Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Do you wanna get rocked? Pub Crawl Survival Guide
At least once a year, a merry band of professional drinkers gets together for a forgettable evening of mayhem. This Saturday is the 3rd Annual Benson Pub Crawl and Winter Retreat. Each year, the number of people in our group expands as well as the number of "finishers", those left standing at the Full House Bar at the end of the night. Year 1 saw only 7 very intoxicated souls make it through the gauntlet of dive bars, but that number increased substantially with over 20 standing at the end last year. In an effort to help us top our previous years, I have developed some tested strategies.
1) The bar crawl is a marathon, not a sprint - Every year, some highly over-confident jerkoff complains that the Benson crawl consists of only 6 or 7 bars. Every year, that guy ends up in a gutter outside the Musette, only the second stop on our crawl. How a person starts the night can largely determine the outcome. I would recommend not starting with a beer, a jager-bomb, and a double captain and coke at the first bar. Unless you plan on being in bed by 8:00.
2) Prime the pump - I'm not sure if it was by design, but this year the crawl does not coincide with the Saturday NFL Divisional playoff games. The previous two years consisted of those of us who enjoy football getting a pretty strong head-start. A regression analysis of factors that predict finishing the crawl found that setting a foundation with drinking before the crawl was a significant predictor of success. Starting later means that you could fall victim to catch-up drinking, which occurs in group settings when other people have a few more drinks than you do, so you take extreme measures to reach their state in a short period of time. Catch-up drinking always results in overshoot, where the "chaser" quickly surpasses the group. Overshoot often ends in what I like to call reverse consumption or calling uncle Ralph on the porcelain telephone.
3) Create fun games and side-wagers - If I've learned anything in my life, it's that gambling makes everything more fun, except college football. Make up bets on whether or not someone will complete the crawl. Set an over/under on the number of finishers.
Play jukebox roulette, wherein each person chooses a song at the first bar on the jukebox that they believe will be on every jukebox on the crawl. Each person plays their song at each bar. If you reach a bar where your song is not available, you're out. At the end of the night, each person who was eliminated has to buy a round for the people who played their song at the most consecutive bars. I know some of you are thinking that with those fancy internet jukeboxes, this game would not be much fun because you could pick almost any song, and the jukebox will download it for you. People who say that have never been on the Benson Crawl, where you better be picking something by Neil Diamond or the Stones if you want to have any chance at the end of the night.
Pictures of this year's crawl will be posted here (censored to protect the guilty party) and Facebook (with tags so you can tell who that guy is with puke on his face).