Drinking games… I’ll always enjoy that intoxicating sound, that hollow, muffled, plastic-on-plastic noise, that’s promptly followed by cheers and high fives. We’d won; my partner had made the final cup and we’d become the new champs of the beer pong table. Our competitors had been amicable, fun, rule-abiding, and overall they’d battled valiantly. We harbored no guilt over winning the way we might had we just defeated a drunken eight-year-old at his own birthday party.
Genuine hand shakes and sentiments are exchanged; this is no “good game, good game, eat a fuck, good game, hope-your-parents-die-in-a-car-accident.” Our new challengers strut over, full pitcher in hand. They’re both forcefully repressing scowls and neither addresses us; rather, Arguing Couple (1) only continues to belittle each other through passive-aggressive repartee. The game starts and they’re awful, just a nagging cluster of sarcasm and negativity. Their argument isn’t fun or entertaining; it’s a very un-Maury couple fight in that respect.
Fortunately, that game’s over quick; both of them were far more concerned over winning a dispute over who does more dishes in their apartment than they were about winning in beer pong. We finish our cups, because we’re adults, and our next challengers, our buddy and his cousin from out of town, step forth with a pitcher. Immediately the cousin, Let Me Tell You How I’ve Played Before (2), inquires about our rules only to cut Partner off a few seconds later and follow with, “I’m used to playing with the best up at school, so if you want to play like the best we could use the State College Standard: no pull, pants off on last cup, sixes are wild.” Partner and I are not amused, nor will we take his suggestion.
The game starts and Cousin keeps namedropping people we’ve never heard of, always with a façade like he’s too good for all this. He’s smug, acting as if he’s royalty and we’re just alcoholic knaves who are lucky to be playing against him. It doesn’t matter; Partner goes on a tear this game and makes eight cups while his back figuratively aches from carrying my dead, shit-talking weight. Afterwards, Cousin bitches that we “should rematch by the real rules and see who wins,” but at that point we’re not really listening, our constant hooting and high-fiving has taken on near-deafening qualities now.
A new pair come over, pitcher in hand. The one partner seems lucid, but the other is just this scatterbrained fuck who probably started using drugs far too early in life and now can’t remember anything more complex than a four-item shopping list. Needless to say, Perpetually Forgetful (3) can’t keep any rules straight and ends up constantly apologizing for spilling cups, drinking the wrong beers, and periodically just drifting off. We’re trying to teach the rules to him so he’ll remember but it’s hopeless; we’d be better off teaching a dog to drive a car or a robot to love. Partner and I only have to make six actual cups and we’re moving on to the next game.
Our next opponents stumble over, fresh off a round a shots. One teammate seems fine, but the other is Painfully On The Verge Of Vomiting (4). Despite the one’s errant gagging and throw-up suppression, the two are formidable opponents. The suspense builds; every cup we make pulls us back to even with them and has the one partner tempting fate and choking down his beer as he strains to hold off his trip to Barf City, U.S.A.
Soon, we’re each down to one cup and our near-vomiter has resorted to gingerly sipping his owed drinks. Him and I lock eyes and I can tell he’s right on the cusp. I focus back and let the ball fly. It sails through the air and lands right in their cup just as his mouth erupts, thoroughly drenching the table in post-consumer Indian food and beer.
We take a step back. We’ll let them and the now-irate host figure out that whole puke situation; no time for losers, ‘cause we are the champions.