Bless you, oh Black One because as post-racial as we claim to be, sometimes we forget our supposed brothers from another mother need a little act right guide when it comes to undeniably black events like cookouts. Fortunately, Michael Harriot didn’t drop the ball, drafting this Caucasian Guide To Black Barbecues that’s so on point all we can say is thank you and laugh.
Check out the guide below:
1. You gotta bring something: One time, I went to a co-worker named Tom’s barbecue and brought a pasta salad. He looked at me like I had shit in the middle of his living room.
At a black cookout (yes, if there’s more than 7 black people there, the name automatically changes from “barbecue” to a “cookout”) only the meat and the grill is supplied by the host. Everything else is brought by attendees – and no, this is not “potluck.” Black people don’t do potluck. You either show up with a dish or they’re gonna look at you funny. And please don’t try no new shit like potato salad with raisins or vegetarian shish kabobs. If you can’t cook, or you don’t have all the required black seasonings, just bring some cups and napkins. Or LOTS of aluminum foil. I don’t know what the hell black people do with all the aluminum foil at cookouts, but they ALWAYS need more. I have long suspected that black cookouts were ploys by hosts to get free aluminum foil. In any case, you are expected to bring something.
2. It’s a cookOUT. Black people’s cookout are outside. At the previously mentioned Tom’s barbecue, everyone mingled in his living room. I was nervous as fuck because for the first hour, all I could think was:
“These motherfuckers are about to have an intervention on me.”
You don’t go into the house unless you have to pee, which means there a few things you should bring:
Another chair (because someone is gonna sit in your first chair when you go pee.)
3. Don’t arrive on time. If they say they’re going to start around 3, that means you can arrive around 4:47. CP time is a very complicated algorithm to figure out, but the published start time at a Black BBQ is the time when they start thinking about preparing to get ready to almost light the grill.
4. Learn how to do the “Wobble.” Then consult a local ballerina/choreographer to add your own variation to one of the moves. I don’t do line dances, but I’ve noticed that white people feel SO included if they know how to do them. I believe line dances should be used by the United Nations to prevent war. You can’t be THAT mad when you’re adding your spin shimmy kick to the Cupid Shuffle.
5. Make friends. Here is a FOOLPROOF method to making a new black friend at the cookout:
A. Bring a bottle of dark liquor.
B. Keep it in the trunk of your car.
C. SOMEONE (usually Tasha’s new boyfriend) is gonna ask “way da liquor at.”
D. Wait (I know you’ll want to rush up to him or say something, but ignore your white people timing instincts just this one time.)
E. When he changes the subject, walk over to him and say “walk to my car with me.” He’ll know what you mean.
F. When you pop that trunk, you’ll have a friend for life.
6. DO NOT PLAY SPADES. Even if your black friend tries to teach you how to play. They gon’ get you FUCKED UP. No matter what you do, don’t get on the spades table talking bout you “learned” how to play. You do not learn how to play Spades. Black people just know. Like we just know how to do the electric slide or get diabetes.
Plus, if you mess around and renege, your partner is gonna give you the side-eye all night when they take those three books.
Plus, you might get in your feelings over the shit talking, because James is gonna call you a bitch. He always does that.
Plus, if your spades game is weak no one is gonna want to be your friend…
Not even Tasha’s boyfriend.