In September, I went back to Houghton for the first time since graduation. It had been three and a half years. It was fucking great to be back. I was actually worried that the place wouldn’t be like I remembered it. Even though the people (for the most part) were different, everything was just like I remembered it.
I went for beerball, which is even more ridiculous than the name would have you believe. Get four barrels (kegs) of beer, two dark, two light. Put one light where first base on a baseball field would be, one dark on third, and the other two in whatever shade you can find. Now, everyone who is playing defense gets a beer to take into the field with them. Have someone on your own team pitch a softball to the batter. If the batter makes it to first, he or she gets a beer. If he or she then makes it to third, he or she is not safe unless their beer is gone. Give him or her another beer. He or she is not safe at home, unless that beer is gone. If a barrel runs out, replace it with the backup. When all four are emtpy, finish the inning, and count up the score. If anyone is caught puking, their team loses a run. All disputes are settled via slam-off – including who won the slam-of.
Insane? Yes. Unhealthy? Probably. Dangerous? Probably. Fun? You bet your sweet ass. Even though it’s a tradition that is older than my time at Tech, it’s only the second beer ball I’ve been to, and the first in which I played. Even scored a run. Lost two slam-offs, though.
In addition to playing beerball, I also got to cruise around the UP, hit my favorite bar (the Dog), drink on the deck of the DT, scream/sing in the basement of the fraternity house, and spend my last night in town reminiscing and playing drink-car.
Drink-car is simple. Pick a characteristic of a car (red, blue, cars with trailers, SUVs, convertibles, whatever), and any time a car with that characteristic drives by, drink. If a service vehicle (police, fire, ambulance) passes, it’s a social and everyone drinks.
Crazy times in a crazy town. I can’t wait to go back. … hopefully for Winter Carnival – which is even crazier than beerball.