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Topics to discuss with the Friendship Force

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When we started traveling with the Friendship Force, one of our instructions was a caution not to discuss politics or religion. As it has turned out, we have had very compatible hosts and guests and the subjects have often come up, with no bad results. Not always agreement, but interesting discussions.

It has become less acceptable here at home and, unless we know our companions well, we do try to avoid those subjects. Sometimes, it is difficult to find things to talk about with acquaintances.

In our age group, health issues are always a hot topic, but can quickly become tedious and need to be tabled after about five minutes per person. Movies, either in theaters or on streaming are good for a few minutes, and sometimes the latest best-sellers get a mention. March Madness petered out on us when the North Carolina teams got eliminated early and not everyone is into the same sports, if any sports at all, although I think everybody had a little Tiger roar after The Masters.

It is always helpful when a hot new subject is trending (yeah, I’m trying to learn the jargon). It may be the latest exercise craze or a food fad. For awhile everybody was comparing Fitbits, but that didn’t work well for me since I didn’t jump on that bandwagon and was in total agreement with the comic strip that advocated for a hissy-fit bit.

I’m thinking that the new hot topic to talk about these days may be toilet paper. The over-under controversy (which way the roll should go on the spindle) has been around for a long time, but now the TV is awash with TP ads and there is a “forever” roll available that costs $40 and is supposed to last a month. There are all sorts of specialized papers; for septic tanks, sensitive skin, and my personal least-favorite — toilet paper for seniors. Really? That just doesn’t make me feel special!

Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.

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