The Official Rules for the 2019 Cookout Season

Photo: iStock

As the opening day to Cookout Season 2019 approaches, it is the responsibility of the Black Legislative American Cookout Council (BLACC) to keep our constituents informed of the rules. These guidelines have been voted on by a panel of experts that includes:

  • Marvell Clyburn, the 2018 Deviled Egg Champion of the world
  • Jamila McKenzie, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard working on her dissertation: “Measure With Your Heart: Empirical Sugar-Measuring Techniques in the African-American Kool-Aid Tradition.”
  • An uncle with a white “sweatrag” over his left shoulder who was also wearing these sandals:
Photo: DSW
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Some of these guidelines are revisions of old rules, while some are completely new. These rules are suggestions for the default settings at officially-sanctioned BLACC cookouts. However, as always, the final decisions are up to the cookout organizer.

After much debate, two fistfights and one “aight den,” the following are the new rules and revisions for the upcoming cookout season:

Date Changes

For many years, the date to the traditional cookout season began on Memorial Day weekend and extended to the Labor Day or the last tailgate at an HBCU homecoming game. However, because of global warming, this year the cookout season will be extended to the first Wednesday in November.

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If this test schedule works out, we are working with sponsors to host a global BLACC cookout day on the day after election day 2020. If Trump loses, it will be a holiday called “Ding Dong The Evil Racist Is Gone” Day. If Trump wins, proving white people still don’t give a fuck, it will just be called “Just Another Wednesday.”

Nomenclature

From henceforth, all events that include charcoal and outside cooking shall only be called “cookouts,” including fish fries, “get-togethers,” shindigs, patio parties, frying a turkey, “having a few folks over at the house” and roasting your homeboys while smoking a blunt.

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This was a difficult decision because we know some geographic regions prefer the term “barbecue,” but this was purely a utilitarian decision. Over the years, we have received multiple complaints from black people who were invited to Caucasian “barbecues,” arrived at the agreed upon location and—seeing no one outside—turned around and went home. This is because some white people have barbecues inside. In fact, I have attended a non-black barbecue where the potato salad was purchased from Target and unabashedly displayed in its original container.

Of course, I left.

Plus, we recently learned about Alabama white sauce, which is a mixture of mayonnaise and vinegar and is also considered a “barbecue sauce.”

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We can’t be associated with that.

Invitations

It has been decreed that there can be no more unilateral invitations to cookouts.

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In fact, starting this season, we are rescinding all previous invitations that have been extended to white people over the previous years. The legislative body realized that a recent influx of seemingly benign Caucasians who attended cookouts have done foul shit like voted for Trump, called the police on loitering Negroes or asked the DJ to play Taylor Swift’s version of “September.”

All cookout invitations not sent by the host must be pre-approved by a two-thirds vote of all assembled cousins and seconded by the senior macaroni-maker.

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Blessing of the Meal

Deacons are no longer eligible to pray at cookouts. All blessings of the food must be under two minutes. You must hold hands, close your eyes and say “Amen”—even if you are an atheist.

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And if there is no God, then who gave Uncle Rob this barbecue sauce recipe?

Responsibilities

Previous rules stipulated that every cookout attendee must bring something to a cookout. The voting body has determined that these rules must be fleshed out more.

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  • Sodas: Must be single-serving cans and must be more than one 12-pack. Everyone is tired of drinking flat Dr. Thunder or Strawberry Nehi out of a two-liter jug.
  • Ice: The person who brings the ice must bring more than one bag and it must be in their own cooler. It is perfectly fine for this person to use their cooler as a chair.
  • Random dishes: All dishes must be pre-approved. No one wants to try your vegan guacamole burgers or kale spinach shish-kabobs.
  • Paper products: Red Solo cups are the official cookout cups. The plastic forks must be strong enough to handle a heavy heaping of potato salad and hold an entire leg quarter without breaking. You are allowed to bring individual napkins or rolls of paper towels but the paper plates cannot have partitions. We don’t believe in segregation.
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Hierarchy

There has been confusion surrounding the official cookout hierarchy. The following are the official levels to this cookout shit.

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  • Level 1: All grandmothers and grandfathers including anyone who is called “big mama,” “muva” or who uses a walker. Level 1 members have their plate fixed for them by Level 4 members and are entitled to all menu items and fish hot out of the grease.
  • Level 2: Aunties, uncles, pastors, head ushers, tree shade mechanics, deacons, candy ladies and other community luminaries. These members are also entitled to all menu items but must fix their own plates.
  • Level 3: Family members who just graduated, winner of the last game of Spades, whoever brought the brown liquor, guests, anyone over 30 and the children of Level 1 members. They get all menu items but must wait until the grease is kinda scorched before they get fish.
  • Level 4 members: Anyone under 30 (you ain’t grown yet), nieces and nephews, pre-approved white people. They are entitled to hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and all sides but must wait until members pick over higher-level meats. They probably won’t get any fish.
  • Level 5 members: People who didn’t attend the cookout who asked someone to fix them a plate. They get low-level macaroni, beans and maybe a hamburger on Wonder Bread.
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Food Options

People who don’t eat pork are allowed to ask about the ingredients in the hot dogs, but only once. If you are smoking or drinking a soda, you don’t get to ask about shit. Anyone who refers to the pork products as “swine” will be asked to leave.

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There will be no vegan options and we will ask the pastor to pray for anyone who announces they are a pescatarian.

Only Jesus can fix that.

Activity Rules

Recently, the makers of the game Uno have made some racially insensitive rulings:

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However, all Cookout Uno games observe the rules of stacking by default. Of course, house rules supersede all assumptions. Other default cookout rules include:

  • For Spades, the big joker is the one that says “Guarantee.” You can read the Black Supreme Court ruling here. 
  • Unless specified, it’s Joker, Joker, Ace.
  • You must score 10 points to get on the board in Dominoes.
  • The points belong to the person who calls them out.
  • All disputes are settled by the oldest uncle.

Extras

Anyone who brings brown liquor, weed or other items not on the serving table is obliged to share with anyone who asks. The only exception is if the person kept their bottle in the trunk. However, if the party who receives the gift of liquor or weed tells another person, they are no longer eligible for sharing benefits.

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Anyone who is inebriated will be asked to leave dance.

Master of Cookout Music

It is up to the host to determine who is allowed to play the music. But there are certain rules that must be observed:

  • The playlist must include “Electric Slide,” three gospel songs, one song by Earth Wind & Fire and “Back Dat Azz Up.”
  • Please only play the clean versions of the song. Kids don’t need to hear that—even if your aunt has told them multiple times to “sit yo motherfucking ass down, Man-Man!”
  • Although it is cool, it is too soon to replace Frankie Beverly and Maze’s version of “Before I Let Go” with Beyonce’s. Her version is optional. Maze’s version is mandatory.
  • No Wobbling until 90 minutes after eating.

If we follow these rules, you are sure to have an enjoyable and productive summer. We will update you on all emergency rulings and, as always, Happy Cookout Season!

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About the author

Michael Harriot

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.