A few months ago, in a quixotic effort to ward off the evils of procrastination, I conscientiously brainstormed a possible schedule for upcoming column topics. In the process, I discovered that I would have a column published on Thanksgiving Day.
Almost immediately, I was struck with dual compulsions: First, I felt a strong urge to mark the day with something really compelling, replete with poignant characters, global themes and inescapable moral gravity. Then, about one minute later—with the breezy dismissal that this one would practically write itself—I succumbed to a deep-seated, lifelong compulsion to procrastinate.
Last week, those dueling desires were suddenly obliterated by the terror of pulling a clichéd piece of crap out of my ass at the last minute. Now here was motivation! Finally, when the calendar had eliminated all other options, I came to the realization that the whole concept of Thanksgiving is a sappy cliché to begin with—so, what the heck: Here are a few random things for which I am sincerely thankful ...
Holy crap, am I ever grateful for the start of college basketball season! And Sean Miller! And a new Wildcats dynasty! In just a year and a half, Miller has artfully constructed a team with 10 guys who can blaze up and down the floor, dominate the boards and play beat-down defense for 40 minutes. This team looks a lot like Miller's old Xavier teams, and already, he has created the kind of recruiting momentum that results in annual tournament runs. Along with women's coach Niya Butts, Arizona has two promising young coaches who emphasize rebounding and defense. Through my rosy lenses, I see a Sweet Sixteen this year, future Final Fours, and—sooner or later—another riot in the streets! Can't wait.
And hoo-boy-howdy-Jesus, am I ever thankful that crazy election is over! But I will say that the Tea Baggers made it interesting, in a drunken-uncle-at-the-Thanksgiving-feast sort of way. I saw a head-counting exercise that concluded that less than a third of Tea Party candidates in the general election managed to win. Just imagine what the Democratic debacle would have looked like had the Republicans run anyone but right-wing wackjobs in some of these races. Harry Reid would have been day-old pigeon toast (no great loss there). But Gabby would also be gone, and maybe Raúl, too—the horror!
Some of the best Tea Bag theater played out in Alaska, where upstart Joe Miller beat a sitting senator in the primary and then managed to step on his own dick enough times over the ensuing months to lose to the same candidate running a write-in campaign in the general. Too rich! I'm so grateful to that loathsome loser Joe Shmoe for providing such excellent political entertainment that I offer him the Top 10 Things Joe Can Do Next:
10. Write a self-help book for guys with really bad beards.
9. Become a (very) personal assistant for Mama Grizzly Sarah Paleskin. (Hey, she's on the road a lot—Todd won't mind.)
8. Start up a private security service specializing in old-fashioned crowd control. His goon squad could get the prime head-cracking contract at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
7. Chaperone Bristol. (Have you seen what she's been wearing on Dancing With the Stars? That baby mama's headed for more trouble!)
6. Gay porn.
5. Write a memoir titled Tea Dragger: How I Turned an Inspiring Grassroots Victory Into an Improbable Write-in Defeat.
4. Start up a public-relations firm that specializes in controlling "message" by manhandling pesky journalists.
3. Star in a spin-off of Mama G's reality show, wherein intrepid Joe moves to a tiny island off Alaska's west coast—from which he actually will be able to see Russia from his front porch—and keeps tabs on those unrepentant commies, reporting their every move to the president-in-waiting.
2. Sell meth out of a trailer, just like the (extended) Palin family.
And the No. 1 thing embarrassed Tea Party loser Joe Miller can do next: Kick back, crack open some PBRs and wait for Mama G to call him for the vice presidential slot on the 2012 ticket! (Cue the band.)
Thanks for the memories, Joe! Happy Gluttony Day!