Beer Pong or Beirut?
Back in the day, I was a fairly decent Beer Pong player. Not spectacular, not great, merely decent. There was one guy I would often see at parties who was not only a dominant Beer Pong player, he insisted on calling the game "Beirut". His name: Bones Jackson.
Not his real name, mind you. I called him "Bones Jackson" because he stole a lot of bones, or dollars, from us in poker. He called Beer Pong "Beirut" because he was from out east and claimed "everyone on the East Coast calls it Beirut -- you stupid Midwesterners are so far behind us you still call this game Beer Pong."
I still maintain to this day he was making that up. It is, and always has been, Beer Pong. Beirut? The fact he would use the catchphrase, "I'm droppin' bombs on you, sucka!" after every made shot only served to further bolster my claim that he was making up the Beirut business.
That was 2000, and there was very little one could do to either prove/disprove a silly thing such as this. But this is 2007, or "The Wikipedia Era" as I call it, so I consulted that bastion of knowledge to get to the bottom of this chestnut. A search for "Beirut" obviously displays the capital city of Lebanon by default. But search for the disambiguation, and "Beer Pong" displays.
What I discovered was highly enlightening. Beer Pong was invented at Dartmouth in the early '50s, and involved a using paddles to hit a ping pong ball into cups on a regulation ping pong table. The paddle-less version most often played today is credited with being started at Lehigh University or Bucknell University, depending on which story you believe.
I also discovered something that really, really made me quite upset. To quote, "The meaning of the terms Beer Pong and Beirut vary depending on where the game is played: Beirut is unambiguously accepted to be the version of the game where players throw the balls, while Beer Pong can mean either the same game as Beirut, or the similar game where players use paddles to hit the ball."
Bones Jackson was right all those years ago, and I was wrong. We were all wrong. I will now go poke my eyes out with a stick.
Thankfully, Wikipedia's extraordinarily thorough page on, er, Beirut had enough laughs to make this all seem OK. Seriously, 2500+ words on the rules and STRATEGY of Beirut? A graphic showing various shot strategies?
And this photo of a Beer Pong ref -- wearing a referee shirt! -- is spectacular. That's comedy, folks. Highest of high comedy. You bet. And yes, I'm back to calling it Beer Pong, and you can't stop me. God bless you, Wikipedia.
I brought this story up for one reason: I wanted to show you this video, and felt cheap by merely showing it by itself with no original content from me. It is the Single Greatest Video Ever. And I'm not just saying that because they use the fight music from Rocky as the soundtrack.
Nice. I salute you.
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