Five things you need for the perfect election night party,
So you’re hosting an election night party.
Great idea. No matter who wins the U.S. presidency, I think we can agree on this: Thank God it’s over. Raise a glass to no more polls. Throw confetti at the chandelier to celebrate the end of binge-watching CNN. Break out the noisemakers, balloons, fancy napkins and, depending on how this ends, the defibrillators.
Democracy is like a family member. You love Democracy. You’ll always be there for Democracy. But sometimes Democracy makes you wince with shame when it shows up for Thanksgiving dinner in ill-fitting trousers and then gets drunk and belligerent.
That’s how we’ll remember Election 2016: One insanely long and dysfunctional family meal during which the rude outbursts left everyone with indigestion.
Which can make party planning a little tricky. You want your guests to enjoy themselves. But after months of this wretched spectacle, they will arrive at your door as twitching wrecks. Since the stakes are much higher than for a Super Bowl or Oscars bash — “and the Academy Award goes to . . . The End of Days!” — you’ll need to pay careful attention to the following: Grub The race is closer than it was two weeks ago. Hillary Clinton’s cakewalk has turned into an emergency bake sale and your guests may crave comfort food. Stock up on childhood favourites: grilled cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, Frosted Flakes. You should also keep a stash of smelling salts under the couch. Maybe order a moist cake that can be eaten by hand as you and your guests retire to the Situation Room (your kitchen) to either rejoice or take a breather before converting the Oval Office (your spare bedroom) into a temporary home for a nice family from New Mexico or Wisconsin as the first wave of American refugees seeking political asylum crosses the border in the weeks ahead. Booze Beer and wine are fine to start the night. But you’ll want to keep harder stuff on hand in the event Megyn Kelly suddenly appears on TV and says, “Fox News is now projecting a Donald Trump victory in Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Hampshire.” Vodka martinis, goblets of gin, tequila shots, trays of Sizzurp — prepare for a 30.4 per cent chance of blackout drinking. Be sure to also keep a sturdy net in the shed in case one of your guests climbs a backyard tree to curse the FBI while guzzling 100-proof rum straight from the fire-retardant bottle. Games You’ll need some diversionary tactics to bridge the gap between polls closing and results emerging. Throw darts at an Electoral College map. Spin the bottle whenever John King hovers near his Magic Wall or Nate Silver crunches data on ABC.
Create a special version of Pictionary in which guests doodle portraits of either sci-fi characters or talking heads: “Good one! I really thought that was Wolf Blitzer. But, yeah, I can now see it’s an Ewok.” Or maybe a game of charades in which the clues are generated from the gloomy news hits in recent months: “Four words: Trump mocking the disabled. Two words: Trump lying. Six words: Trump grabbing women by the (beep)! Eight words: Trump refusing to concede and inciting Civil War.” Music Background noise is crucial when a primary stimulus is potentially soul destroying. You’ll want a playlist that anticipates the crushed spirit of guests from both sides of the political divide: “Requiem for the Masses,” “Crime of the Century,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Extreme Ways,” “King of Pain,” “Evil Woman,” “Border Song,” “Road to Nowhere.” The key is to pick songs that can inspire your guests to tap their toes even as tears shoot out of their eyes. Avoid R&B or any specific tune — “Uptown Funk” — that may remind guests of Barack Obama and just how good our beloved neighbour to the south had it the past eight years. Loot bags Takeaway trinkets aren’t just for kiddie birthday parties. Your guests deserve a memento of Election 2016 as they stumble into the night, either with giddy relief or suicidal thoughts.
Fill their parting bags with travelsized Advil and Tums, Red Bull, personalized attack ads, fake tax disclosures, a Rudy Giuliani bobblehead, 33,000 missing emails, nesting dolls of Russian hackers, “Make America Never Forget” caps, mini bottles of 100-proof rum and cab chits. Let’s get real: If Clinton is not elected America’s designated driver for the next four years, the blackout drinking has just started. firstname.lastname@example.org
Best be prepared to offer your guests some strong libations in the event of a Trump win, writes Vinay Menon.