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Alternatives to the inauguration (and how to make watching more fun if you have to)

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Bemused detachment (and a Meryl flick) might be good ways to survive Inauguration Day.
  • Bemused detachment (and a Meryl flick) might be good ways to survive Inauguration Day.

Some will be thrilled to tune in to the country's handoff of power between Obama and Trump, elated by our new president's potential. Some will hate-watch like it's a new Kardashians series, thumbs at the ready for pithy Twitter salvos. And some will try to come up with something — anything — else to do. I briefly considered getting a second vasectomy during the ceremony, just to take my mind off the horror.

Some options for what might be the first day of the end of the American Empire:

1. Turn the underwhelming musical lineup into a trivia game for your friends!

• Jackie Evancho — classical-pop singer or Sopranos hitman?

• Which one is Big, and which one is Rich?

• Not counting the woman who quit rather than perform at the inauguration after comparing singing for Trump to "throwing roses to Hitler," how many people are in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

2. Start a Super Bowl-style betting pool on whether Joanie loves Chachi enough to join him at an inaugural ball.

3. Drink your way through, preferably with a few "Nyet My President" cocktails as described on Twitter by @sippey: a White Russian served beneath a thin orange skin and fake gold-leaf garnish.

4. One of the inauguration's planners suggested it would have a "soft sensuality." Test whether that's true by simulcasting Trump's speech with any Cinemax After Dark feature. If it syncs up perfectly, à la The Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, you've reached true soft sensuality.

5. Watch one of Meryl Streep's flicks. She stars in the 2004 reimagining of The Manchurian Candidate, but that might be a little traumatic given our new president's puppet-like bouncing on Putin's strings.

6. Turn viewing the inauguration into your own Where's Waldo? with the Trump kids: Where's Tiffany?

7. Read George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and contemplate how the coming years maybe (hopefully? possibly?) won't be similar to novel's dystopian vision. Do it before reading is considered thoughtcrime.

8. Host a screening of the 1983 TV movie The Day After, in which a Russia/U.S. showdown over contested European real estate escalates into nuclear warfare. Seems ripe for a timely remake, and Steve Guttenberg is probably very available for reprising his role. If he's not playing wingman for Chachi in D.C. ♦

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