Being thankful for bad things

 It is the beginning of five days off. My Thanksgiving holiday if you will.

 In days past I would be thrilled to have five days off for Thanksgiving. These days I am not so thrilled. Happy? Yes. Thrilled? No. The reason is simple: Money. Or a lack thereof. Payday is sometime between Saturday and next Monday.  Payday actually is a week from Thursday but since I have direct deposit, my money usually shows up on the Saturday before. Or the Monday. It’s like magic. Bad magic.

 I don’t know if this is an item falling under the “something to be thankful for” list, but it is somewhat of a relief for those of us whose government work (part-time in my case) carries us into some sort of a regular setting outside of the office.

 Authorities in Kentucky have finally ruled the death of part-time Census worker  Bill Sparkman as a suicide. Sparkman, as you might remember, was found dead in the woods nude and with a rope around his neck. The words “Fed” had been written in pen on his chest and his government ID was taped to his neck. His hands had been bound with duct tape. Police have determined Sparkman staged his death to appear as a homicide in order that his family could collect his insurance policies.

 We will have to take the Kentucky authorities’ word for it that it was indeed a self-inflicted death. I guess if other government workers turn up with bizarre deaths then perhaps law enforcement folks will want to take yet another look at this death as well.

 Some of our prominent loud-mouth right-wing nuts got all bent out of shape when people started pointing fingers at them for Sparkman’s death. I can see that. But there are plenty of people with animosity toward the government out there. Hell, the government pisses me off sometimes. But not to the point that some folks are enraged. Remember, Tim McVeigh didn’t start anti-government domestic terrorism just as Osama bin Laden didn’t start jihadist terror.

 My advice to Census and other government field workers is the same advice I give myself. Be aware of your surroundings. Leave yourself an escape route. Trust your instincts. If a place and people make you uncomfortable for some reason, avoid that place. Go back and talk to a superior about it or a co-worker. And be as nice as you can be … to your web-footed friends because that duck might be somebody’s mother.

 Second in the “thankful for” category: The Texans-Titans game last night. Being a Texans fan, I’m glad as heck that game is over. Two games in a row almost Mr. Perfect kicker Kris Brown missed a field goal that could have put the Texans into overtime. The first time was with undefeated Indianapolis.

 But goat times two that Brown might be, he didn’t lose either game alone. Titans quarterback and former Texas QB sensation Vince Young did some fancy footwork that made the Texans defensive line look as if they had come only to watch the game. It’s good for the Titans they had Young  going for them because they didn’t have much else. Although, the Texans could have done much better. They could have been sitting in the playoff catbird seat, whatever that is. Oh well, 5-5 once again. That’s even-Steven. Be thankful for that at least.