07 August 2012

Dude, You Gotta Drink

If I went to college (I did) I would have been the guy in the teen comedy who is a nerd and wears glasses. And that nerd never got to play Beer Pong.

Do teen comedies take place in college? That feels inaccurate.

Let's just say in college, I wore glasses.

That means that in addition to the star quarterback dumping my lunch tray on my head and getting stuffed into lockers, I also had run-ins with the cool stoners who just didn't give a fuck but all the girls loved them anyway. And then when I got together with my friends (the fat one, the skinny one, and the one who hangs out with us for no discernible reason) we played video games and talked about Dungeons and Dragons and never got to play Flip Cup.

I'm getting side-tracked, that's still high school movies.

The glasses: real. Also though I never really had occasion to play drinking games. I mean, none of the standards. I played like "Make a giant gin and tonic and drink it" or "split a quarter of a fifth (1/20 of a gallon for those keeping track at home) of Jack with a friend for $10" or later, "drink a bottle of Thunderbird".

All of those games lack the strong social aspect (peer pressure) that a good drinking games possesses. Drinking games - good ones - have rules. They're complicated enough to require "learning" but not so complicated that you can't remember them if you're drunk.

Drinking games also have consequences. Drinking is both the reward and the punishment, which is some kind of alco-sado-masochistic trip that I don't feel like digging any deeper into. Other than the obvious thing is that people just want to drink, whether they follow the rules (are good) or break the rules (are bad).

And it works!

A good drinking game will end up with everyone drunk whether they've flipped the thing into the party cup or balanced the thing on their nose for a full thirty seconds or whether all three throwing hatchets found their target.

Drinking to get plastered (alone) can be kind of boring so it helps to feel like you have a purpose and there's a framework in place to get you to you goal. Your goal is "too fuckin' drunk" and the framework is "do something with this red party cup" and the purpose is "don't be such a pussy, dude!"

That's the one though. It's the purpose that gets people into trouble. Drinking games must have a social component. If no one else is around then you're not taking a shot every time Marv gets technically killed in Home Alone. You're just getting drunk by yourself and thinking about how much Goddamn Christmas is on TV.

When there are people around, there are "rules". And to play the game and have the fun and get the drunk you have to adhere to the rules, otherwise you lose the game! And everyone will remember the one Friday (Tuesday) where you were totally supposed to take a shot because Harry had a toolbox fall on his balls and you totally didn't take a shot. And that's when you kind of cross a threshold.

You realize you're drinking far too much to really appreciate the labyrinthine twists and turns of Kevin's deadly machinations. Micro Machines on the floor! He'll be crippled from the waist down! You close your eyes and the room is spinning - but the situation dictates that you continue to follow the rules because otherwise, like, party foul.

Then, darkness.

It's a system, man. It all exists to get two or more people really fucking drunk. Drunk enough to do something and not even worry about it until oh my God what did I do last night and I think I pissed in the trash can and where are my pants? Better still, a lot of games have a smart-munition component, wherein someone [the girl] can be prejudicially targeted to drink so they'll [she'll] be more pliable. So in addition to the literal darkness you may experience as consciousness slips away there may be a deeper, figurative darkness lurking in your boning-decision making center that's waiting to make some terrible choices for you. Depressing!

The entire fabric of the drinking game tapestry is held together by the complex weft and warp of peer pressure. And I'm like some kind of word poet with metaphors.

All it takes is someone to say "I'm drunk enough I think - I acknowledge that Marv and Harry just drank a fatal amount of shellac (and I should technically drink twice because it's two kills) but I'm not drinking any more fucking Keystone because if I do it's all coming back up."

But then what happens? Everyone else is also too drunk and will not remember you not drinking and you can save all of your regrets for the results pages of your increasingly abstract conceptual porn searches.

But also if you're just lining up drinking games to score with the honeys (asleep, high five!) your soul may have actually died at some point and you might want to get an MRI or PET scan or whatever they use to check for the presence of humanity. Also you might be a date rapist.

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