Hometown Thanksgiving: Turkey with a Side of Discourse

“If Pop-Pop says something racist at Thanksgiving dinner, oh boy, am I going to tell him off!” said Kendall Wilfred, a Brown freshman who, at press time, had said absolutely nothing to Grandpa Joe.

Primed with his newfound knowledge of words like “heteronormative” and “nuanced,” Kendall, in early November, reported that he was confident in his ability to even further alienate his conservative family at their singular, annual gathering. Kendall even expressed a hard-line stance on “problematic” statements, reiterating that not even close friends from his rural, small-town Southern high school would be granted passes.

Correspondents reported, however, that all evidence of Kendall’s previously unshakable moral convictions had mysteriously disappeared once his plane landed in his hometown, which overwhelmingly voted for Trump in the 2018 midterms (write-ins). We’re told that Kendall was witnessed sighing deeply, but not vocalizing, when his old classmates expressed their relief that Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed. Incendiary statements such as “Sure, we can’t know what happened, but the important thing is a Republican majority on the court,” were overlooked by Kendall, who noted that his classmate was making good use of his state’s open-carry gun policy. When confronted in the local supermarket with “I don’t mind immigrants, but it’s the illegals that need to be simultaneously waterboarded, separated from their children, and held in the basement of an abandoned windmill for the rest of time,” Kendall meekly suggested that his childhood best friend read a recent Vox article on the issue. It’s worth noting that Kendall did express regret that he didn’t bring his projector, which made a thorough PowerPoint presentation on the topic impossible.

Even more shocking than Kendall’s interactions with his classmates — people that he considers further removed from his social network than literal strangers — are the conversations that he partook in during Thanksgiving. During dinner, Kendall used phrases such as “intersectionality,” “cissexism,” and “binary determinism” twenty-four times less than he was known to while at Brown University. Usually a prolific advocate and known to express his opinions in any situation where everyone would undoubtedly agree with him, Kendall exhibited surprising timidity in the presence of his family members, whose elderly authority had been ingrained into his impressionable psyche for the past twenty years straight. We’re told that Mitch McConnell’s work in the senate was lauded extensively at some point during the third course, and though Kendall attempted to make a statement, he ultimately decided to simply continue eating Grandma Pearl’s famous mashed potatoes.  

At press time, Kendall was still debating whether Pop-Pop’s comment about “those homosexuals” was worth an argument that would likely give the family patriarch a prolonged heart attack. In the end, Kendall decided against a confrontation that might have actually benefited the political development of younger members at the table, choosing instead to live tweet the experience @unapologeticallyopinionated.

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