In addition to far more important things, Memorial Day weekend represents the unofficial start of summer, a chance to ingest alarming quantities of grilled meats, and an opportunity to play games. Hopefully, lots of games. Above all, the biggest challenge on a three-day weekend is determining what might be the best game for you, and here one has to consider plenty of factors: fitness level, locale, whether your mobility is restricted by that new electronic-monitoring bracelet, etc.
But even then, we’ve decided certain games are just better than others, all based on a rigorous testing process that has mostly involved surviving four decades on earth.
So with that, we give you the seven best games to play on Memorial Day weekend.
Perfect setting: The beach; the backyard; 19th-century England.
Can you play it while holding a beer? Yes, especially since no one really knows the rules anyway.
Be careful of: Excessive boredom; impaling a child with an aggressive backswing; those shoddy rackets you get with the $9.99 set you bought at Wal-mart.
Perfect setting: The beach; a gymnasium if you have knee pads; the set of “Top Gun 2″.
Can you play it while holding a beer? Not well, no, but priorities.
Be careful of: The inevitable ridicule after forgetting to take off your knee pads (Please don’t ask us to elaborate).
Perfect setting: A tennis court; a particularly-sturdy ping-pong table.
Can you play it while holding a beer? Yes if you have a one-handed backhand. Or if you have a two-handed backhand and you have a lot of beer (because, you know, spilling).
Be careful of: Bad puns when announcing a score with “love”; clubs where you have to wear all-white; also, mustard stains when having to wear all-white.
4. Touch football
Perfect setting: Beach; open field; the family compound if you’re a Kennedy.
Can you play it while holding a beer? Completely depends on the position: Quarterback, yes. Placekicker, yes. Offensive line if you plan on doing a lot of egregious holding, no.
Be careful of: Pulled hamstrings; concussions; inviting that one guy who repeatedly calls “Omaha” at the line.
Perfect setting: Parking lot; beach; most minimum-security prisons.
Can you play it while holding a beer? Frankly, we weren’t aware there was another way.
Be careful of: Using the word “cornhole” in the wrong context.
2. Wiffle ball
Perfect setting: Backyard; beach; a public park sufficiently removed from that weird couple going at it on a blanket.
Can you play it while holding a beer? It’s encouraged, actually (Unless you’re 12).
Be careful of: Pulled hamstrings; diving for pop-ups near a smoldering grill; gratuitous bat flips after going yard off your 8-year-old niece.
Perfect setting: Golf course, preferably one with your name on it if you’re the sitting president.
Can you play it while holding a beer? Yes, especially while waiting for the four octogenarians in front of you to clear the green.
Be careful of: Sandbaggers; seven-hour rounds; thinking that your wife is OK with you being gone all day, because she’s not OK with it. Not even a little.