Ok, I'm Aware Already
November, 2011

Thanks to you, Mr. NFL, I’m now aware of breast cancer. Took me awhile, but I finally get it. Pink means a lot of women get breast cancer and get really, really sick. I’m sorry, I wish I could help but I’m tapped out this month between bill collectors and political parties. But I’m aware, I really am. So now that I’m aware, can somebody please tell the NFL to put away all the pink shoes, whistles, towels and do-rags? I mean, it’s a nice shade of pink, but it really clashes with Forty Niner Red and Gold, and has no place on the Silver and Black. I even saw a drag strip decked out in pink the other day. A drag strip!

My wife hit it on the head. Why doesn’t the NFL just take all the money (has to be gazillions) that they put into pink uniforms for grunting, slobbering 300-pound nose guards and donate it to the cancer people or whomever they want us to be aware of this month. That would be too easy, and not nearly as satisfying for the girlie-men and man-haters who are bludgeoning the Common Man’s favorite Neanderthal pastime with shocking pink clubs.

For the record, I’m also aware of juvenile diabetes. Same goes for domestic violence, suicide, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia and dozens of other dread diseases and bad habits. Living in Salinas has made me aware that there’s a problem with gangs and that they have to be prevented, arrested or shot, as conditions dictate. I’m also aware of monster trucks and a vibrant Hispanic Community. I know about the Rodeo, the Air Show and Skid Row, and that John Steinbeck slept here.

Why do all these people want us to be aware of their problems anyway? Hey, I’ve got my own problems. Either they want me to be aware that they need money, or they’re upset that nobody cares about what they care about. Misery loves company, after all. Maybe what they’re really saying is that it’s “We Need Money Month.” Hey, me too. How about a Salinas Californian Community Columnist Awareness Month? All donations are cheerfully accepted. I’m certain my fellow periodistas will be happy to march with me down Alisal Street. I just hope there are no violent clashes with the Occupy Salinas crowd, or is that the “I Need a Life Awareness” movement?

Just for fun, I looked it up. Believe it or not, I found no less than 389 “awareness” months! Now I just want you to be aware of how badly I feel. Were you aware that October drew our attention to no less than 64 diseases, hobbies, animals, occupations and propensities? And you probably missed them, except for those pink-clad, wimpified linebackers. I’ve got to believe some man-hating Code Pinkers or downright Pinkos snicker about shoving that one down our throats every week. Get ready, November alone features 21 awareness-elevating commemorations. Everything from AIDs Awareness (I’ve heard of it) to Prematurity, to Marrow Awareness (huh?), to Inspirational Role Models, to Pet Cancer. I’m not making any of this up.

On the bright side, November also includes awareness of Georgia Pecans, Aviation History, Adoption, Peanut Butter and Pomegranates. I was aware of most of those (not so much the pecans), but Gluten-Free Diet Awareness and Vegan Month caught me flat-footed. Unfortunately, November listed nothing about Turkey Mental Trauma Awareness, Dysfunctional Families, Overeating or Football Addiction Awareness. Likewise, how come there’s no Out-of-Control-Debt or Jesus Awareness listed for December? Seems odd.

After that bit of research, I’m afraid I’m not feeling so aware anymore. Now I’m thinking of inaugurating Unawareness Awareness Month. I guess I have a long way to go to be truly aware of what everyone else is going through, especially the poor, pink NFL. On the other hand, we could declare November “Apathy Awareness Month,” but nobody would care.