I have this vague recollection of people thinking that 2016 was The Worst Year Ever, but at this point, that notion seems downright quaint: After all, "No-Drama" Obama was finishing up a nice, quiet stint in the White House, the worst thing Al Franken had done was the Stuart Smalley movie, and Tom Petty was alive.
Send me back, Doc!
But even if this year has seemed like one long, exhausting slog through a nonstop barrage of political turpitude, moral failures and generally depressing malaise, that doesn’t mean you don’t have things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season.
In fact, it took me a while but I came up with 17:
1. If you’d been worried that dating 14-year-olds as a grown man might get you in trouble at your church, no worries, turns out the evangelicals are down with that.
2. President Trump hasn’t insulted you in a tweet, unless you’re Hillary, Arnold, Whoopi, CNN, Morning Joe, Kim Jong-un, any number of Democratic and Republican legislators, or one of the many "Haters and Losers," which is pretty much everyone else. So never mind, he has insulted you, or at least your intelligence.
3. You’re not the guy in charge of planning the "DC Extended Universe," which as it turns out, nobody wants to see extended much past Wonder Woman, thank you very much.
4. You’re not the guy in charge of planning the Universal Studios "Dark Universe," its reboot of classic monster movies that you’re only vaguely aware of because when given the opportunity to see Tom Cruise in "The Mummy" last summer, you instead chose to beat yourself unconscious with a sock full of nickels (probably).
5. Your Amazon Echo can now take care of all your various and sundry household duties, thus facilitating your long-term plan to have yourself grafted permanently to your couch.
6. President Trump hasn’t taken away your health care! Yet.
7. You’re probably not old enough to remember the Democrats as a viable political party, which is one of the first warning signs of dementia. (Or of being a leading Democratic contender to run for president in 2020.)
8. You’re not the person who green-lighted a movie about the Earth getting attacked by satellite-created killer storms without first making damn sure that those storms would be filled with live sharks.
9. Your acute mental illness might keep you from getting a job or keeping your home, but buying a semiautomatic weapon is still easy-peasy!
10. You haven’t spent the last eight weeks watching "The Inhumans" on ABC only to discover that no, it wasn’t an elaborate prank show in which people are forced to wear funny clothes and talk to a giant CGI dog. (Boy, did I find that out the hard way.)
11. President Trump hasn’t banned your particular religious or ethnic group! Yet.
12. You haven’t tried to take a relaxing post-election walk in the woods only to stumble across Hillary Clinton and her dog eating the decaying body of Vince Foster. (The Fake News media left that last part out, but I’m pretty sure that’s what happened.)
13. Goat yoga is now a thing you can do. Legally, I mean.
14. Your boss probably doesn’t have nearly enough clout to get away with acting like Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey. (And fortunately for all of us, it turns out neither did Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey.)
15. Your ties to Russia aren’t nearly as incriminating as everyone the president has ever hired, worked with or been related to. Still, if you’ve ever eaten Chicken Kiev you can probably expect a subpoena any day now.
16. If you happen to be a Patriots fan: Tom Brady is still playing like a man many years younger than his actual age, likely due to a very sophisticated personal diet plan that has resulted in all of his internal organs being replaced with warm, glowing orbs.
17. Bruce Springsteen seems to be on the Tom Brady diet plan.
Peter Chianca is news director for Wicked Local North of Boston. Follow him on Twitter at @pchianca.