Reporting Dan Morgridge
Competitive drinking games tap into two primal needs of guys. Drinking, we can safely assume, is understood. Competition, while once solved with a couple rounds of fisticuffs behind O’Malley’s barn, is maybe not quite as popular (or legally tenable) as it used to be. Beer Pong, a fine compromise, has sated many a young man’s desire to both get slightly trashed and also shout things like “BOOMHOUSE, BABY!” at a fallen opponent.
But deep down, most people have to realize that there’s something slightly off about beer pong. That wispy, light ball. The need to sanitize the ball in a cup of water – who wants to CLEAN when they’re in the middle of a heated battle? While close, there’s just a couple factors that keep beer pong from reaching that perfect zen of tipsy victory. Enter Battleshots.
From whence Battleshots came, the internet cannot say. All we know is that a couple of pictures made the rounds, many different people adopted it, and we knew here at ManCave that war must be waged in the name of science. With some paper and markers, a little woodwork, and several people in completely unrelated costumes, we set into a journey to what we’d hope was the true essence of the ManCave — drunk tactical war simulation.
7:30 PM – Game “Begins”. Three of us are on time. Guac and chips are eaten. A selection of terrible liquors are brought out and discussed as possible shots. Pre-drinking drinking occurs.
8:27 PM – With eight of us present, the game can finally begin; teams are chosen. Team Godless Russian Communists is represented by two couples, while Team America is represented by a lumberjack, a hippie, and a Russian tennis star (teams were chosen poorly).
8:55 PM – With game one nearly complete, two pirates arrive with the “ships”, saving our shots from floating sadly in the middle of the ocean. Team Russia holds a lead, and is getting cocky and shouting. Team America is doing a lot of thoughtful fake beard-stroking. Alas, it is for naught: Team Russia finally finds the Patrol Boat (or Destroyer; this as well as the Cruiser/Destroyer debate cause significant international dispute, later causing Team Russia to launch goldfish cracker missiles into enemy territory).
9:10 PM: After celebrating their godless Communist win, team Russia sets up their next board. Leaving a massive 6×6 area free of all ships, they declare it a goldfish habitat. Said habitat is ravaged by both enemy fire and overfishing, leaving the common goldfish cracker extinct by 9:45 or so. War is cruel. The Americans pull off an impressive come from behind victory, and a deciding third game is declared.
10 PM(ish): Cheating has become rampart by game three. Team Russia figures out America’s “stacking” gambit, causing much hostility. Team America questions Russia’s invention of an eleventh row. Headbutts and other personal attacks are being flung with regularity. Occasional water shots have been replaced with occasional Ouzo shots, and then finally group Malort shots (in memory of each team’s lost Battleship). One of the pirates attempts to wear as many hats as possible while still taking their shots. The other pirate’s parrot has abandoned its owner for a bottle of Scotch. A strategy involving tilting the bottle sideways is employed, by several players but fails to remove the bird. No one seems to mind.
Sometime before 11 PM: Declaring a truce in the name of avoiding utter liver destruction, the two teams make peace, albeit both plotting to stockpile strategic liquor reserves in the name of defense. The Cold War now rages on, but all parties promise to plan World War III for next weekend, possibly at Andrew’s place.
Dan Morgridge is a writer from Chicago. He assures all future employers that his drunken naval career is outshadowed by his strong work ethic and numerous charitable works.