Thanksgiving is a special time of year… a time to show your gratitude for others and the simpler joys of life. At least, that’s what my third grade teacher taught me when I learned about cornucopias and cowboys versus Indians. Eventually I grew up and realized the true reason to be thankful for was me. That’s right, me. In fact it’s a damn miracle half of you survive Thanksgiving Eve without needing your stomach pumped before the big turkey dinner.

It all begins with the legend of ‘Thanksgiving Eve’, the idolized golden tale that 21 year olds regale over and over. “It’s gonna be a monster brah! We’re totes off tonight, so let’s get crunk!!!1one” Let me put this in layman’s terms. It’s an annual zombie apocalypse. That is, if zombies were drunk, babbling 21 year olds incapable of being coherent by 10 P.M.

I imagine it all began around the first Thanksgiving in 1621. 100 some Indians, 50 some Pilgrims, and 2 or 3 straggler Aliens joined together. This “Thanksgiving” lasted three, yes, three days. Now take into account that drinking water wasn’t regularly available and you have yourself one hell of a sloberknocker. Partying till the wee hours, sleeping and doing it again. Actually, this reminds me a lot of my normal weekend routine. This fancy event became the foundation of a reason to drink your face off because, 1. there’s no work the next day and 2. all you have to drag yourself out of bed for is a turkey smorgasbord.

Many of those 21 year olds will take this break from a rough semester to visit their home towns. “Wednesday night class, brah? Canceled! Let’s RAGE!” It’s the perfect time of year to see all those douchebags you went to high school with and show off your sick new ink. It’s time to see if the popular jocks are still good-looking and managed to make it to senior year of college. Maybe they dropped out and moved back to their childhood bedrooms. It’s time to see if the popular girls are still hot, or if they gained the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior fifteens. And of course, you want to see the nerds. They probably graduated from an ivy league, and you kinda regret shoving them into lockers, so you buy the guys a round of Miller Lites and shots of Jager. By the end of the night, you’re slurring from all those Jager shots and hitting on a hot girl. “I’m Angela. You don’t remember throwing pencils at the back of my head in math class all through junior year?!” Damn, when did Angela get so smokin’ hot?! Someone grew out of her mousey stage.

I can’t completely say I’m a stranger to being guilty of said Thanksgivingocalypse. I’d say I had a great time and relive the ridiculous memories of how I stumbled back and forth from pizza shop to club, but I don’t remember anything besides waking up in a parking garage at 5 A.M. However, I did hear that I was pretty awesome, bumbling around with my finest zombie strut. Since those days, I’ve somewhat taken a more expert approach and used this ‘holiday’ to observe the sheer madness that inevitably ensues.

It’s truly one of those nights where you prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If you’ve graduated from the novice drinking circuit, this is quite possibly the single best day for people watching, EVER. The copious amounts of ladybits, shits, spits, stumbles, fumbles, spills, falls, ankle breakers, public urination, and anything else you could possibly imagine is bound to be seen. Comparable to the chocolate tunnel boat scene in the original Willy Wonka, you just can’t be sure if what you’re seeing is truly going down. My advice, grab your cameras and be on standby for creating some of the Internet’s next greatest memes. See you next year!