Thanks for indoor plumbing. It’s a lot better than the old way.

Thanks for Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade. They’ve made life better for millions of people.


Thanks for apricot fried pies as they were made in iron skillets by unsung domestic geniuses long ago. Mrs. Anderton, who just died, was one of them. She handed them out to Halloween trick-or-treaters who couldn’t believe their good fortune.

Thanks for the lengthened lifespan. When Mozart was my age, he’d already been dead longer than John Keats lived. I’m humbled at what others accomplished in fewer years than I’ve been given, but I remain appreciative that the bonus time was squandered on my worthless old arse nonetheless.


Thanks for King Solomon’s reminder to all of us — every one of us — that an haughty spirit usually goeth before a serious toestub, and for the related guilty pleasure of so often being able to see the ostentatiously self-righteous hoist at last by their own petard.

In other words, or in one other word, thanks for schadenfreude, and thanks for the concept having been coined in a foreign language so that we don’t have to feel quite as shameful for indulging in it from time to time.


Thanks for stained-glass windows backlit by winter sunshine.

Thanks for Daffy Duck’s take on the word “despicable.”

Thanks for the road not taken. And for the blind luck in not having taken it. I’d like to say wisdom rather than blind luck, or shrewdness, or something in my raising, or something giving me credit to some small extent, but I know better.

Thanks for the scientific and medical advances that have made life better for other millions despite hindrances and obstruction at every turn by the political know-nothings.


Thanks for little Wally Cleaver’s metamorphosis into a geezer artist whose work is on display at the Louvre. Wasn’t he Ozzie and Harriet’s boy? George and Gracie’s? Ward and June’s? Anyway. It seems only yesterday.

Thanks for how good it feels when it quits hurting.

Thanks for your patience in forgiving the occasional yielding to the temptation to wax profound in this space, as in this very column — to express like the old Saturday Night Live some of those “deep thoughts” that bedevil all of us but that we ordinarily have the good sense and good manners to keep to ourselves.

Thanks for the Twit Olympics.

Thanks for that stimulus check, and for it being of such a bonanza  amount that  we were able to pay for two and dang near even three gallons of gas with it.

Thanks for the efforts, mostly thwarted, by the environmentalist wackos on behalf of those who haven’t been born yet.

Thanks for the plentitude of what the old folks used to call chicken fertilize, the original Miracle-Gro.

Thanks for old-time radio, the greatest imagination-fueler since the invention of the book. It widened your circle to include the whole world, Even if you were a slow-learner child stuck in the viny frowse of primitive rural Arkansas, Henry Aldrich and Andrew H. Brown were right there with you. It also knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men.

Thanks for the wisdom that Lofty Craig and Mr. Boynton and Albert Alligator usually brought to the situation.


Thanks for the clever things that Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, Winston Churchill, John Randolph of Roanoke, Will Rogers, and Yogi Berra said.

Thanks for Wile E. Coyote, for his grit and determination in spite of the dead solid certainty that every rock falling from the top of a butte is going to flatten him like a sheet of notebook paper.  Thanks too for Foghorn Leghorn, who affirmed the suspicion that there’s no virtue in bluster except that it can be really funny if no one suffers because of it, and especially so if the blusterer is an overbearing two-dimensional chicken.

Thanks for Bewitched, Bothered, and Bemildred.

Thanks for old-fashioned hard-nosed journalism, and the 50-year period, from about 1940 to about 1990, when it prospered. It’s long gone now, of course, but it was fun while it lasted, and as Mrs. Willy Loman or Wally Hall once said, gratitude must not be allowed to go unexpressed.

Thanks for those who know, in their hearts and minds and souls, that, win or lose, it’s not really about them.

Thanks for evolution, and for the hopefulness contained in the idea of it.

Thanks for the wrench thrown lately into the smear machine.

Thanks for the limitations — the limitations being the definition finally. You can only do so many things. You can only go so many places. You can only be who you are, in the time that you’ve been allotted. You have to be content to watch from the wing, without too much resentment, as all the other do and go and be proceeds without your input or participation, valuable as that surely would’ve been. Sounds easy enough. Ain’t.

And on the topic of limitations, thanks this year more than ever for the amendment limiting presidents to two terms.