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It’s a national tradition almost as venerable as televised State of the Union addresses themselves, to honor the occasion with drinking games. Generally a charming custom, the tradition hit a new low during the Obama years, with a little game called “Drink Until This Guy Starts Making Sense” proving particularly problematic. (Especially when Congressional Democrats actually achieved that outcome.)
A restoration of balance, then, is called for, now that the first Trumpian SOTU approaches. Here are three games for this year, capturing the spirit of the new era.
“Populist Fervor” is a deeply deplorable but laudably simple SOTU drinking game, for single issue voters whose single issue is, “In your FACE, D.C.!”. It’s suitable for either televised or radio presentations of the State of the Union, so long as the venue is private.
- Collect everyone’s car keys. Lock them up, preferably in something more secure than a Social Security “lock box.”
- Gather in a semicircle and assign every participant a random number. Make each repeat his number at least twice so that he will get the impression that it’s very important. (It’s not, but it helps to make the experience special.)
- Turn on the speech.
- Drink Jaegermeister ™, until you are SICK OF WINNING.
“Outrage” is another simple, but classic, game—a sort of “Populist Fervor” but for a more upscale crowd. It’s the one you’ll want to use if your guests had their taxes raised last month, obtained tenure in a liberal arts university department, or participated in an entertainment awards show within the last three years or so.
You may skip the first step of “Outrage,” since—presumably—the valet will have already collected the car keys.
- Line your guests up from left to far left, in order of intersectional virtue. Be sure to allow enough time for this, because the witty byplay among the guests as they compare identities to establish moral superiority is a big part of the fun for everyone.
- Each guest gets a champagne glass, a shot glass, a bottle of water, and a can of the kind of cheap domestic beer which they think “deplorables” probably drink.
- Every time Trump says a thing your guests will consider racist, yell “racist!” and drain the champagne glass.
- Every time Trumps says something your crowd construes as sexist, yell “sexist!” Then leer, and pour the water on the blouse of the nearest attractive female. (If you ARE a female, help a man do this to another female, and then deny it.) Then, take a shot and say, “That was Trump’s fault, and besides, I was drunk.” If you are a man, announce that you are gay.
- Every time Trump says something an objective, rational person would consider racist or sexist, “shotgun” a domestic beer. (Save the unopened cans at the end of the evening! You’ll be able to use them again next year.)
“SOTU In Situ”
This slightly less frenetic game nonetheless has its fans. It’s the most amenable to teetotalers who want in on the annual fun, too (in fact, this game is perfect with nonalcoholic grape juice in honor of our current president).
It does, however, take a little more planning. Before returning home from work this evening, you’ll want to pick up a supply of your favorite beverage; some salty snacks, such as pretzels or chips; and a sense of perspective (available now online at American Greatness, and in your own home town, just about anywhere Moana ™ costumes, unexpurgated Mark Twain novels, .22 ammunition, toy soldiers, and other gender-stereotypical toys, or fishing bait of the non-virtual variety, are unapologetically sold.)
All set? Now, find a comfortable chair and let the fun begin.
- Every time the President is introduced and walks up to the microphone, take a sip of that beverage. (It is your favorite, right?)
- Every time you want a pretzel, eat one. Unless you’re doing that low-carb thing, or your wife thinks that you’re doing that low-carb thing and she’s watching. Then keep the pretzel-chomping under a little more control.
- Every time the President says something mildly amusing, chuckle. Every time he says something which makes pretty good sense, nod. Every time he says something sort of crude or stupid, sigh and say, “yeah but Judge Gorsuch.” You don’t have to drink, necessarily, though, unless you want to—it’s a free country.*
- Every time the Democrats react or overreact, don’t.
4a. Except, every time Chris Matthews’ formerly-thrilled leg locks up with a severe Charlie horse and he falls to the ground crying, laugh at that, because you just have to—but put your drink down, first.
- When the President is finished talking, and/or you’re finished listening, go to bed.
Enjoy your celebrations, everyone! See you Wednesday morning.
*If Hillary were President, the SOTU drinking game would be forbidden, or mandatory…like everything else.