Fact: November is one of the worst months of the year. Not quite as terrible as January, but pretty much locked in a dead heat with February for the winner of Wake Me When It's Over Award.
It's not really November's fault; its deficiencies are inherent. It is the unnecessary filler sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas, so it suffers in comparison.
If you're in school, you might be thinking that November is getting a bum rap because it's the month when you get a couple days off for Thanksgiving break. Sure, I understand. A couple of days of no homework. All the stuffing you can eat.
But compared to winter break, Thanksgiving break is like an uncle who buys all of your presents from Walgreens: He might be fun to have around for a couple days, but after he's gone, you won't hear from him again for another year.
To help us all get through this November — again, one of the top three worst months of 2013 — I've created a drinking game you can play along with at home.
NOVEMBER: THE DRINKING GAME
"November: The Drinking Game" is a 24 hour-a-day/seven days-a-week drinking experience designed to accompany the entire month of February.
Bottle of hard alcohol (children and the like may substitute Kool-Aid)
An ever-growing sense of despair
1. Every time you wake up and it's still dark outside, take a drink.
2. Whenever you eat your last piece of Halloween candy, take a drink. (If it belonged to your kid, take an extra drink to wash down the shame.)
3. If you've completed Rule No. 2 on or before Nov. 1, take a drink.
4. Every time you are awakened by the sound of your chattering teeth because your dog has stolen your blanket, take a drink.
5. Every time you think "Man, I should really take a shower. I smell offensive. ... Eh, it's too cold outside, maybe tomorrow," take a drink. And stick a dryer sheet in your underwear.
6. Every time your dog refuses to sleep in your bed as a direct result of your poor hygiene, take a drink.
7. Every time you walk into a retail store and hear Christmas music playing, take a drink. And punch a display of reindeer ornaments.
8. Every time you rush to get to work by 8 a.m., only to get there and realize it's 7 a.m. because you forgot to set your clock back for Daylight Saving Time, take several drinks in the parking lot.
9. Every time this happens to you two days in a row because you really are that stupid in the morning, take a drink. And kill the bottle.
10. Every time you find the landscaper's undergarments in the laundry, take a drink.
11. Every time you confront your wife about it, and she claims that they're in the laundry because the landscaper spilled landscaper chemicals on his underpants and had to change out of them ... it's really not a big deal ... why are you being so suspicious, Gordon? ... take a drink.
12. Every time you Google "landscaper chemicals" to see if it is an actual thing, take a drink.
13. Every time your wife tells you she's leaving you for the landscaper and that he's also taking your riding mower because "he knows how to treat things right," take a drink.
14. Every time you curse yourself for having hired an attractive, young beefcake who moonlights as a bachelorette party stripper to be your landscaper, take a drink.
15. Every time you think you're better off without a two-faced back stabber for a wife — and then look up and realize you're eating an uncooked brick of ramen noodles in a fleabag motel because she took your house, take a drink.
16. Every time your soon-to-be-ex-wife demands that you come to Thanksgiving with her family to "keep up appearances," take a drink.
17. Every time you go to your in-laws' Thanksgiving celebration and try to pretend your wife isn't playing house with an erotic-dancer-turned-landscaper who has biceps literally twice the size of your head, drink two bottles of cabernet and mistake the bed where people are putting their coats for the urinal.
18. Every time your in-laws threaten to call the police because you will not stop singing Eric Carmen's "All by Myself" at the top of your lungs during Thanksgiving dinner, take a drink.
19. Every time you forget to change the batteries in your smoke detector when you set your clocks back for Daylight Saving Time, take a drink.
20. Every time you hear "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses while it's raining in November, take a drink and bedazzle your jean jacket. (It misses you.)
By the end of the month, you will probably have developed a pretty serious drinking problem. That will come in handy when trying to get through your company's holiday party next month.
Ryan Jackson wrote a story called "Russel and the Goodnight Moon," which you can buy on Amazon for 99 cents, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.