Thanks for the turkey, if seasonal political figures of speech are admissible. Thanks for whoever came up with the idea of the little paper cup for the cranberry sauce. Thanks for spyware. For Vioxx. For $2-a-gallon gasoline. For Birdstone. For Ravel’s Bolero. For talk-radio blowhard inexhaustibility. Thanks for single-ply toilet tissue. And for the inspiration to buy not just one roll of it, but sixteen, in one of those bargain bundles, on sale. Thanks for a new generation carrying on the untiring tradition of bad barbecue. Thanks for the big Swift Boat smear. This year’s best example of how election campaigns bring out the best in us. For the vice president’s efforts to bring the f-word into polite mainstream discourse. For his sneer. For the president’s smirk. Thanks for the termites. Those fire ants have been a nice addition too. Silverfish in the underwear drawer. Thanks for the Road Map to Peace in the Middle East. A real keeper, that one. Thanks for the big effort from the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team. And from the Cardinals’ offense in the World Series. Thanks for the Super Bowl boobery. For the addition of the bikini option at the Miss America pageant. Next up at Atlantic City — thongs? (Pardon that “up.”) Thanks for all of prime time TV’s attention to people vomiting. A foot in the door for more explicit depiction of other forms of elimination, you think? Thanks for the debates. They always provide such heat and light both. Thanks for the silver threads among the gold. Thanks for the outsourcing that’s made it necessary to know Hindi for the tech support to do you any good. Thanks for the aesthetic that inheres in modern timber management. Thanks for buff brick. Thanks for all the gumballs in the barefoot-walking area. Thanks for all the suicidal raccoons. Thanks for the pig taking the notion that it can live on the porch with granny. (I just write ’em, folks. I can’t explain ’em.) Thanks for the resurgence of creationism. Our boys and girls really need that classroom exposure. See, evolution is just a theory but Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me-Tight are fact. So who’s being hypocritical here? Thanks for the zombies, who come by here in various guises but they know that I know who they are. Thanks for the comeback of beheading. Maybe next year’s execution fad will be drawing and quartering, another old favorite long neglected. Thanks for all the songwriters, scriptwriters, speechwriters, sermon writers, editorial writers, spinners, propagandists, lobbyists, pollsters, soreheads and flacks who’ve got it all figured out. Thanks for allowing perfect idiots to think up stupid quotations and plaster them on billboards and attribute them to ol’ Thou. Thanks for letting hateful fundamentalist crazies debase and pervert the beauties and mysteries of the Christian faith the same way the fundamentalist Muslim crazies have shamed Islam. In the name of “morality.” “Values.” Thanks for the political ascendancy of all these people who have no talent, no humor, no taste, and no sense. They’re just what this country needs. What this world needs. Thanks for neocons. Cons is right. Thanks for the allegedly rare side effect of the so-called male enhancement drugs that results in woodies that last so long you have to go to the doc and get them drained with a big old needle. Thanks for more of the Jethrine tantrum illness. No, no, that’s mad cow disease, another ailment altogether. Never mind this one. Thanks for the red and blue polarization. As long as they’re not pinkos. Or gayos. Thanks for all the civility, the respect that each side shows to the other. Thanks for what’s happened to American journalism. A cast of characters that grows ever more sophisticated and restrained. Thanks for any and all who come forth with an agenda. Thanks for invariably sitting me beside the one who shouts into the cell all through dinner, with country music female as background, when I’ve got a headache. Thanks for all the patriots who think it’s a competition. Thanks for the South Fork Dallas reunion, one more reminder of a whole lot that we’ve tried to live down. Thanks for getting dangerous criminals like Martha Stewart off the streets and into prison. Thanks for pols like the governor of Arkansas being more than happy to make room for them by giving clemency and fond adieus to real thugs. Thanks for the steroid freaks who were once athletic heroes. Thanks for the $500 personal beverage cooler, saving the wear and tear of having to get up and go all the way into the kitchen. Thanks but no thanks for the cornucopia of etc. along these same lines.