Let's be serious here. You aren't hosting Thanksgiving dinner. You are most likely male, between the ages of 18 and 40, and that means your family, relatives and closest friends all collapsed into fits of spasmodic laughter at even this slightest association with you hosting a large-scale dinner party. The salmonella deaths from underdone turkey would number in the double digits at a minimum and there's a good chance you would forget to pick up the pies Thursday morning. (Which would really piss off your uncle. “I had to watch my wife die and NOW you tell me there's no pecan pie?”)
No, you are not hosting Thanksgiving because you are useless. And also drunk. Probably not right now, but you definitely will be getting good and sauced up Thanksgiving Day. In fact, you used that same expression yesterday.
“Man, I'm gonna get good and sauced up this Thanksgiving.”
And I want to help you, you useless, adorable drunk. Because it's actually easy to feign your way through this day without your mother accusing you of having a drinking problem or your sisters livid you did nothing to help out. Here's how.
Get stuff for Bloody Marys
It's Monday afternoon, which means you have approximately 60 hours to accomplish this task by Thursday morning, which is when you will mix up your first Bloody Mary. Why Bloodys? Because if your family is hosting, you will be roused by an argument at approximately 4:15 a.m. about oven temperature.
“I'm telling you, Doreen, we cooked the turkey at 350 last year.”
“And I'm certain it was 375.”
Even if you aren't hosting, someone will get up at 5:30 a.m. and they will be banging pots and rolling out pie dough. Either way, you will be up by eight and in desperate need of a drink. But you know your family will judge if you try to crack a Coors Light before the sun has technically risen out of the sky or if you add six to seven healthy glugs of whiskey into your first coffee. Somehow though, no one ever objects to a little (lot of) vodka and tomato juice. It's seem benign to people, but it still gets you drunk.
Offer to handle the pets*
When you finally arrive at your hosts, or people start coming yonder (that means your way) everyone will be harried. Your sister will be trying to remember if Nana is the one who insists the green bean casserole be made from scratch and your mother will be repeatedly counting the number of chairs around the table. “I count ten. Is that right? Is ten going to be enough chairs?” That's when you step in.
“Don't the dogs need to go out?”
Someone will say, “Yes, the dogs do need to go out.”
And you will go walk the dogs. Everyone inside will talk about how considerate you are, when really you just did it as a way to spark that joint you rolled. You did roll a joint, right? God, you really are useless.
*Babies can be substituted in place of pets in this scenario if there are no pets**
**Please do not smoke pot in front of babies
Hang around the kitchen
This may seem counterintuitive. After all, you are drunk and useless and the kitchen is where the sober and helpful people need to congregate. But you don't want to seem like the drunk and useless fucks who are over there inhaling appetizer cheese. You want people to think highly of you. And Thanksgiving requires a lot of simple tasks that a completely inebriated man can perform with the same grace and dexterity of some sort of Bobby Flay-type celebrity chef. Things like: reaching pieces of Tupperware that are on the top shelves of cabinets; lifting the turkey out of the oven and; covering dishes with aluminum foil to keep them warm. These are all jobs that give you the aura of being helpful, when in reality, you just get to chill close to where all the beer is (you've switched to beer now).
Try not to cover EVERYTHING on your plate in gravy
I know. It's delicious and I want to, too, but it makes you look like a slob. Be judicious. The drunkest person at the table is the one who always takes the most gravy and he always gets called out on it. No one likes him.
Help clear the table
No one expects you to do the dishes afterward; that is a Herculean task approximately equivalent to inventing a new renewable energy source as powerful as the sun. Hell no. That is someone else's problem. But you can appear invested in the cleaning process by standing up after the meal and moving plates from the table to the sink. You won't look like the rest of your filthy cousins, unbuckling their belts and leaking out incomprehensible moans like a pack of slowly-dying orcas. You will look useful. What drunk person actively participates in cleaning? None of them, which is why everyone will remember you not as the drunk and useless person you truly are, but as something slightly better than that. A faint approximation of a functioning human being.
Now switch to hard liquor
You've earned it.
[Drinking Turkey via Shutterstock]