With apologies to Jimmy Fallon, here are a few things I am grateful for:
Thank you, sports beat reporters, for shamelessly sucking up to postgame interview subjects by providing both the question and answer (“You have to be pleased with today’s win”) for them.
Thank you, network programming executives, for those excerpts you choose to promote as the highlight of your sit-coms and allowing us to recognize in advance just how witless those shows are.
Thank you, convenience store cashier, for petulantly asking if I want a bag for my groceries and grudgingly depleting your bag inventory.
Thank you, Republicans, for cutting spending on education and social welfare so that billionaires can revel in luxury and stylish charm.
Thank you, pitch-by-pitch replays, for slowing down the pace of baseball more than anyone could have thought possible and proving that watching paint dry is infinitely more fascinating.
Thank you, push buttons on traffic lights, for giving unimaginative pedestrians the illusion of power.
Thank you, Fox Sports TV directors, for occasionally diverting your cameras from the crowd and dugout to the field and reminding us that there is a game being played during your broadcast.
Thank you, professional writers, for misusing the words “disinterested,” “fortuitous,” and “presently” and proving that your editors are as benighted as you are.
Thank you, distracted SUV-driving mom on cell phone with toddler in child seat and stick figures of family on back window, for ignoring that stop sign and allowing a jogger to perform his deer-in-the-headlights imitation.
Thank you, baseball players who point to heaven, for having the hubris to think that God took the time to notice you jog into second base.
Thank you, bottled water, for underestimating P.T. Barnum and proving that there are now thousands of suckers born every minute.
Thank you, people who use apostrophes in simple plural words. The education of your children is in your hand’s.
Thank you, officious church ushers, for forcing tiny devout widows to squeeze ever deeper into the pew to accommodate late-arriving sweaty fat men in shorts.
Thank you, mute button, for the opportunity to silence instantly the E-trade talking baby, Geico gecko, Bud Light actors, and humming Honda passengers.
Thank you, drivers who use the breakdown lane to zoom past the waiting cars and cut in at the exit ramp for reminding me that Dante did not designate your own personal circle of hell.
Thank you, fat baseball trainers, for being role models for poorly conditioned players.
Thank you, print ad sales reps, for being eager to sell out any or all parts of editorial for your miserable commission.
Thank you, funeral-mass cards, for the fill-in-the-blank line that allows me to determine just how many years of prayers I want for the deceased.
Thank you, lawn-service workers, for Saturday morning’s three uninterrupted hours of leaf-blowing my neighbors’ blades of grass down the length of the street.
Thank you, NBA athlete, for pounding your own chest to show us you have heart while your counterpart just blew past you to put his team ahead.
Thank you, MLB relievers, for throwing 11 pitches every other day and redefining the word “courageous.”
Thank you, sabermetricians, for dramatizing just how little you value free time via your arcane formulas that prove what is obvious to fans who merely watch the games.