By the time this issue of NUVO reaches many of its readers, Thanksgiving will already have come and gone. The carcasses of countless turkeys will have been baked, picked clean and reduced to leftovers. Before we transition from a food-based holiday to a greed-based one, I want to sit back for a minute and run down a list of things for which I"m thankful this year. While bitching and moaning consumes a disproportionate amount of my time - because there are so many things to bitch about - I"m actually quite thankful and thoughtful this year. To begin with, I"m grateful for Thanksgiving itself. By far my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving seems custom-built for me. There are no presents involved and no stupid cards to buy. The only talents required are ones which I possess in abundance: a voracious appetite and an ability to sleep. I have an almost unique talent in the arena of eating a big dinner and then watching football and, luckily for me, Thanksgiving provides just that challenge. I look forward to accomplishing both goals this year. I suck at Christmas. I never buy any presents before Dec. 22; I don"t believe in decorations; and I rarely show peace or goodwill to my fellow man. But I ace Thanksgiving. Speaking of food, I wish to give thanks this year to the wonderful people at Hardee"s, makers of the Mushroom "n" Swiss Burger, the tastiest sandwich in the history of fast food, with the exception of the Super Shef. At this time of year, I"m also profoundly grateful for the Canadians, our friends to the north, for they provide us with delicious Crown Royal whiskey, without which I would never survive the holidays. Professionally, I"m grateful that there are so many things to bitch about. Thank you, President Bush. Thank you, Republican Party. In my line of work, you have proven invaluable. I don"t know where I"d be without you. Congressman Dan Burton himself has given me hours and hours of constant entertainment, and for that I am profoundly grateful. I"m grateful that inept politicians give me something to write about and I"m considering voting Republican in the next election just so I can have four more years of stupidity. And until the next homeland security bill outlaws criticism of the government, I"ll keep on making fun of the government. Indeed, the world itself provides me with an abundance of material. The latest example is the furor over the Miss World contest, which inspired deadly riots in Nigeria, the intended site before the riots forced its relocation to London. As of Monday morning, the contest was in danger of being forced from Britain. If so, I"d like to offer my backyard as the venue for the pageant. I guarantee no protests will occur on the Southside, but if they do, the security guards I"d hire will shoot to kill at the first sign of trouble. We"re used to that on the Southside, anyway. The list of things for which I am thankful is endless. I"m grateful for Mike Vanderjagt, the sure-footed kicker of the Indianapolis Colts, who"s almost single-handedly given the team a winning record. There"s no more exciting play in football than the last-minute, game-winning field goal, and Vanderjagt is an expert at it. I"m thankful to the television networks for giving me a reason to never move from my chair and to avoid any sort of physical activity. As a longtime couch potato, I can remember the days before cable TV, when there were only a handful of channels available for surfing. In these days of abundance, there are hundreds from which to choose. And I"m even more grateful for my NBA League Pass, which gives me up to 11 channels of basketball action per night. Now I am able to sit in one spot, Homer Simpson-like, from the time the first game starts at 7 p.m. until the last game on the West Coast finishes up around 1 a.m. With only a few breaks for the restroom, and to pour more drinks, I can watch six straight hours of hoops. Thank you, Comcast, for bringing such a technological marvel to my life. Speaking of technological marvels, I"m grateful for the purveyors of e-mail spam, who allow me to spend the first 15 minutes of each workday deleting their work, thereby keeping me from doing anything else. If not for them, I would be blissfully unaware of barnyard sexual practices, work-at-home opportunities and new ways to naturally enlarge my penis. What did we do in the days before e-mail? I may have set a record over the weekend, when only three pieces of e-mail out of more than 200 were actually not spam. I"m also grateful for the Bush twins, who turned 21 years old this week. To me, they symbolize the wonderful phenomenon of young attractive women who love to get drunk. If not for women like them, my life would have been much, much more unhappy. Thank God for them. I"ve never quite understood why the twins" dad hasn"t rewarded them by giving them a government job, like maybe the ambassadors to Cuervo Island. These princesses of Bacchus inspire us all with their drunken behavior. May they and their sisters in spirit continue to roam the earth for all of eternity. Yes, there are a multitude of reasons to be thankful this time of year. Here"s hoping your holidays contain plenty of reasons for gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving!