Friday, March 30, 2007

Irresponsible Drinking

Chris' post about Andre the Giant, as well as his prediction that he could drink 15 beers at Shea during a nine inning game (side note: my sense is that Chris could do this, but not without more difficulty than he might otherwise expect, but I digress) has generated some interesting conversation about, perhaps unsurprisingly, excessive drinking.

I recall a few of our more ridiculous college drinking rituals, and I am curious what other sorts of irresponsible drinking people did in college. A few that stand out for me are as follows:

(Just for the record, none of this is a good idea. If you should stumble upon this site, and then you and your idiot friends at Colby or some other god awful place decide to take a crack at one of these challenges, you are on your own; the publishers of wheeeeeeeere's luke? -- while we wish you well -- don't want to hear from your parents, your girlfriend, or your dean the next day).

1. Hour of Power. The "hour of power" is a 60-minute endeavor in which all participants take a shot of beer per minute for one full hour. As if divinely inspired, four participants require exactly one 30-pack of beer to complete the event (side note: 1.5-oz*60 minutes * 4 people = 360 oz. of beer; 12 oz. * 30 cans of beer = 360 oz. of beer. perfect). Others may recall this event as Century Club (in which the target is 100 shots in 100 minutes as opposed to 60 in 60). Lastly, when I was in college, "Sink the Seniors" was simply a shot of beer per minute until you were disqualified (by either quitting or puking, which resulted in a disqualification). The last man standing was the winner. I recall a guy getting to 240 once when I was a junior; I think I got to about 150 as a senior.

2. Case Race. This was called "Newman's Day" at Bowdoin (side note: the etymology arises out of the urban legend that Paul Newman, addressing a group of college students, once suggested that instead of sitting around listening to him they should be outside drinking a case of beer (side note to the side note: I didn't realize how many people knew it as "Newman's Day" until I poked around on the web while writing this post. Click the link above for the Wikipedia entry)), but I think it is more commonly known as a case race. The point was to drink 24 beers in 12 hours, from noon to midnight. I think we did this senior year, but my attempt was ruined our junior year when Meg broke her ankle while trying to show people what a great ballerina she used to be. I was on beer 23, but I had to take her to the hospital and never got to finish (no, I didn't drive).

3. Lightning Keg. This was arguably among the stupidest drinking challenges ever invented. There were two variations to lightning keg, the competitive and the non-competitive. In the competitive version, two kegs are placed in a room, and two groups of people (typically pledges and members of a fraternity, since there is no other reason ever to engage in this game other than to haze another person) race to finish their keg first. In the competitive version it is not uncommon for the teams to be hopelessly lopsided, as this event is usually part of hazing someone's world, and if it was fair then it wouldn't be fun. In the non-competitive version (perhaps even stupider), you just finish a keg as fast as you can with a few of your friends (no one ever accused drunk college men of being the brightest and most creative segment of the population).

Even though all drinking challenges (and I refrain from using the term "Drinking Games" because Beirut, Asshole, Beer Die, and things of that nature really don't fit in this category (side note: if you don't see the difference, you studied too hard in college and should have had more fun)) are basically centered around drinking as much as you can as fast as you can, I am curious to know what others were out there when people were in college. I think the criteria for a good drinking challenge are:

1. The goal is attainable (i.e. drink 1000 beers in a week is stupid).
2. The challenge takes longer than a game (a few hours, an afternoon, etc.).
3. There is no chance you will die (i.e., I can chug two bottles of vodka and then ski naked across the quad at 3 in the morning is idiotic)
4. Bonus points if it is a recurring challenge (twice a year, at homecoming, etc.)


ChuckJerry said...

All of these are really asenine. The Century club is the worst of those you mentioned because it doesn't seem like something that will be that hard until you realize that it's 7.5 beers in 1.5 hours.

A friend of mine was on the ultimate frisbee team in college and something they used to do that I found interesting was that all the freshmen or maybe new players or something had to drink a frisbee full of beer. Again it sounds like it's not that big a deal and then they tell you that it takes 8 beers to fill a frisbee. Also it's probably dirty.

Side Bar said...

can that be right? 8 beers to fill a frisbee? that's like the thiing where if you fold a piece of paper 32 times it stretches to the moon or something like that. that just can't be right.

ChuckJerry said...

I looked all over the ultimate frisbee official website to find the standard size of a frisbee, but all they say is that it weighs 175 grams. The wham-o website says the same thing. But I may be wrong in my recollection of this story.

I did some calculating with neither a frisbee nor a can of beer in front of me, but let's assume I'm at least close to right.

A frisbee has a diameter of 10 inches and therefore an area of 78.5 (pi * radius squared). Assuming it's an inch deep, and that it's basically a cylinder, then there is 78.5 cubic inches for beer.

A beer can has a diameter of 2.5 inches (I have a big ass can of Arizona here) and therefore an area of 7.8, times a height of 4 inches (which is the best guess I could make based on this huge can of Arizona. I actually divided the ounces per inch, and then multiplied back out for a 12.5 ounce can) gives 31.25 cubic inches of beer.

The 78.5 divided by the 31.25 gives roughly 2.5 cans of beer per firsbee.

I'm pretty confident about the soda measurement, but if I'm wrong here, then it's because my frisbee measurements are way off.

Suffice it to say, 2.5 beers is nowhere near 8 beers, so I'm probably wrong.

Open Bar said...

Chuck does math. Math rules.