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Introducing the new presidential debate drinking game, my friends!

John McCain wants to be your friend. Chug-a-lug!
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In the hilarious Saturday Night Live spoof of the vice presidential debate between Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden, Tina Fey, as Palin, joked about college students turning the exchange into a drinking game, with participants guzzling every time she tossed out variations on the word "maverick." But the second faceoff between White House hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain upped the ante for anyone who wants to deal with the current economic catastrophe by getting unfathomably intoxicated: taking a shot whenever McCain says, "my friend" or "my friends." A quick tally of the debate transcript from last night shows that he used the phrase an amazing 22 times in just over ninety minutes -- with moderator Tom Brokaw bringing the total to a nice, round 23 by mentioning "my friend Bob Schieffer," who'll oversee the next debate. Destination: blotto!

Of course, the way McCain says "my friends" is a little creepy; my daughter Ellie said it reminded her of Gollum in the Lord of the Ring movies hissing, "My preciousssss." But once you're 92 sheets to the wind, you'll never notice. So stock up at the liquor store before the third McCain-Obama tête-à-tête, Wednesday, October 15, at Hofstra University in New York. You'll need some extras. -- Michael Roberts

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