If you're not already at the airport trying to smash your way to the front of a ticket line, you're probably not visiting relatives this Thanksgiving. You need an excuse besides "they are annoying." The AP has a bunch!

Those AP reporters must hate their relatives, since every other article they penned about Thanksgiving this year was actually about why you shouldn't visit your family for Thanksgiving this year.

The AP says:

Your family might be sharing more than turkey and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving. Swine flu may also be on the table - and at crowded airports and shopping malls.

Just as the pandemic seems to be waning around the country, some health officials are worried that holiday gatherings could lead to more infections.

This is a really good excuse, because it makes it seem like you care too much about your family to visit them on Thanksgiving. Simply take out an ad on Craigslist for a swine flu-stricken person to come over and lick your face tomorrow. (Who knows, you might even get a date out of it!) Then call your family and tell them you didn't want your frail grandfather to get sick and not be able to enjoy his last Thanksgiving. They will totally understand.

Writes the AP

There's still family, turkey and football, but one Thanksgiving tradition is taking a hit this year. Millions of Americans are spending the holiday at home, saying the poor economy has made it unaffordable to hit the road or board a plane.

"It's too expensive," said Benita Hall, 24, a nurse's aide who can't afford to travel from Cincinnati to Atlanta to see her mother and siblings. "It's depressing because you want to be with your family for the holidays."

This excuse is significantly inferior to swine flu. Really, unless you are close to indigent or a subsistence farmer or something you cannot use this excuse without coming off looking like a cheap, ungrateful asshole. Do you have a TV? Sell it. Do you have a job? Work overtime. Your parents fed you and clothed you and pretended that their marriage was alright for years—the least you can do is spend a few bucks to hear them tell embarrassing stories about your pubescence to your girlfriend while you sit there really wanting a cigarette but for some strange, deep-seated reason you have never told your parents that you picked up smoking so you've got to wait for everyone to go to bed and then walk around the block furtively glancing over your soldier like you're 14 again.


Writes the AP:

Fewer people are expected to fly this holiday season, but travelers shouldn't expect a full reprieve from the horrid flight delays of Thanksgivings past, especially if they need to land anywhere near New York City.

Despite some recent improvements, the Big Apple's three major airports continue to be the country's worst air travel bottleneck...On busy days, the lines of planes landing at LaGuardia Airport can still stretch unbroken in the sky for 40 miles.

This would be a good excuse to use if you don't want to see your family this Thanksgiving and you also want to make a larger point about necessary Federal Aviation Administration reforms. (And if your dad happens to be an FAA official you can get an extra dig in for that time he put your cat down because you forgot to clean your room.)

Or, you know, you could just man up and visit your family. They miss you and, even if they can only show it by nitpicking your most insignificant flaws and constantly questioning your sexuality, they do love you.