Say Thank You

’Tis the season of Thanksgiving.

But frankly, rather than folding hands and bowing heads in gratitude before the large roasted bird, the only prayer many will offer is for this year to end as quickly as possible.

After all, how thankful can anyone be for an America that has lost its swagger with the worst economy in nearly a century?

How wonderful can things be when two wars linger, and flag-packaged coffins still silently offload at Dover on their way to inestimably sad families?

How much joy is there in the fact that every single home in America is worth less than it was twenty-four months ago?

Can anyone be grateful for the din of fearful political braying that streams from cable and radio like sewage from a pipe? That we can’t escape the feeling that we are all awake with worry at 3 a.m., while the people who scuttled our economy and mismanaged our wars are snoring away, untouched by the events they triggered?

In short, doesn’t it feel a little like the turkey being served this year is us?

(Cue John Sousa music.)

Is that what’s bothering you Bunky? Well, throw your chest out and turn your face to the sunlight! It’s time to make cranberry juice out of the soggy bog fruit jammed into the innards of that farmyard bird!

Come on, fellas and gals! No whining! Let’s start a conga line of thanks!

Repeat after me. What are we thankful for?????

We are thankful that the market isn’t at 2000. That Detroit still makes cars. That Bernie Madoff is afraid to shower. And that one terrorist actually lit his own johnson on fire and nothing else. That Aaron Rodgers is so quietly good that Wisconsin will have interesting Sundays for another decade. That Modern Family is getting funny just as The Office isn’t. That you can’t identify a Kardashian. And you can actually rewatch The Civil War in HD on your iPhone while stuck in the airport. Oh. And that Bo and the Badgers will beat Indiana. Again.

Oh, sure, you say that your nest egg has laid an egg. That an expensive dinner is now toast from a week-old loaf. That you are thinking of taking in boarders.

Well, cheer up, friend! Set your eyes to the horizon! Be thankful!

(Cue John Sousa music again.)

Thankful that they are almost finished with that damn construction at University and Johnson. That Gino’s Deli sells those really good ingredients for homemade pizza. That the second week of October was the best weather we have had in a decade. That we have a president who, even if you do not like him, can complete a sentence. And that, at least for today, your wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, is speaking to you. Or that you dumped them.

Oh, sure. Winter winds are about to howl. No one on Wall Street can find the Midwest on a map. But don’t fret, partner. Do not fear the night. Be thankful!

(Cue John Sousa music again.)

Thankful that they have invented a staggering amount of high-quality artificial joints. That penicillin still works. That the only species getting a bad case of bird, swine or horse flu are birds, swine and horses.

Thankful. For jazz at Liliana’s. Winter Storm Warnings. Indoor plumbing. Electricity. Caller ID. And did I mention those really good pizza ingredients at Gino’s Deli?

And finally, as we mute the flat-screen, gather at the table and bow our heads, just one more note of thanks. To friends and family who help us get through tough days with a simple pat.

A comforting whisper.

“One day at a time. Things will get better.”


Madison-based television producer John Roach writes this column monthly. Comments? Questions? Write

Read archives of John Roach's columns here.

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