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Thanksgiving Dinner Table Topics To Avoid

Carina asked me to write about a memorable Thanksgiving dinner. I reached back into my memory vault and thought about writing about my grandmother’s shrimp cocktail, or the time that my other grandma gave everyone food poisoning with some bad turkey. But more vivid than those memories was a certain Thanksgiving in the year 2000.

I remember driving in my car listening to NPR a few days before Thanksgiving. The wise peeps on NPR were talking “do’s and dont’s” for Thanksgiving dinner table topics.  #1 on the DON’T list? Politics.

Well, that went in one ear and right out the other. My family is made up of serious Republicans (this was before the tea party came along). Not a dissenter in the bunch. Or so we thought . . .

Dinner started out like any other Thanksgiving dinner, kind and cordial. Of course the recent election drama was brought up. And I had heard something on the radio about Al Gore’s campaign giving dollar bills and cigarette’s to people in the street to get them to vote. I honestly can’t even remember the details. In short, I went on to insult anyone who had the intelligence (or lack thereof –cough–cough) to vote for Al Gore.

Presidential Candidate Al Gore

*image is in the public domain

Well, that’s when grandpa let the cat out of the bag. He voted for Al Gore.

And he didn’t think I was very funny.

The table went quiet. Everyone was confused. I think if you listened closely enough a cricket chirped somewhere in the background.  I looked at the table and murmured a few profanities to myself under my breath. Something like “way to go Rachael . . . way to listen to NPF’ingR. Think with your %$#$%&*$ head! NO POLITICS AT THE $%$#&*% THANKSGIVING DINNER TABLE!!!”

Hushed conversations took place after dinner. Everyone was worried about Grandpa. Had he lost his mind? What could have possibly gone wrong? It must be the prescription drug benefits issues for seniors. . .

Needless to say I haven’t learned much. Instead of insulting Al Gore, these days I’ve got my family convinced that I’m a a few inches away from becoming a socialist! And let me tell you . . . that’s an even livelier conversation!

2015 Update

In the event you find yourself in an uncomfortable Thanksgiving encounter – there’s always Adele.

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  4. Jeff 11/15/2011 at 9:01 am

    So true! We have a hearty number of left and right wingers and usually Thanksgiving dinner ends with an uncle reciting a limerick to break the tension. Love it!