But I wanted to pass this on from John Scalzi, a rather talented science-fiction writer: I'm guessing that he may not have a cousin named "Chet". But this remains a lovely prayer for Thanksgiving...
This Thanksgiving, we pause to reflect on all the bounty and good fortune with which you have graced us this year. Thank you, Lord, for this feast we have in front of us and for the family and friends who are with us today to enjoy this bounty and this day with us, even our Cousin Chet. Thank you for our health and for our happiness.
We also thank you for the world and that in your wisdom you have not stopped the Earth's core from rotating, collapsing our planet's magnetic field and causing microwaves from the sun to fry whole cities, requiring a plucky band of scientists to drill down through the mantle and start the core's rotation with nuclear bombs. That seems like a lot of work, so we are pleased you've kept the Earth's core as it is.
We also thank you for once again not allowing our technology to gain sentience, to launch our own missiles at us, to send a robot back in time to kill the mother of the human resistance, to enslave us all, and finally to use our bodies as batteries. That doesn't even make sense from an energy-management point of view, Lord, and you'd think the robots would know that. But in your wisdom, you haven't made it an issue yet, so thank you.
Additionally, let us extend our gratitude that this was not the year that you allowed the alien armadas to attack, to rapaciously steal our natural resources, and to feed on us, obliging us to make a last-ditch effort to infect their computers with a virus, rely on microbes to give them a nasty cold, or moisten them vigorously in the hope that they are water-soluble. I think I speak for all of us when I say that moistening aliens was not on the agenda for any of us at this table. Thank you, Lord, for sparing us that duty.
Our further thanks to you, our Lord, for not allowing the aliens to invade one at a time and conquer us by taking us over on an individual basis. That you in your wisdom have not allowed aliens to quietly inhabit our bodies and identities -- the better to attack us by cornering us in the rec room or outside while having a smoke -- means that we can enjoy each other's company without undue paranoia. It also means that if we are obliged to set a flame thrower on Cousin Chet, as we are sometimes tempted to, we will not see his flaming head sprout arms and try to scurry away. And for that we are truly blessed.
Thank you for not allowing the total moral and economic decline of the United States, our Lord, that would turn one or more of our great cities into a prison or spring any number of apocalyptic scenarios upon us that would turn our planet into a vasty wasteland where only dune buggies and leather-clad miscreants have survived. It's not that we have anything against leather-clad miscreants -- I refer you, Lord, to the previously mentioned Cousin Chet -- but we prefer them to be in the minority, and also those dune buggies so rarely have seat belts -- that's just not safe.
Most specifically, thank you, Lord, for not sending a large meteor or comet tumbling straight at the planet, forcing the government to turn to oil-rig operators to save us all. That oil rig in the Gulf this year didn't exactly inspire confidence, if you know what I mean, Lord. And while we know that humanity would likely survive such a massive impact thanks to those underground cities the government has built, we are not at all confident that any of us at this table would get a pass into those cities, and we don't have either dune buggies or wardrobes made mostly of animal hide. So thank you, Lord, for not making us worry about that this year.
Finally, Lord, thank you for once again keeping the scientists from bioengineering dinosaurs back to life. While the idea of a pterodactyl with stuffing and all the trimmings seems like a good one at first blush, getting past the raptors in the supermarket parking lot would probably be a challenge, and we would end up having to stake one of our own to the shopping-cart return so the rest of us could get past, and I'm not sure that we could persuade Cousin Chet to do that more than once.
For these and so many other things, Lord, we offer our humble gratitude to you this Thanksgiving. However, I think I speak for everyone when I say we would still like speeder bikes, so if you could get someone to invent those by Christmas we would all be obliged.
That is all. Let the tryptophane overdosing begin!