The night started off like any other night, double-fisting a nice pair of Buds. They were bottles, not cans, because I’m classy. They were in cozies because I care. In any case, the night looked normal. But I was wrong, so very wrong. It was all going well, so very well, until… I swallowed that worm. That, my friends, is not a good idea, a mistake if you will. And on top of violating Tijuana logic and common sense, I broke the cardinal rule of drinking: Liquor before for beer, you’re in the clear. Beer before liquor, makes you sicker.” And this is how I learned my lesson.
We played many a game of beer pong. In fact, we were the reigning champions. Undefeated for nine games and counting. It was unbelievable. It was fucking epic. Love beer pong. Then came Jana and Mary. Freshman. Girls. The easiest cap on pongcase* in history. I thought the game was over before it began. I was wrong then too. In just a few turns time, Ryan and mine’s empire was crumbling before us, our legacy, our Mongolian dynasty, mortally threatened. It was like a shot to the balls. We had two cups left, they had five. It was our turn. Ryan went first. Thunk. Sunk. In. My turn. The pressure was on, it was the eleventh hour. I called Hero and shut my eyes. I focused my senses. I was a fucking samurai. Four moves and this game was done.
I opened my eyes slowly. The world breathed in when I breathed in. The world breathed out when I breathed out. I felt like Neo at the end of the Matrix. I was that into it. I pulled my arm back. Bent my knees. Paused for the count of “One Mis-si-ssi-ppi,” then launched, arcing my arm, spinning the pong. Bullet-time. Then contact. Round and round it went. It almost rimmed out once, twice, thrice, in. It went in! Our turn again. We had pushed back that sword. Ryan readies, fires, misses. Some cheer, some scorn. The crowd has turned against us like the Senate on Julius Caesar. I stood defiant. It was me against the world. In the midst of all the jeering, I fired. Thunk. I sniped that fucking cup.
Now it’s their turn. The crowd cheers Jana on. Little Miss. Too-Much-Makeup shoots. Missies. Mary’s turn. Mary shuts her eyes, couches. The Pong is strong with this one, I can tell. She has much potential. She perks herself up, thinking she can fell the Pong God’s champions. I look upwards, passed the halogen lights, and pray. ‘Let this is day not be our last day oh Hoppy One. If you grant us victory over these infidels, these debutants, I will sacrifice a family of six cans in your honor.’ Primitive I know, but the Hoppy One loves sacrifice. I return my gaze back to the game.
Mary shoots. Rims it. Once, twice, thrice, four times, gravity has an error, the ball flies away. I looked skyward and mouth ‘thank you.’
Now its one to one and our turn. I look to Ryan and nod, we fist bump like terrorists. It’s Serious time. Ryan squares his shoulders, readies. He launches. The crowd goes quiet. I hear a drip of water fall from the kitchen faucet. Chink. Ryan’s shot glances off the front of the cup. He hangs his head low. I tell him ‘It’s okay, next turn.’ He doesn’t raise his head, won’t look me in the eyes, and responds. “What if there isn’t a next turn?” The self-loathing is thick in his tone. I shake my head and clasp him on the back. “Don’t worry, I won’t let it end this way.”
I cradle the pong, feel its essence, imbue it with hope and love. I quiet the crowd with my mind. I am a samurai Neo again. I must make it. I have no choice. My reputation, my dignity, is in at hand. Jana and Emily are smiling at me, trying to distract me. I see right through them, I look into their eyes. But I do not see victory. I see fear. They have just realized who I am. They know that I can make it. I smile back. Then launch.
Bullet-time again. The pong spirals every forward, ever onward. I can see it cut a path in the air. The whole crow watches. Chink. It bounces off the front of the cup. People begin to celebrate our downfall. But it is not to be so! The ball rolls back to me, guided by the Hoppy One. I retrieve, reload, and shoot from behind my back. I don’t even look.
Thunk. From what I’ve been told, the pong hit nothing but water. The crowd went wild. It was like a fucking jungle. Many of them cheered. Others couldn’t even speak. They had just seen the most epic beerpong comeback in a thousand millennia. Ryan picked me up, a couple others helped to carry me to the other room. Jana and Mary cried. Everyone else shouted, in a most righteous manner. “PONGCASE! PONGCASE! PONGCASE!” ‘We are the Champions,’ by Queen, started playing in the background. I clenched my fist and thrust it in the air, screaming with pure adrenaline. As I passed by Mary I put a hand on her shoulder and told her. “You have much potential young one. One day, you may ride on the backs of men screaming your name too. Maybe, just maybe, you will stand on the shoulders of giants.
Then I was taken upstairs and handed a bottle of tequila. The last thing I remember was waving at the worm as it came down the bottle.
I woke up this morning to the scent of kiwi-strawberry lip balm. I was not in my house and surrounded by my clothes. I have a bad case of rug burn and no memories. My stomach lurched and I ran to the balcony. Apparently, the pizza from the box I had used as a pillow, had been, in its entirety, in my digestive system. Funny thing is, I don’t remember having a ton of pizza.
I found my pants, took out my cellphone and texted Ryan, my bip, my Brother in Pong.
(831): I puked last night's pizza off a balcony...
(1-831): That’s not so horrible.
(831): Into a hottub with six people in it...
(831): It was their pizza.
*Pongcase – when an individual, pair, or team of individuals wins ten games of beerpong in a row. Considered a feat of epic proportions, it is not uncommon for a celebration involving more alcohol of conscience-altering substances to ensure after the proclamation of victory.