It's that time of year again, when we gather with loved ones and pick at the unfinished turkey only to get yelled at by the cook. To avoid this temptation, we'll find the sole patch of grass in a six-mile radius and start a friendly game of football that includes the entire brood (except for the cook), until a certain uncle decides to relive his glorious high school career by showing all of his brothers that he is still captain of the team and in the running for homecoming king. In his quest for greatness, he'll stop throwing to the girls and anyone who has ever dropped a pass in his life; the next thing you know, the only players left will be six aging guys engaging in such a battle royale of verbal abuse and wild haymakers that they'll quit speaking to each other until they meet up again the next Thanksgiving.
Representatives from the Institute of Drinking Studies are typically scattered on Thanksgiving, eating Boston Market chicken and watching bad football a long way from family and friends. Although we already had plans to convene next month at Dr. Etiquette's place to celebrate the birth of our Lord by playing dirty Pictionary and throwing up over the balcony, we decided to make up for the camaraderie we'd be missing on Turkey Day with a gathering at the Breckenridge Brewery and BBQ (471 Kalamath Street), where we could overindulge in good BBQ and adult beverages.
If you're meeting people at Breckenridge Brewery, take a cue from the Liaison for Redneck Affairs and confirm where, exactly, you're expected to appear. There are four locations in Colorado, and the Redneck Liaison was lucky he only went to LoDo looking for us instead of all the way to Summit County. To his credit, though, he would have been willing to travel that far just to join our group. Because when you're not there to defend yourself -- whether you're missing a major holiday celebration or just a night out that the rest of us will regret the next morning -- you can rest assured you'll be the subject of numerous cheap shots.
Breckenridge Brewery and BBQ
471 Kalamath Street
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While the Oriental and Jewish representatives and I waited for the Redneck Liaison to show up, we admired the gigantic holding tanks that are the distribution source of the Breck Beer available at your friendly local liquor store. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Wednesday-night special of $2 pints, particularly as it became obvious that our waitress was not going to worry about overserving us. In fact, on at least two occasions (that I can remember) I received free, unsolicited tasters of excellent beer that clearly sent the message "You're not quite done yet."
We continued lubricating ourselves after the Redneck Liaison finally showed up, and were having such a pleasant time that hours passed before we realized that JP was not present. He'd left a message with some lame excuse about having to work, but one representative ventured the opinion that it was far more likely he was at home taking care of his cats. At that revelation, an enraged Redneck Liaison declared that his internal radar -- usually so accurate at detecting less-than-masculine guys -- must be on the fritz if he hadn't sensed a cat-owning guy in our midst. Having also been unaware that JP possessed a major personality flaw that compels him to keep cats, I called his place of employment to deliver the urgent message that I was sure he also wore skirts from time to time.
The next day, JP reported that he had heard repeated pages regarding a pressing message from me but didn't answer because he knew nothing good could come of it. And he was right: The high fives we'd exchanged at his expense had by now been supplanted by pounding headaches and even some remorse for our assault on his defenseless person.
But this time of year, taking pot shots at a loved one is a necessary evil. Remember that as you sit around in your sweatpants, watching the Macy's parade and avoiding your football-hero uncle.