Illustration by Ryan Alexander-Tanner

I BELIEVE it was legendary Algonquin Round Table fixture Dorothy Parker who once penned, "I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night."

It's with that delectable bon mot in heart, head, wang, and spiritual vagina (which I believe all men secretly possess) that I suggest we reconsider whom we identify as "heroes" in our society.

For example: the person who works the graveyard shift at your local mini-mart. Yes. Nobody should have to go through the shit they go through so you can buy Swedish Fish and condoms (put the Swedish Fish in the condoms for a fun no-calorie snack!) at 3 am—but they totally do, every night. Who do you think spends more time with the worst people in the world: the most selfless, hard-working social worker on the planet, or Dave, who's pulling the 10 pm-6 am shift at the Plaid Pantry down the street from your house? You know, deep down in your spiritual vagina, that it's Dave. (I picked a gender-neutral name on purpose because IAN KARMEL GETS IT, LADIES.)

Sure, there are other heroes as well: cops, firefighters, teachers, military personnel, astronauts, sandwiches. (Yeah, that's a joke about a type of sandwich called the "hero"—want to fight about it? But it's also exactly how I feel about sandwiches. Be real, when was the last time a cop actually helped you? Okay, now when was the last time a sandwich helped you? Sandwiches/Biden 2012. Also, please know I went with this joke instead of one about the TV show Heroes, so COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS AND HIS MYSTERIOUS WIFE, THE COUNTESS YOUR BLESSINGS.) I'm not here to quibble with that list—yeah, some cops are total barf-wagons who abuse their power and some teachers are riding out the job market until the need for comparative literature majors skyrockets... but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Also, use the drain in your bathtub instead of throwing out bathwater.

What I'm here to do is suggest adding convenience store employees to the "hero list"... and chew gum. (Oh man, this gum is delicious. So minty, and yet with a smack of ham.)

How can anything seem normal once you've worked a graveyard shift at one of those places? How many times can a seemingly harmless person try to pay for a bottle of wine with a handful of dead moths before you stop trusting EVERYBODY?

And how do we repay these heroes? Scorn unfettered! When you see a teacher or a cop in a movie, they're played by Ryan Gosling or Mariska Hargitay. (Say her name out loud. It's a blast.) When you see a convenience store worker in a movie, they're played by me. If you bring home a date, and they're in the military, your parents will admire your date's commitment amid constant travail. If you bring home someone who humps the midnight shift at 7-Eleven, your parents will hide their prescription painkillers.

No longer! Let us hoist these selfless few on our shoulders. Let us celebrate those who forgo sanity and decent wages so we can get all hammered and buy a terrible, terrible sandwich at 3:30 am. Let us now appreciate all the Daves, for I believe it was Dorothy Parker who once famously quipped, "I'm not sure how to end this article, but people who work the graveyard shift at convenience stores are pretty dope."