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Recipe for Thanksgiving grief includes politics

If you wake up on Black Friday and there's still relatives in the house, it's time to get folks moving.

Scheduling an early morning fire drill works, but even your Auburn cousin who's devoted most of his brain to recalling every play of a certain recent football game has figured that one out.

Less obvious, but equally effective, is to discuss politics as often and eagerly as possible. Not only does it clear a room, but it's a surefire way to trim the Christmas shopping list.

Sorry Uncle Nate-Bob, the new Confederate flag tattoo means you'll be buying your own value-pack of tube socks this year.

If your family is anything like mine, someone showed up with a bumper sticker that fired the first shot of the annual holiday political battle in the driveway.

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It wasn't always this way.

At some point in recent history, politics, like whether to call it "stuffing" or "dressing," polarized friends and family to the point they can't shut up about it.

Another good way to make people long for their home is to show them a few dozen pictures of food you've eaten. If you've not yet obtained this deplorable dining habit, you can find images on Instagram taken by people who've transformed eating into a photographic seance.

People used to pray before dinner, now they take pictures. I'm not sure that's an improvement.

If you've shown Aunt Millie 30 variations of BBQ and she's still in your favorite recliner, it's time to pull out the big guns.

Unfortunately for her and anyone else sporting functional ears, you've just purchased a cheap harmonica and/or ukulele and can almost play several Neil Young tunes, including the one that disparages the South and got Lynyrd Skynyrd all fired up.

If that doesn't work, flip all the breakers in the electrical panel and pass around a collection plate to help pay the power bill. That'll send 'em skedaddling.

Truth be told, we all have reason to be thankful. Count your blessings while they last, friend.

However, I'd be even more thankful if more of the following were brought to the table:

  • Less information on your separation, divorce, pregnancy, child's "accomplishments," crop failures, new neighbors, unexplained pains and/or ailments you refuse to see a doctor about, medical conditions you have seen a doctor about.
  • Quieter children and pets. And, if your pets wear clothes, your kids should at least wear shoes.
  • Beer made somewhere around here.
  • Those tools I loaned you.
  • The ability to have a lively conversation about something other than politics, plates of food and sports, all three of which I've ironically included in this column.

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