The orange, dirty ping pong ball fell into the red, plastic cup of beer, and the crowd went wild. By crowd I mean six people sitting on stools in the corner of a garage. And by wild, I mean a few claps and a couple of drunken congratulatory remarks. But it didn’t matter, because my friend Michael and I had overcome a nine to two cup disadvantage to win our fifth straight game of Beer Pong. Coming back from seven cups down in Beer Pong is the equivalent of the Red Sox coming back from 3-0 to beat the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs. At least in our eyes.
Let me fill you in on some Beer Pong basics. Ten cups placed into a triangle on each side of a table. Fill the cups with beer. Teams of two stand on opposite sides of the table and throw ping pong balls into the cups. Someone gets a ball in a cup, the opponent drinks. First team to make all the cups, wins. Beer Pong is a wonderful game for those who possess zero athletic ability, which is why Michael and I gravitated towards it.
Another popular party game is Drunken Darts. I don’t think anyone needs an explanation on how to play that game. What makes Drunken Darts so great is that it also serves as an excellent sobriety test. If someone is about to drive home, Michael summons them over to his dartboard, hands them five darts, and if the person yearning to go home makes a bull’s-eye, they’re allowed to drive home. (Nobody’s made a bull’s-eye so far. That’s why the designated driver rule is a good one.) Michael insists that every cop car, rather than have a breathalyzer, should just have a dartboard in the back seat.
Flip Cup is a game to either make friends fast, or become the most hated person at a party. Teams are divided into four or five, and each member of the team has a red plastic cup filled with beer. After drinking, you slide the cup to the edge of the table, and with one hand, flip the cup over. Then the person next in line must finish the contents of his plastic cup and do the same. First to finish wins. In every game of Flip Cup, or so Michael hypothesizes, one person always cracks under pressure. This person (usually a girl, Michael says) will constantly flip too strong or too soft, often blowing the game for her team. And people do not have short memories when it comes to blowing a drinking game.
Michael and I are unemployed. Both of us are seniors in college and stuck on figuring out what we want our careers to be. But at least we’ve found something we where we can excel. It’s too bad there isn’t a Beer Pong major. Or an MBA in Beer Pong. But who knows? Maybe there’s hope for us.
Oops, got to go. Time for another game.
Max Schouweiler is a writer living in California.