They say that gratitude is the key to happiness but, hey, it’s been a rough year. We just survived one of the most bizarre, contentious elections in world history. Kanye canceled the rest of his tour. Global warming is killing off the polar bears and penguins. Game of Thrones will have one more season and then it’s goodbye Daenerys Targaryen. So, what do you say when it’s your turn to express gratitude at the family Thanksgiving feast? They say that ignorance is bliss, but if getting your share of the tater tots depends on your answer, consider plagiarizing with second-hand gratitude.
Exploding Phones. Admit it. Air travel has become boring. With TSA Pre-check, you can avoid being patted down by poorly trained government workers in latex gloves, compliments of your hard-earned tax dollars. It’s been years since we’ve had someone try to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb or an underwear bomb. Exploding phones! It’s new, it’s fresh! It makes drinking on a plane de rigueur, even on a 7 a.m. flight. Thank you, Samsung!
Student Debt and Open Carry. Open carry on campus has been hotly debated, particularly in Texas. What students and parents have failed to realize is the opportunity to use open carry to erase student loan debt. Attend a fraternity party, get in an argument with a drunk dude who’s packing, and provoke him to shoot you in a non-fatal way (non-fatal is key, although your student debt would be erased either way). Sue the university. Goodbye student loan debt, hello red Corvette.
Pantsuits. If you’re a whippersnapper, you can skip this part. Fashion is tricky for the over-60 professional woman. High heels make painful varicose veins and bunions worse. Post-menopausal weight gain makes today’s above-the-knee dresses and skirts, well, unsightly for most women of a certain age. Thanks to the recent election cycle, pantsuits are back. And they’re cool. New motto for the AARP: “Stronger together, in pantsuits!”
Texas Economy. While the end of NAFTA threatens to eliminate 30 percent of current revenue, building the wall will be an economic bonanza for Texas. Imagine 2,000 miles of food trucks feeding thousands of hungry border patrol agents and our citizen vigilantes, the Minutemen. Souvenir shops will sell T-shirts, ball caps, and refrigerator magnets to remind us that we can make America great again. Don’t leave home without your MasterCard, and make the memories priceless.
Sugar is the New Fat. Back in the days of the Food Pyramid, we thought that fat caused people to get fat and cholesterol caused people to have high cholesterol. Now we know the culprit is sugar. Yeah, it’ll be hard to give up that 700-calorie Big Gulp in the morning, but bring on the guilt-freee burgers and fries. It’s a small price to pay. Next time you order that pizza with extra cheese and triple sausage, remember your friends at the USDA.
Bob Dylan. How many of us can’t quote a Bob Dylan song? Now that he’s a Nobel laureate, we can look really smart, even if our IQ is smaller than our BMI. How do we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels? “The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.” Should I pull my money out of Samsung stocks? “Don’t think twice, it’s all right.” Will the drought in California ever end? “A hard rains a-gonna fall.” People may want to nominate you for a Nobel Prize.
Relations with Russia. So, it turns out Trump and Putin do know each other. Don’t think twice, it’s all right. (See how this works?) Relationships between the U.S. and Mother Russia are warming faster than a polar ice cap, if you believe in global warming. That’s great news for Americans because we can look forward to a dramatic drop in the price of vodka and caviar. Super Bowl LI will be a whole different ball game. Hold the nachos and beer, pass the Stolichnaya and the Salmon and Caviar Flatbread with Crème Fraiche.
Sitting is the New Smoking. Smokers you’ve been the pariah of society long enough, relegated to back alleys, puffing your poison out of view of polite society. The latest medical research shows that sitting is as dangerous to our health as smoking. . .maybe even more! So, the next time you see a pregnant lady sitting on a bus, tell her to get her fat patoot up and offer her a cigarette. Your generosity will not go unnoticed.
Post-Truth. In spite of the stress, the election was a gift for most of us. Who hasn’t lied about a felony conviction on a job application, cheated on their taxes, or played dumb about what really happened in Vegas? If you love neo-existentialism or heuristic nihilism or ecumenical atheism, you’re going to love the new post-truth era. Now you can lie and consider yourself hip. So, when grandma asks if the turkey is dry, smile and tell her you feel like you’re knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door.
Happy Thanksgiving, America!
Gretchen Martens is a DCH graduate who performs with Been There Done That and Brain Wearing Pants. When she’s not working as an executive coach and trainer, she writes satire for her blog www.PotatoNationUSA.com. She is finishing her first play, sanINity, an irreverent look at losing a loved one to mental illness.
(Image: TES Teach)