Misadventures in Wonderland: Beer Pong

Our intrepid columnist Alice tries her hand at the sport of kings. And frat boys.

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Misadventures in Wonderland: Beer Pong

What is beer pong?
Two teams of two stand either end of a long table. Taking turns, you try and throw or bounce a ping pong ball into one of your opponent’s cups of beer, which are arranged in a triangle in front of them. If it goes in, they have to drink the contents. If you make them drink all their beer, you win and go onto the next round. It won’t be part of the Commonwealth Games.

Where is it held?
It’s held once a month at Hemma, a nice Swedish café-bar that normally holds toy sales and jogging club meets. It’s pretty far away from an Omega Delta Whatever frat house filled with American jocks in matching jerseys. There’s no one with a toga on. There’s no one mumbling about midterm finals or scholarships under their breath while they get bullied into doing something they don’t want to do. There’s no one with a prescription amphetamine addiction. I think.

What’s the point?
There’s a cash prize. What? What did you think the meaningful twist was going to be? Organised consumption for money was what I was after and there wasn’t a hot dog eating contest in the area. Well, not one I’m not banned from. Anyway, what other sports exist for fat alcoholics? Apart from darts?
This isn’t the first time I’ve played a drinking game, despite how much I’ve claimed to hate them in the past. I’ve sat in a circle of people drinking tacky rum cocktails with a playing card stuck to my forehead. With ‘Roxanne’ blaring, I’ve stood up and sucked on a bottle of WKD every time Sting sings ‘put on your red light’. I’ve drank while trying to do a handstand in a garage. Of course, the idea in other games is to get as drunk as possible but with beer pong, if there’s winners and money, you don’t want to be too hammered.

What happened?
I wasn’t the only person to limber up as there were whispers of a very competitive Hungarian team. It was a reasonable affair at first – me and my teammate, Lou, held our own. We sunk a couple of balls, we cheered. We lost a couple, we drank our bitter, loser drinks. When we realised that we had to win three consecutive games to get through the quarter finals, Lou grabbed me by the face and said, ‘You can do this. I believe in you.’ I missed my shot by half a metre. Morale took another hit when I heard a couple of spectators betting against us. The teams we played in the next round seemed to get better and better and we were downing what turned out to be severely blood-altering amounts of beer. Things went rapidly downhill when Lou and I dramatically fell out at the table and the argument eventually carried on into the street.

Did you have a team name?
Major Crimes Unit.

Beer Pong takes place at Hemma, Edinburgh – keep an eye on bodabar.com/hemma for upcoming dates.

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