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Brian Hodge

have taken up two new hobbies as a result of the pandemic, bird watching and cooking. Both come into play this week. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not going to start killing and eating song birds from the backyard feeder - though I have learned the French do have history with a rather debauched dish in which a songbird called an ortolan bunting is force-fed, drowned in brandy, roasted and eaten whole. Traditionally the act of torturing this bird alive and eating it is so shameful that diners cover their heads to hide their faces from God. As Austin Powers said, “That’s not my bag baby.”

Instead I’m talking about turkey. Now turkey is not particularly my favorite bird to eat as the meat does not hold heat for very long and the preparation is more work than I’m willing to do; after all I’m usually only cooking for two people. But I have eaten more home-cooked chicken in 2021 than probably ever. So for Thanksgiving this year I’ll be having herb-roasted chicken with a lemon pepper gravy and a side of mashed potatoes and green beans - unless I get lazy and heat up a can of chili.

Of course not everyone will even have a meal, hot or otherwise, for Thanksgiving this year. Whether it is homelessness, poverty, abuse, disease, neglect or wicked combinations thereof, many people will suffer and go hungry this year not just on Thanksgiving but also on Black Friday and beyond. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has grown over the years to be known as Giving Tuesday, a visible opportunity for charity and good will.

There are numerous organizations, many of them have the word “church” in their names, that will be happy to take your money and use it to fund charitable activities in your community and sometimes beyond. I think it is important to remember that charity is an admirable virtue, not just of the faithful, but for everyone.

As I said before I have a borderline religious view of commerce, not money per se, but the trading of currency for goods and services. Charity is part of that just as much as all other spending. Everyone can give something to help insure there are more consumers, and having more consumers leads to more innovation and gadgets. Necessity is not the mother of invention. Laziness is the mother of invention. Nobody ever needed a remote control - they wanted it because getting up to change the channels on the T.V. was a pain. God willing, everyone who wants to be fat, well-fed, and happy will get the chance. For those of us who will be comfortably shopping on our smartphones on Cyber Monday there are numerous was to give money to a good cause on Giving Tuesday. Please consider it.