Today's fortune: What's vice today may be virtue tomorrow.
I held a quick brainstorming session with my family on the topic of this fortune. My wife, who likes to bend her elbow from time to time, mentioned Prohibition - the old laws that banned most alcohol in the country, which were overturned just over a decade later. Vice one day, virtue the next. That reminded my brother of a story my mom used to tell, and mom filled in the gaps.
Back in the time of Prohibition, my great grandfather was a moonshiner. His daughter - my maternal grandmother, Eleanor - often went with him on his delivery route, which he drove in a horse and buggy around the backwoods of central Missouri, dropping off jars of his homemade whiskey to loyal customers. One day, revenue officers were on his trail, and they pulled the buggy over and buried the whiskey in a ditch by the side of the road.
When the coast was clear days later, they drove back to get their whiskey. But my great grandfather couldn't remember where he'd buried it.
The vice/virtue discussion also prompted my brother Marty to chime in about sex. Nobody who knows him is surprised that his thoughts turned here. He said, "If you have sex the day before you get married, it's a vice, but if you have sex the day after it's a virtue."
My sister-in-law Sarah mentioned that the Thanksgiving holiday could be viewed in the framework of vice/virtue a couple different ways. "If you gorge yourself on turkey the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, people will look at you funny. But if you do it on Thanksgiving Day, you're just like everybody else."
And also this: "If you overeat on Thanksgiving that's a vice, but if that makes you exercise to work off the pounds, that's a virtue."
One last thing. My dad used to be a singer, or at least he says he was a singer. We've all heard the story about how he once sang with a group on the steps of the Missouri State Capitol, and we've always poked fun at him because of his "singing abilities" - everything he sang sounded like caterwauling to us..
Now, my dad has turned his singing into a virtue. Last night Jamie and I stayed the night at my parents' house after our family Thanksgiving feast. While we were here, I discovered that every night, my dad sings to my mom. He sings "You Are My Special Angel." And the two of them dance.