No family gathering is complete without at least three political discussions so passionate they clear the room. To aid you at your forthcoming Thanksgiving feast, here is a proposed list of timely dinner topics, sure to make your evening a night to remember.
Inflation? Yay or nay?
Does Joe Biden sniff women? Or do women sniff Joe Biden?
Jeff Bezos, or Elon Musk?
Bernie Sanders, or Elon Musk?
What’s Mike Pence up to these days?
Can cryptocurrency be most likened to the Holland tulip bulb mania of the 1630s?
Was Aaron Rodgers immunized?
Airline seats – to recline, or not to recline?
Meghan Markle versus Piers Morgan.
Janet Jackson versus Justin Timberlake.
Britney Spears versus Justin Timberlake.
Britney Spears versus Christina Aguilera.
Britney Spears versus all of the other Spears.
Is Benedict Cumberbatch hot?
Wired headphones? Or wireless headphones? What’s cool now?
Did Epstein kill himself?
The ecclesiastical calendar, subdivided by the difference between All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
The pros and cons of Kamala Harris’ laugh.
Is Jennifer Lawrence hot?
Is Justin Bieber a good singer?
Turkey and gravy soda – a genius invention, or a monstrosity inflicted upon man?
The First Amendment.
The Second Amendment.
The Third Amendment.
Nicolas Cage’s acting career – please submit responses in the form of a dissertation.
Why is everything so expensive?
I, for one, look forward to discussing the elusive sex appeal of Pete Davidson, whether or not Joe Biden’s neurologic exam was honest and above board, and to finally resolve, once and for all, whether aliens are invading Hawaii.
Sarah Brown is, what her grandmother would call, an instigator. Tweet her @BrownsClose1 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Close” is a British term for alley or cul-de-sac.
Off the top of my head, a list of catastrophes that have occurred in 2020 include:
Wildfires in Australia, California, Washington, and Oregon;
Tornadoes in the Southern United States. These also struck roughly one month after COVID-19, which frightened everyone away from the designated tornado shelters;
An invasion of murder hornets;
A jet plane collided with a bear;
And, of course, the death of James Bond.
With all of this upheaval, Thanksgiving may be subdued. In such times of tribulation, will Americans feel gratitude? State and local governments might even prefer citizens not give thanks, taking it upon themselves to restrict the number of guests permitted per Thanksgiving feast. Enforcement measures remain unclear; it’s hard to imagine even the most officious mid-level bureaucrat will want to be the designated government representative to knock on neighborhood doors, verifying the number of approved party guests.
On the other hand, Thanksgiving may be raucous; perhaps Americans may count their blessings more generously than usual.
I believe we continue to be blessed, despite what President-elect Biden has dubbed “a dark winter” ahead. In a quest to prove the point, I conducted some market research. Based on an anonymous survey, respondents consider themselves thankful for many items:
“I’m grateful for chips.”
“I’ve forgotten what work pants feel like. I’m grateful for that.”
“You know what I’m grateful for? I discovered I can still somehow manage to be late for work. Even though I don’t commute. Nothing is impossible for me!”
“I’m thankful that Costco installed checkout lines for shoppers with only a few items. I only ever have a few items.”
“I’m grateful for Grubhub. Not even a pandemic can get me to cook apparently.”
“I’m grateful I am not married. Explaining 2020 to a Quaranteen would be rough.”
While limiting Thanksgiving dinner sizes struck me as churlish—“I’m thankful that I have an excuse to not go to Thanksgiving dinner. I can’t stand listening to my family argue about the election.”
“I’m thankful for masks. I like the anonymity.”
“I’m grateful the toilet paper shortage is over.”
“I’m grateful for the toilet paper shortage. I finally learned how to use my bidet.”
I personally have much to be thankful for. The second season of Haunting of Hill House was released on time on Netflix without incident. Also, grown adults have finally learned how to wash their hands.
I am also thankful for the endless insights into the lives of other people, which I can glean through Zoom. One particularly memorable Zoom meeting early in the pandemic featured a participant with chains hanging from his walls. He happily sat on a meeting with fifty strangers, seemingly unaware that his choice of decor could be considered a tad radical.
I am grateful that the world has finally embraced the wonders of telemedicine. I’ve been a frequent user of Teladoc ever since I discovered that I no longer have to physically go to the doctor’s office to have my rashes examined, or pervasive pink eye diagnosed. I’m pleased to welcome everyone else to this new, glorious, shame-free reality.
Finally, I am thankful for the downfall of makeup generally, and Big Lipstick specifically. I have not worn makeup in eight months, thus gaining hours cumulatively back into my life. For years I resented the extra minutes per morning I was expected to spend painting on a face. In particular, I found lipstick to be insidious in nature; the constant application causes your lips to become addicted to all of the added moisture. Without lipstick, your lips soon become egregiously chapped.
No longer will my lips be slaves to Big Lipstick! I’ve broken my addiction lo these eight months, and will never go back.
I’m not alone. A study from late July proclaimed the death of the “lipstick index,” an economics measure previously used to measure how women spend money during lean economic times. My fellow sisters in arms have also broken free.
Count your blessings folks, including what may be the most significant blessing of all – that it is almost 2021!
Sarah Brown is a grateful person. She would be so thankful should you choose to contact her at email@example.com, and on Twitter @BrownsClose1. “Close” is a British term for alley or cul-de-sac.