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Chicago topics to avoid at the Thanksgiving table

Photograph: David Goehring/Flickr
Photograph: David Goehring/Flickr

We’ve packed away our Al’s Beefcake costume for the year, but before we bust out the Christmas tree, we’ve got one hurdle of a holiday to clear: Thanksgiving. Chicago is an opinionated town, so some topics are better left off the table when it comes time to gather your family around the turkey (or deep-dish, if that’s your thing). Here are some Chicago topics to leave at home this holiday season. 

No calling dibs on your place at the table. You're a person, not a parking spot.

For today only, don't correct your cousins from the burbs when they claim the Chicagoan label. They get a holiday radius pass.

Don’t get your aunt started on the merits of deep-dish pizza. You'll be debating Giordano's vs. Lou Malnati's all night.  

Avoid talking about the Cubs' stellar season with your White Sox-loving uncle. And completely avoid the Cubs with your Cardinals-loving cousin from downstate. Too soon to rip the Band-Aid off that wound. 

Sharing in graphic detail the most memorable smells you’ve experienced on the CTA. Some of us are trying to eat stuffing here. 

Taxes. We know they’re going up, but this isn’t the season to constantly remind ourselves of the lump of coal that’s been dropped in the city’s stocking. 

Any mention of Rahm. Sure he's a turkey who should get stuffed, but the bird on your table is more important. And remember, Chicago politics are rarely a fun or fruitful side dish. 

The Lucas Museum. The diehard Bears fans will only get huffy about the loss of tailgating space and your kid cousin will begin speculating about the plot of The Force Awakens.

Even if conversation gets stale, no one wants to hear about your "exciting" night out on Clark Street. Or these days, Division Street

Best not to bring up the new form your improv team is working on. Your relatives still aren't sure what "those little skits you do" are anyway. 

Try not to regale the table with tales of Polar Vortex past. Let's just focus on an unseasonably warm autumn and the promise of El Niño.

Your February beach vacation plans. Even if it will be a warmer one, winter is still on its way. No need to rub your brief respite in everyone’s face.

Declaring your love of ketchup on a hot dog. Some things are best left unsaid.