The holiday season is now upon us, and Americans love Thanksgiving. For many of us, it means a day of quality time with our loved ones, while taking time to reflect on all the positive moments of the past year. We catch up with relatives we rarely see, eat ourselves into a stupor, and watch a few seconds of football here and there.
But with the reunion of family members comes the inevitable onslaught of uncomfortable or repetitive questions: “Have you found the right boy/girl yet?”, “So you’re vegetarian...Can you eat fish?”, “What can you do with an English degree?”, “Are you trying to get pregnant yet?”
These questions are well-meaning, but answering them four or five times in the span of one evening will drive a person insane. So how do you survive it? Alcohol can chauffeur you through the day, but in a year of news that includes rampant sex abuse in Hollywood and looming nuclear annihilation, it also increases the likelihood of a catastrophic blow-up. All it takes is one drunk uncle to ruin all the good tidings.
“So, Mr. Complains-About-His-Relatives-Caring-About-Him,” you say. “How does one solve this problem?”
I’m glad you asked. Listed below are a handful of Mets-related discussion topics, all of which are meant to generate light-hearted conversation, with little risk of having your cousin’s wedding invitation rescinded. Sprinkle these topics in whenever you sense the onset of an awkward conversation, and with any luck you’ll survive Thanksgiving unscathed.
The elimination of the obvious favorite opens the conversation up to any number of former or current Mets. Only one house rule must be set prior to the discussion: “Do Josh Satin’s eyebrows count as facial hair?”
Once established, proceed to discuss how Pat Zachry looks like he owns a nanobrewery, or how Bernard Gilkey’s moustache looks like a reflection of his unibrow. For some extra brownie points, feel free to spin this into a funding pitch for your brother-in-law’s Movember drive.
The rules are simple. The Top-25 All-Time Saves Leaders (the cut-off is Doug Henry) for the franchise are air-dropped onto a remote island. Each man is given enough rations for three days, a map of the island, and a random weapon. In this fantasy scenario, each man is in his pitching prime. The last closer alive is the winner, albeit with severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
My pick: Billy Wagner.
Austin has had a rough go of it the past few years. He played a year of Division III college ball seven years ago, then dropped out to pursue a pyramid scheme that we all warned him about. We love Austin, he’s just never met a bad decision he didn’t want to make. After his divorce last year (we warned him about that, too), he moved back in with his parents, and he has clearly put on a bunch of grief weight. Try to cheer Austin up as a family by using his college stats to calculate how valuable he would be if he manned second for the Mets in 2018. We’re all here for you, Austin.
Is it his smile? His positivity? His walk-up songs? Whatever it is you miss most about Curtis, share it with your relatives, and reminisce with your loved ones about what a pleasure it was to watch him play.
Let me assure you: Your 53-year-old Uncle Anthony is totally champing at the bit for the inaugural Overwatch League season. Just kidding. He hasn’t seen a video game since Atari. But sure, try to explain to him how best to counter a McCree flashbang combo. Once you get Uncle Tony revved-up and he starts blaming,"those kids and their Z-Boxes" for all the world’s problems, you can zone out thinking about potential Mets free agent signings.
Use these discussion topics liberally, don’t drink and drive, and have a happy and drama-free Thanksgiving!