27.07.2010 - 27.07.2010 29 °C
I did make my way back up to the Maroon Bells today. The weather was much clearer, but I was surprised with the humidity. The hike up to Crater Lake took about an hour or so. The route was steep and rocky and I was pretty pleased to sit down was I made it to the end. The end made the climb worthwhile. Sitting on Crater Lake's edge the towering Maroon Bell mountain peaks reflected in the water and the light breeze that cut down the mountain side helped with cooling me down.
I got back late in the afternoon and when I did so we went for a three mile or so run around the golf course that is part of the Snowmass Club where my friend lives. Needless to say the impeding fitness test I've got when I get back for my start of refereeing National League 3 is on my mind!
Enough of that though - to today's main topic, beer pong. What is this 'beer pong' I hear my parents asking? Beer pong is an American, usually university, drinking game. Let me set the scene. A table, approximatey 3-4m long by 0.5m wide is set up. At each end stand the two teams of two people. At each end ten plastic beer cups are placed in a triangle, in a similar formation to what you would see in ten-pin bowling. A few inches of beer is poured into each cup. So what happens in the game? Well the aim is to make the other team drink all of their cups before they make you drink all of yours. You do this by throwing a ping-pong ball into their cups from your end of the table. If you directly throw the ball into a cup, then that cup must be drunk and taken away. If you bounce the ball off the table and into a cup, then the other team must drink two cups (so a bounce is worth more). However, if you bounce it the other team is allowed to swipe the ball away. If you knock over a cup in the process of swiping that counts as one cup down. If you throw the ball into a cup that one of your opponents is drinking from, whilst they are holding it, it's game over and you win. Each team member has two throws per turn and they can be taken at the same time or in any order. Well I hope that explains it well enough.
I've wanted to play the game for I while since I've been in America, it is another quintessentially American thing to do. So as I see some people that we're with setting up to play some other people I ask them if there's a chance to let me have a throw. "Sure, sure." As if they're going to let an amature play. Well whilst I'd been chatting with other people I'd been keeping an eye on the game and it's at a stalemate and going nowhere fast. I then get a tap on the shoulder, "Matt, we're tagging you in for a VIP Celebrity shot." "Great." So, I come to their end of the table. There are two cups left to pot. Their opponents are doing their best to distract me; waving their arms, shining phones and holding their T-shirts over the cups so I can't see them (this is fine, provided that the shot is not obstructed). I was never going to make this. Even if I had played the game before, I couldn't even see the cup! Well I line it up; "God save the Queen, 1, 2, 3 .." and away. It's in! I couldn't believe it! By the looks on their faces nor could anyone else. The people I had just shot against literally had their jaws dropped, their hands covering their mouths and their eyes fixed on me in astonishment. One by one they came over the congratulate me. After that the deadlock ends, the team I shot for finished the last cup and I had won my first game of beer pong!
Well I couldn't just end it there. The people I had just shot for invited me and my friend to play against them. My confidence was high and I could tell they still underestimated me, so I went for it. For the first shot I wispered the plan to my team mate (as if I've been doing this for years). "Ok, you just aim straight and whilst they're focussing on your's I'm going to bounce mine in. 1, 2, 3." Away my friend sent her's and down the table I bounced mine. It went in! I couldn't believe it! They were already two down. The game went on and we each took away one or two. Then it was time for 'the move' again. "1, 2, 3," I said under my breathe. In again! This was incredible. I shot a few more in directly and my friend did two. They were now down to their last cup and we were still on six. All we had to do was get this one in and we've won, I thought to myself. I cocked my arm back and sent the ping-pong ball sailing through the air, to drop and settle in the pool of beer in their last cup. That was it! We had won! "No, no, no," came the call from the other end. They couldn't be taking this away from me now! Was there some technicality that I had infringed? Apparantly, as we had taken all their cups, they were now allowed to shoot at our six. If they were successful in getting their's in, they could continue shooting until we were all out. Once they both missed and we had cups left, then we won. "Miss miss miss," I hissed to myself. Their first shot, well past the cup. Their second bounced and was sent sideways. That really was it! Game over! I had won again! 2 and 0.
I was presented with the ping-pong ball as a momento of my victories and later in the bar was approached by some spectators who had watched and were impressed. I didn't know how serious this game was! Needless to say I am now out for hire as a beer-pong player.