Tag Archives: alcohol

“Cheers” Before a Shot

The informant described a ritual where people taking a shot together tap their shot glass on the table before saying “cheers” and taking the shot. This is done any time taking a shot of alcohol with others, including friends and family, no matter the place or time. This is done to signal everyone to take their shot and as an announcement of celebration, of sorts. “Cheers” is often said to encourage good will as one drinks, and the meaning is the same here.

The ritual demonstrates a culture which engages with alcohol as a means of celebration. The involved parties want to encourage good will and acknowledge celebration as they dive deeper into their party-atmosphere cultivated by alcohol by saying “cheers” and clinking glasses on the table. There is no magic necessarily associated, just a soft of acknowledgment of good will. The sound made serves two purposes, it seems. One, to signal everyone to take the shot so they can time the drink to be taken at the same time. Second, to signal celebration in the same way that a “woop” does. Noises to announce a celebration are common, such as clapping, “wooping,” whistling, clinking glasses, etc… These are not necessarily to start a celebration but for the announcement of continuation of a celebration. The ritual is widely spread, at least around the United States. Other cultures have similar versions, saying something that imitates a sort of blessing before drinking. This is likely due to the spread of the ritual as folklore, stemming from a traditional blessing around food and drink.

Seattle High School Party Tradition: “Spodie”

Context:

EZ is a college student that grew up in central Seattle and remembers attending these gatherings during her high school years.

Main Piece:

“A spodie is like, um, an outdoor party where, but it’s like, with people from your high school so it’s like high school-centric I guess. And then the jungle juice, I’ve never really had it because it scared me, but it’s definitely like, you don’t bring your own drinks because like, a lot of people are still in high school, um, so yeah, for sure. Five dollars a cup, or you just find a cup on the ground and use it.”

Analysis:

‘Spodies’ are a type of party that, while definitely exists elsewhere, only has the name ‘spodie’ in Seattle as far as I can tell. The outdoor setting, usually in a park, is typical of Seattle, where there are many green spaces available as they’re incorporated into the urban environment, and where the high schoolers involved generally do not have access to any indoor locations to throw a party.

‘Jungle juice’ here refers to the practice of mixing together many different kinds of liquids (many alcoholic in nature) in a large container (often a cooler), from which attendees scoop themselves a red solo cup. The price is charged for the cup rather than by the drink, and is usually around five dollars. As EZ mentions, some attendees that do not want to pay prefer to find a discarded cup on the ground to use instead.

All the individual elements of a spodie are common to underage and high school parties, and party settings. The combination of these factors (outside, jungle juice where you’re charged for your cup, high school age) come together to make it a spodie. EZ has no idea where the term came from, but knows that they’re widespread throughout Seattle, and have existed since before she reached high school age.

Hair Of the Dog

Background:

Informant is an Australian student who has lived in Australia for most of her life.

“I’d drink a beer the morning after. Y’know—hair of the dog, when you drink to cure a hangover?’

Context:

Informant and I were discussing the option of beer as a beverage at a restaurant. She mentioned she would want to order one sometime in the future.

Analysis:

“Hair of the dog” is a colloquial expression that is a folk remedy. As a colloquialism, it is completely separate from alcohol and drinking, therefore creating an in and out group of drinkers and non-drinkers who may not understand the usage of this phrase and thus potentially lessening any shame or judgment that may be given if admitting to drinking alcohol. As a folk remedy, this uses the logic of homeopathic magic—a desired result, which is relieving the side effects of consuming alcohol, is achieved through mimicking it, drinking alcohol. The actual proof of this belief may or may not exist, but since such a remedy is popular enough as alcohol is widely-consumed globally (and as hangovers don’t necessarily have actual cures), the belief in this remedy is able to continue.

Cure for Hangovers

Context: M.Z. learned about this cure from his mother while growing up in the American Southwest.

M.Z. : Okay, so the first one would be my mother’s cure for hangovers she swore that the best thing for a hangover was to get a Coca-Cola from a soda fountain, it could not be in a can or a bottle Add to be out of a soda machine and that was the only thing along with Saltine crackers that would settle your stomach and help you cure a hangover.
P.Z. : Just drinking and eating those two things? Nothing else?
M.Z. : Yep, yep those were the two key ingredients. You could eat other stuff but that was you had to have the soda fountain Coca-Cola.

Thoughts: I’ve heard of a variety of hangover cures, and it seems that it is traditionally some sort of food or drink concoction. This meant that I wasn’t surprised by this cure, although I had never heard of this one specifically.

Battleshots

Background: The informant loves games of all sorts: board games, drinking games, card games. He thinks they are a great way to be social, be involved and do something active with friends, so people aren’t passively on their phones.

KD: Battleshots is a large scale drinking version of the classic game Battleship. When we played we converted a ping pong table and some bed sheets into a Battleship game board, so on each side of the ping pong table we made a grid exactly the same as the Battleship. And using 2x4s we made larger versions of the game pieces and drilled holes in them so you could drop a shot glass in each spot. So, the aircraft carrier had five shots on it. The destroyer had four shots. The little petrol boat had two shots. It’s exactly like the game but with alcohol. So, we put a thick bed sheet in between the two sides of the ping pong table so you couldn’t see your opponent’s side. You orient your table however you want. And, different from the board game, we created sea mines, or something, it’s, we had some name for the, but, on your ships you had shots with whiskey, or tequila, or your alcohol of choice; in these sea mines we’d put a reed solo cup with beer or seltzer or wine or something and during game play, it’s, B4 hit, alright B7 hit and then your fill out, you sunk my battleship, whatever, uh, but, every time the other person hit your boat you took the shot that was in the place and you drink. In the event they call out sea mine coordinates, or like C12, somebody standing by the table would take that red solo cup filled with beer, hand it over to the other side, and the person calling the shot would need to drink it. Gameplay cannot continue until that solo cup is finished. Some games we’d play with seven sea mines, some games we’d play with one sea mine. And each player had a grid on, er, a little piece of paper with a grid so they can track where they were calling and how they were hitting, bu, otherwise it was identical to the classic board game… with alcohol.

Me: Do you think other people play this?

KD: Oh, yeah. It’s now on Pinterest but we were playing this a long time ago. It’s kinda like large Jenga; now it’s everywhere but we don’t know if wee invented it we just didn’t see it anywhere else

Context of the performance: This was told to me during an in person conversation.

Thoughts: It’s interesting that the informant and his friends though they were the first to come up with it. I had never heard of it so when they explained that now it’s all over Pinterest and has become popular, we can see that it exists in multiplicity. The concept itself is intriguing since it takes an existing game and transforms it into a drinking game. Their invention of a sea mine sounds similar to certain other drinking games, like Rage Cage, that have an exception cup that is completely full to a different gameplay otherwise in the form of shots are slightly filled cups. The red solo cup itself is so closely tied to drinking games that its use here makes a lot of sense.