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Don’t have tickets to the Super Bowl in Houston? Throw a festive bash, one with a queer eye for the sports fan.

SuperBowl_Illustration
Illustration by Keith McCaffety

by Tiffany Penn

I used to test my gaydar by asking, “How was the football game yesterday?” I knew I had a sister when his response was, “What game?” But I have caught some of you huddled under the TV in the bar when football is on, and I am worried that one of you may have gotten the idea in your head to host a Super Bowl party.

As a gay man, you had a choice between sports and party planning in grade school. You chose sports, so there is a chance that you will answer the door wearing a rainbow wig and a foam finger. Quick quiz: “Is your silver candelabrum polished?” If you did not answer “Yes,” this article could save your gay social life.

The first thing you need is decorations. Don’t let your team loyalty throw Thom into a dither when he sees the color palette he has to work with. Decorate around the team with the best color scheme.

Invite the non-sports fans over to the house a few hours earlier than the other guests. At least one Carson-like friend will whisk you off to the master bedroom to pick out a new outfit and highlight your hair. The other men will take a pile of streamers and balloons and transform your living room into a steamy locker room.

Besides the DJ Samurai soundtrack, your obligation to the Velvet Mafia Booster Club is to have a propane tank, balloons, dry ice, toothpaste (to polish the silver), enough fruit for a Carmen Miranda centerpiece, strands of white lights, and I’ve never seen a gay man refuse a Tiki torch. A cordless screwdriver, plywood, cotton batting, and 10 yards of fabric will get you new window treatments for the event. Two tablecloths, some empty shoeboxes, and tea lights create a layered buffet table.

Real food and mixed drinks.

Even if you are sure that everyone you know is a gristle-gnawing carnivore, someone always brings a vegetarian. There are varying degrees of vegetarian, so you are still going to get it wrong, but at least you tried. Put lentils in the rice pilaf. For the Atkins crowd, roll some cold cuts and cheese and hold the wraps together with an olive and a toothpick. Do not forget to put one of those olives in your martini because a good host would be drunk by now.

A gay party buffet also includes deviled eggs, carved meat, pâté, and cheesecake. Save the cheese balls and corn chips for your coming-out party. We set ourselves apart by the food we eat at parties and the people we sit next to on the couch. Think about it. Do you really want to watch as a woman licks her fingers? It sounds very sexy when your sexual persuasion is in the room, but as a gay man, if you are inviting women, you will want to stay away from finger foods.

The cooler with three kinds of beer in it will come in handy for the Super Bowl Drinking Game, but you still need to have two bottles of vodka and a bottle each of bourbon and rum. The problem with gin and Scotch is that you have to buy good gin and Scotch, and people who drink good gin and Scotch probably don’t hang out with sports freaks like you anyway. Pinot Gris is the popular wine these days, so pick up a big bottle of that, too. Don’t try to pronounce it. Just say, “There is wine in the fridge.”

Super Bowl commercials are the best.

Have plenty of activities to keep people occupied until the third-down conversion. Watching football is a lot like watching a car race. You are always waiting for the touchdown or the crash.

So I think a drinking game is in order:

• Drink when the person singing the national anthem cracks on the high note and two drinks if they avoid it all together by harmonizing an octave lower.

• Drink once when Celine Dion is the soundtrack for a commercial (you will be drunk by halftime).

• Drink every time the receiver slaps the quarterback’s butt as he runs by before the snap.

• Drink and giggle every time announcers refer to the “tight end.”

• Drink each time they show the player’s wife talking to her neighbor and not paying attention to the game. Drink twice if she is talking to her husband’s gay lover.

• Drink once for each firework cannon ignited during the halftime pyrotechnic display.

• Drink every time people at your party high-five. Take two drinks if the women try to high-five and miss.

• Take a shot if an advertisement airs for a figure-skating competition.

You could throw a towel party. Just be prepared if anyone from the Houston Area Bears is on your invite list. He really will show up in only a towel (God love ’em!).

Here is my point: A Super Bowl party must have a gimmick to get gay people to “come out,” and having guests over on February 1 to help you repack your Christmas decorations and finally throw out the tree is a cruel and evil plan that only sad and lonely people fall for.

So our new gaydar question is, “What did you serve at your Super Bowl party?” When he says, “Caviar and goose liver pâté,” ask him when his coming out party is and offer to bring the cheese ball.

Tiffany Penn, a standup comedian, won the Imperial Court of Houston Space City Idol competition in October.

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