Make America Productive Again by Skipping Tonight’s Debate

21 things to do instead of watching 90 minutes of flaming garbage tonight

While other media sites are probably telling “what to look out for” at tonight’s debate — as if substance will actually enter the picture — we have a better idea: Skip the damn thing.

Sure, your quippy tweet about Melania Trump and Bill Clinton’s handshake may get faves; your drinking game requiring a tequila shot for every time Trump sniffs will get you lit; and your righteous grandstanding about Trump’s latest hateful comments could even get you laid.

But trust us: There are better things to do with your time. Here are 21 things to do with 90 minutes on a Wednesday night to actually improve your life, while the rest of America is making theirs more toxic. (And no, multitasking is not an option; the debate is bound to outrage you beyond the point of clear-headedness.)

Write some thank-you notes

They’re successful people’s secret weapon. The hardest part is usually just getting started, so here’s your lede: “Dear X, I was going to watch tonight’s debate, but I figured it’d be a better use of my time to tell you how much I appreciate Y than to scream at CNN.” (That opener also works if you’d like to, say, call your grandma—you know you’re overdue—instead.)

Start a novelty business

It takes less time than you think to incorporate a new business. You never know: Starting, say, a company that sells hillbilly-inspired dentures may turn you into a millionaire.

Watch media that is actually designed to entertain you

Lots of great movies are less than 90 minutes.

Begin — and end! — an entire romantic relationship

Thanks to dating apps, you could meet someone new, have a drink, fall in love, consummate that love, and then break up with that new romantic partner cuz it obviously won’t work out, all in the time it takes America to listen to an orange-faced monster sniff approximately 97 times.

Fill out expense reports

You know what sucks? Filing expense reports to get paid back for shit your job owes you. You know what sucks more? Watching the debate.

Reconcile with your estranged family members

Jerry Springer’s TV show airs for less than 45 minutes if you skip the commercials, so you totally have enough time to make amends with your narcissistic father instead of watching the debate. What are you waiting for? Pick up the phone!

Drive an Uber and get paid

This activity will prevent you from tuning into the debate — even over the radio — because any self-respecting passenger would give even the most attentive driver two stars for that kind of irritating bullshit.

Fix your up resume, and get a job that’s not horrible

We’ve told you how to leave your job gracefully before, so consider this a reminder.

Learn things

MEL’s videos are enlightening. Have you watched them?

Go to an AA Meeting

We’re all probably addicted to something.

Cook yourself an extravagant meal

Or even one that’s pretty basic. Cook anything.

Explore a new fetish

If your sex life is boring, you only have yourself to blame (sort of). MEL has spent the past year documenting the many, many ways to spice it up a bit (most of which involve very little planning).

Fantasize about a better political world

All the episodes of The West Wing are on Netflix. As annoying as Sorkin and his characters can be, they’ve got nothing on IRL this year. If you still can’t stomach it, you could watch Head of State or Veep or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or literally any other thing that’s about fictional politics and not real ones.

Get high

By eating taffy or drinking rosé or chewing gum or cooking with olive oil or slathering yourself in lotion or…

Improve your life

Have you tried sensory deprivation? What about a sleep tracker? Cryotherapy? MEL’s Self-Help Patrol may not actually make your life any better, but unlike the debate, it won’t make it any worse.

Watch some dads cry

Sure, why not.

Do some crying yourself

Man tears are good for you!

Get back on friendlier terms with your ex

No, we don’t mean you should get back together—just learn to speak to one another as friends again.

Buy yourself a Trump suit

Or just read about what it’s like to wear one.

Go to the gym

We all have a lot of election-related stress to work off. Plus we want to look hot for cuffing season.


Don’t kid yourselves. None of us are watching the third and final debate as undecided voters. Certain MEL editors have already received their vote-by-mail ballots; if you have, too, now would be a great time to fill that sucker out. If you’ll be voting in person on Election Day, take tonight to Google all that down-ballot stuff you’ve been ignoring cuz you couldn’t tear your eyes away from the Trump trainwreck.