Memorial Day 2022: We’re Making No Promises This Year
It’s Memorial Day! Hope you’ve enjoyed the long weekend. Remember how it was a scandal last year when Vice President Kamala Harris expressed this blasphemous sentiment? It proved she hated the troops! God, that was dumb but also evidence of happier times for us when the GOP was desperate and flailing. Then came the Delta variant, Afghanistan, and inflation.
PREVIOUSLY ON MEMORIAL DAY:
So, we were all confined to our homes for Memorial Day 2020, but we were cautiously optimistic on Memorial Day 2021 about our post-pandemic lives. This year, America collectively doesn’t give a fuck. Everything’s open, and everyone’s invited to the holiday cookout, including the more transmissible strains of COVID-19.
I hope you weren’t traveling anywhere this weekend because more than 3,000 flights were cancelled over the past few days. People are eager to fly the maskless skies over the summer, but last week Delta Airlines announced it will reduce service by about 100 daily departures from July 1 to August 7.
“More than any time in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operation — weather and air traffic control, vendor staffing, increased COVID case rates contributing to higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some work groups — are resulting in an operation that isn’t consistently up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years,” said Delta's Chief Customer Experience Officer Allison Ausband in a post.
Look, if we’re going to treat COVID-19 like it’s the flu (it’s not), we should at least wear masks everywhere like Asian cultures sensibly do during flu season. Believe me, a mask is far less of an inconvenience than spending the night at the Courtyard Marriott near the airport.
Let’s hope you’re safe at home today and not stranded at O’Hare. Maybe you’ll fire up the grill later this afternoon. Here’s some burger tips from my personal hero George Motz.
I admire Motz so much, I don’t hold it against him that he’s never learned not to handle a grill with his bare hands. Adam Ragusea, however, is savvy enough to avoid first degree burns.
Adam has another video for thin burgers, but that’s only useful if you can’t find a decent smash burger in your town. Leave it to the experts, I say. Besides, a thick burger on the grill has time to soak up that smoky, charcoal goodness while you enjoy an ice cold beer, cocktail, wine or Arnold Palmer. (I rotate through all four.
I plan to pair my thick burger(s) with the first potato salad of the season, and I’m using my beloved Alison Roman’s new recipe. It involves brown butter, grilled onions and capers, and lots of dill. How can you go wrong?
Please do not balk at the amount of fat in this potato salad. Not this week, not today, not ever. Potatoes need fat the way I need my Lexapro, please do not deprive them. For a different take on potato salad (one without butter), this one with celery and fresh lemon is also incredible.
See? She’s awesome enough to provide an alternative, but only take the road less buttered if have dull vegan friends or love celery as much as Alison and I do. (Oh, and I’m just kidding about vegans. Most are lovely people, despite their butter-free lives.)
Now go enjoy your official start to summer, which should reach us in Portland around the middle of July.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."