and the Ultimate Quest for More Shit We Don’t Need

(The Absurdist Edition)


by Joe Buonfiglio

“Happy Thanksgiving,” I said with the joy of the season in my heart.

“Blow me!” retort-gobbled the madly running free-range turkey at the You Pick ‘Em, We Kill ‘Em Turkey Farm.

I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR… not being a potential Butterball special at this Thanksgiving time of year.

Turkey Day … Day of the Dead Gobbler … The Get Stuffed with Stuffing Day … That blessed day when it’s completely acceptable to watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles for the two hundredth and fifty-sixth time … the prelude to Black Friday and its holiday hellscape … a day to give thanks.

However, not becoming the meal du jour for this pilgrimesque holiday is not my only motive for giving thanks, my friends.  Oh no.  Far from it.  There are myriad reasons for me to offer up such annually recognized obligatory appreciations this Thanksgiving.

I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR… my anus.  For without the most maligned orifice of our fragile, all-too human bodies, would not the American tradition of gluttonous overconsumption make Thanksgiving night more of a horrific nightmare worthy of Apocalyptic reference than a pleasant opportunity for a fireside nightcap?

Thank you, my anus; my dear, dear anus.  Some people may think of you as just some asshole, but I am proud to call you “friend.”

I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR… sexually experimentative penguins who, in the environment of a philosophically open-minded college atmosphere, knew how to party and were generous with their private stash.

or was that the time I got high and snuck into the Audubon Zoo after hours?

I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR… the type of friends who will sit on the stool next to you at your favorite watering hole and patiently listen as you lament about your week filled with dumbass bosses, dipshit coworkers and some big, hairy gorilla in the cubicle next to you flinging shit your way every chance he got.

 or was that the time I got high and snuck into the Audubon Zoo after hours, too?

I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR… tryptophan-induced comas.  Because without my post-meal Thanksgiving naps, I’d have to listen to my relatives incessantly drone on about their aching bunions; or how hitting the lottery has made their life simply wonderful; or how well their kid is doing in med school; or their big promotion and how it’s a shame I’m not in a job where I’m paid what I’m worth; or do I want to come out to the driveway and check out their new car for the twenty-third time today; or how it was such a big mistake that I moved out of LA just when the movie industry was making its big comeback; or see pictures from their trip to Italy; or how much weight they were able to lose even during the holidays; or or or or….

Fuck you, bitches!  It’s sleepy time for Uncle Joe.

I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR… my wife not liking a thing — virtually not one, single thing — I write.  This used to be devastating to the point of being a debilitating path to depression.  I love her dearly.  Therefore, of course, I would also love to win her approval for the creative progeny brought into the world after my intimacies with my Muse.  Then, something dawned on me that liberated my psyche from the shattering rejection of my work by my beloved:

She … is not … MY AUDIENCE!

As a matter of fact, if she absolutely hates something I write, I can count on that being a fairly good indicator that my audience is going to love it.  Too bad it only took a couple decades for me to realize this fact.

I may be slow, but I am thankful that I eventually get there.

I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR…  Irish whiskey.

If I have to explain this one, you’re beyond hope.

I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR… video of polar bears playing naked Twister in the snows of the Arctic.

Don’t look at me like that.  I defy you to watch a shaved polar bear in a blizzard spin and hit yellow without it bringing a smile to your face.  Go ahead.  Picture it.

That’s right.  Who’s the freak now?

I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR… The decline in the use of tinsel on Christmas trees.

For those of my friends who are STILL inclined to insist on engaging in this hackneyed ornamental tradition from some 1950’s view of the world that involves the tossing of thin strips of shiny metal foil upon one’s celebratory Tannenbaum, please kill your cat first out of a sense of mercy.  If I have to go through one more holiday season watching a feline get rushed to the after-hours veterinary hospital gagging on one end a strand of silvery death out of its mouth while the other end protrudes in a wholly undignified manner from its ass, I’m going to start by setting your Christmas tree on fire, and then your whole fucking house, followed by you personally for being such an insensitive, thoughtless prick!

However, I will be consuming ALL of your spiked eggnog first.

I love that shit.

And finally, as Thanksgiving in America is the important launch of the Christmas merchandising season, I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR… the never-ending flood of holiday commercialism that drowns out any real thought of thankfulness for all the people, events and circumstance in our lives that offer up that sliver of joy, that grain of hope that gives us the strength to make it through another day and, instead, favors making sure we syphon off both our bank accounts and our sanity in the ultimate quest for shit we don’t need.


Because I, like most of us, LOVE owning shit.  However, most of the good people in God-fearing America apparently tremble at the possibility of missing out on the bounty offered by and Macy’s alike more than the potential anger of that God Himself.  At this time of year, many of us celebrate a Supreme Creator who in an ancient time delivered unto Humanity a child whose purpose, it would seem, was to afford we future generations of The Human Race the opportunity to celebrate His birth by, in the shopping season starting at Thanksgiving, accumulating even more shit.  This shit, this ever-increasing mountain of shit, will eventually become a burden to our children who, upon our deaths, will have to sort through and deal with all the piles of shit — the incredible heaping piles of stupid shit — we’ve accumulated over the years mostly thanks to the buying-spree season stores launch at Thanksgiving.

So it seems only appropriate and deserving that, at this time of year, we all give thanks … for all the shit.

or was that also the time I got high and snuck into the Audubon Zoo after hours?


© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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