AS now lives in Seattle, but grew up in Blenheim, Ontario in Canada and remembers how people celebrated Victoria Day every May.
“Our holiday in May is called Victoria Day instead of Memorial Day, and it’s very widely known as the May 2-4 Weekend because cases of beer come with 24, and it’s typically around the 24th of May. So it’s May 2-4 Weekend, everybody loses their minds, it’s generally warm enough that you can go camping. There’s tons of underage drinking which is saying something because the drinking age is pretty young in Canada anyway.”
This holiday tradition seems to parallel many American traditions as well. Holidays that are not associated largely with spending time with family tend to instead turn to drinking and partying instead. While Victoria Day is an institutionally enforced holiday, the extrapolation into the full May 2-4 Weekend and the subsequent packaging of 24-beer cases seems to have arisen from the folk. It is apt that a holiday weekend in May would generate such interest in Canada since Canada is a very cold country for the winter season and, like AS mentioned, May is when the weather starts heating up again. It seems like it goes hand in hand with other festivals of springtime, celebrating the end of the winter.
Corners is a folk game that is played with cups, ping pong balls, and beer. It is similar to beer pong in the general principle, with slightly different rules. There are two teams, with teammates on opposing diagonal corners across a table. Each corner has four cups arranged in a diamond, all touching and there is one cup in the middle. There is a beer split between each corner and a full bear in the cup in the middle. The concept of the game is that you and your partner share one ping pong ball and must take turns throwing into your teammate’s cups, across the table. If your teammate makes it in one of your cups, you take the ball out and pass the cup to your side for the opposing team to drink. While your team is drinking, neither you nor your teammate can throw the ball. Once all eight cups between the two teammates have been sunk, you must bounce the ping pong ball twice into the center cup to win. The informant plays this game with his fraternity brothers.
The informant learned this through other people in his fraternity house. These types of games differ from school to school and place to place. The informant is still in college, so regularly practices this game, except during the current pandemic. They find it a way to have fun with drinking in a way that is not associated directly with the alcohol content.
This game follows the basic formula for drinking games in college. I believe that it is as much to play the game as it is to drink. Although no one I have talked to plays this with anything other than beer and sometimes hard seltzer, it is preferred over just drinking. The game makes drinking have an interactive element in what otherwise could be considered a solo action. It also normalizes binge drinking by turning it into a harmless game, something that can be dangerous.
The following is transcribed from a conversation between my friend, identified as SK, and myself, identified as GK.
SK: I want to tell you about a game I have been playing with my buddies at college called “Beerio Kart”. It’s a drinking game that involves the video game “Mario Kart” and is super competitive. So the basic objective of the game is to be the first player to finish the race while at the same time finishing his/her beer. However the catch is that you must completely stop driving and drop your controller while you’re drinking the beer as it is illegal to drink and drive. So the game becomes pretty strategic because of this rule.
GK: So what’s the best strategy for this game?
SK: It really depends. I usually do all the driving first, so I know how much time I have to chug the beer. However, I have friends who will chug at the very beginning so they could play from behind the whole race and get the best items in the game because of it. There are also people who will take stops after each lap to drink the beer at a steady pace while keeping up with the other opponents in the Mario Kart race. I would say my strategy is the best, but to each their own.
Background: The informant knows of this game from college. He says that his roommate during his freshman year taught him the game, and that they would often play with the other guys in his dorm. Due to the fact that the new Mario Kart is on the Nitendo Switch, up to eight people could play at once. The game serves as a fun way for the informant and his friends to compete with one another while drinking.
Context: The informant and I discussed this game over Face Time.
My Thoughts: This game, in my opinion, serves as a great way to compete with friends while at the same time expanding the entertainment of Mario Kart even further. The courses start to get boring after a while, so adding a whole new aspect to the game really spices things up. It also illustrates the rise in popularity that video games have taken amongst the college demographic. For the longest time, I always thought video games were mainly played by children, and when they were played by adults, that those people were weird. However, with the creation of platforms such as Twitch, video games being played by older people have become more acceptable in society. I also believe that the multiplayer aspect that the Nintendo Switch offers makes the game more appealing to college students living in a dorm because they can compete with one another easily.
The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant and the interviewer.
Interviewer: So I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this term before, but I wanna get your understanding of what it means if that’s good… the saying I’m talking about is,”Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear, beer before liquor, you’ve never been sicker.”
Informant: hahaha yeah I’ve definitely heard that one, even if it’s been a couple years. Pretty sure it just means exactly what it sounds like haha just dont take shots after you’ve already been drinking beer for a while and I just honestly say it’s good advice. Pretty sure most people just take it as “don’t mix your alcohol,” though.
My informant is in his mid 20’s, born and raised in California. His parents immigrated from Italy and are extremely conservative, while he has adopted much more liberal views. He is also an electronic music producer.
I talked to my informant over a facetime call during the 2020 coronavirus Quarantine
I’ve actually heard this saying before, and after doing some research, I found that it makes no difference whether you drink beer or liquor first, you just tend to drink more if you start with beer and then start by taking a bunch of shots.
“Liquor before beer and you’re in the clear, beer before liquor never been sicker.”
Context and Analysis:
My informant is a 19-year-old male. The informant claims he first heard this proverb when he was in ninth grade. It was one of the first times he was consuming alcohol and was not paying attention to the type of alcohol he was consuming. He was alternating between drinking beer and simultaneously taking shots of vodka. When one of his friends said to him the proverb. He disregarded the advice as it was too late, and continued to drink. The informant says he did not end the night feeling very well; however, he does not live by the proverb for in other situations when he has followed the proverb’s advice the night has still ended badly.
I have also heard this proverb before and know many people that do live by it. On many occasions, I have even heard it is bad to mix any type of alcohol. Often I do not hear this while I’m in a setting where alcohol is being consumed, but after. Most often it is during the day or after a night of alcohol consumption when someone will make a reference to the proverb, and claim the person who had a bad night was at fault because they did not follow the proverb’s advice. After looking further into this proverb, I found many sources claiming it was a myth. One of the most reputable sources I found was by CBS News, they claim “hangovers are more dependent on the total amount of alcohol consumed, rather than the order of drinking.” The rhyme of the proverb makes it catchy and easy to remember. I believe this is a significant factor in what makes this proverb so popular. Keeping in mind my informant’s age I also believe it is a proverb most often found in younger circles where there is less exposure to alcohol. Most teens are still in the experimental phase of alcohol consumption in their lives, and therefore are more susceptible to catchy phrases such as these that are not true.