The Top Five Things That Aren’t on a Top Ten List

Photo by Paul Octavious at

’Tis the season to prove your mastery of the decimal system by listing items that are already popular and showing off your knowledge of them. My list, however, consists of the humble little underdogs that I think are least likely to make it onto a top ten list.

5. My blog. If you are reading this post, you may not realize how much I appreciate you. You are a rare and wonderful creature, and if you post a comment, you are practically an endangered species. I have noticed that all the blogs on WordPress’s “Freshly Pressed” are mostly breezy little tea sandwiches: tiny, concentrated, and divided with numbers and headings. You, dearest readers, have actually read multiple long paragraphs at a time, but if I tell you how much I appreciate your generosity, Item Five will get too long.

4. Postal service. Maybe neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night shall stay our couriers, but – like everything else this year – the economy has threatened the lovely anticipation of getting an actual card or letter from an actual person. I won’t miss the junk mail or even the catalogs, but the post office funeral march already has me nostalgic.

3. Coffee. I do not need to list the many wonderful qualities of The Holy Bean. I admit that coffee might even be on someone else’s Top 10 list, but it’s too good to leave out. Yes, I already know I’m addicted – no need to say so. I appreciate your coffee at least as much as my own, because it means I can talk to you without needing an adult beverage afterwards.

2. Pharmaceuticals. Maybe drug companies are evil zombies that are killing our health care system, but I am still grateful for the miracle of antibiotics, not to mention the other assorted pills, sprays, and liquids that keep all of us walking, eating, sleeping, and breathing.

1. Books. You know: bendy paperbacks, printed on paper. A book should be a multimedia experience that you can touch, smell, and hear as well as see. Every time I hold one, I think, “Thank you, Book, for not being a Kindle or a Nook.”

Please let me know if you find any of these items on a Top 10 list. In fact, I invite you to post a comment telling me I’m full of it. At least I kept it short for once.