Let's Get Inaugurated! Enliven Barack Obama's Speech with the Inaugural Drinking Game

upper-playground-obama-2.jpgThose of us lucky enough to still have gainful employment as the George W. Bush years stumble to their ignominious thud will be clocking in tomorrow around the time President-elect Barack Obama knocks the "elect" off his title.

A rollicking article in the current New Yorker notes that while presidential inaugural speeches dropped from collegiate to junior high school reading levels from the span of Washington to W., one shouldn't assume they're getting worse. They've always been lousy; now they just use smaller words.

Unlike his predecessor, Obama will not be give the handicap of low expectations (with this speech or, for that matter, anything else). With the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln's first address, in 1861, it's possible to say that tomorrow's speech is the nation's most-anticipated inaugural yet (and Lincoln did not face network analysis -- let's see if Bill O'Reilly wheels out his body language expert).

If the outgoing president was "kind" enough to essentially grant you tomorrow off -- or if you just want to play hooky from work and watch all the speechifying -- you can hit up these spots, locally, or these. And while, to our knowledge, the only acceptable Bay Area days to booze it up in the a.m. are Purim, Big Game day, and the odd Irish wake, who can resist the notion of an inaugural drinking game?

So, my fellow Americans, the Obama Inaugural drinking game:

Take a small sip of whatever you've got if:


Obama mentions his wife or family by first name;

He mentions Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid;

He mentions Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, or his own numerous Kenyan relatives;

"Hope" or "Change" is uttered;

He talks about puppies.

Take a moderate sip, if:

He mentions John McCain or Sarah Palin (or winks);

He mentions some random American from a swing state who's up shit creek health- and economics-wise;

He uses the terms "crisis," "meltdown," "Depression," or "Ponzi";

Drink liberally, if:

He connects the departure of George W. Bush with the most well-known term from his home state: "Aloha";

"Allow me to express my feelings with this brief interlude of interpretive dance";

He quotes Dick Cheney;

He quotes Cheney and follows it up by clutching his heart and shouting "Here I come, 'Lizbeth! It's the big one!"

Go on a rampage, if:

Profanity is uttered;

Obama has the Rev. Rick Warren finish the speech for him in an act of bipartisanship;

He mentions that betting a dollar in Vegas that a black man would be sworn in as president in the same year the Arizona Cardinals went to the Super Bowl would make you a millionaire many times over.

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