How to still celebrate while pulling a double.
By Cathryn Salamone (Actor/Singer)
Ah, the Fourth of July. A well-needed summer fest falling perfectly after a no-break June and just before the rank, sweaty armpit that is a New York August. This year it falls on a Thursday, allowing several breadwinners the opportunity to take Friday off and enjoy a nice, long weekend.
If you're like me, a recent college grad and freelancing artist, and living in one of the most nauseatingly expensive cities in the world, you most likely have a Crappy Survival Job.
crap·py sur·viv·al job (n.) /ˈkræpi sərˈvaɪvəl dʒɒb/ 1. an undesirable means of employment maintained by an artist, a recent college graduate, or a recently laid off worker that usually involves pandering to hungry people, charming tourists, hawking comedy shows, or wearing large, uncomfortable cardboard signs and standing dejectedly in the sun.
Heck, to make ends meet while still maintaining that friendly relationship with the Starbucks boy and your Mastercard, some of us work two, three, even four Crappy Survival Jobs. And instead of celebrating with your friends sloshing around on a harbor booze cruise or trolling Hamptons residents with loud music from your Zipcar, you're working. Here's where I can help.
I've devised a few things us poor, gerbils-en-treadmill can do while the rest of New York gazes at combusting compounds of lithium carbonate:
1. Workplace S'mores
Easy, campfire-free s'mores using commonplace office incredients! Yields 2 s'mores.
a) Walk to the office vending machine and buy two 3 Musketeers bars. You only need one for the recipe, but being miserable and employed, feel free to eat the extra one on the way back.
b) Locate the office coffee station. Nestled amongst unrefrigerated creamers and Donut Shop K-cups, you will find an old packet of Swiss Miss from last winter. Open this into a bowl and harvest the marshmallows.
c) Open the drawer of your desk and find the packet of saltines from lunch you somehow managed to save. Divide the 3 Musketeers into fourths. Take (2) saltines, place 2 pieces of chocolate on one side, cover with freeze-dried Swiss Miss marshmallows. Nuke for 20 seconds in the microwave.
2. Stage the Battle of Bunker Hill
Gather your colleagues when the going is slow and enrich your knowledge of the American Revolution.
This is a fun, engaging activity that is adaptable for any type of workplace. If you work in a:
a) RESTAURANT: The chefs are the British, and the wait staff are the American militia. The chefs have the upper hand as they are armed with unlimited ingredients, as well as counters for cover. Appoint your General William Prescott and use your feeble resources - mainly plates, silverware, and unwanted food scraps, to defend against the British.
b) CAFE: Close to closing, make use of the stacked chairs as shelter and arm yourself with unground coffee beans against your co-workers. Use guerrilla tactics and take Prescott's advice: "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes."
3. Macy's Fireworks Broadcast Drinking Game
If you have access to a television, tune in to NBC and play this drinking game in the back room.
For whatever reason, the fireworks launched from the Hudson are broadcast live and backed up with the NY Phil and a soundtrack of punning songs (cue: "Firework" by Katy Perry). So grab your Bluecoat Gin or other patriotic liquor of choice and take a shot every time these words, either in song or in speech, are uttered: liberty, freedom, and any of the variants of the name of our country, i.e. America, 'Murica, USA, and the Yoo-Naited States. Level 2: drinks every time an awestruck child is shown. Level 3: a full shot when you spot a shirtless twink in an American flag speedo rebounding from pride.
There you have it. With this itinerary, I have full confidence that you'll pull through this holiday shift just fine - and maybe even have some fun while you're at it.
CATHRYN SALAMONE is an actor and singer based in New York City. She is a recent graduate of Pace University's BFA Musical Theatre program, but her true passions lie in data entry and secretarial aid. www.cathrynsalamone.com
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