It's Labor Day and the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases is significantly greater than they were this time last year. Hooray! Wait, no, what's the opposite of hooray? We have effective vaccines now but dullards would rather overdose on horse dewormer.

If you're vaccinated, you're safe from both COVID-19 and ivermectin-induced explosive diarrhea, but you're probably wondering when you can enjoy life again. Unfortunately, we have no immediate answers, but we can offer some entertainment diversions as you celebrate the end of another craptastic summer.

This first one is educational if you plan on having a cookout with other vaccinated friends (you should have no unvaccinated friends, unless they are children or people with a legitimate excuse beyond “I don't wanna"). Alison Roman shows you how to throw a hot dog tasting party.


Roman turned 36 on September 1 and thus has the lived experience necessary to appreciate the importance of chips at a hot dog party.

If you ask your friends to bring chips, it's really important that you pick the right friends, because you don't want someone showing up with this one bag of weird chip. You want someone who's going to take it seriously and show up with no fewer than ... six types of chip, all of which are suitable for the dip that you have made. And even some wild cards for people who don't want dip.

But who doesn't want dip?

Please also enjoy the final summer cocktails of the season. Bartender Anders Erickson shows you how to make five, which you can drink over the course of the day if you pace yourself.

Some friends were over a couple weeks ago and I made Pimm's Cups according to Erickson's recipe. It was quite refreshing. I also made my own sparkling lemonade because I'm fancy. No offense to Roman who wrote a whole book about not being fancy. We're stuck in an endless pandemic loop. Fanciness is all we have left.

Once you're full and buzzed, you can settle in with a movie before bed. Patty Jenkins, who directed Wonder Woman 1984 — presumably while sober — might dismiss streaming movies as “fake movies," but we think streaming is still a safer option than a movie theatre.

Zoolander was released in September 2001, and 20 years later it's still superior to Wonder Woman 1984. It's even a better Wonder Woman movie.

Zoolander's villain, Jacobim Mugatu (a delightful Will Ferrell), hated child labor laws, and this is a good time to remind you that we owe not just Labor Day but weekends and child-free workspaces to unions. Unions are great, except for police unions, which are a thuggish protection racket.

Happy Labor Day! See you Tuesday.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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