As you may recall, around this time each year I like to take a moment to remind my readers that there are still plenty of reasons to be truly thankful. And if I can say that from my perch here in the heart of the newspaper business, you can certainly come up with something.
So stop reading that blood-sucking news aggregator site for a minute and take a gander at these, this year’s reasons to give thanks:
1) You’re not in a homemade balloon spinning somewhere above Colorado.
2) Levi Johnston has gotten nowhere near your daughter. That you know of.
3) You didn’t promise anybody you’d get a massive health care bill through the House and the Senate.
4) You haven’t been arrested for breaking into your own house.
5) You haven’t arrested anybody for breaking into his own house.
6) You’re not the planet earth, which will either implode in 2012 in a torrent of computer-generated special effects, or be sucked into a black hole by the Large Hadron Collider sometime within the next 15 minutes.
7) You didn’t decide to go for it on 4th and 2.
8) Your entire image isn’t being reworked against your will, like poor Mickey Mouse, whom Disney is re-imagining as more “cantankerous and cunning” — apparently the focus groups have said that they’d prefer Mickey to be more like Dick Cheney. But don’t worry, “Mickey is never going to be evil or go around killing people,” said one Disney Imagineer. OK, forget what I said about Cheney.
9) You didn’t win that annoying Nobel Peace Prize.
10) Your image isn’t showing up willy-nilly in pictures of water droplets on lotus leaves, like Ringo Starr’s is. A team researching water-repellent leaf behavior at Duke University took the high-speed images, and darn it if you can’t see Ringo’s little mop-toppy head right there. Add this to the list of signs that the world is ending.
11) None of your sex tapes have been made public. That you know of.
12) You’re not in Richard Heene’s attic.
13) You’re not Ruppy, one of five beagles who South Korean scientists recently engineered to become the world’s first glow-in-the-dark dogs. I imagine this makes it much harder to sneak up on people. Still, it finally offers a solution to the dire tripping-over-dogs-in-the-dark problem, and if you can get the dog to curl up close enough to you, you can read by him.
14) You didn’t try to address the nation’s annoying schoolchildren.
15) Perez Hilton hasn’t judged your beauty pageant or scribbled all over you with a white marker.
16) You’re not a drinker in Arizona, where a new law allows people to bring their guns into bars. Unfortunately, actually shooting somebody in an Arizona bar is still illegal, for the most part.
17) You don’t have Nicolas Cage’s financial advisor.
18) You didn’t lose your finger and have it replaced with a USB drive, like a man in Finland. In his defense, it is better, stronger and faster, plus it gives a whole new definition to the phrase “pull my finger.”
19) You’re not running for president in Iran. Or Afghanistan. Or Iraq.
20) You weren’t elected president of the United States.
21) You weren’t one of the many children frightened this summer by Colorado’s new ill-advised water conservation mascot, the “Running Toilet,” consisting of a man with an entire actual-size toilet on his head. (Best bystander quote: “I don't think the toilet meant to scare them.”) No word on whether the toilet has spent any time in Richard Heene’s attic.
22) You don’t work for Goldman Sachs, where executives had to scale back drastically and cut their massive bonuses to almost nothing.
What? Their bonuses and spending are as lavish as ever? Somebody should make those guys work for a newspaper.
this column appeared originally in North Shore Sunday. Peter Chianca is a managing editor for GateHouse Media New England. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/pchianca. To receive At Large by e-mail, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “SUBSCRIBE."