Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving (Fool on the Hill) November 24, 1999

An Investment Opinion

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

By Bill Mann (TMF Otter)
November 24, 1999

I'm going to start out by giving thanks for a new sensation that is sweeping the nation.

No, not Pokemon. For although Pokemon is all the rage, there would be absolutely no reason whatsoever that I would be singing its praises, especially since I am not one of the lucky who bought into 4Kids Entertainment (Nasdaq: KIDE) a billion percent ago. That's one fad I'll be more than a little relieved to fade away into the land of Tickle-me Elmo, Furbys, and Cabbage Patch Dolls, the land of forgotten rages of the past.

Nope, I'm talking about the George Foreman Grilling Machine, produced by Salton (NYSE: SFP).

I'm not kidding. Mr. Foreman (he of the 6 cheeseburger appetizer) and Salton have come up with an appliance that can grill a steak, vegetables, or chicken in about 5 minutes without subjecting them to a grease bath. And I've noticed that whenever the Grilling Machine is brought up in conversations that there is always someone (no, not me, that would be cheating) extolling how absolutely amazing it is.

Who'd a thunk that something so goofy could be so cool? I'll bet not even George himself.

OK, what else am I thankful for?

I am thankful for the forum of The Motley Fool, and the daily affirmation we receive here that Fools everywhere are taking charge of their financial futures. I am thankful that my own efforts to do the same have helped me achieve market-beating returns on my own investments. More importantly, I am thankful for the interaction I receive from Fools worldwide, be it affirmations, corrections, or information and scuttlebutt to which I would otherwise not have access. The lessons we at Fool HQ receive from you in many ways far exceed the knowledge we impart in return.

I am thankful for Stevie Wonder. I'm thankful for the one additional soul-rending album that I believe he has bottled up inside of him. The one that will make Talking Book seem like Barney's Greatest Hits by comparison.

I am thankful that no matter how dreadful UNC's football season was, they still managed to paste Duke.

I'm thankful for the U.S. Women's Soccer team. It is inspiring to see champions conducting themselves with such humility and grace. Many of the spoiled millionaires in professional baseball, football, and basketball would be well served to take a page from their book.

I'm thankful for the billions of dollars spent annually on research & development so that we techno-geeks can have that singularly human sensation of going from not knowing some new gizmo exists to wanting it with every ounce of our being in 20-seconds flat.

I'm thankful for spackle, one of the world's greatest coverers of mistakes caused by the folly of man.

I'm similarly thankful for duct tape, perhaps the most versatile invention of this century.

I am thankful for beer.

I am doubly thankful that I can have a beer and not have an urge to drink 20 more. I am thankful for those organizations that help some of the millions of people who are not so lucky to be able to stop.

I am thankful for my parents, without whom I would not be possible. (I can't remember who originally said this in a thank you speech, but it is still one of the most simply profound things I have ever heard. Or profoundly simple. Whatever.)

I am thankful for F. Scott Fitzgerald and the simple power of his novels. Is there a more perfectly constructed sentence than "It was a body capable of great leverage"? (From The Great Gatsby)

I am thankful that Payne Stewart spent the last years of his life in transition from being a great golfer to a great human being.

No-lick stamps. No look passes. No frills airlines. Non stick pans. Mud pies. Decorative cabbage.

Leaf Piles. College Hoops. Otters.

Animal House. Shaft. Fletch. The Usual Suspects.

I'm thankful that dogs exist. A dog cannot be sad and act happy.

I'm thankful for Red Klotz, who has perhaps the most futile career ever. Mr. Klotz is the coach and owner of the New York Nationals, the long-standing opponent of the Harlem Globetrotters. Mr. Klotz has not coached his team to a single win, and when he played for the Washington Generals in the 1930s enjoyed only 4 victories. The next time you think you've got a bad job, just imagine being paid to lose 200 nights a year.

I hope everyone has a most Foolish Thanksgiving. Go spend the day with your family, eat too much, and fall asleep in front of the television.

But most of all, be safe.

We'll be here when you get back.