1:00 PM: Arrive, offer the host one of your beers as an act of gratitude for, “Doing this whole thing.”

1:03 PM: Host will say, “I’m good, thanks, just throw ‘em in the cooler out back!”

1:04 PM: Throw your beers in the cooler out back, along with everyone else’s. Avoid thoughts of how this is a microcosm for Communism or The Tragedy of the Commons.

1:05 PM: Introduce yourself to strangers.

1:06 PM:  Forget names of strangers (but you really did try).

1:08 PM:  Return to the familiar, ask host if there is anything you can do to help.

1:08 PM: Host will say, “You can toss me one of those beers.”

1:09 PM:  You will realize this is an attempt at humor—tossing someone a beer is usually not an intuitive part of setting up a cookout.

1:09 PM: Laugh and toss host a beer.

1:10 PM: Crack one yourself in social solidarity.

1:10 PM: Raise the beer can and say, “Solidarity!” Others will find this funny, though you don't. You just kind of said it. This will make you feel like a fraud. Internalize.

1:10-1:12 PM: Self-guided tour of the backyard.

1:12 PM: Check your cell phone for no particular reason.

1:13 PM: Remember a random fact about someone from before, then recall that fact as a means to spark conversation. Politely ask them their name again.

1:13 PM: Forget their name again.

1:13-1:19 PM: Connect the dots on common interests while trying not to think about how tall the fence is.

1:20-1:22 PM: Overshare about the time you did mushrooms.

1:22 PM: Crack another beer, change course to stand by the grill with the host.

1:23-1:25 PM: Comment on the quality of grill (“good looking grill you got over here”). You are not the kind of person who would ever say this, but you will.

1:25 PM: Host will comment that, “things should get cooking here in about 10 minutes or so.”

1:26 PM: You will realize that all you had to eat today was a banana and you are starving.

1:27 PM: Excuse yourself to the bodega to buy chips.

1:27-1:29 PM:  Walk to the bodega. This will be the perfect time to think about your unpromising financial future.

1:29-1:32 PM:  Do not go directly to the chips. Mindlessly wander and open fridge doors, sniff dusty candles, etc.

1:33 PM:  Eventually decide on dill pickle flavor, hardly egalitarian, but perhaps this will spark conversation with a cute partygoer? Maybe she will become your future wife? Pay for the chips.

1:33-1:35 PM:  Walk back to the cookout. During this time you will have to fight the urge to open the bag of chips, devour them, and trash the evidence before returning to the party. Divert your attention instead to pondering if it might rain today, although there is a 0% chance of precipitation.

1:35 PM:  Re-enter and place chips on the outdoor table in a fashion that will draw as little attention as possible. Look over to the grill: You will have been promised that things “would be cooking” by now, but alas, they will not be.
1:36 PM:  Bring plates out to the host, a microaggression, you’re sure of it.

1:37 PM:  Host will say that, “things should get cooking here in about 5 minutes or so.” This will be torture, an overpromise that will have you wildly craving a cheeseburger.

1:38 PM:  Wave at someone you kind-of know. Do not approach: this gesture of recognition is plenty enough for now.

1:39-1:42 PM:  Fake a phone call.

1:45-1:46 PM:  Stand outside of a group conversation, nod and smile in agreement, to what you not exactly be sure.

1:47-1:50 PM:  You won’t really have to pee, but go to the bathroom anyway. Stare in the mirror for the approximate time you believe it would take you to pee. Re-enter backyard.

1:50 PM:  Things will finally start to “get cooking.”

1:51 PM:  Crack another cold one!

1:51 PM:  “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire will come on the bluetooth speaker, but you will think it is Kings of Leon.

1:52 PM:  Realize that you are bobbing your head a little too hard.

1:53-1:54 PM:  Stare at clouds in an effort to position yourself as “the pensive one.”

1:54 PM:  The smell of grilled burgers will invade your nostrils. You will have never wanted anything more in your life than a cheeseburger.

1:55 PM:  You actually will have to pee, but what will people think if you go to the bathroom twice in ten minutes? Hold it.

1:56 PM:  Actually probably just best to leave completely. Perfect!

1:57 PM:  Tell host that you’re “feeling weird for some reason, and need to go lay down,” but you had a great time!

1:58 PM:  Host will say, “Oh man, that’s too bad, we were just getting cooking over here!”

1:59 PM:  Leave, still starving and desperately having to pee.

2:00 PM:  Try to think of the closest place that has cheeseburgers and a bathroom.

Join upcoming November classes in Satire Writing, Sketch Writing, and Stand-Up Joke Writing.