The Basement Files

Basking in an L-Tryptophan haze.


It’s Thanksgiving again and you know what that means. Copious amounts of video games, food, gas, bloating, napping, snoring, temporary “wake-up” confusion, football and full power lounging in the favorite family reclining chair.

It’s a great day, and when it’s over people throughout this great land of ours go out into the cold, oncoming winter and proceed to storm into the closest electronics dealer to get rock-bottom prices on electronic gadgets that, I don’t mind saying, I already have. Sure, I spent $200 more than you to get it the very first day, but the stress I prevent by not tackling my way to the back of the store, compete with 100 other eager nerds to get one of maybe three Wii U’s in stock, is immeasurable.

I might get two, maybe three extra days on the end of my life because I was relaxed. Figure the amount of time I would need to work to earn that extra money, and I’m still up a single day, and that’s an extra day I have to play with my Wii. How about U?

Nerding out with Wii-U

Speaking of the Wii U, yes, I have one, and as a huge nerd, I’m thoroughly happy and impressed with it, from both a gaming and joking standpoint. It carries over the same name as its predecessor, “Wii,” and thus, as any lazy writer out there, I can re-use the same tried and true jokes based on the silly sounding name. I won’t here however, because they can get a little “blue,” to use severely outdated lingo, so I will just tell you this. The controller the system comes with has an HD screen on it that lets you take the game off the TV, onto the controller and away to another room.

This means I can play my Wii U in the bathroom, without ever moving a TV in. This is a great day for humanity.

Nap Strategy: Revision 2012

This wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving column without my annual “Nap Strategy Manual.” I honestly can’t remember if I did this last year, or just dreamed it in one of my L-tryptophan-induced power naps, but it still remains a good idea. And you know me, I can’t let an idea, good or otherwise, go unsaid.

You know you are going to sleep after dinner. There is no fighting it. What you can do is make it easier on yourself. If you are at home with no guests, you have it easy. For the rest of you, out visiting family and such, listen because this part is important. When you first get to the “meal house,” do a thorough once over of every seating location in view of the TV. Because when someone inevitably wakes you up, you’ll at least be watching football. During this seating scan, take special note of reclining chairs. These are your goal. Couches look inviting, but they will put you into too deep a sleep, and you’ll lose the rest of the night. Not to mention the fact that you are taking up a lot of spaces by laying down, and are risk being awakened out of that pleasant “dream-daze, after dinner” state.

OK, you’ve picked your chair out, good. Does it have a table next to it? You are going to want something to drink, especially if whoever cooked the turkey botched it and it was drier than British comedy, (not a problem here though. I lucked out and got a family full of really, really good cooks.) So, you picked it out. Now go get it.

You have to eat fast. I know, it goes against all dietary guidelines, but I’m not a health nut. And really, when it comes to nutrition, you should probably disregard everything I say. But if you want to lounge like a pro, I’m your guy. Remember, whoever eats the fastest, gets the most (as my grandfather so graciously put it,) so gobble it down, hit the john and make a mad dash to that chair. And for all things good and sacred, get that football game on TV. Because if you are napping and the game is on TV, the chances of you being asked to help clean up the dishes are greatly diminished.

Not that you shouldn’t help. But if you don’t want too, I’m just saying.

So, that’s that. After you wake up and go home, you are on your own. But just remember: Thanksgiving was Thursday and the Mayan calendar ends Dec. 21. Only one month left to the end of the world as we know it. And I’ll feel fine.


  Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.