Democracy and the Greatest Drinking Game I’ve Ever Played

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One fateful day in late October, I was offered a life-changing opportunity in one of my Political Science classes.  

A public official was passing around a sign-up sheet for a paid opportunity to help work the polls on election day.  It was easy money for just a few hours of work, plus I would get the added intellectual bonus of peering behind the curtain to see the mechanisms of our great democracy!

Pole Dancing

Also, working the polls is exactly this glamorous.
Photo Credit: BoiseWeekly.com

I was available, so I put my name down on the list and was contacted a few days later with information on when/where to show up on that fateful night.

I apologize for how misleading this tale has been up to this point.  I don’t have any scintillating tales of what I saw when I peaked up our republic’s skirt.  Truthfully, it was an extraordinarily forgettable night.  Surrounded by many people my own age and many people at least triple my own age, we sat on folding chairs in a circle being very inefficiently managed.

Every so often we would be called for, just a few people at a time to move some boxes around.  Yes, this is how we elect the goobers that govern us.  We put stuff in boxes and then move the boxes around.  I just saved you a Civics course.  You’re welcome.

In the time in between rare bouts of labor I sat quietly, avoiding eye contact with these strangers and feeling very awkward in my own skin.  You see this election was a traumatic one for me.  Rick Scott was running against Alex Sink for Governor of Sex-Crazed Looney National Headline-Land (Florida for those who don’t realize the bizarre carnival that we risk our lives daily to inhabit).  It was the most transparent election that would ever be forced upon the public (hopefully).  A clear choice between the crook with a “(D)” next to her name or the crook with an “(R)” next to his name.  I couldn’t in good conscience contribute to the election of either.

Being a historically minded chap, I know that people have sacrificed so much for the right to vote.  Well, like, people other than white guys like me.  To not vote is to take a big pee on everything that those courageous individuals stood for.  The self-loathing made my skin crawl.  The feeling of my skin-crawling made my muscles crawl.  The ickiness of feeling my muscles crawl made my bones crawl.  I was spasming with contempt for myself.  Had someone thought to ask me which crook I voted for, I would have promptly thrown up on the floor, realizing that I had died a horrible death and was now sitting in my own personal hell.

Luckily, there were people my age in the room.  And like most people that age, they were talking about the important issues of the day (Tuesday, that is):  Getting drunk.  One fellow in particular was extremely bold and opinionated on the issue.

He was the Samuel Adams to our Constitutional Convention of strangers sitting on folding chairs in a dimly lit warehouse.  This analogy may or may not work.  I’m not sure whether or not Samuel Adams actually got the Facebook Invite to the Constitutional Convention.  As I understand it, he was a popular rabble-rouser in the bar who somehow drunkenly helped incite the American Revolution.  If this is incorrect, please don’t ever tell me because it makes my view of history at least 11x more awesome than the ones in the textbooks.

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams – totally hammered and ready to revolt as usual.
Photo Credit: TheFederalistPapers.org

This enlightened individual bestowed upon our group a fruit from the tree of intoxication (you know, the one from Genesis).  That gift, ladies and gentlemen, was DRUNK MARIO KART.

Simple facts about childhood:

1.  At a certain age (generally 105 years old), you begin to rant and rave to younger people that your childhood was exponentially superior to theirs.  Your childhood took place in the Golden Age of Childhood, and the whole world has been steadily deteriorating since you stopped being a child.

2.  There is no Golden Age of Childhood.  Shut up about it already.

3.  If you insist on continuing this argument, I will crush you with this all-important question:  Did you play Mario Kart on your Nintendo 64 when you were a kid?  If you answered, “No, Brantley.  I played with sticks and dirt like God intended,” then your childhood was rotten and your parents didn’t love you.  

Mario Kart 64 cartridge

I’d hit that. I’d blow it too. Anything that it takes to get these stupid cartridges to work these days.
Photo credit: The giant friggin watermark on the picture.

Mario Kart is a video game featuring popular Nintendo characters such as “Italian- stereotype (#1 and #2),” “Reminder-That-All-Women-Are-Just-Damsels-In-Distress,” “There’s-Something-Racist-About-This-Gorilla-You-Just-Can’t-Put-Your-Finger-On-It,” “Horrifying-Dinosaur,” “Adorable-Dinosaur,” and of course, everyone’s favorite:  “Jovial-Effeminate-Fungus.”  In the game, each of the above stated characters that probably make sense somehow in Japanese culture race each other in go karts.  They battle their way to the finish line using weapons such as turtle shells, heat-seeking turtle shells, presents that aren’t actually presents, electrocution as an enhanced interrogation technique, temporary invincibility, and banana peels.

I sincerely hope that banana peels don’t actually cause car accidents, because I chuck them out the window when I’m out driving all the time.  They’re biodegradable and you can’t make me feel bad about this.

Drunken Mario Kart is hands-down the Greatest Drinking Game ever conceived. 

The rules are simple:

1.  You must finish your beer before crossing the finish line.

2.  You cannot drink and drive.  Put your controller down to chug your beer. 

3.  Avoid cliche “Fight Club” references when listing out the rules of Drunk Mario Kart.

For those crunching the numbers, races only take around 3-4 minutes on average.  Even if you stop frequently to drink your beer, races still don’t exceed 5 minutes.  Power Hour is for sissies.

The key to avoiding alcohol poisoning is to make sure that you have more than 4 people playing.  I recommend at least 6-8.  After each round, the first and second place finishers get to play again, while the losers in third and fourth place surrender their spot to other people waiting in the wings.  This increases the amount of time before someone vomits on your rug.

Don’t be surprised that this becomes a game of varying strategies.

Some people choose to park at the starting line and chug as much of their beer as they can stomach.  Racers in third and fourth place get the best weapons from the randomized system, so starting off behind gives you the means and the time to catch up and take the lead.

Others throw down their controller every time they hit an obstacle.  In the first several rounds, most players don’t find enough chugging time to finish their beer before reaching the finish line using this technique.  Later on in the night, obstacles become much easier to hit and those moments when your kart is toppling through the air amount to enough time to finish that can.

A third approach is to park just before the finish line and then chug the entire beer before everyone else catches up.  It’s bold, it isn’t common, and it’s risky.  You are banking on draining that brew before your competitors can chew through the substantial lead that you’ve developed by not popping the top until those last inches before the checkered line.

If you haven’t finished your beer before crossing the finish line, you are disqualified and have to give up your controller.  It’s probably for the best anyways.  If you are no longer in a condition where you can casually chug a beer every 4 minutes, you should consider taking a break from your consumption.

As I stated above, the night was quite forgettable other than this particular nugget of wisdom.  Eventually, the ballots arrived in giant stacks of boxes piled high on wooden pallets and then shrink-wrapped into place.  My contribution to the unfortunate election of Governor Voldemort?  Moving those ballots from right here to over there.

Rick Scott Voldemort Comparison

But seriously, look at these two. They could be twins that take turns sharing a nose.
Photo Credit: Cheezburger.com

If you can top this drinking game, I will mail you a hand-made coupon for a six-pack.  It won’t be redeemable anywhere, but I will put like $10 in the envelope with it so we can just pretend that it is legit.

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30 thoughts on “Democracy and the Greatest Drinking Game I’ve Ever Played

  1. underwaterraven

    This post was hilarious! I’m ashamed to admit though that I didn’t play Mario Kart on my ’64 when I was a kid – I was usually outside playing football. But that Samuel Adams (do you reckon people called him Sammy?) definitely looks like a trouble maker. I think it’s in the curls.

    • Well, I won’t hold your Mario Kart-less childhood against you so long as you don’t get all high and mighty with your “I played outside when I was a kid” attitude. So many people my parents’ age (Baby Boomers) think that just because I played video games with friends as a kid that I never engaged in any outdoor or athletic activity. Though if you did want to play that card, I would have to say that my lack of hand-eye coordination would have gotten me killed playing football as a kid.

      I was always a swimmer. I quit T-ball to pursue that sport (yes, I never quite made it to coach-pitch). Swimming required absolutely no catching ability. It was a perfect fit for me.

  2. underwaterraven

    We weren’t allowed to have games consoles in my house when I was a kid, so I had to occupy myself by doing (usually) outdoors things. When I say “football” though I’m talking about English football, so what you guys call soccer, I think. Football isn’t as dangerous as American football (what us English call your version of “football”). Also, what’s T-ball?? (And I like swimming but I haven’t actually been in a pool for over three years…it’s really bad…)

    • I still would have found a way to knock all my teeth out with soccer.

      T-ball is baseball for little kids. Rather than a pitcher throwing the ball for the barter to swing at, the ball sits completely stationary on top of a tee (think a big rubber golf tee). The batter hits the ball off of the tee.

      Yes, you can still strike out. Yes, I did quite frequently.

      The next level of baseball for little kids is “coach pitch” which has one of the parents throwing the ball gently for the batter to swing at.

    • As a member of the Nintendo 64 generation, I got to BE James Bond, not just watch him. Granted he was very, very amorphous and pixelly but still…

      As for Star Trek, I’ve always sided with Star Wars in the extremely unnecessary fan competition between the two. Really though, why are those two compared so heatedly?!

      • DaPoet

        Beats me! I grew up with Lost in Space and Star Trek and fell in love with Star Wars the first time it came out in the theaters. LOL My wife hates James Bond – she calls him a male whore – I always tell her that’s why I like him – cause he kills the bad guy and always gets the girl. 🙂

    • Haha you know I never saw that before now, but since you’ve said that I can’t unsee it! I always loved that rag when I was a little kid. My granny used to buy them. She was in her late 80s so I’m not sure, but she may have believed them!

  3. HAHAHA, YES!

    MK is and will be THE game of the Nintendo 64. oo7 golden eye was another hot one.

    I had suite mates who lived across the stairwell from me my freshman year who logged in countless hours of Blitz (the football game) as well.

    Are you still capable of the drinking capacity of your dorm days career?

    • I played my fair share of blitz back in the day. It was cheap, but we would set it so that you couldn’t jump offsides before the snap, then we would sprint just to the left or right of the line and as soon as the center hiked the ball we would be on top of the quarterback. I was never good enough to win against other real people, but it was still fun.

      I don’t drink as well as I did back in the day, but I can still cross that finish line ahead of the rest. Some friends came over and played drunk Mario kart one night a couple weeks ago. There were only 4 of us and we tore through an 18 pack in no time. As I mentioned in the post, do the math…1 beer chugged pretty much every 3-5 minutes. With only four of us, we couldn’t tag out so we got buzzed really quick. Then we switched to the other classics: 007 and Smash Bros.

      Where did you go to school? Are you still in college or have you graduated?

      • Solid performance. Blitz was a WILD game to play (even watching). Never got into smash brothers, though.

        I went to school in North Carolina (St, Andrews Presbyterian College back then), and graduated 3 years ago in May.

      • Nice. I started with engineering, and as I began taking courses and watching as the housing market was tanking (wanted to be an architect at the time) and people were flopping out, I merged into the Arts and finished with that – after an extended year (haha),

        Changed. My. Life.

        How was the film life for you?

      • It was a great thing to study, but super difficult to find a job. Until a few months ago, I was working for an artist management firm here in Orlando. It didn’t go well and I just couldn’t stick it out any longer (it was purely commission based pay – a percentage of artist’s earnings). Now I’m delivering pizza and trying to find a job in NYC. There just isn’t much left for me here in Orlando (except my annual pass to Disney World of course…).

        What about you? Did you find some work with your degree?

      • Making the moves and hustling when you can. I hope your NYC adventure takes off for you, just a matter of finding that job to make it happen. Do you have any projects of your films online anywhere?

        As for me, I did not. I was working the art hustle, but I was in a weird place within myself. I sold a few things, made a couple of contacts, but truly did not understand to what could have been.

        Now, I am a paper pushing paperboy for a customer service office in a warehouse – fortunate to have it, yes, but definitely not what I am all jacked up about.

      • Sounds rough man, but theres no shame in paying the bills so long as you can stay sane (I’m delivering pizzas with my college degree).

        As for some films I’ve done, here’s a student film that I will be writing about later on:

        And here are some music videos that I wrote/produced:

        I’ve found that you don’t have a ton of creative latitude in country music. It’s a very straight-forward crowd that you’re playing to.

        There are some other projects I’ve worked on floating out there, but none of them ever went anywhere.

    • Can’t believe I didn’t think of this last night: With graduation approaching, my friends and I had a habit of telling each other, “You know after we graduate we’ll be adults and all of this drinking will just be alcoholism.”

      • Ha. I went through that aspect. Then only “sipped” on the weekends, then back to every other day.

        I guess it all depends on the person. You know, some people can tank it every night and be fine to wake up at 5:30 am in the morning, others are not.

        Portion control should be practiced, I guess.

      • Yeah I mostly just drink real beer like a grown up now. I slammed some cheap light beer back in school though. I think I’ve had a lifetime’s worth of crap brew already. Now I’m a sucker for a 12 pack sampler from Blue Moon or Magic Hat or Sam Adams.

      • Yeaa man, I know what you mean. (MBI – Milwaukee’s Best Ice) straight diesel going down. But, it did the job.

        Now, similar to you, I seek the craft beers from local brewers and family ops of operation. My recent (this pass weekend) was Smuttynose’s ‘Noonan Black IPA.’ Pretty tasty, if you rock with the dark / heavy beers. Wine has also been a tasty treat for me as well.

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