Seeing as how tomorrow is Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, and the last long holiday weekend until Thanksgiving, I figured I would weigh in with my two cents. Of course, this doesn’t have anything to do with what Labor Day actually is or why the hell we even celebrate it. What it has to deal with is the proper way to celebrate whatever it is we’re celebrating. Most people tend to celebrate by getting together with family and friends, cook out, and drink unnecessary amounts of alcohol. In that was it’s almost like Fourth of July, Jr.
(So I just looked up Labor Day and as it turns out it has some important significance. Apparently it had a lot to do with easing tensions between labor unions and the government back during the presidency of Grover Cleveland. This still doesn’t explain why unemployed people tend to throw the best and most extravagant Labor Day BBQ’s. Seriously, think about it. It’s like an inverse relationship. The closer to being unemployed a person is the more bitchin’ their holiday celebration tends to be. That makes total sense… or not at all.)
It also makes sense that I ‘m spending time celebrating an American holiday in Canada. I may or may not be a terrible American. So since I won’t be within the continental United States for this year’s festivities I’ve decided to make it up to everyone by presenting the Do’s and Don’ts of celebrating Labor Day. You’re welcome in advance.
Do: Spend time together with friends, family and casual acquaintances. This is one of those holidays where people actually like getting together and hanging out. I like to think it mostly has to do with the fact that there is alcohol and grilled meats involved. Think about it. When was the last time you were put in a bad mood while chowing down on a hot dog or burger off the grill while sipping on a beer. Exactly. You can’t think of a time because it’s never happened.
Don’t: Spend too much time together. While it’s good to spend time with the people you normally enjoy spending time with, there is a delicate balance between just enough and too much. Stay 15 minutes too long in the presence of all of these jackasses you call friends and family and next thing you know Uncle Billy is covered in Jello mold, your best friend Ricky is in a shouting match with his baby mama, and Grandma has a black eye. Often times there’s no sure-fire way to know when it’s been “too long.” You either have a feel for these things or you don’t. If all hell should break loose implement the hands in pockets, whistle and back away slowly maneuver. It’s your only hope for survival.
Do: Grill. Enjoy the deliciousness that is hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, ribs, and chicken straight off the grill. Propane, Charcoal… it’s all good, no matter what Hank Hill says. If your like me, you plan ahead for these things. You eat a little less, you maybe go for an extra run or 7 and then when game day comes you chow down. Enjoy it, you’ve earned it. This is what America is all about.
Don’t: Grill yourself. Fire is a dangerous thing. The last thing you want to do is rain on everyone’s parade because you didn’t know well enough not to get you giant gorilla forearms too close to an open flame. Should you happen to catch yourself on fire don’t be surprised if they just slap some BBQ or honey mustard on you and set you off to the side. After all, we got ourselves some BBQ to eat before it gets cold. The hospital… that place is open all night long. You’ve been warned.
Do: Enjoy the food. This goes along with what I said with grilling. People are bringing all of their best dishes to any cookout you go to. It’s in your best interest to enjoy anything and everything you can fit on that stupid red, white, and blue paper plate left over from the Fourth of July. Who knows when the next time you’ll get to chow down on home-made potato salad, baked beans, or baked goods.
Don’t: Go crazy on food that’s been sitting out in the sun on a 90 degree day for 5 hours. Sure that potato salad was awesome when you were eating it back when the sun was still up, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be as awesome this time around. Do you know the types of things that can happen to food outside for prolonged periods of time? it’s not good. The last thing anyone wants is you turning their downstairs bathroom into a glorified science experiment. So beware, bringing out the Helman’s may not necessarily bring out the best.
Do: Play games. Enjoy yourself some corn hole or backyard football. If you’re really feeling crazy maybe you’ll bring out the volley ball net. These types of games can really liven up a party. While all the old folks sit off to the side like cows out in the pasture, all the youngin’s are sweating and glistening like that homoerotic scene out of Top Gun. What could be better than spiking a ball off of Iceman’s face, that douche bag.
Don’t: Tackle, punch, kick, or punt Grandma, Aunt Susan, or any other female member of the family. Yes, it’s possible that they deserve it for being a liar and a cheater. Damn straight that serve of your’s was totally in bounds, but violence is never the answer. Now… if it’s that douche bag Iceman, then by all means, wail away on his chiseled jaw. What a jerk.
Do: Enjoy yourself some adult beverages. It’s a party. Act like it. You slave away in a cubicle, or on a factory line, or in the comfort of your own home because you “haven’t found that right opportunity yet” so you deserve the chance to let loose a little bit. So crack open a cold one, sit back, and relax.
Don’t: Drink too much. The last thing you want to do is implement a German Blitzkrieg attack on your senses with 12 beers and 8 shots of tequila. There’s also a good chance that drinking too much can lead to grilling yourself, starting a fight with people at the cook out, eating too much, punching Grandma, or turning a 2 at 10 into a 10 at 2. Now i’m not talking about turning a butt ugly girl into a 10 via mass consumption of alcohol. I’m talking about turning your second cousin into a 10th cousin 6 times removed thanks to mass alcohol consumption. Some mistakes just can’t be undone.
So there you have it folks. The Do’s and Don’ts for enjoying a quality Labor Day weekend cook out. I hope you all are able to enjoy yourselves and please… be safe and be responsible. Unless Iceman shows up then please, knock that sucka out!