Well it’s Thanksgiving again, the time to get together with our families and reflect on all our blessings. This is a uniquely American holiday, one shared by no other nation but Canada, who celebrates it on a different day. Leave it to Canada to to be almost exactly like the United States, but not quite. You could say Canada is just like the USA, but without all that distracting excitement and vitality.

Their talented people certainly recognize where the action isn’t and come south to get famous. Canada, get a lifestyle! Sorry once again, Canadians, but if you really want to be something other than America Lite, do something different other than refusing to pronounce the word “about” properly. That’s the lamest claim to national identity ever.

But I digress, and I am being unkind to our esteemed neighbor to the north, our plodding and stoic provider of cold fronts, maple syrup and toothless ice skaters, but I’m working on it. This is about giving thanks, not my human failings. Let us review the many things we have for which to be humbly grateful and join together in prayer of thanks to our Creator.

We’ll start with the menu:

Oh Lord, we are your humble servants and thankful we only have to eateth this ponderous provender but once a year. If there is a drier, more tasteless bird in all Your vast Creation, oh Lord, we thank Thee for revealing it not to the Pilgrims. And Lord forgive us for stuffing this mound of meat with more meat, inventing sweet potato and marshmallow concoctions, mince pies and fruit cakes. We solemnly vow to consumeth these nominally edible dishes but once a year. Grant us the wisdom to remain faithful to these abstentions on all the days saveth Thanksgiving.

Now we thank the Lord for our precious family:

Let us prostrate ourselves before thee in humble thanks that Aunt Greta finally had that sizable goiter removed from her neck so there will be no squabbling over who must sit opposite her at the table and lose their appetite for Thy wondrous bounty. And we beseech thee, oh Lord, for all our sakes that Cousin Roger’s latest stay at rehab takes, and he consumeth not half his weight in beer and tequila before collapsing into his plate.

And Lord, in your infinite wisdom, provide Grandpa with a decent battery for his hearing aid so that he belloweth not at his progeny. And we beseech thee oh Lord to allow Uncle Milton to recall a different topic of conversation than his many surgeries or failing bodily functions.

And Lord we beg thee not to let cousin Belinda stray too close to the kitchen lest the refrigerator magnets cling to her many facial piercings again, and allow little Billy to see the light when it comes to fiddling around with electric outlets and butter knives, thus sparing us another holiday visit from Thy blessed ambulance technicians. And may Mama and Papa call a truce to their decades-long feud over who else they should have married. At least for this one day, oh Lord, that our ears be spared this vitriol.

And we beg thee oh Lord to convince Aunt Lorraine that the days of mini skirts and exposed cleavage are long behind her and while you are at it, oh Mighty One, perhaps you could persuade Uncle Jack to lose the combover and ponytail, the skull and crossbones earring and the leather pants into which he fitteth not anymore, as thy generous bounty has increased his girth immeasurably over the years.

And since Thanksgiving is our own invention, it is only right and proper that we give thanks for our wonderful country:

And now Lord, we thank thee for this wonderful nation unto to which our ancestors arrived and wrested from the Godless savages who sustained us in our first vulnerable winters. We complement thee, oh Lord, for giving these Godless savages many gambling casinos as compensation for having given us their land, upon which they had not the wisdom to build a single strip mall or drive-through fast food emporium.

And let us thank thee for providing us our black brethren, who gave us their cheerful assistance in dominating this land with their free labor and servitude for 400 years. Let us pray for all our brethren whose skin is a slightly different shade than our own, that they do not wisheth to reside in our neighborhood.

Oh Lord we thank Thee for our national institutions like Congress, the Supreme Court, Reality TV and the many fine Law and Order programs. We thank Thee for our wise leaders and thank Thee further for term limits. Lord, we pray that half as many of us vote in our next election than for an episode of American Idol.

And Lord, we beseech thee to open the eyes of the blind who worship not at the altar of Thee, the One True God, and alloweth us the serenity to smite them not unto dust.

And let none of us assail the caretakers with whom You, in your infinite wisdom, have entrusted almost all of our nation’s bounty, thy worthy wealthy servants. Let not our hearts turn bitter when those servants giveth our jobs to nations that need them more than we do, drain our treasury and sendeth our children to wars for reasons we cannot hope to understand. Alloweth not the sheep to question the shepherds.

Maketh us not envious of the many fine homes owned by our shepherds while so many of our own brethren are losing their modest shelter to banks. Let us instead rejoice over being relieved of our heavy labors and our burdensome mortgages, and be thankful that our clothing is now sewn by industrious Chinese children and the cars that are now our homes are so sturdily assembled in Mexico.

Let us not wax melancholy that our dear nephew Ralph cannot find any gainful employment with his expensive college business degree save that of a busboy in one of the many fine corporate executive dining rooms, and allow us not to indulge in petty irony. Alloweth Ralph to accept his station in life. And Lord help sister Jane and her many unruly children hang on to their little house, lest they moveth in with us.

And one more thing, Oh Lord: Please make this year’s football game an exciting one and not a lopsided stinker that’s pretty much over at half time and alloweth Thy windy sports commentators much leeway to blather on and on about many strange and wondrous things having nothing to do with anything. We remain your humble and grateful servants. Amen.

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