Age: 20 (all)
Residence: Austin, TX
Date of Performance/Collection: 2/17/18
Primary Language: English
The following is a toast collected from a group of five friends who recite a pledge aimed at their longstanding mutual friendship. The pledge is performed during communal games involving alcohol, particularly ‘beer pong’ which is played between teams of two along the ends of a tall rectangular table.
The rules and practice of said game do not apply to the situation of the toast besides the table on which the game is played, which plays an integral and symbolic part to the performance of the toast. Therefore, the rules of the game will not be explained further outside of any direct relation to the proceedings of the toast.
The context of the situation proceeds as such:
The five friends gather around a handmade table constructed from available and basic wood materials. The table itself is kept at the host participant’s home, whose name has been excluded. While the participant is not the exclusive host to every party, each use of the table and recital of the toast is reserved to his home.
While there is no designated time during these parties for the toast to occur, it often falls after a few rounds of initial play of any alcohol-centered games, where everyone will have had at least one turn playing and thus have ingested sufficient amounts of alcohol to be slightly intoxicated at the very least.
At this point, each member of the group gathers around the table. The toast itself goes as follows:
“There are good ships, there are wood ships. There are ships that sail the sea. But the best ships, are friendships. So here’s to you and me!”
Each member of the group then simultaneously taps their beer can on the table and raises it up to drink. While raising their drinks, everyone together says (with less intensity)
“Down with Hitler.”
Each member then drinks until satisfied.
The pledge itself is a cheerful acknowledgment of the mutual bonds of friendship between each participant, and for the group as a whole. The concluding mention of “Down with Hitler” serves as a humorous reference to the host participant’s Jewish heritage, serving as a sarcastic assurance of false machismo that underlines the lightheartedness of the toast itself.
The table on which the toast is centered is constructed with dimensions of around 8 feet-by-2 feet and standing at waist height. Its top is painted with horizontal stripes of blue, green, yellow, and red, giving it a vibrant and outstanding place in the room.
Written in permanent marker across the top of the table are the words to the toast itself, along with various doodles such as star-bound rockets and bizarre imaginary creatures.
The names of each participant, accompanied by self-applied nicknames (often overly elaborate and nonsensical, otherwise only a vague relation to a defining characteristic of each person) meant to be referenced in an exclusively ironic manner.
These nicknames include:
A play on the stage name of popular rapper Dr. Dre and a reference to the participant’s Jewish faith.
The second part of the name a reference towards rappers’ tendencies to reference high-end clothing brands in their music in public image, itself a play on the word ‘prodigy’ despite Trevor’s complete lack of a musical background.
The other names of MC Betty, The Mist, and Boogiewitz 3000 are intentionally nonsensical, unrelated to the participant’s real names in any way. Thus, their humor is derived from this very nature of having no connection whatsoever to their makers.