How to troll your family at Thanksgiving

A heaping helping of politics will be served at America’s dinner table this Thanksgiving.

This Iowa bird, though delicious, will likely be pardoned by President Obama. (Iowa Turkey Federation)

This Iowa bird, though delicious, will likely be pardoned by President Obama and avoid becoming a D.C. dinner. (Iowa Turkey Federation)

According to Gallup, the polling organization that got the 2012 race for president so wrong they sat this one out, our nation has never been more divided.

Gallup says “77 percent of Americans, a new high, believe the nation is divided on the most important values, while 21 percent believe it is united and in agreement.”

As you may have guessed, it’s the recent presidential election that has us at each other’s throats.

It’s gotten so bad mothers are telling their children to find their own turkey.

Trump supporter Sarah-Jane Cunningham, 19, from Boston, says in a USA Today article that her mom uninvited her to Thanksgiving after getting her fill of her daughter’s political postings on Facebook.

This sad tale is not unique. Social media is full of people saying their family has asked them to either shut up or not show up.

Others are concerned the family gathering will mix alcohol and free expression of ideas half the room doesn’t want to hear.

I learned a long time ago to never discuss three things: religion, politics and weather. Nothing you can say is going to change any of them.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good fight.

For those who believe the best defense is a good offense I provide the following Thanksgiving jokes that may be perceived as insults. Change the name to match your victim.

  • “The only person more upset than [Aunt Edna] about Hillary losing is the glass ceiling repairman.”
  • “Trump’s victory has given [Cousin Geech] so much hope for America he’s trying to get his GED, again.”

While carving the turkey, try this one:

  • “Wow, such a huge turkey. But it reminds me the biggest turkeys at this table are the people who voted for [Clinton or Trump].”

If you get tackled, remember to drop the knife to reduce to the risk of an involuntary manslaughter charge.

Some will feel it’s best to avoid the argument that forever divides a family into warring factions. If that’s how you roll, avoid politics entirely.

Safe topics routinely trudged out during the holidays include sports, TV shows and how big so-and-so’s kids are getting.

Broaching any other subject can lead to trouble.

“Have you lost weight?” is rife with danger.

Questioning whether or not Aunt Janice’s gravy boat really survived the Titanic is just asking for it.

Remember to be incurious.

If someone says “Uncle Bob couldn’t be here today but he’s not in jail,” don’t go digging for details. Just let it go. You didn’t bring enough whiskey to share with Uncle Bob anyway.

Let’s face it. In these divisive times Thanksgiving is not a time to seek family unity or discuss facts. It’s a time to eat, occasionally mumble something about your job and escape.

But let’s say Uncle Bob posts bond and manages to corner you in an uncomfortable conversation.

You can always clutch at your abdomen and exclaim “Oh lord, my pancreas” before hobbling off to the blessed solitude of the third bathroom, but that leaves you with some ‘splaining to do in the future.

It’s better to just look them in the eye and tell them you’ve had asthma attacks more entertaining than political discourse.

Be thankful we won’t have to do this again for four more years.


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