Recent celebrated heroes include trapped-and-released miners, frills-deprived luxury cruise patrons and wedding-dress-destroyed-in-a-bridal-shop-fire-suffering brides-to-be.

I feel for the miners because I have claustrophobia and I would not have survived being trapped in a mine for more than one shift, unless, of course, I knew I was being paid for the overtime.

I don’t pity the luxury cruise vacationers stranded at sea without caviar. You are no US Airways Flight 1549 survivors, people, and more importantly, the Carnival Splendor didn’t strike an iceberg and sink and leave you scurrying for lifeboats. Your ancestors who survived the Titanic will hear about this at their 100-year reunion in April at Hooters and rip you a new one and maybe that gaping hole will sink you.

Let me get this straight. Right in the middle of the controversy over Bristol Palin’s dancing on “Dancing with the Stars” (one television viewer shot his TV set and was arrested), the news directors cut to sobbing women. I naturally thought the sobbing women were in connection with Bristol Palin’s dancing, or, secondarily, a tragic fire or death.

It seems that there was a fire—in a bridal shop, and no one was injured. Dresses were destroyed. Boo-hoo. Maybe the women were only crying because their dresses weren’t insured. Maybe this is a story playing on the human condition which still lingers, like a big toe that froze during a day spent in ice caves years ago and still goes numb on you from time to time.

It seems that women are most fascinated by engagement rings and wedding dresses, two reasons I never married, other than the fact that my long-ago girlfriends’ fascination with me seemed to be third on their fascination list, or fourth if they had a cat. These days I’ve been making do with just buying some lush at a bar a Manhattan and I find it very cost effective.

I just want to say Happy Black Friday and be sure to buy something to all the trapped miners, stranded luxury cruise patrons and engaged women who lost their wedding dresses in a fire. And to Bristol Palin, the girl from Jilly’s and all the remaining Titanic survivors. And a special shout-out to the survivors of the Miracle on the Hudson—there’s no way I would have survived that.

By Rob C. Christiansen