The holidays usually bring along a pretty solid bender, and I find that if I don't write things down, I may end up forgetting about them. As you can see from the personal to-do list I've written for myself, this month has a pretty full slate:
• Go on Amazon.com. Spend 10 minutes buying crappy impersonalized gifts for everyone on your list. Raise a toast to yourself, you emotionless robot. Raise another toast in the name of efficiency. Lean back in chair. Laugh maniacally.
• Take one of Richmond's world-famous tacky light tours. Immediately regret it. Repeatedly raise toasts with the multiple hip flasks that you remembered to strap on. Get kicked off tour for walking up and down the bus aisle and asking people if they want to "mouth hug you under the mistletoe."
• Watch apathetic front-running hipster fan base dwindle as Virginia Commonwealth University's men's basketball losses mount. Halfheartedly think about raising a toast to no one in particular. Mumble something about "havoc." Lose interest.
• Be guardedly optimistic but prepared for more gubernatorial sleaze as Terry McAuliffe readies himself to lead the Commonwealth. Raise a toast to whoever is near. Say something along the lines of, "Well, at least it wasn't that other wacky sonuvabitch, am I right!?"
• Set an aggressive holiday party attendance schedule, but make sure to attend only the ones that offer open bars. Raise multiple toasts to (insert name of party host here) because, "This sonuvabitch, I've known this sonuvabitch for years and he always — yeah this freakin' handsome moron — he always throws one helluva bash!" Put your arm around said bash thrower. Get real close and all red-faced and sweaty, ask him if he wants to go do drugs in the bathroom.
• Tell Mom you're going to take her to the Bizarre Bazaar® — Richmond's annual, massive Christmas craft and gift expo. Actually follow through with said promise and take Mom to the Bizarre Bazaar®. Get to the Bizarre Bazaar® and immediately ask yourself, "What the hell am I doing at the Motherf'n Bizarre Bazaar®?" Raise toast to self for being a good son. Begin to drunkenly refer to everything you see as bizarre until Mom gets super pissed and annoyed and demands to be taken home. "Mom, this bazaar is sooo bizarre. Would you not agree with how bizarre it is? Look at this bizarre little nutcracker, man! Hey Mom, OMC had a hit single in 1996 with the song 'How Bizarre.' Do you remember that?"
• Watch the mayor's bold downtown ballpark power move get stonewalled by lack of imagination and bullshit bureaucratic red tape. Raise a toast to the illusion of government progress. Say something under your breath about "damn dirty politicians" and "sonuvabitches."
• Wistfully reminisce about the Gus Frerotte-era while the Redskins continue their cellar-dwelling ways. Raise a toast to self for being a Dallas Cowboys fan.
• Start fake Twitter accounts for Richmond's City Council members. Reserve the handles @AgelastosMissingBeard, @KathyTheBull, @RavishingReva, @ChuckyDynamite, @BedroomEyesBaliles, etc. Watch City Hall PR people fail to understand this thing called social media and freak out over something completely inconsequential. Raise toast to self for bringing a semblance of whimsy to staid old City Hall.
• Go ice skating at the downtown rink on Broad and Sixth streets. Raise toast using thermos filled with coffee, Bushmills and Baileys. Drunkenly plow through a group of kids because you're tipsy and just remembered that you have no idea how to ice skate.
• Attend the Grand Illumination this weekend at the James Center. Get friends to take the obligatory picture of you humping one of the reindeer and Lite 98's Shelly Perkins in the baffling role of Snow Queen. Raise a toast to never growing up.
• Check out the huge, ornate Christmas tree in the lobby of the Jefferson Hotel. Use this as an excuse to wear your Sunday best and hit up the bar at Lemaire for five or six house old fashioneds. Raise an old-money Richmond toast and offer a longwinded address about the "Confederasah." Misattribute the entire thing to Jefferson Davis. Annoy the bartenders and patrons alike by goose-stepping around the bar while loudly humming "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." While being escorted out, continuously yell something about the South rising again.
And finally. …
• Put down your stupid, well-worn toasting glass and do something good for someone who really needs it. Don't immediately post about it on Facebook and don't do it for your own smug self-satisfaction. Try to remind yourself that there are many people who won't get to raise any toasts this year. Appreciate how lucky you are. Hug Mom. Apologize to her for that ugly incident at the Bizarre Bazaar®.
Connect with Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lauterback also is co-host of "Mornings with Melissa and Jack" on 103.7 Play, weekdays from 6-9. On Twitter @jackgoesforth.