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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Check coats, politics at the door

So OK, Halloween is over.

What’s next? Election Day, of course. Then Veterans Day is a week from Tuesday. Nov. 11 is also Washington’s statehood day.

But soon we will be looking ahead to Thanksgiving.

This year, I am taking a different approach to previewing the holiday.

It seems every November The Slice is peppered with allusions to potential discord at Thanksgiving gatherings. You know, mood-killing political wrangling or whatever.

But the truth is, I have personally observed hardly any of that over the years. Perhaps I am lucky. Or maybe these holiday tensions are more rumor than reality.

So this year, I am going to ask first. Then I’ll report back to you.

Have you ever witnessed a conversation about politics at Thanksgiving that filled the room with tension?

Is there someone in your extended family whose only way of interacting with others is to argue?

Ever seen a guest kicked out of a Thanksgiving dinner before the pie was served?

Is there someone in your extended family who is incapable of comprehending that not everyone shares his or her world view?

Ever had to resist the urge to shove a bowl of mashed potatoes into someone’s face?

Should your seasonal family gatherings include a referee?

When inviting someone to your home for the holiday, have you ever asked the person to promise to not be a jerk?

(If I print any of your answers, I’m willing to keep your identity to myself.)

Getting off the phone with someone who won’t stop talking: One reader said she excuses herself by saying she has to go to the bathroom. And sometimes she has been on the phone so long by then that she is not making that up.

Good tactic. Of course, we all know some gabbers are so oblivious that you still have to declare, “I’m hanging up now,” and then be willing to follow through.

Easier said than done, especially when the talkative person on the phone isn’t really in his or her right mind due to age or cognitional issues.

Today’s Slice question: Anyone around here born on the last day of the fair, Nov. 3, 1974?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. I briefly worked for a newspaper called the Standard-Times, but the name had nothing to do with setting the clocks.

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