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« I Got a Rock | Main | Les Freres Heureux »

Gee, Thanks

I was waiting for Happy Mr. Pharmacy Supplier to fill a Happy Pill prescription recently, and, as though I had another reason to be thankful at that moment, I came upon a gift book ordering me to experience gratitude for 500 other things.

That's the whole book.  It's a list of five hundred thanks-inspiring items, and I failed to show full gratitude by paying $10.99 for it.  I did, however, stand there in the pharmacy and read it cover to cover, to judge the full extent of my apparent ungratefulness.

For starters, I am thankful that there was no one author listed on the jacket, because now I feel comfortable with letting everyone know how much it sucks.  This was a book by committee.

Not surprisingly, it also reads like the Bible of Things Guilty White People Are Supposed to Like.  YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THANKFUL FOR THESE, DAMMIT:

  • soy milk

  • Oprah's Book Club

  • farmers' markets

  • brown rice

  • recycling

  • Bob Dylan

  • trail mix

  • natural food stores

  • Anne Lamott books

  • hyper allergenic soap

  • Maya Angelous' poetry

  • NPR

  • Bono

  • bran

The remaining items of 500 Things To Be Thankful For were generated by hurling a dictionary against a wall and typing the first word to strike the ground:  "Guacamole!"  "Party hats!"  "Cuckoo clocks!"  "Sports mascots!" What, tubas don't get any love?  The U.S. Government Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry?

Once that well's drawn dry, however, there's nothing for it but to fill out the 500 with repetition.  Man, why is gratitude so haaaaaaaaard?  Probably because TV's on a hiatus until November sweeps, and it really, really sucks, you know?

  • hiking in the woods

  • hiking

  • a beckoning mountain trail


  • home gyms

  • exercise DVD's

  • "There's a lot of cool exercise equipment for the home."


  • songs around a campfire

  • stories around a campfire

  • ghost stores around a campfire


  • the armed forces

  • our brave men and women in the military

This last one, I can't get to pissed about, because if anything deserves a double mention, it's the military.  But The Firm?  Not so much.

I grabbed my Smile Drugs and ran.  I'd need a double dose today, having realized that we living in a society in which someone decided that we needed to be reminded for all we have... and then couldn't think of enough of them.

grateful for The Readers, and will say so FOUR times at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (9)

[...] Did you know you’re supposed to be grateful for bran? And party hats? Share and Enjoy: [...]

See, this is why you don't have a zillion-dollar book deal. You put effort into it.

I'm thankful for beer and the remote control. Did those make the list?

No, neither. That was my first sign something was terribly wrong.

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMB

...Soy milk??? One in the committee was lactose intolerant, methinks.

Was Tequila included? Because I get down on my knees (in front of the toilet) every single day in gratitude of that one!! :-P

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

Again... no. There are SO MANY PROBLEMS with this book.

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Social comments and analytics for this post...

This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mary Beth Ellis: Did you know you're supposed to be grateful for bran? And party hats? Also Bono? BE GRATEFUL DAMMIT: http://tinyurl.com/yjnptv4...

October 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenteruberVU - social comments

I'm thankful you reviewed the book for us and saved us wasting our time or money on it.

And I'm thankful you got a blog post out of it!

October 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCJ from St. Louis

I'm thankful that my darling husband is coming home from Iraq this week. Can I get a woot-woot?
/shameless plug.

I can get on board with the Farmer's Market, Bob Dylan, Maya Angelou, NPR and Bono (U2 fan since the beginning). Not so much with the others on the list.

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne from Iowa

"I’m thankful that my darling husband is coming home from Iraq this week. Can I get a woot-woot?"

Now THAT is something to be thankful for all right. Congratulations! :)

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie
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