Good news, America! January 30th, 2018 is upon us, which means President Donald Trump (repeat that aloud if you didn't experience enough joy just reading the words) will be delivering his first real State of the Union address.
If you already have a substance-abuse problem, don't let this event alter your routine significantly! Just dial back or forward slightly, depending on your habit. If you're into uppers, you might want to take the night off, learn Serbo-Croatian, build a 20-foot bottlecap pyramid, or have anonymous sex in an alley – anything, just don't turn on C-SPAN, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, Univision, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC or PBS. Meth users especially, do not go near your television, unless it is hard-wired to the Cartoon Network or Qubo.
If your thing is downers, tonight is easy: just take more. Don't put your faith in things like kava, though, no matter how trendy it makes you feel. Make sure your whole evening can be blotted out using something with real street value, something that comes either in a baggie or a prescription bottle – perhaps even your own. Obviously, death is an eventuality to be avoided, but more sluggish nervous responses and/or unconsciousness may not necessarily be bad things on this occasion, unless you happen to be working late and piloting a jetliner.
As for the speech itself, we can expect a few things. President Trump will likely not bother trying to "reach across the aisle" as presidents in the past have often used this tradition to do. After a year of relentless confrontation and mad tweets, Washington looks like the Maginot Line. A significant number of Democrats will not attend; many will go to Chicago instead for the opposition response, which will be delivered by Joseph Kennedy III. It's more likely that Democrats will get up and walk out on Trump mid-speech than they will applaud with real enthusiasm (a fact reflected in the game rules). So the prez will be left to do what he mostly always does, which is talk aimlessly about his awesomeness and dwell inappropriately and at length upon the treasonous unfairness of his critics.
He is likely to talk a lot about the stock market, plead for public support for mysteriously financed infrastructure programs, mention the Wall too many times, and remind thankless Jay-Z that "black unemployment" is currently at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED. And say a whole bunch of other stuff that will generally make you want to hurl – or drink heavily using a rules-based, humorous format, the more recommended exercise.
I asked readers on Twitter to submit rules for tonight's State of the Union drinking game. The results are actually more like a flow chart. Without further ado:
IF YOU DO NOT WATCH TONIGHT:
1. Turn off your television and just drink uninterruptedly until it's over.
IF YOU DO WATCH:
Drink once each time President Trump:
1. Says "believe me," or claims to be the "most (something good)" or the "least (something bad)."
2. Pulls out a "some of my best friends are Haitian" line, or in some other painful way denies being racist. Drink twice if he does so and then also talks about building the Wall.
3. Talks priapismically about the Republican tax cut package, or hints at the great relationship he enjoys with the GOP leadership, causing a cutaway to a mortified Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell, as each struggles over whether or not to bite his glass cyanide capsule.
4. Mentions ExxonMobil, Walmart, Apple or any other corporation that reportedly is investing in America because of Trump's tax package.
5. Uses the "pinchy hands" gesture (up to a maximum of three times).
6. Sniffles with suspicious vigorousness (again, maximum three shots).
7. Pulls a Kobe special and overcompliments his wife in embarrassingly public fashion in the wake of the Stormy Daniels story.
8. Says something is "tremendous." Drink twice if the thing in question was totally not tremendous, e.g., "What a tremendous first year this administration had."
9. Causes a lawmaker to walk out mid-speech.
10. Makes veiled/unveiled threat to North Korea that increases the chance that Guam will be annihilated before the end of the speech.
11. Mentions the 702 Surveillance Reauthorization. Drink twice if you see members from both parties cheering
12. Mentions Jay-Z, Meryl Streep, Michael Wolff, Steve Bannon, "Fake News" CNN or Dianne Feinstein. Double shot for "FBI lovers" Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, "Dicky" Durbin, "Cryin'" Chuck Schumer, or "Crazy" Jim Acosta.
13. Mentions a "witch hunt." Wrap arms with your friend and "collude" to drink each others' shots if the word "collusion" is used instead.
14. Mispronounces "Nazarbayev" or some similar personage. Double shot if he mispronounces Davos or talks about how much the Swiss love him.
15. Mentions in admiring fashion Dr. King, Abraham Lincoln or some other defenseless dead person. Take a vote within your group to decide if Bob Dole counts.
AFTER THE SPEECH:
1. THE VAN JONES RULE: Finish the ENTIRE BOTTLE of whatever you are drinking if anyone on any of the major networks describes the speech as "presidential" or says something along the lines of: "He became president tonight."
2. THE LOU DOBBS RULE: If at the end of the speech you are not yet inebriated, turn to the Fox Business channel and take two despair shots.