Did you know that most people don’t know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Including your author?
Memorial Day honors the men and women who died for our country. Veterans Day celebrates all service men and women, living and otherwise (dead, Marissa. Say “dead”).
Got that straight?
Aside from using Kool Aid to haphazardly tie-dye a shirt red, white, and blue, let’s figure out cost effective ways to enjoy this blessed three-day weekend.
Wait, scratch that:
Let’s not take ourselves so seriously.
There’s something very American about charring meat in your own yard surrounded by four of your closest friends and a slew of weirdoes they brought with them. For you grilling experts, head to Safeway/Shop Rite and get yourself fully stocked on meats: chicken wings, brats, steaks, burgers, and veggie dogs. On second thought don’t get veggie dogs. If a vegan tries to get into your BBQ kick them out.
Helpful hint: get “Manager Special” meat. “Manager Special” is code for “very nearly expired”, which makes it available to the consumer at a low, low price! I buy it all the time and have yet to get sick, but this might have something to do with my penchant for well-done meats (or as my boyfriend calls it, “burning”).
Grab some buns while you’re at it, and don’t even bother with the gluten-free section because that shiz is PRICEY. If they don’t want gluten they can eat meat on a stick and like it.
Turns out that’s a thing.
If you have an outdoor grill and know how to use it, fire it up. If you have a George Foreman, that works too.
As long as you have ketchup and mustard, the only other thing your meats will need is cheese! Find the yellowest, lowest dairy content cheese in your grocery store, because nothing is more American than processed cheese.
Here are some other BBQ staples that won’t cost you an arm and a leg:
-Chips and guac: wanna know the easiest guacamole recipe on the planet? Mash two ripe avocados and add a jar of salsa. Boom.
-Watermelon: you can either slice and dice one up and serve it plain (or salted!), OR you can shove a full bottle of vodka into one and then cut it up. Boozy melon.
Some assembly required
-Grown up Jell-O shots: make a red, make a blue, and make a drunken ass of yourself. Boozy Jell-O shots are so easy to make, a child could do it (but shouldn’t! Phew that was a close one):
Step 1: Open Jell-O packet into container of choice
Step 2: Add 1 cup boiling water.
Step 3: Add 1 cup chilled alcohol of your choosing (vodka is a popular pick, God knows why)
Step 4: Refrigerate until solid
Step 5: SHOTS
Which brings me to the second portion of a good Memorial Day:
Beers! Beers, beers, beers.
If you recently won the lottery, spring for some local brew with a name like Wicked Space Balls Doppelbock, or Superior Alien Pilsner. If you’re poor as fuck, one of the many American staples will do just fine: Coors or Miller Lite. Thank goodness ice is still cheap because serving lukewarm beer is just wrong. Pick up as many bags of ice needed to fill a bucket, bathtub, dishwasher or washing machine (I just went to a party in which the host filled the washing machine with ice and beer. Very cool).
Not an approved method
I’m sure you’ll ignore this section and buy PBR, and that’s fine, that is your American freedom in action. If you insist on serving Hipster Lifeblood, a kitschy touch is to serve it cold in a brown bag. The brown bag also prevents clammy beer hands and can be used to inadequately wipe up hipster vomit.
Chances are your community is throwing a Memorial Day Parade; check on that Internet if that’s the case. If there’s a nearby parade, go early and grab a good curbside seat. Make sure you bring a cooler of goodies to keep the heat at bay. If your community has laws against open containers, prepare road sodas in advance.
My favorite in cognito road sodas:
-Vitamin water: red wine easily masquerades as the Triple X flavor, but why in God’s name would you be day drinking red wine?
-Soda cans: not the most portable solution but effective, especially when you use half the can’s contents as a built in mixer
-Water bottles: conceal any clear liquor
-Coffee travel mugs: dealer’s choice
If for some reason there’s no nearby parade, throw your own!
Get your buddies into their favorite red, white, and blue duds. In a pinch a Captain America or Spiderman costume is an acceptable solution.
I wasn’t kidding about tie dying with Kool-Aid: grab a red and blue flavor; mix with water in bowls, dip white clothing items in. It’s legit but not entirely machine washable, so maybe stick to low-risk items like socks or sweatbands.
Once you’re decked out in your patriotic best, do a few laps around the block in some sort of line. PARADE!
You are now ready to have a passable Memorial Day. Don’t get too stupid; you have to go back to work on Tuesday.
Images courtesy of photobucket.com, thepulsemag.com, inlog.org, flickr.com, memegenerator.net, pubs.acs.org, blogspot.com, troll.me, quickblogcast.com, cloudfront.net, blog.mlive.com, cheeseburger.com,