After constructing an impressive $30 Beirut beauty on our back balcony this summer, my roommates and I have come to the conclusion that we were born to play beer pong – along with the rest of Isla Vista. While I may not possess the smoothest arc on Del Playa Drive or the cat-like reflexes of some Sueno Road swatter, it seems I have more confidence in my tenacious pong skills after I’ve become completely cross-faded. Forget the popular partygoer opinion, once I’m spinning in two directions I start dropping shots like Prince decked out in his full purple attire.
Most randoms I meet at parties tell me they don’t like to smoke when they are already drunk. Then they explain to me that they just get tired and eventually pass out. I usually think, “Shit, I guess the whole joint’s for me then.” But some bro will almost always sneak through the crowd for a quick drag after he’s sniffed you out. I normally give in, shifting my attention for a split second to complete the handoff and – clunk. Damn, fucking bounce: Two additional cups to tack on to my spin velocity.
From the opposite end of the table, Doc told me that I just needed to make the fucking ball in the cup. He didn’t remember that I had an instinctual tendency to maximize my beer consumption and was sandbagging him in order to nab more beer from the situation – it’s what you think about when you’re too dizzy to talk to the hot girl giving you glances every time your merry-go-round makes its way around to her again.
I had one cup to go. Doc was down to three, quickly gaining ground after the five-cup streak I cruised through earlier in the game. I felt it was time to stop toying with him though. I aligned my double vision, pinpointing the lone red keg cup on the far side of the table. Then I called my shot. The Babe must have witnessed my intoxicated invocation to the beer gods because after the ball left my outstretched hand, it plopped softly into a bed of foam. Clickity clack.
Ask any expert and they’ll tell you the same thing: Beer pong is all about the tolerance curve. Never mind a solid arch, top spin or a soft touch, all that a night of strenuous beer pong really comes down to is the ability to make shots while you’re getting more fucked up with each toss. If a player starts out slow, don’t rip on the homie because he’s bound to come back next game and shove 10 cups in your belly before you even hit a rim. And that’s exactly why Mary and I get along so well – Natty and I spin one way, Mary spins the other.
The explosion rule works wonders for this tactic, especially the more games you pound through. While most pong vets will be too drunk by the seventh straight game to even hit the rack, I’m still able to lock on to whatever cup my inebriated partner just made before me. Not only does making the same cup knock out any adjacent cups, which might be touching your team’s two bull’s eyes, but it allows your team the opportunity of getting the balls back for a chance to turn the knife of defeat even further into your opponent’s full belly.
Too bad I told all my buddies about my tactic. Now everyone’s hitting center cup with their first shot and both sides are down to three cups in the time it takes me to rip a snapper out of my favorite bong. Now I have less time to work out the kinks in my mechanics and I’m forced to puff as fast as I can from one hand and gulp as fast as I can from the other – all while trying to defend against the fucking bounce.
Maybe I just shouldn’t have said anything. But now I wonder if smoking ganja would actually give me an unfair advantage in clashes between beer pong’s best? If two teams of two took sides on beer’s epic battlefield, would a substance other than beer taint the outcome of the game? Does it even matter what a beer pong player puts in their body, so long as he or she is the one who actually lofts the little white ball? And wouldn’t weed do more harm than good in competitions of consumption and athletic prowess?
I don’t think I have the authority to decide what’s right for the game. All I know is that the game is about getting super drunk while grabbing the pride of victory in the process. I just wonder whether adding a knuckle ball into your pitch repertoire is really all that immoral.
Daily Nexus columnist Jeff Gibson has set his wedding day with Mary for sometime in the third week of April.