EDITOR’S CORNER: Don’t gobble the bait on Thanksgiving Day
(Opinion by Miles Smith, LPR Editor)
Did y’all miss me?
I’ve had the time of my life this past couple of weeks – I married the best person I’ve ever known and followed that by visiting Spain and Portugal for the better part of two weeks. So much culture, so much history and so much food.
But I missed y’all and I’m glad to be back.
All that said, I got back just in time for Thanksgiving, the official kickoff to the holiday season. Personally, it’s always been my favorite. You get to see your friends and family, eat entirely too much turkey, starchy vegetables and pie, pour gravy on everything and watch football until you fall into a not-so-brief coma while sitting in a likely uncomfortable position on a relative’s couch. As an added bonus, you don’t have to untangle any lights or stress out about buying thoughtful gifts that fit into your budget.
This year, my budget is 15 euro I forgot to spend in Spain and a rumpled brochure for the Prado.
However, because calendar makers are cruel and heartless, the holiday also involves visiting with extended family of all ages and backgrounds immediately after a general election. For many of us – especially as polarizing as political opinions have become these days – that idea can be less than appetizing.
My family is charming and will, of course, have better things to do than talk politics over the mashed potatoes. Most of us know that your best bet is to bring up ANYTHING other than politics at family gatherings. But if you’re not as lucky as I, here are a few tips that could help you get through Turkey Day without causing hurt feelings.
1. Keep your mouth full at all times. It’s completely impossible to have an intelligible opinion when you’re talking through mashed potatoes. If your spud-induced onomatopoeia isn’t enough to dissuade your dear Aunt Sally from asking you what you think about what she heard on her favorite cable news network, add gravy and talk with your mouth open. Guaranteed she’ll turn her head and ask Cousin Osgood instead.
2. Never underestimate the effectiveness of plentiful well-timed potty breaks. Check into the oval office as many times as you need to. If you’re not a reader, there are apps that let you watch football on your phone. Be careful not to do it too much, though, or people might worry about the veracity of Uncle Merle’s claim that he only uses the freshest cranberries in his sauce.
3. Finally, if resorting to chicanery doesn’t get the job done, just go with the tried but true: nod and smile. Most conversations die pretty quickly if you don’t reciprocate and turn them into full-fledged debates. Third-cousin-thrice-removed Peter’s favorite quarterback will likely throw a boneheaded but well-timed interception if you just wait long enough, and then you can make your break and relocate to the other side of the room as he directs his emotions at the idiot box.
I hope this was helpful.
Please pass the potatoes.
While I was out…
As I said in my last column, one thing I’ve particularly enjoyed this fall was covering the Lockhart Lions football team, which improved its win total by two over the previous year and finished a respective 5-5, just missing the playoffs.
While I was pleasantly surprised to see Lockhart score 48 points in a loss to powerhouse Tivy – actually holding the lead in the second quarter, something I’m not sure anyone saw coming – I was even more impressed by the effort the Lions exerted the following week on the road against Uvalde.
Entering that game, they’d endured a series of letdowns. They nearly pulled an upset against Tivy, and it can be even more painful to lose when you had a chance than it is when you get blown out. They were officially eliminated from the playoffs, falling to 4-5. And they were taking a long trip to play a team they were favored to beat.
And what did the Lions do? Exactly what they were supposed to do: Take care of business against an overmatched team and improve their season record to 5-5, even getting some style points with a double-digit margin of victory.
That shows grit and character.
You’ll get ‘em next season, Lions.
Special thanks to Michael Adams for getting two issues of the Lockhart Post-Register out and doing the legwork that is making it possible for me to get this week’s paper out on a shortened holiday schedule. You are a gentleman and a scholar, sir.