“I’d like to welcome everyone to our Thanksgiving meal. We’re so glad you all flew in from around the country. Uncle Jack. Aunt Sally. Cousin Duane. Our daughter Polly and her Russian husband, Vlad, and their new baby, Bennie. Welcome, one and all.”

“Thanks, Bill! … Love you! … Good speech!”

“Now, my wife — you know her as Auntie or Grandma, but I just call her Amazing Angela, haha — has asked that we refrain from any political talk around the table. We all remember what happened last Thanksgiving.”

“I can’t believe Duane got hit with a casserole dish.”

“And my insurance didn’t cover it.”

“A $1,000 deductible.”

“With Medicare for all, that wouldn’t be an issue.”

“Shut up, Vlad, you Communist.”

“That’s my husband, you fascist — ”

“Whoa, whoa, everyone! Simmer down. That’s what we’re trying to avoid. Which is why this year, Angela has made a list of subjects we’re NOT going to talk about. It’s under your plates. Angie, you want to read the list out loud?”

“Not really.”

“C’mon, babe.”

“OK. Fine. The President. Impeachment. Healthcare. Socialism. Elizabeth Warren. Bernie Sanders. MSNBC. The Wall. Immigration. The Bidens. Guns. Abortion. Legalized marijuana. Fox News. Any member of the Trump family. And Colin Kaepernick.”  

“Thanks, Honey. Everyone OK with that?”

“Hmm … yeah … guess so … .” 

“Great. Let’s get started.”

Twenty minutes later …

“Isn’t anyone gonna speak?”

“About what?  Angela put the kibosh on everything.”

“We could pray before the meal.”

“Good idea, Sally.”

“If there was a God.”

“Shut up, Vlad, you communist.”

“That’s my husband, you zealot — ”

“OK, OK! Just a simple prayer. Uncle Jack, you majored in English back in college. How about a few words that won’t offend anyone?”

“Well, OK. Ahem. Dear God — ”

“Offended!”

“Sorry. Uh, Dear special force in the universe, we thank you for this food — ”

“Which could feed half of Darfur.”

“OFFENDED!”

“We thank you for this turkey — ”

“Murdered by animal cruelty.”

“OFFENDED!”

“ — and this beautiful home — ”

“Highest property tax in the state.”

“You’re still not paying your fair share.”

“Shut up, Vlad, you Communist.”

“That’s my husband, you pig–!”    

“ — and we say, Amen.”

“Amen … Whatever … That’s it? … ”

“Let’s eat, shall we?”

Twenty minutes later …

“Isn’t anyone going to talk?”

“About what? The weather?”

“It’s been a mild November.”

“Global warming.”

“OFFENDED!”

“Duane, it’s a shame your daughter Emma couldn’t make it this year. She still at Yale?”

“Yeah. She didn’t feel comfortable leaving her Safe Space.”

“Her what?”

“C’mon, Bill, don’t be so old.”

“How is that old?”

“OK, Boomer!”

“OFFENDED!”

“Anyhow, Emma’s still getting her grades. The professors come to her Safe Space and speak softly to her.”

“They do that?”

“We pay full tuition. They better.”

“Can you believe how much money those actors paid to get their kids into college?”

“What do you expect from elitist liberals?”

“A Wealth Tax would pay for everyone to go to college.”

“Shut up, Vlad, you Communist.”

“That’s my husband, you moron — ”

“Stop! Remember the rules!”

“The rules suck!”

“Yeah. We have our First Amendment rights!”

“Amazing how you protect the First Amendment but don’t respect the Second Amendment.”

“Aw, go stuff a gun up your butt!’’

“You’ll be wanting my gun when illegal aliens take over your town.”

“Open borders would make everybody legal.”

“You’d love that, wouldn’t you Vlad? You Communist!”

“That’s my husband — ”

“WE KNOW! WE KNOW!”

“I’m leaving.”

“Me, too!”

“Me, three!”

“But we haven’t finished the meal!”

“I can’t eat when people elsewhere are starving.”

“I can’t eat when everyone around me is so dumb.”

“Shut up, Duane, you stuck-up right-winger!”

“Shut up, Jack, you leftist looney!”

THUNNNNK!

“There goes my casserole dish.”

“WHHHHAAA!”

“Ah, look, we woke up little Bennie.”

“Time to go.”

“Yeah. I can’t stand whining at the dinner table. … ”

Contact Mitch Albom: malbom@freepress.com. Check out the latest updates with his charities, books and events at MitchAlbom.com. Download “The Sports Reporters” podcast each Monday and Thursday on-demand through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify and more. Follow him on Twitter @mitchalbom.

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