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No thanks

November 21, 2022

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful. But, for balance and reality, maybe we need a time to be ungrateful.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there. I mean that, I really do.

I’m grateful for all the wonderful things that I have (and probably don’t deserve). I don’t know whom I’m supposed to be grateful to, but I am grateful. I really am.


There are a lot of things not to be thankful for in the world out there. Maybe it’s more useful to be thinking about those things so we’re at least little more likely to do something about them.

In other words, I’m not anti-Thanksgiving, but I think we need an addition to the holiday season.

I know some of you already practice Thanksgiving alternatives. There’s Friendsgiving for people who hate relatives. There’s a National Day of Mourning for Native Americans for pretty obvious reasons.

Most of us, justified or not, do the traditional turkey and overeating thing, and I’m not suggesting replacing it. But I think we need an extra holiday for balance — Nothanksgiving.

There’s an awful lot be nonthankful for and we should commemorate those things.

Nothanksgiving should not be on the same day as Thanksgiving. That would be too confusing and would cause psychotic breakdowns.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is already a holiday — Black Friday. Buying frenzies and serious reflection do not go together.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we’re recovering from the two previous days, so that’s out.

The obvious time for Nothanksgiving is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. By then we’re regretting the choices we’ve made over the last few days, and there’s a good chance we’re in pain. It’s the perfect time to consider the woes of the world.

We’ll have to come up with appropriate traditions. This will vary from household to household, but I have a few suggestions.

First off, when you and your guests are seated at the table, you must go around and have each person say what they’re not thankful for. Be sure to announce that this is a safe place and that counselors are on call if need be.

Serve many drinks.

Dinner should evoke childhood memories — bad ones. Think cream of mushroom soup in assorted concoctions, marshmallows melted into yams, and a lot of stuff out of cans. Consider the relative merits of Velveeta and American cheese.

Engage in a period of required doom scrolling. Share the worst stories you find.

Analyze the possibility that no federal legislation of any kind will be passed in the next two years. Imagine parallel investigations of Biden in the House and Trump in the Senate. Consider tuning out for a couple of years.

Discuss Christmas shopping.

End the day with a viewing of "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver." You can be amused and depressed at the same time.

Consumer overprotection. An item for your “Department of Why Bother?” file: The State of New York Appellate Division the other day disbarred a lawyer who’s been suspended from practice in New York since 2014 for not reporting that he'd been disbarred in another state.

That’ll teach him.

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