Talking turkey at Thanksgiving

Give 'em the bird

There’s a reason we are told to avoid discussions of politics, especially when alcoholic beverages are being served. It can lead to shouting matches, black eyes and broken friendships. And that’s just at the corner bar. Think about what politics will do to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Tread lightly this Thanksgiving. (Photo via

Mama tried

This year, the holiday falls just 16 days after one of the most divisive elections in our nation’s history. Roughly half the country will be sighing in relief and half will be studying maps of Canada. The problem is, in many families, possibly yours, both “winners” and “losers” will gather around the same table.

You can only talk about the big game for so long. Eventually, after a congenial round of beer or wine, someone will make an offhand remark about “small hands” and KABOOM! Voices will rise along with blood pressure. There go Mom’s hours of basting and baking, as your brother-in-law throws down his napkin and storms out the door before coffee is served.

If you want to keep your Thanksgiving gathering in calm waters, I suggest using the diversion tactics my mother employed whenever she sensed conflict brewing at the dinner table. It all comes down to a few simple conversation game-changers that you may want to jot down and commit to memory. 

Your handy holiday guide:

Guest: Could someone please pass the basket of deplorables?

You: I used coconut oil instead of butter. Can you taste the difference?


Guest: Mexico will only pay for the border wall if it’s built out of marijuana.

You:  Please pass that broccoli.


Guest: It isn’t the size of a man’s hands that matter, it’s the size of his…

You: Zucchini! What a bumper year for zucchini!


Guest: If Melania really wants to end to cyberbullying she could start by hiding her husband’s cell phone.

You: The stuffing cooks best when you shove it really deep inside that turkey's cavity.


Guest: I’ll take a slice of impeachment pie.

You: Why don’t we take turns saying what we’re thankful for?


Guest: I’m thankful that for the first time in history, we have a centerfold for First Lady.

You: Drumstick or thigh?


Guest: Bill has got to be relieved. I mean, who wants to be First Dude?

You: Let’s join hands and sing "God Bless America."


Guest: (fortissimo) What’s the matter with you people? You had a chance to elect a Jewish socialist from Brooklyn and you blew it!

You: No seconds until everyone else has had their first serving, please.


Guest: Ever since I heard that tape, whenever I see his hands, I’ve got to wonder, where they’ve been?

You: Great idea. Let's all wash our hands before we sit down.


Guest: In four years, he’ll trade Melania in for one of Putin’s daughters.

You: These cranberries sure are tart.


Guest: Thank God he’s going to get rid of Obamacare. If those premiums go any higher, I’ll have to give up smoking, drinking and breakfast at Denny’s.

You: Good news! Your father's insurance covers gym membership. No time like the present to prepare one's health for what lies ahead.


Guest: The hell with colleges. Trump is going to make vocational schools more accessible. You know, like his university.

You: You'll never believe who recently emailed me. A Nigerian prince!


Guest: What did I say? What did I say?

You:  You didn’t say anything, but I’m worried your “Trump that bitch” t-shirt might get stains all over it. You should really tuck your napkin into your collar and spread it out. Just in case.


Guest: I’d like to say a special prayer for our Native American brothers and sisters in North Dakota who are struggling to protect their scared land and the environment against an oil pipeline.

You: Amen.

Our readers respond

Anndee Hochman

of West Mount Airy/Philadelphia, PA on November 17, 2016

Thanks, Stacia. A helping of humor is just what I needed in this time of mourning and shock. I may try some of these zingers at my own Thanksgiving table!

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