At this year’s Thanksgiving holiday it’s best to avoid certain topics that can lead to anger and arguments. As usual, you should refrain from discussing religion and politics. Also, try to avoid the following:
Football: Gathering around the television to watch the NFL is as American as Apple Pie. So watch. But don’t speak. Talking about football will inevitably lead towards Aaron Rodgers’ “immunization” and Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling. Likewise, Kyrie Irving has made talking roundball a no-no. (Same goes for round Earth).
Weather: Of course, you can broadly discuss humanity’s favorite topic. Just try to steer the conversation away from any extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods or other conditions that could lead towards a debate about climate change. You should be OK if you limit discourse to mild weather. Unless it’s unseasonably mild weather, which is a hot button issue — or a cold button issue, depending on the relative. Also, be aware that Fox just launched Fox Weather. So don’t talk about the weather.
Music: Two words: Kid Rock. OK two more: Van Morrison. Let’s make it an even six: Eric Clapton. If you must talk about music, play it safe and only talk about Adele. But don’t mention her weight.
Comedy: We love a good laugh. Just not the same laugh. It’s not just that you should avoid retelling your favorite jokes from Dave Chappelle and Louis CK, it’s that you should avoid all jokes. Half your family thinks Sarah Cooper mouthing Trump’s words were the greatest videos of the era. The other half thinks Ted Cruz’s tweets are hilarious.
Guns: You are undoubtedly right in your analysis that creating laws that allow random people to walk around crowded areas with an AR-15 strapped across their chest is fully insane. But your cousin with the straight-cut bangs and the facial twitch does not share that opinion, and he’s probably got an AR-15 in his van. So avoid this subject. For similar reasons, it’s probably the wrong night to wear your shirt that says, Proud to be Vegan.
Race: If anyone brings up CRT, just pretend you think they’re talking about the old, boxy computer monitors.
Pies: Pies often have fruit. Pies often need ingredients from abroad. Translation: Pies are a climate change and supply chain trap. Also, don’t say a la mode because it makes you seem French. Safest strategy: Keep your pie hole shut.
Movies, TV: The truth is that we don’t watch the same televisions show and movies anymore. Also, at least one of your relatives is pretty pissed that the Jews cancelled Mel Gibson.
The Turkey: It’s fine to mention that you like the turkey or to complain that it’s a bit dry. But, obviously, do not reference white meat or dark meat. And even if you are barbecuing this year, try not to mention the coal.
Covid: I know you’re not going to bring this up. But if someone complains about the Hong Kong Flu, Biden’s fascist mandates, or mentions anything about “doing their own research,” it won’t be productive to respond. Instead, put on your mask and quietly excuse yourself by saying you left your Ivermectin in the glove box.
Thanksgiving Itself: You know how Wampanoags/Pilgrim Thanksgiving that took place 400 years ago really wasn’t all that friendly, led to mass genocide, and probably didn’t include turkey on the menu? Well, the uncle that you only see once a year doesn’t know these things and he’s unlikely to react positively.
Charcuterie Board: It’s fine to discuss the meat, but whatever you do, don’t discuss the cheese. Cheese makes people think of Wisconsin. Wisconsin makes people think of Kenosha. Kenosha makes people think of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. If you somehow find yourself drifting towards this topic, quickly change the subject to something safer like abortion or Joe Manchin.
— Since it’s best to avoid all topics, why not curl up with a good book instead? Get Dave Pell’s Please Scream Inside Your Heart.