Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Billy Wants To Be A Hero

If anyone here ever went to college, they have heard of the game Flip Cup. I don't know who originally conceived of it, but for pure drinking simplicity and intensity, it's really quite fun. This isn't about the history of flip cup though. This is about my attempt to be a hero, for people everywhere. Yes, you read that right.

Names have been blocked to the protect the innocent and not so innocent.

Ok, so at a local party, there was a fairly epic game of Flip Cup that occured. Most games I had seen tend to have around 5 people on each side, but this game had 9 on each side. Given the recent problems HDO has gone through by being too controversial, the details and circumstances of the game and the teams had to be blocked as well. Sorry. You all know how it works, you try to get through your row. If your row loses, you kick someone off, someone doubles up on cups, and so on and so forth, until one team is totally gone and the other team is declared the winner. With 9 cups, that means that quite a great deal of beer had to be drunk. This was not something I took into account, since you don't put much beer in the cup, but yeah, it...adds up. Our team battled, it was really quite exciting. Whenever we won a round, as we made a comeback, we began to chant DON'T STOP BELIEVING. It was really a pretty exciting game. We took what we thought was a commanding lead, and then we blew it, until suddenly, there I was, the last man standing against 4 on the other side. Impossible odds. I'm a realist, I knew this going in, but that didn't mean I wasn't going to die trying. Literally, I died trying.

Taunts and screams poured down from the other side of the table as the beer poured down into my 9 solo cups, staring up at me like gang members, daring me to try. I stared at them without blinking, mostly to avoid the psych-outs of the team across from me, but I also knew that one pause would spell disaster. I needed to focus. The round began:

I actually got a few cups in without any trouble. I heard screams from the other side, but that could have been anything. They could be good screams, they could be bad screams. I couldn't worry about that. 4 cups down, 5 cups down. I was impressed with my pace honestly, but knew they wouldn't all be that easy. I was right. I took that 6th cup, and took a swig, and I tasted it. Vomit, in my throat. If I forced this beer down, the vomit would not be in my throat anymore, it'd be all over the table, and with a video camera rolling mere feet away, it'd be a moment forever documented. I couldn't have that be my legacy, so I took a short pause to see if I could contain it, and I could, and I powered through. Eventually I got to the last cup and was still around, which meant I had not lost yet, and I scrambled for the last cup, flipped it, and heard the cheers. I had just won a round. It was now 1 vs. 3. That was already more then I ever thought I could do. As people cheered, all I wanted was to get some air and be alone. It's actually pretty hilarious, looking back, how serious I was taking this. The other team was floundering, having expected to win just then. The beers were refilled, the screams continued, but they weren't as loud this time. I could hear doubt. To me, this was all I needed. My focus was on the cups. The round began.

This round started the same way, I got through the first few fairly easily, and I heard some screams but ignored them. THIS time, however, I hit that taste in my throat on the 5th cup, and this one was serious. This was a taste that wouldn't go away. I had hit a wall, an actual beer wall. I couldn't let my team down, but I also couldn't recreate the amusement park scene from The Sandlot in my friend's basement. I took another deep and longer(HA!) breath and continued. Unfortunately, that break was too long, as I lost by two cups and the game was over. My effort to be a hero had been destroyed. I congratulated the other team, got a slow clap from my teammates, and left that basement feeling pretty good for someone that had just lost and nearly thrown up twice. It just goes to show you, you're never to old to be a hero, and you're never to old to binge drink. That's my lesson for the day. Be safe, kids.

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