doing their Thanksgiving shopping at the same time. I bet people who live in Niger (dead last in the Human Development Index) don’t have to worry about long lines of overflowing grocery carts. My life is an unrelenting hell.
Nonetheless, I have decided to suck it up and list the things for which I remain grateful this Thanksgiving:
* I am grateful that they were just joking when they unveiled Canada’s Olympic hockey jerseys this week. Right?
* I am thankful that Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin have cemented Canadians’ opinion of both journalists and senators. Wouldn’t want to raise expectations too high.
* I am grateful that Stephen Harper doesn’t know the difference between tweeting and twerking. No middle-aged man should.
* I am grateful that Thou art all-seeing, God. Where is the TV remote control?
* I am thankful for the love of my family, though I continue to question their judgment.
* I am grateful for my sense of entitlement, without which I would have no sense at all.
Jack Knox, Kamloops born and raised, writes for the Victoria Times Colonist.