Columns

Hosey: Thanks for the day off, among other things

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. With any luck, you had Friday off along with Thursday and are in the midst of enjoying a four-day weekend.

If that’s the case, you should give thanks. Especially since that’s what the whole holiday’s supposed to be about in the first, starting back with the inaugural Thanksgiving exactly 400 years ago, the one where the Pilgrims invited the Native Americans over for dinner since they helped them not starve or freeze to death.

Then, in a further show of gratitude, once they found their feet and established themselves, the European invaders went ahead and started killing and dispossessing the Native Americans, taking away their land and forcing the survivors to live on reservations, eventually leading to an annual celebration with a traditional dinner of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce and gravy.

So if you missed the opportunity to appreciate your good fortune Thursday, you might as well get it done now before you have to go back to work Monday because by then you probably won’t be in the mood for it. Besides, there’s so much from the past year to be thankful for that it might take some time.

You might be thankful, for example, that one of your cronies hooked you up with a powerful city job paying close to $200,000, doing so without regard for your utter lack of experience working in municipal government. If something like that happened to you, you should definitely feel grateful, if not completely beholden or indebted to the person who gave you a hand up.

In fact, it’s not hard to imagine that you might feel so thankful for this fortunate turn of events that you would be inclined to pay back whoever it was that helped you out, to maybe even go so far as to do his or her bidding, even though you’re the guy with the big job and you’re supposed to be calling the shots. No, it’s not hard to imagine that at all.

On the other hand, instead of reflecting on positive developments you enjoyed over the course of the last year, you might be thankful for things that didn’t happen.

For instance, perhaps you escaped a criminal prosecution even though you were caught on video wearing a police officer’s cap and shouting orders at pedestrians, almost as if you were trying to act like — or even impersonate — a police officer, and then grabbing one of those passersby by the collar and roughly hauling him away.

After that, you might have offered various explanations for why you attacked the man, or given differing versions of what he was up to before you dragged him off, none of which can be seen on the video that shows you grabbing him.

Thankfully, the state’s attorney won’t want to have anything to do with this mess and will take the easy way out, dumping the whole thing off on a special prosecutor. When that happens, legal difficulties seem to take care of themselves, at least when they involve the right kind of people, and that’s certainly worth some thanks.

Jobs and special prosecutors are just the start of it. We could go on and on when it comes to giving thanks, but at the risk of boring you we’ll cut it off there. You’re welcome.

• Joe Hosey is the editor of The Herald-News. You can reach him at 815-280-4094, at jhosey@shawmedia.com or on Twitter @JoeHosey.

Joseph Hosey

Joseph Hosey

Joe Hosey became editor of The Herald-News in 2018. As a reporter, he covered the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and criminal investigation of her husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson. He was the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year and 2014 National Press Club John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winner.