58 Things You’d Damn Well Better Be Thankful For

An annual thankful list—if we did compile one, this is how we’d do it

Scott Dickensheets and Stacy J. Willis

3. Bacon.

4. Let's put that on the list twice: bacon.

5. And add italics and an exclamation point: bacon! That's more like it. Man law!

6. Trails in Green Valley for walking, biking, running and burning off bacon.

7. That Christmas only comes once a year, lest we have to be aware of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (at the Orleans, December 10) more often.

8. That the magical tricks of Strip entertainer Mac King (such classics as "Where's the Dang Quarter?" and "Monkey Guts") are now available at toy stores. More Vegas acts should follow suit, starting with Crazy Girls.

9. That, in a world divided into people who are jellin' and those who are so not jellin', we defiantly side with the latter, refusing to be hapless tools of the corporate shoe-insole/industrial complex.


10. That this is a tolerant, respectful, freedom-loving place whose residents wouldn't think of banning gay marria—wait, sorry, that's from our list of reasons to move to Arizona.

11. Josh Groban is coming! Josh Groban is coming! (April 7, MGM Grand Garden Arena.) Hold on, that's also from our Arizona list.

12. The return of Milk Duds to Regal Cinemas.

13. Las Vegas' ongoing gourmet revolution.

14. The simple joy of ignoring Las Vegas' ongoing gourmet revolution and chomping into Jack in the Box's new sirloin burger, easily the best fast-food burger in town. Man law!

Scott Dickensheets

16. That Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is now an honorary member of Metro's canine unit. Dog law!

17. Jane Seymour, yes (in fact, hell, yes); The Art of Jane Seymour (at Art de Vignettes in the Fashion Show Mall), no.


18. Shopping at the Forum Shops: Best in the universe, and with talking statues!

19. The art of K.D. Matheson. Because it's exotic and sci-fi dreamy/sexy and not, in any glaring way, "influenced by Las Vegas." Sometimes you just gotta get out of town.


20. McDonald's, yes (the filet-o-fish: underappreciated); Lynette Boggs McDonald, no (way to go, District F voters!).

21. Hoover Bypass: The promise of slick efficiency.

22. Democratic Congress: The promise of slick effic ... the promise!

23. Oscar Goodman's recent period of relative quiet.

24. ACLU mouthpiece Gary Peck's recent period of relative qu—"I think this action is embarrassing and shameful. The new ordinance is as unconstitutional as the old ordinance."—Peck, November 16 in the R-J, about a ban on leaflet-peddling on Fremont Street.

25. Free speech. We're with you, Gary. We're partial to porn leaflets, religious tracts, coupons for psychic readings—what's wrong with you people?


26. The wide availability of the Sunday New York Times. You need something to fill in the gap between Weeklys.


27. Local politics' recent period of relative scandal-lessness (6.5 hours, and counting).

28. The thousands of devoted health-care workers in Southern Nevada.

29. Vegas' real-estate market: holding on.

30. High-rise condos. Because wealthy out-of-towners who visit for two weeks a year are part of our community, too.

31. The millions of visitors who keep us afloat: double thanks.

32. The handy combination of federal land sales, Nevada being more than 90 percent federal land and Harry Reid as the Senate majority leader: Parks! Pork! Pockets!

33. Mystere's hand-to-hand strength artists, brothers Marco and Paulo Lorador. Beautiful, beefy, elegant veterans of the first Vegas Cirque.


34. Andre Agassi: retired, but still charitable.

35. Frank Sinatra: dead, but still swingin' (proof: Sinatra in Vegas, a hep new box set of live recordings).

36. John Ensign: irrelevant, but still porking!


37. U.S. veterans: quadruple thanks.

38. That Baja Fresh, Chipotle and Zaba's mean we must no longer feel compelled to visit Taco Bell for our fake Mexican food. Beautiful, beefy.


39. Foreign flags in Pahrump: !Que lastima!

40. Immigrants. "Give us your tired, your poor, your hungry ..." Remember?

41. Good used bookstores, specifically the expanded Plaza Books and Dead Poet Books. Both run by smart, literate women.

42. Live poets. Those who don't suck, we mean.


43. European-style topless pools at Strip resorts. Because "European" means classy!


44. People-watching at McCarran Airport's passenger arrival in baggage claim.

(I'm waiting for a relative who's been here before, but these people—oh, the excitement in their over-made-up faces! They pour out of the D and C gate escalators and through a gauntlet of waiting parties ... The beauty of real midwestern average boobs pushed up and over the tops of low-cut blouses you know they've never worn before; the attitude of packs of Nick Lachey look-alikes—one group of young men stops to have their picture taken with the old limo driver—dude, my name's on his sign!; a lone wolf wearing a bathrobe and pajamas and carrying an unlit cigar, strolling into Vegas with his story already written; a couple in tight cowboy jeans, hand-in-hand—he's checking out the hotties in short skirts by the first baggage belt, she's fluffing her big blond hair and taking in the overstimulation of large-screen Blue Man Group advertisements. "Rachel," he says, "this is awesome."
Stacy J. Willis)

45. Robert Fielding's commentary on NPR: brilliant.

46. That KNPR's membership drive is over: hallelujah!


47. Metro's aggressive "bait car" program to cut down on auto theft; we love saying "bait car." Try it: bait car, bait car, bait car.

48. That this is still a state where a legislator can survey the vast roster of problems facing the populace—low education funding, falling quality-of-life statistics, our fraying social safety net—and respond instead with a bill draft that would make English the official language of Nevada. Way to address the real issues, Sharron Angle! And you say you weren't re-elected? Really?

49. The possibility, however remote, that you're one of the 1,157 Southern Nevadans that the IRS wants to give money to.

50. That, according to Channel 8, while our palm trees aren't yet threatened by the palm-tree fungus running wild in California, local arborists—bonus thing to be thankful for: arborists!—are ready to respond. Good thing, too: "If the problem becomes serious," Channel 8's lasvegasnow.com warns, "it could dramatically change the Las Vegas landscape."

51. World Market Center: Way snazzier than dirt by the freeway. Maybe it won't change the Las Vegas landscape as dramatically as rampant palm-tree fungus, but it's still pretty cool.

52 The Bruce Woodbury freeway! We look forward to the Oscar Goodman Social Services Center.

53. Dina Titus: We're thankful for the good fight. Now let's get something done in Carson.


54. Good fights: Castillo vs. Corrales Rounds 1 & 2; Green Valley vs. Summerlin; Sherm vs. Brian; high art vs. street art; Wynn vs. Adelson; Northern Nevada groundwater vs. Southern Nevada Water Authority; Internet gambling vs. some peculiar attempt to stop it.

55. Good resolutions: the spork.

56. Dino's Lounge. Disagree? We invite you to go Downtown and take up this matter with the regulars.

57. Nightclubs.


58. Jim Gibbons as governor. Good: He'll be far from our waitress-frequented parking garages. Bad: His campaign of empty platitudes offered little in the way of, uh, vision. Good: Coulda been Bob Beers!



1. You, too, can opt out of the corporately derived mind-set that would corral us into herds of passive consumers, seeing the world through the lens of slick, manipulative advertising. Just do it!

2. That goes double for the art of Billy Dee Williams, triple for the art of Rich Little and quadruple for the art of Red Buttons.


3. See for yourself, at kdmatheson.com or in frequent shows in Downtown galleries.

4. Here's what's wrong with you people: You're so not jellin'.

5. Of course we're not comparing ourselves to the Sunday New York Times. Unless, that is, you really think we're ... naw. No comparison intended.

6. Props to the water nymphs in Cirque's Zumanity, too.

7. We mean "porking" in the political sense, pervs.

8. Yeah, we went there.


9. You know who you are.


10. Except for the European habits of infrequent bathing and snail-eating. That's what we hear, anyway. We'll do more research on the subject once pool season begins again.

11. Don't be too thankful—there will always be another.

12. The 2007 Legislature opens on February 5 and is supposed to last 120 days. It always runs long. Always.

13. Just because.

14. Stick a spork in this list, it's done.


Footnotage to the Footnotage

a. The art of Tony Curtis, however, remains ineffably cool.

b. Dissenting vote: Taco Bell's new enchilada burrito thingamajig is tasty.

c. Except you sucky ones. You never know who you are.

d. Yes, we realize that footnotes to footnotes are kind of cutesy and postmodern, possibly self-indulgent and insufferably David Foster Wallace-like, but isn't that just another thing to be thankful for? Isn't this kind of frivolity exactly what the pilgrims had in mind when they left the stifling correctitude of the Olde World? That's what they told us in school, anyway.

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