First and foremost is making coffee for whichever drunkies made the 4 a.m. decision that an air mattress is the better part of valor. Then, I use context clues to determine the exact level of group inebriation from the night before. There are many ways I can assess this. Here are the examples from my last gathering:
1. Stereo volume. Sunday mornings, I like to toss in a little Sam Cooke or Marvin Gaye. If either one blares out at teeth-shattering Gwar-esque volume, that's about 20 points of drunkity. (If Neil Diamond was waiting for me in the CD player, that's an extra 10 points.)
2. A rain jacket stuffed between the cushions? That's an indication that I used it to cover up a particularly spill-prone guest. Minus 10 points, as I was clearly sober enough to encase a friend in plastic. However, plus 5 points, as I clearly thought that was a classy and tasteful thing to do.
3. Empty beer cans floating in the ice bucket? Either I thought they were full (sad and delusional), or I was having ice bucket races. Nevermind, it's worth 5 points of drunkity.
4. Location of furniture. Far too often, I find the patio furniture inside, and the indoor furniture out on the balcony. So either I am redecorating in my drunken stupor, or my friends are trying to be cute. I'll give it 10 points.
5. Kitchen conditions. If the recycling bin and the trash can appear to have had a bastard child, namely, a pile of cans and napkins piled neatly on the stove, that's worth 10 points.
6. Scariest of all? The fridge. Ever and always. I almost always find something spectacular in there. This time around, I found a Cool Whip flag cake, uncovered, on the second shelf. On top of the cake was a crystal bowl, which had once upon a time held fruit salad but was now empty. The fruit salad could be found in a Ziploc bag, elsewhere. So, somehow, I was able to move the fruit salad into a bag, but decided an empty bowl belonged in the fridge, not the sink...and, moreover, decided it belonged square on top of the cake. That's a good hundred points right here: