Memorandum from the Commission on Presidential Debate Drinking Games



In light of recent events, the Commission on Presidential Debate Drinking Games (CPDDG) has made adjustments to the rules for the final Debate Drinking Game of 2020.

In the interest of public health and safety, we no longer recommend drinking every time Vice President Biden rambles or begins a sentence with “Here’s the deal,” as this can result in alcohol poisoning or liver toxicity. Likewise, to avoid severe liver toxicity, we do not recommend that players drink each time the President

  • Lies
  • Interrupts
  • Insults his opponent
  • Lies again

For a more balanced drinking game, CPDDG recommends drinking if:

  • An insect lands on either participant
  • The moderator needs to use a taser or air horn
  • Trump interrupts so loudly you can hear it through Biden’s microphone
  • You want to cheer Biden on for saying something that would ordinarily cross a line

We consider it reasonable to drain your glass if

  • Biden loses his cool
  • Either candidate says something comprehensible and concise
  • Trump tells the truth

You may also drain your glass if Trump

  • Doesn’t show up (you might as well, since you bothered to pour it)
  • Shows up but refuses a COVID test
  • Shows up at all (we consider it inhumane to expect anyone to listen to him while sober)

Also, in light of recent videos that have surfaced online, the CPDDG recommends replacing the canceled debate with a dance-off between President Trump and Senator Harris. This will make possible a multi-day drinking game. In the days following the dance-off, we propose that you drink

  • Whenever Trump or his surrogates insist, against evidence, that the President won the dance-off
  • Whenever Trump or his surrogates claim it was unfair because Senator Harris had a “natural advantage”

You may drain your glass when these surrogates try to walk back the “natural advantage” claim, and insist that it didn’t mean what it sounds like.

Charles Baxter calls the Literary Fiction Crisis Line

Quote is from First Light by Charles Baxter

COUNSELOR: Literary Fiction Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
BAXTER: Every man wants to climb onto the roof of his house. It makes him feel like a homeowner and a desperado, a perfect and impossible combination.
COUNSELOR: Have you tried wearing a mask to the hardware store?

Adrienne Rich re-calls the Poetry Crisis Line


from “The Burning of Paper Instead of Children” by Adrienne Rich

JERRY (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
ADRIENNE RICH (caller): This is the oppressor’s language.
JERRY: Would you like me to see if we have a translator on call?
RICH: Yet I need it to talk to you.
JERRY: You don’t have to talk to me specifically. Is there a language you’d prefer?

Poets answer an age-old question: Why did the chicken cross the road? Part 9: Edgar Allan Poe



Why, I wonder, do you reckon that this bird would come here pecking?
What strange sound incited her to pick the henhouse lock?
Did she cross for country, hip-hop, bluegrass, jazz, or rock?
Quoth the chicken: “Bach.”

American Ginsburg Gothic

May her memory be a blessing.

ALLEN GINSBERG: And tho’ I am the King of May
RUTH BADER GINSBURG: Dissent speaks to a future age. It is not simply
GINSBERG: The Marxists have beat me upon the street / kept me up all night in police station
GINSBURG: to say “My colleagues are wrong, and I would do it this way,”
GINSBERG: Followed me through springtime Prague, / detained me in secret and deported me from our kingdom by airplane.
GINSBURG: But the great dissents do become court opinions.
GINSBERG: Thus I have written this poem on a jet seat in mid heaven.



Poets Answer an Age-Old Question: Leonard Cohen on why the chicken crossed the road

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

I saw you on the other side
And crossed the road—it wasn’t wide,
But I’d’ve crossed a 6-lane highway to ya.
Cock-a-doodle-doodle-doooo, yeah.


Happy birthday to Leonard Cohen, who would have been 86 today.

The Founding Fathers call the Poetry Crisis Line

PATIENCE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
FOUNDING FATHERS (callers, on conference line): We the People
PATIENCE: Which people?
FOUNDERS: Of the United States
PATIENCE: Where, specifically?
FOUNDERS: In order
PATIENCE: What are you standing in line for?
FOUNDERS: To form a more perfect union
PATIENCE: Uh…relationship counseling?

On this date in 1787, the US Constitution was signed.


Also on this date, in 1859, Joshua Norton declared himself Emperor of the United States of America.

find out more about Emperor Norton here.

For additional reading, check out Allegiance to a Dead Man, by Sara M. Harvey.