This past week, I, along with much of the country, celebrated the holiday of Thanksgiving, a cherished American tradition during which we commemorate a cleaned-up, whitewashed version of an apocryphal story of an event in our fine nation’s history that never happened . . . at least not the way it’s told. There’s nothing quite like this heart-warming event. It’s a time for gathering family and eating traditional pilgrim dishes like Jell-O fruit salad and creamy string beans topped with fried onions from a can.
So stirred was your Curmudgeon by these annual festivities that I decided to take a few moments to reflect on all the things for which I’m thankful.
I’m thankful for aisle seats, which limit the number of adjacent neighbors to one and allow for speedy retreats to the privacy of my lair.
I’m thankful that if you keep pressing zero enough times, you can still sometimes convince the robot voice to let you speak to a human person.
I’m thankful for those times when someone else in the theatre shushes the rude person who has been talking; I’m even more thankful when that reprimand comes from someone on stage. Man, I love it when that happens.
I’m thankful for online complaint forms and customer service surveys.
I’m thankful for consequences, repercussions, and comeuppances.
I’m thankful for the teacher who returned a letter from the president with all his many linguistic errors corrected.
I’m thankful for earbuds.
I’m thankful for Amazon and Seamless, who have enabled me to avoid countless encounters with frustrating and/or poorly behaved fellow shoppers and diners.
I’m thankful that Webster’s hasn’t just given up and made “their,” “they’re,” and “there” interchangeable.
I’m thankful for the seemingly endless supply of things to complain about.
I’m thankful for the secret order of monks who labor through the night by the light of flickering torches, carefully typesetting each week’s column by hand on an ancient printing press.
I’m thankful that the Christmas season is upon us, a time when we finally get to enjoy delightful tales of the greatest curmudgeons of all, Ebenezer Scrooge and The Grinch. (One small suggestion: skip the final scenes; they completely ruin these otherwise brilliant stories.)
I’m thankful for you, my beloved fellow curmudgeons, who share my love of accuracy and propriety, my loathing for stupidity and boorishness, and my overall grouchiness at the behavior of most other people.
And finally, I’m thankful that these hypocritical, inconvenient holidays only eat into a month and a half or so of my busy schedule of correcting my fellow man.
There now. I feel better. Gratitude is good for the soul.