For these things I give thanks

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Posted 11/21/17 (Tue)

What A Joke
By John Bayer

Thanksgiving is just about my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is unique. It lacks the overt commercialism of some holidays – like Christmas – and the unsettling horror elements of others – again, Christmas.
Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. No matter how difficult the past year has been, there are always things to give thanks for.
I give thanks that I’m unable to change the settings on my bathroom scale from kilograms back to pounds. To step on the scale and see 129.7 feels much better than having 286 stare back at you.
I give thanks that while their peers opted for careers in shoe repair or toy construction, the Keebler elves chose to get into cookies.
I give thanks for cosplayers. For those who don’t know, costumed players (or “cosplayers”) are grown adults who spend all their money and free time creating costumes of their favorite superheroes and science fiction characters, and then wear those costumes every weekend at the nearest comic book conventions. 
Why am I thankful for them? Whenever my life feels empty and meaningless, I can still say, “at least I’m not a cosplayer!”
I give thanks for sugar, gluten, and lactose. They’ve gotten a lot of flak lately, but I consider these guys my best friends. What would the world be without sugar, gluten, and lactose? Lettuce; the world would be lettuce. Who wants that?
I give thanks for technology. With Netflix, smart phones, Twitter, and Snapchat, there are more ways than ever before to avoid going outside and getting some exercise.
I give thanks that despite escalating prices everywhere else, the cost to buy a vowel on “Wheel of Fortune” hasn’t changed since the 1980s – still just $250. 
I give thanks for my great readers. I’ve been writing columns off and on for this paper since 2012, and it’s been an extreme pleasure. The emails, gifts, and words of encouragement I’ve received from “fans” have brought me so much encouragement and joy over the years.
A new job and other circumstances in my life have led me to the difficult decision to bring “What a Joke” to a close. I’ll be around for the next two months before wrapping things up at the end of January. Hopefully in that time, I can provide you with a few laughs . . .
And let you know how truly thankful I am for you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!