10 Appropriate Thanksgiving Dinner Topics

Thanksgiving is a time for families to join for a meal and argue about the most divisive topics imaginable until someone flips over the table, covering Nana in Aunt Jeannie’s sweet potato casserole, which Nana never liked anyway since Jeannie left her behind at Southcoast Plaza that one time “on accident.”

Anyway, to avoid all those awkward conversations about politics, religion, or why Kelly got one of those haircuts (does she like girls now?) Here’s a quick list of surefire dinnertime conversation starters for your gearhead—or non-gearhead—friends and family. 

1. Will the new electric Mustang be able to kill more cars & coffee spectators with an extension cord clothesline maneuver or with its massive electric torque curve?

2. Mom, Dad, it’s time you accept me for who I am and that I drive a Miata.

3. Ford vs. Ferrari: Which is most appropriate for an LS swap?

4. No one else around the table knows any better, so go ahead and refer to autocrossing as “racing.”

5. Civic Type R vs. Tesla Cybertruck: Which can you rag on the hardest while secretly loving?

6. How you “won” your last track day.

7. “Shut up Larry. It’s called a ‘project’ car because it’s not supposed to drive. Then they’d call it a ‘driving’ car. I’ll finish it someday. You’re adopted.”

8. Actually, BMWs are 100% reliable, provided you fix everything that breaks.

9. Long whiteboard discussion involving segment times, other drivers you once beat, weather conditions, tire durometer readings, quantum mechanics of friction, objects of impossible geometry, a prophecy involving stealing several skulls from a local cemetery, Gary Cherone-era Van Halen, The Harlem Globetrotters, HAARP, and the episode of Scooby Doo featuring Jonathan Winters proving conclusively that you TECHNICALLY won a national championship despite the results showing that you were 17th.

10. It says 200tw on the side, of course it’s a STREET tire.

 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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OldGray320i
OldGray320i Dork
11/26/19 1:37 p.m.

Priceless.  Just priceless. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy Dork
11/26/19 1:38 p.m.

HAHAHAHHA!  Awesome!

_
_ Dork
11/26/19 2:23 p.m.

Telling my mom to accept me for driving a Miata, that's what I will do

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
11/26/19 2:29 p.m.

Talk about your favorite finish and era for Porsche phonedials.  Bring photo examples of the wheel over the years it was available.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/26/19 3:12 p.m.

Yes, bringing visual aids will make it a more interesting conversation for everyone.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/26/19 3:15 p.m.
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

Talk about your favorite finish and era for Porsche phonedials.  Bring photo examples of the wheel over the years it was available.

But first take like 10 minutes to find them on your phone. "Wait, I was just looking at them a few minutes ago...."

jharry3
jharry3 HalfDork
11/26/19 3:19 p.m.

Last year we had three different of our vehicles need towing.  The first was the MSM Miata and I fortunately found this really good guy with a flatbed that advertises he knows how to safely load sports cars.  

Then two more breakdowns with my truck and then my wife's car.  So I used the same guy each time even though he costs a little more.

So now my wife never fails to bring up at social gatherings that I am the only person she ever knew who  has his own personal tow truck driver and carries the guy's business card in his wallet.  Of course hardly anyone understands what it is to  be a car guy and thinks that its just another of my eccentricities.       

This will come up at Thanksgiving I have no doubt.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/26/19 3:20 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

Talk about your favorite finish and era for Porsche phonedials.  Bring photo examples of the wheel over the years it was available.

But first take like 10 minutes to find them on your phone. "Wait, I was just looking at them a few minutes ago...."

I would prefer to see dry mounted 8x10s. I mean, come prepared.

slowbird
slowbird Dork
11/26/19 3:26 p.m.

Make sure you ask everyone in your family at least 3 times if they have any extra space in their garage, as you've just acquired another non-running project car and the yard's already full and by they way do they have any tools you could borrow and hey does that air compressor of theirs still work, because you'd like to come over and get started on it tonight after pie?

Shadeux
Shadeux Reader
11/26/19 3:57 p.m.

"9. Long whiteboard discussion involving segment times, other drivers you once beat, weather conditions, tire durometer readings, quantum mechanics of friction, objects of impossible geometry, a prophecy involving stealing several skulls from a local cemetery, Gary Cherone-era Van Halen, The Harlem Globetrotters, HAARP, and the episode of Scooby Doo featuring Jonathan Winters proving conclusively that you TECHNICALLY won a national championship despite the results showing that you were 17th."

<died>

kazoospec
kazoospec UltraDork
11/26/19 4:37 p.m.

Oh, I don't count on my family accepting that autocross is "racing", I plan to spend the entire meal convincing them.  If they surrender on that one, I'll launch into why a Miata is the ultimate sports car, a capable family hauler and the perfect first car for a young driver. 

We'll only get into why the PAX index is unfair to ES cars if we hit an awkward pause.  

spacecadet
spacecadet Dork
11/26/19 4:45 p.m.

5. Civic Type R vs. Tesla Cybertruck: Which can you rag on the hardest while secretly loving

As someone who loves the hardware under both, but find them both polarizing.. This is my internal struggle.

 

 

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
11/26/19 4:56 p.m.

Ooo some of these might help cut down the Xmas shopping better than bringing up politics would.

ShawnG
ShawnG PowerDork
11/26/19 6:42 p.m.

Try to explain to my buddy's wife that restoration is NOT "Just like Kount's Kustoms in Las Vegas" FML...

 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
11/26/19 7:02 p.m.
jharry3 said:

Last year we had three different of our vehicles need towing.  The first was the MSM Miata and I fortunately found this really good guy with a flatbed that advertises he knows how to safely load sports cars.  

Then two more breakdowns with my truck and then my wife's car.  So I used the same guy each time even though he costs a little more.

So now my wife never fails to bring up at social gatherings that I am the only person she ever knew who  has his own personal tow truck driver and carries the guy's business card in his wallet.  Of course hardly anyone understands what it is to  be a car guy and thinks that its just another of my eccentricities.       

This will come up at Thanksgiving I have no doubt.

I have the tow truck company's t shirt and he gives me Christmas presents 

Wally
Wally MegaDork
11/26/19 7:35 p.m.

Who's the better Jackie, Stewart or Ickx and why? Start early as this debate can go on for a while. 

Wally
Wally MegaDork
11/26/19 7:41 p.m.

This one almost got violent last year, Dale Earnhardt wasn't a better driver than Kyle Busch, his wife just did a better job managing his image. 

Rodan
Rodan Dork
11/26/19 8:07 p.m.

I just hope we don't get rear-ended on the way to Thanksgiving dinner again this year.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
11/26/19 8:20 p.m.

"You trial braked your fork into the gravy and mashed potatoes but you were totally off line in the cranberry sauce AND you used a salad fork for your pie............learn to use the right tools for the job you putz"

My mother still hasn't forgiven me for telling her that but it had to be said. 

Furious_E
Furious_E UltraDork
11/26/19 8:40 p.m.

I'm sure my Thanksgiving will include an explaination of why I still had to borrow dad's truck to get to work while my DD was in for inspection this week, in spite of the fact that I own three cars myself. That will at least segue nicely into the story of how a minor transmission fluid leak on my truck has snowballed into it being half torn apart with plans for an engine swap over the winter. What I'm really looking forward to, though, is the argument with my sister that yes, in fact, she should expect that if she keeps buying $2k cars and not maintaining them they will inevitably continue to break down on her.

buzzboy
buzzboy HalfDork
11/26/19 9:16 p.m.
jharry3 said:

So now my wife never fails to bring up at social gatherings that I am the only person she ever knew who  has his own personal tow truck driver and carries the guy's business card in his wallet.

I loved my old tow truck driver and his wife. They picked a miata tub(kinda) up at 7:00PM on their way to dinner in the rollback.

In my home town my nextdoor neighbor is the only tow truck and strangely also a husband/wife team. They do great work.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
11/26/19 10:07 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Like I don't have multiple saved images of phonedials on my phone already.  Pfft.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Reader
11/26/19 10:49 p.m.

I was just doing a family thing with family members that own a popular autocross venue but don't know much about it. I didn't feel like being the autocross liaison today (I'll leave that up to the SCCA) but it could have come up. I actually haven't run there since it is kinda far from home.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
11/27/19 4:17 a.m.

In reply to buzzboy :

For the first few years I knew my wife I was on call 24/7.  A lot of our dates were in my truck and picking something up on the way to or from wherever we were going.  

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
11/27/19 7:13 a.m.

In reply to jharry3 :

You're not the only one.  I also have a local, trusted tow driver saved in my contacts.  I wish he had one of those "Buy 10 get one Free" punch cards.  

triumph7
triumph7 Reader
11/27/19 7:20 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Yes, that way you can pass them around the audience, er, table

triumph7
triumph7 Reader
11/27/19 7:38 a.m.
Rodan said:

I just hope we don't get rear-ended on the way to Thanksgiving dinner again this year.

Not as bad as getting rear ended AT Thanksgiving dinner!

Danny Shields
Danny Shields HalfDork
11/27/19 7:57 a.m.
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

Talk about your favorite finish and era for Porsche phonedials.  Bring photo examples of the wheel over the years it was available.

For the young people at the table, it would be great to bring an actual phone, one with a phone dial (and actual metal bells inside to make it ring), to show them where the wheels got their name. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/27/19 8:31 a.m.

Since it will just be my mother and I, the most awkward subject likely to come up at the dinner table this year is when my giant van will be out of my mother's driveway so she can get her car into her garage... 

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
11/27/19 9:42 a.m.

NASCAR would be better if they did more road courses

The South lost the war, and Sherman did everybody a favor by setting fire to most of what was left. Get over it.

Roses are red, violets are VIOLET, not blue. Yes, I am aware of the limited color palette when the poem was written!

Pickle Rick was one of the worst episodes of Rick and Morty.

 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
11/27/19 10:23 a.m.
Brett_Murphy said:



The South lost the war, and Sherman did everybody a favor by setting fire to most of what was left. Get over it.

 

Fortunately, they built Waffle Houses over much of the ruins.  

TVR Scott
TVR Scott HalfDork
11/27/19 10:50 a.m.

Last year at Thanksgiving I handed my cousin a back issue of GRM.  He spent the next three hours quietly reading, and then declared, "This is going to cost me a lot of money."

This Thanksgiving I'm looking forward to discussing paint color schemes for his recently-bought E30 318 project, seeing his also newly bought Chevy tow-vehicle pick-up truck, and also find out the latest on the A-street Solstice.  Naturally I'll have pics of the TVR to share.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
11/27/19 11:03 a.m.

I will be the token minority in the house on so many levels; the only car guy, the only non-comic book nerd SciFi nerd, the only non stick & ball sports guy, the only white guy and so I pretty much just hangout and have a laugh.

My wife and her family will be debating the merits or the lack of in the new Star Wars flick. If we're watching some movie or commercial I don't make comments about how poor the character's car control skills are as they'll just look at me wondering what I'm on about. I will also get asked after every drift commercial "can you do that?"

On the plus side her family does heckle TV shows so we do get along and we all agree that Friends is a terrible show with no imagination as are most sitcoms so I'll be spared those as well. Without fail I'll get NASCAR questions to which I reply I don't watch.................after 29 years you'd think people would figure it out but what the heck they're good people as my father would say.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
11/27/19 11:27 a.m.

This is Michigan, you dickholes. If you don’t rock winter tires, STFU about driving conditions.*

*might not happen this year, since there’s no snow on the ground.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
11/27/19 12:19 p.m.
Wally said:

Who's the better Jackie, Stewart or Ickx and why? Start early as this debate can go on for a while. 

Carroll Shelby to Phil Hill, after Jackie Ickx publicly dissed Phil at an event, based on his age:

"Ickx was never a Champion."

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
11/27/19 2:55 p.m.

My updated list:

 

1. The South lost the war, and Sherman did everybody a favor by setting fire to most of what was left, because they built a Waffle House, Denny's or IHOP on every site where he set a fire. Prove they didn't! (thanks, Volvoclearinghouse)

2. Roses are red, violets are VIOLET, not blue. Yes, I am aware of the limited color palette when the poem was written!

3. Pickle Rick was one of the worst episodes of Rick and Morty.

4. NASCAR lost the plot and should return to smaller tracks in the south. Also, more road courses.

5. Getting emotionally involved in any sports team you don't actually play for is a waste of time.

6. Which camouflage pattern is the best for the largest number of conditions? Show your work.

7. Baked or fried doesn't matter, turkey is a crap meal and everybody should just eat something different instead.

8. Popeyes vs. Bojangles vs. Chick-Fil-Ahhhhhrrrrrghhh

9. Blue Bell is, in fact, the worst ice cream you can get in many places, and any place it isn't is somewhere you shouldn't go.

10. Bicycles may be the most energy efficient form of human transportation, but you can also tell how much of an shiny happy person somebody is by how much bicycle specific equipment they own.

Furious_E
Furious_E UltraDork
11/27/19 4:38 p.m.
Brett_Murphy said:

7. Baked or fried doesn't matter, turkey is a crap meal and everybody should just eat something different instead.

Irrelevant. The turkey, like the rest of Thanksgiving dinner, is merely a vessel to deliver the gravy.

rdcyclist
rdcyclist Reader
11/27/19 4:45 p.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy :

WRG to #10: I'm probably the most berkeleyin' Shiny Happy Person on this board...

rdcyclist
rdcyclist Reader
11/27/19 4:46 p.m.

This article and following thread might be the most entertaining read on the entire GRM site...

stafford1500
stafford1500 Dork
11/27/19 5:37 p.m.

Dammit JG. #7 on so many levels. It's only been twenty years since I started this project.

NoGuarantee
NoGuarantee New Reader
11/28/19 2:25 p.m.

200tw tires are street legal tires. 

einy
einy HalfDork
11/28/19 3:02 p.m.

Five reasons why an Exocet should never be referred to as a dune buggy or a death cart.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
11/28/19 3:28 p.m.
Woody said:
Wally said:

Who's the better Jackie, Stewart or Ickx and why? Start early as this debate can go on for a while. 

Carroll Shelby to Phil Hill, after Jackie Ickx publicly dissed Phil at an event, based on his age:

"Ickx was never a Champion."

Ickx also never tried to sell anyone a Ford Tempo.

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Ws_Bp7WYA

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
11/28/19 3:50 p.m.

I can confirm climate shift is not a proper thanksgiving topic

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
11/28/19 4:13 p.m.
jharry3 said:

Last year we had three different of our vehicles need towing.  The first was the MSM Miata and I fortunately found this really good guy with a flatbed that advertises he knows how to safely load sports cars.  

Then two more breakdowns with my truck and then my wife's car.  So I used the same guy each time even though he costs a little more.

So now my wife never fails to bring up at social gatherings that I am the only person she ever knew who  has his own personal tow truck driver and carries the guy's business card in his wallet.  Of course hardly anyone understands what it is to  be a car guy and thinks that its just another of my eccentricities.       

This will come up at Thanksgiving I have no doubt.

Well?  Did it?

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
11/28/19 5:33 p.m.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
11/28/19 9:33 p.m.

I’m in Key West with Mrs. 300zxfreak, and for Thanksgiving dinner I just had grilled fish......with dressing. 

dxman92
dxman92 HalfDork
11/29/19 12:47 a.m.

At my table, which is better to use Uber or Lyft..

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/29/19 6:17 a.m.

Whew... the subject of my white whale van never came up, so awkwardness averted. 

jstein77
jstein77 UberDork
12/4/19 2:31 p.m.
Danny Shields said:
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

Talk about your favorite finish and era for Porsche phonedials.  Bring photo examples of the wheel over the years it was available.

For the young people at the table, it would be great to bring an actual phone, one with a phone dial (and actual metal bells inside to make it ring), to show them where the wheels got their name. 

$2000 Challenge "Pro" Driver

I would but the only ones left are in the Disney Carousel of Progress exhibit.

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