For many folks around the world, at some point or another this summer, you will be invited to a family BBQ. For those especially shy ones out there, or ones who just want to coast through events like these, I have compiled a guide to help you all get through the trying time of going to a BBQ. To make it easy for everyone at home, I have organized it hour-by-hour, to make it easier to follow. So rest and read up! You’ve got a big day ahead.
1:00-Well, you’ve put this off long enough. Party started at 12 and you haven’t even left yet. Guess now’s good as time as ever to get in the car, cooler in hand, and head off to your uncle’s house.
1:30-Great! You made it! Time to awkwardly circle around the house mingling until you find someone you can talk to.
1:33-Uh oh! Looks like your aunt caught you before you could make your way over to the one cousin you can stand. Better give her some rehearsed answers. If you don’t already have your own rehearsed answers, use the ones provided below! Remember to add your own personal flair to make them more believable.
- Yes I did just get here
- School was great! My favorite class was (insert class here)
- My friends are doing well. One actually lives around here. He’s from (insert town name here)
- No I don’t know her. I must’ve missed her when I was introducing myself to the other thousand kids at my school
- No, I’m not playing sports. I’m too focused on school
- I know I have gotten taller
- No there aren’t steroids in the food
- No I’m not dating anyone, but thanks for reminding me!
- No I haven’t gotten anything to eat yet. I just got here, remember?
And then to make a quick dash out of the conversation, grab the nearest relative and bring them into the conversation.
- No I haven’t heard about (insert name here). That’s a tragedy. What do you think about all this, (insert name here)
1:45-Whew! Got out of that conversation. Now time to go talk to your cous- oh no! Your cousin’s brought their girlfriend! Quick! Take evasive maneuvers!
1:46-Shit! They saw you. Looks like you’re stuck with them for a while. Oh well, he’s your favorite cousin, and his girlfriend seems nice. Just gotta avoid thinking about how he has a girlfriend and you don’t.
1:47-Oops…Now you’re feeling lonely and depressed. Better think of an activity to suggest to get your mind off of your crippling depression. Choose from any of the options below.
- Kan Jam
- Debating the direction our nation should be going in
- Discuss the Syrian crisis
1:50-Swimming? Good choice! That’ll eat some time off the clock and get your mind off of things.
2:00-You make your way down to the dock. Oh look! It’s your older brother. Uh oh, his wife is there. Better steer clear of that! Walk right off the dock and into the water without hesitation. That way no one can engage in a conversation with you.
2:45-After doing some basic swimming, more people will have joined you. There will be about seven of you, and you all decide to play a game of Oreo. For those who do not know what Oreo is, it is a game where one player is on one side and the other players are on the other. The player alone on the one side says the initials to a movie and the other players have to swim over and try to guess it before the other players. The winner then chooses the next initials.
3:30-Wow! That game lasted for a while! Only ended because your dumbass cousins couldn’t come up with the movie E.N.G. after giving them three blatantly obvious clues. I mean how could they not get it after saying that it’s a Disney cartoon, it stars a llama, and is the only cartoon to take place during the Incan civilization?!
3:30-Someone got a bottle cap and now you all play a game of Bibble. For those who are unfamiliar with Bibble as well, Bibble is a game where the players stand on the dock and one player dives into the water with the bottle cap. The first person to jump in, get the bottle cap, and yell “Bibble” wins and is the one to dive in next turn.
3:50-The games going well-Oh No! Your uncle with the weird nipples has jumped in to swim! Time to bail! You and your cousins make a dart for your towels before your uncle can engage.
3:55-Dodged a bullet there. But sadly, three did not make it. They got stuck out there and are locked into a long discussion on how beautiful of a day it is. Still wanting to continue the fun, you and the remaining cousins go up to the front yard to play some cornhole. You smartly pair yourself with the cousin who pitches for varsity softball. She’s got that good underhand motion.
4:45-You sweep your cousins in a 3-0 series victory and even beat some of your uncles. Your confidence has reached its high for the day, despite your varsity softball cousin being the one to carry the team. Either way, you decide it’s best to quit while on top.
4:46-Mmm. Something smells good!
5:00- Oh no! You’ve found yourself next to your uncle at the grill! How could you have been so foolish to follow the smell? You try and back out, but there’s no stopping your uncle. He’s got you locked in a conversation about sports; the most controversial topics amongst uncles. It’s best not to give any hot takes about how good those damn “Steph Currys” and LeBron James” characters are. Instead, you best just feed your uncle some BS about how much “better” the past generations. Now, it is Vitally important here to mention that you think Larry Bird is the best player of all time. Older folks love Larry Bird. With your uncle now drooling over Larry Bird in those short shorts, you can make your move. He’ll be too distracted to notice you dip out and into the house.
5:15-You’ve run into your brother. Guess there was no avoiding this. Just play nice and ask him how work is going, how their house is, and make sure to tell his wife that she is looking “lovely” today. “Lovely” only. Do not use any other terms. Any other terms lead to too many unpredictable scenarios. It’s best to stick with “Lovely.” You cannot get hurt with “Lovely.”
5:25-Somewhere along the way a rumor emerged that your cousins found some old fireworks from the Fourth of July and are planning on busting them out later tonight. Let’s hope that rumor turns out to be false. Otherwise you’ll be stuck here for an hour more than you had hoped.
5:30-Time for the best part of the day: The “free” meal. I say free in quotation marks because the hell you have to endure on this day is hardly worth a couple of burnt hot dogs and a crusty burger.
6:00-You enjoy your food anyways because it’s free, monetarily speaking. After you’ve finished, you head down to the dock to catch up with your Dad and his best friend from high school These are probably the only two level-headed people at this party that you can actually stand talking to. You three talk about a variety of topics as your baby cousins take a swim in the lake before you.
7:00-The conversation is going great. In fact, you’re starting to really enjoy yourself. You’re feeling relaxed for the first time all day. Your dad is making some remarks on Donald Trump when BAM! Your drunk right-wing uncle joins you guys on the dock. Shouldn’t have let your guard down, buddy. You could’ve seen this coming and slipped out before he reached you three. Well it’s too late to back out now. Drunk uncles’ vision is based on movement. If you try and slip out, your uncle will see you, engage in a conversation with you, call you a fairy for going to a “liberal” college, then trash your major for not helping you find a “real” job. So instead, you sit back as you listen to your uncle make comments on Hillary Clinton and how she’s crooked, despite the fact that she does not even matter anymore.
7:30-Looks like you’ve made it out alive. Your uncle has left to go get another beer. Your dad and his friend begin to make fun of your uncle, so you decide it’s time to regroup with people your own age. You head out to the backyard where you meet up with your cousins. Best to stick with that pack for the rest of the night. There in the same boat as you today, so it’s best you all stick together.
8:05-Welp. Turns out the rumors true. You see your cousins carry the boxes of fireworks out of the house and down towards the dock. You follow behind, closely, but also from a safe distance to avoid being asked to help. And whatever you do, DO NOT OFFER TO HELP. If you offer to help, then you’ll be peer-pressured into going out on the boat with them and helping them light off the fireworks, and you’d like to keep all 10 fingers.
8:10-You and your cousins take your places on the dock to get a good view of your cousins as they venture out to the middle of the lake to fire those baby’s off. Let’s just hope none fall and shoot towards you. No one needs to have a PTSD episode now.
8:30-The fireworks start. All the couples snuggle together to watch the “romantic” display. While you sit there twiddling your thumbs waiting for the grand finale.
9:00-The finale starts, (which is just a perfectly random stream of explosions) signalling the end of the day. Thank god that’s over. You find your aunt, thank her for having you over, say goodbye to your family, and make a break for your car. Luckily you get there before anyone else and are able to peel out without having to say another awkward goodbye.
Congrats! You made it through the day! Can’t wait to do it all over again at Christmas! Only this time instead of burgers and beer, it’s ham and eggnog!