61 Reasons You’d Damn Well Better Be Thankful

(In No Particular Order)

1. The fun of being a swing state! Let's keep it close every time!

2. Goodbye, Yucca proponent Spencer Abraham! Hello, devil we don't know!

3. Twenty-four-hour Krispy Kreme availability—because man cannot live on Atkins alone.

4. The utter deliciousness of the pulled-chicken sandwich at Barbecue Masters—because man cannot live on Krispy Kreme alone, and believe us, we've done extensive research on the subject.

5. That at least our reality-TV-courting, mini-series-about-me mayor isn't posing for nudie photos. Hmm ... we probably shouldn't have said that out loud.

6. Hot Fuss, yes; the Killers' decidedly ambivalent attitude toward Vegas, no.

7. The full-page ad in The New York Times asking readers to adopt a live turkey as a pet rather than eat one on Thanksgiving.

Mmm, turkey.

8. The giant flushing sound of taxpayer dollars used to impeach Kathy Augustine with a special session of the Legislature. Efficiency! Logic! Frugality!

9. That this is still a town where a man can blow up old buildings.

10. Harry Reid. May he be strong and productive and get far less press.

11. E-mail from home. Example: "Hi, Sis. Remember Star? She's now a man. Had some surgery."

12. The possibility, however remote, that teachers will be given the resources they need to ... aw, never mind.

13. The elegant, sophisticated manner of Anna Nicole Smith.

14. That the name "Dominic Gentile" is apparently real.

15. Cindy Funkhouser: also real.

16. That there's still a place in this bean-counter-driven town for a guy with a big dream, a couple billion dollars and the intense, burning desire to build a huge casino he can then name after himself.

17. The service industry. The people who make this city go.

18. The return of the giant Charleston cockroaches.

19. The possibility, however remote, that Jane Ann Morrison's R-J column will achieve sentient life.

20. That the County Commission would never, ever, ever allow a Wal-Mart to sprout on land near the airport that was taken from residents.

21. The legacy of clean campaigning left by the Boggs-Goldwater and Porter-Gallagher races.

22. The ability to say absurd things like "clean campaigning" and "County Commission" with a straight face.

23. Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax, who does what he can to make that straight face possible.

24. Paul Brown and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

25. Emergency room docs all over town. And their colleagues.

26. The giant subterranean-ish lizard sculpture in the McCarran D-Gates.

27. Our high rates of suicide, smoking, divorce, teen pregnancy and other quality-of-life warning signs. That's not the thankful part. The thankful part: You could be living in Salt Lake City.

28. That someday, somewhere, somebody will come up with a new Vegas slogan and "What happens here, stays here" will fade away. It's inevitable! It must happen!

29. We're the 37th healthiest state in America. That's better than Mississippi and Arkansas! Possible new slogan: "Nevada: We're nearly mediocre on health!"

30. That at least one usually oppressive local homeowners association is giving an award for Xmas decorations that display "way too much!"

31. The peaceful realization that the apocalypse will not arrive until everyone—everyone!—has been on reality TV and had a bobblehead fashioned after them. So relax.

32. Red Rock: Still gorgeous.

33. Fanny's Bistro: Still delicious. (Recommendation: California club on sourdough.)

34. World peace: Still possible. (In theory.)

35. Comfortable naivete: Still an option.

36. Shiloh Edsitty, tough kid.

37. Auto racer Kurt Busch, who won the Nextel Cup, which we don't know the exact nature of, but which, because it comes with a cup, we're damned impressed by. Hey, when was the last time you won a cup?

38. That there's still a place in this town for a guy with a song in his heart, a Cuban passport in his hand and a request for asylum on his lips.

39. Cirque du Spends-a-Lotta Money in Vegas and consistently delivers perplexing entertainment that makes us feel curiously enlightened/stoned and secretly wonder whether we can do somersaults while flying from a trapeze, and/or touch or own toes.

40. That London's We Will Rock You skipped New York and came straight to Vegas.

41. John Barr, yes; John Barr commercials, no. (Except that one where he gets a hole drilled through his gut by a Jim Plunkett pass. Funny!)

42. The word "tofurkey."

43. Let's just put that on the list twice: "tofurkey."

44. The Epic Tragicomedy: Monorail.

45. Chef Julian Serrano at Picasso, perfectionist.

46. Progress on the Rainbow curve. Maybe not overseen by a perfectionist, but it's still faster than the monorail.

47. The possibility, however remote, that the 2005 Legislature will be actually effective instead of merely entertaining.

48. Going door-to-door singing Thanksgiving carols. Or is that just in our neighborhood?

49. The return of Wild Sage restaurant, now under the name of Table 34—that is, as long as they bring back the meat loaf.

50. KNPR' State of Nevada and the generous daily crowning of local "experts" to talk about our favorite subject every morning: us!

51. The new-ish QVegas local gay magazine.

52. Catholic Charities.

53. That this city is a welcoming home to both QVegas and Catholic Charities.

54. Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It's that fun-loving, rabid ankle-dog Jon Ralston!

55. That losing seasons can make the next winning season all that much more glorious. (Special to UNLV.)

56. Volunteers all over the community.

57. R-J entertainment scribe Mike Weatherford. Every year he reminds us that the Plaza does have a showroom, then braves whatever lies in wait inside.

58. Elton John, yes; Celine, maybe; Cher, never.

59. People who don't say "I feel you."

60. That people who do say "I feel you" don't actually feel you.

61. Weekly cover models.

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