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Here's a list of things we can ALL be thankful for

We're already a month into the Christmas season, which means that Thanksgiving is here. It's a shopworn cliché for columnists to write about what they're thankful for. In Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King wrote that he was thankful for, among other things, All My Children, which he watches religiously. This ends the speculation as to where he gets all of his creepy ideas.

I'm not going to bore you with a long column about what I'm thankful for. My list is pretty short. I'm thankful for my kids and my wife; my basketball team; the fact that I live in a country where it's still legal (for now) to eat fried chicken and one in which it's not yet legal for Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for president; football; TV remote controls; and finally, vegans and charter schools, because they make my job so easy.

But here are some things that YOU should probably be thankful for:

· The University of Arizona football season comes to an end on Friday with a game against the soulless ASU Sun Devils. It's hard to believe that it was only a couple months ago that the UA-Wisconsin game almost got called off because of a bizarre midday lightning storm. Unfortunately, that's one of the season's highlights.

However, if the Cats can pull some gigantic miracle out of their butts (wow, just think if some kid reads this and then goes to religious instruction and is asked how miracles happen and he says, "Football players pull them out of their butts"), the season will be a screaming success.

And if the Cats don't prevail, we can all be thankful that they won't lose again until next year, by which time our short-term memory will have faded, and we all will have convinced ourselves that they might be like the teams from the last century that used to win lots of games and miss out on going to the Rose Bowl by fewer than seven games.

· While we're on sports, be thankful that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, so they can finally stop talking about the Curse of the Bambino, the tiredest cliché in all of sports.

· Be thankful you're not eating tofurkey for Thanksgiving. And if you are, be extra thankful that you're not going to live any longer than the rest of us.

· Let's all be thankful that Yasser Arafat has gone on to his reward of 72 virgins in the next life. And let's hope they all look just like him.

· Be thankful that you live in a community that cares so much about the people who deliver the local news. I've never been a big fan of Patty Weiss. However, if Weiss was dumped from her anchor job because of her age, then that sucks. If she was dumped because KVOA's once-overwhelming ratings are now in the toilet, that makes sense. And if she was dumped because of Channel 13's Kris Pickel, that sucks and makes sense. But mostly, when trying to figure this whole thing out, you have to believe that the majority of the people who make the big decisions in TV and radio are the reason the word "retard" hasn't been officially retired as a noun.

· Be thankful that K-Mart and Sears have merged. You don't have to feel sorry for them any more. You can now hate them as much as you do Wal-Mart.

· Be thankful that you're not Judge Nanette Warner, who threw out as evidence the diary of a 16-year-old Marana girl who committed suicide after allegedly being repeatedly raped by her father. Warner ruled that the police didn't obtain a search warrant before they found and read the diary.

Does that mean that the police are supposed to show up at the house of a kid who has killed herself and then say, "Hey, let's go get a search warrant for a diary in case this kid was being raped by her monster of a father and wrote about it while her monster of a mother knew about it and did nothing." Are they really supposed to think like that?

Whoever said, "Sometimes the law is an ass" really nailed that one.

· Be thankful that on the day after Thanksgiving, you can get up at 4 a.m., freeze your butt off while standing in line with thousands of other morons to get into the box store at 5 a.m., and get all your Christmas shopping done by noon so you can kick back and watch the UA game on TV. Of course, you'll doze off right after kickoff because you got up at four in the morning!!!

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