With just a week until Thanksgiving, it’s time to go over a few rules.
There are some things you will want to keep in mind next Thursday. Let’s get started.
Do: Be honest about your feelings, if politics or religion comes up.
Don’t: Say, “You people are all going to hell.”
Do: Admit that the holiday has a mixed legacy.
Don’t: Presume to speak for all Native Americans.
Do: Note that this month marks the 20th anniversary of “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.”
Don’t: Ask, “Do you feel this vehicle is safe for highway travel?” more than seven or eight times.
Do: Feel free to express your lack of enthusiasm for sitting around and watching football on TV.
Don’t: Make a big deal about the number of commercials for erectile-dysfunction drugs.
Do: Give the vegetarians a hard time.
Don’t: Do so unless you know they will enjoy giving it right back to you and that nobody is going to wind up with hurt feelings.
Do: Ask people to identify their favorite Thanksgiving scene in a movie.
Don’t: Forget about “Giant,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Holiday Inn,” “Avalon,” “The Ice Storm,” and “Broadway Danny Rose.”
Do: Bash the unwatchable way the networks present the parades these days.
Don’t: Rant with your mouth full.
Do: Praise the dressing.
Don’t: Tell your salmonella story.
Do: Admit that you are already pretty full as you discuss the pie options.
Don’t: Unbuckle and unzip your pants at the table.
Do: Engage nonfamily guests in conversation.
Don’t: Grill the bejesus out of them.
Do: Tell the same old family stories everyone has heard a million times.
Don’t: Bash people’s exes or rub salt in old wounds.
Do: Turn off your cell phone.
Don’t: Play music despised by more than 50 percent of those gathered.
Do: Give a little thought to how you want to approach saying grace/offering thanks.
Don’t: Try to be the next Oprah.
•Warm-up question: How many Inland Northwesterners get their weather forecasts from Seattle area residents who, in the course of daily phone calls or e-mailing, describe conditions that might well be headed our way?
•Today’s Slice question: In how many Spokane area families can no one of driving age operate a stick shift?
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