Jewish World Review Nov. 18, 2005/ 16 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Greg Crosby

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Be thankful | Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And what do you have to be thankful for? Plenty. You can be thankful now that the price of gas has finally come down that you can go over the river and through the wood to Grandfather's house again. You can be thankful that you don't hear anything about Michael Jackson anymore since he moved to Bahrain. You can be thankful that it didn't cost you anything to read this column.

You can be thankful that Tom Cruise's new manager is making him keep his stupid mouth shut. If you don't know who Nicole and Keith or Brad and Angelina are, you can be thankful. Be thankful you have more talent than Paris Hilton. Be thankful that you didn't bankroll a Paris Hilton movie.

If you're a movie-goer and you didn't see "Alone in the Dark," "Son of the Mask," or "War of the Worlds" you can be very thankful. Be thankful if you missed seeing any of Martha Stewart's Apprentice show. If you are a parent of a teenager that doesn't have metal in his face or tattoos on her body, be thankful.

If you can figure out the new Medicare prescription rules, be thankful and drop me a line to explain them to me. Be thankful that young folks now listen to their "music" through those IPods that are plugged into their heads and no longer walk around with boom boxes blasting in public. If you were in a real emergency situation this year and your cell phone actually worked for you, you can be extremely thankful.

Be thankful if you purchased a product, any product, that actually lived up to its expectation and really worked. You certainly can be thankful if you called a service person that arrived on time and performed his job capably (If the charge was reasonable, you can be doubly thankful). If you're an adult, be thankful you don't have to go to school anymore. If you're a kid, be thankful you don't have to go out and earn a living yet.

You can be thankful that you don't have to actually live in the same house with Nancy Pelosi. You can be thankful that you don't have to have Thanksgiving dinner at the same table with Ted Kennedy. Be thankful that you have a mute button on your TV remote. Be thankful that they haven't yet dropped the age for driving a car to pre-teen.

Be thankful that you haven't gotten killed yet by some imbecile playing with a cell phone while driving a car. Considering how most people drive today, be thankful each and every time you make it home without being involved in an accident. Be thankful if you are lucky enough to still shop in stores where sales people know the merchandise they are selling. While you're at it, be thankful for your good health, your family and friends and for all the blessings that God has given you.

And don't forget for one minute to be especially thankful to the men and women in our armed forces who are out there on the front lines risking their lives every day to protect us and keep America free.

Be thankful that of all the countries on earth, you are lucky enough to live in the United States of America.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2005 Greg Crosby