Don't be caught this holiday weekend without a topic! My notes in italics.
Safe topics for all ages:
- The Weather. Especially if the forecast is good. (Updraft)
- Train travel. Amtrak says ridership is increasing. When was the last time [insert relative's name here] took a long distance train trip? (MPR)
- What are a few of your favorite things? The G-rated warm woolen mitten variety. (Discussion on Gather.com)
...My take: These topics are most LIKELY safe. You know your family & friends.
For deeper consideration:
- Artists find new uses for old things Trash, treasure, perspective. (MPR News)
- How to record your own family's oral history Who knows what secrets your family holds. (MPR Midday)
- Do we buy ethanol (in Minnesota) because we have to? What octane level does your favorite gearhead recommend? (MPR News)
...My advice: Keep an ear open for tangents, these things could go either way.
Take the gloves off:
- Iraq war funding and the presidential campaign Self-explanatory. (MPR Midmorning)
- How to narrow the gap between the haves and have nots Self-explanatory. (MPR Midmorning)
- Drinking beyond limits Self-explanatory. (Again with that MPR Midmorning crew)
...My disclaimer: Don't come crying to me next Monday if you ruined the dinner for everyone.
Share your own conversation-starters suitable for making small talk with a third cousin you don't really see all that much, to alleviate tension while the officer approaches the car door, or to while away time waiting for the turkey to be carved.