The PJ Tatler

PJ O'Rourke: What We Should Really Be Thankful for Today

Satirist PJ O’Rourke thinks that giving thanks to God has gone out of fashion in America these days. He thinks it’s time we give thanks instead to the one entity that’s almost as powerful as God: government.

Thank you, Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906, Poultry Product Inspection Act of 1957, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, for the turkey.

Thank you, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Guide to Minimize Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables” and 2014 Farm Bill Dairy Product Price Support Program, for our mashed potatoes.

And thank you, USDA Cranberry Market Loss Assistance Program, for the cranberry sauce.

Lacking these laws, subsidies, regulations, and regulatory agencies, America’s Pilgrim forefathers had to eat grass and tree bark at Thanksgiving, and then died of food poisoning.

Thank you, FCC, for all the football that is broadcast on Thanksgiving Day.

My wife and daughters thank you too, for C-SPAN, which gives non-football fans a Thanksgiving Reality TV alternative to Keeping Up with the Kardashians. NFL-averse viewers can choose between watching butts and watching asshats.

Thank you, Mr. President, for immigration reform. I’m pretty sure the O’Rourkes are undocumented aliens. We immigrated during the Potato Famine when there weren’t a lot of documents and we didn’t fill out any because we couldn’t read or write. So now, at last, after 170 years, the O’Rourkes can “come out of the shadows.”

Also, thank you for this month’s Affordable Care Act health insurance open enrollment. It’s amazing how much I got done around the house while cradling a cordless phone receiver between my shoulder and ear. I raked the yard, swept out the garage, brushed the dog, put the dishes in the dishwasher, and did a load of laundry as I waited for someone to answer your 1-800 line. And what’s this “100% co-payment” clause in my new policy?  Does that mean that when the insurance company pays my doctor they also pay the same amount to me? Cool.

Plus, Mr. President, thank you for your foreign policy. At first I was worried that you’d whimp out. But when the time came you stepped up to the plate just like George W. Bush did. If it weren’t for you, President Obama, Islamic militants might be threatening Americans the way they were before you deep-sixed Osama bin Laden. Heck, we might be fighting in Iraq again, Afghanistan and Pakistan might be sliding into chaos, Syria might be in the throes of a civil war, Libya might be a failed state, Egypt might be ruled by a dictator, Israelis and Palestinians might be at daggers drawn, NATO might be wobbly, and Vladimir Putin might be invading Ukraine.

Heh.

Read the whole hysterical thing.