What I’m Thankful for: 2022 Edition
I must admit that I am surprised as anyone that this is officially the 8th installment of my annual “What I’m Thankful For” column posted each year just before the Thanksgiving holiday. While I rejoice in the opportunity to espouse my gratitude, even if mostly humorous, for many of the elements of my existence, when I started penning the first edition of this yearly tradition in 2015, I never really imagined that I would still be doing it seven years later. In all sincerity, I never could have predicted the successful proliferation and growth that TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less has seen over the last several years. And for that, I am grateful to each and every one of you that choose to read this drivel each week.
And while this column is intended to be a more lighthearted send-up of societal quirks and incongruities, I have to start on a more serious note and express my gratitude to still be living in a country that respects both the rights and responsibilities that a democratic government entails. Ever since 2016, we have been forced to watch as our founding values of elected leadership and the rule of law have been eroded in the face of authoritarianism and a voting populace that failed to live up to the standards of informed citizenship that democracy inherently requires. But the elections of 2020 and this past Tuesday have restored some of my faith in the American public and its recognition of the duties of citizenship. Our brave veterans fought valiantly to defend the values of democracy, but Donald Trump and his Republican enablers have become a serious threat to those core underpinnings, leaving us on the brink of a precipitous descent into tyranny and oppression. But the American people have resoundly rejected that autocracy, and for that I am truly grateful.
And so here I am, still free to deliver my annual column on what I’m grateful for:
I am grateful to be the last person I know to still not test positive for Covid. I mean, I could use a week off just like everybody else, but doing so on a ventilator is hardly how I want to spend my time away from the classroom.
I am grateful that the New York Yankees were once again summarily dispatched from the MLB playoffs in the first round. When it comes to baseball, I root for two teams: the Red Sox and whoever is playing the Yankees. Having both of them eliminated that early allowed me to stop watching baseball altogether and turn my attention to more important things…like fantasy football.
I am grateful that I already own my home here in Colorado. Given the skyrocketing price of housing in this market due to an ever-increasing influx of new residents to the state, I might otherwise have to pack my bags and move to Nebraska. And I don’t care what kind of mansion my money might be able to buy in that vast cultural wasteland, nobody wants to live in a state where the most prominent economic output revolves around corn.
I am grateful that my son will be turning sixteen this year and getting his drivers license, thus providing me with a built-in designated driver. Suck it, Uber! Who needs you when I have a willing and eager teenager at home whose only requisite compensation comes in the form of getting the car keys once in awhile?
I am grateful that Alex Jones has been ordered to pay over one billion dollars (spoken in true Dr. Evil voice with pinky pointing towards the mouth) to the families of Sandy Hook victims. I’m not really sure how this makes my own life better, but it just feels good to have that cocaine-sniffing, dilapidated rage monkey somewhat lighter in the wallet. After all, no one should be allowed to profit by adding to the heartbreaking and misery of the victims of immense tragedy. There’s nothing really funny about that. It’s just plain truth and human decency.
I am grateful that my kids are no longer young enough to watch shows like Dora the Explorer. That football-shaped-headed hussie made my life a living hell and I am convinced that she contributed to the loss of at least 10–20 IQ points from my already questionable intellect. For years, that vapid “I’m the Map” song reverberated in the vacuous chambers of my skull, making me want to shred to pieces every AAA itinerary ever recorded.
I am grateful that Kari Lake will not be the next governor of Arizona. Let’s face it- that screaming banshee is what therapists call a steady income, and having to listen to hear rave about the outcome of the 2020 election was beginning to make my brain hurt. Fortunately, voters sent a pretty clear message to all these MAGA morons, letting them know that yelling false claims and hurling insults is not the way to get yourself elected to office.
I am grateful for Preparation-H. Please don’t ask why. Just don’t ask.
I am grateful that Elon Musk is driving Twitter straight into the ground like a self-driving Tesla gone amok. Twitter has always been the less cerebral, more gossipy redneck cousin to the other social media platforms anyway, so watching this giant turd sandwich lose $46 billion while signaling the demise of the site that allowed our former president to send his deranged musings while sitting on his toilet seems like a win-win for everybody.
And finally, I am grateful to all of you for reading this column each and every year. I deeply question your reading aesthetic and standards of good judgment, but I appreciate all of you nonetheless.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com