"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: Religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin."
That's what Linus said in the Charlie Brown Halloween special more than 40 years ago.
Charles Schultz probably had no idea how accurate that statement was when he penned those words. But poor Linus was really referring to how everyone thought he was silly for believing in the Great Pumpkin - so he didn't discuss his belief with anyone except love-struck Sally and Charlie Brown.
It's always better to be on the safe side and not say anything about those topics.
Especially politics - people are going to get offended, tempers will flare and things will undoubtedly get heated. Folks are going to walk away with their feelings hurt, angry and vowing to never speak to the other person again and that's hard when they're married to them.
No telling how vitriolic it can get in other areas.
Politics can be scarier than any impending zombie apocalypse. Everyone's got their opinions - and odds are, you aren't gonna be able to change them.
I try to avoid any discussions of this sort of nature - I know just enough to be dangerous when it comes to politics. But apparently I am a little more current than Mama is.
"RuPaul is actually getting a following," she informed me one day several months ago.
"I thought I'd let you know. I know you like him."
"He's OK," was my reply.
I was confused. To be honest, I can take or leave RuPaul.
"If he gets the nomination, I wonder what his platform will be?" Mama continued to muse.
"What's he running for?" I asked.
"President! He's trying to get the nomination to run for president," she told me, evidently frustrated that I wasn't sure who she was talking about.
"Mama - that's Ron Paul; not RuPaul."
"Oh," she said. "Who's RuPaul?"
"A very successful drag queen."
Few days later, Mama had a more pressing current event question that needed clarification.
"Is Mama Gaga a drag queen too?" she asked.
"No. And it's Lady Gaga," I corrected.
"Oh. I thought maybe he was going to be RuPaul's veep."
"Mama, RuPaul is a drag queen. Ron Paul is a libertarian who is trying to get nominated to run for president. Lady Gaga is a pop singer."
"Well, I don't know who that Ron Paul man is, but I heard Mama Gaga's song the other day and I liked it."
I sighed, not bothering to correct her.
"Which one was it?"
"Something about being born..." she began, her voice trailing off, deep in thought.
"So, just to be clear here, RuPaul and Mama Gaga - who is not a drag queen - are not running for any kind of office?"
Heck, maybe they should. We could put Ozzy Osbourne in there as the secretary of state.
Wouldn't hurt. It may help.
We could hold fashion shows and concerts to get our country out of debt.
We weren't even talking politics and I was ill and exasperated and Mama and I are really on the same page politically. Yet we can find ourselves at odds within seconds once the subject comes up.
And here lately, it comes up frequently.
In fact, for all of us, everything gets turned into a political debate no matter what the subject of conversation started out as.
So from now on, I'm taking Linus' sage words of advice and not discussing any of those topics.
Well, except for the Great Pumpkin. I will be in that pumpkin patch in a few weeks, waiting.
In fact, I may stay there until the election is over.
Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist and certified life coach.