Date of Performance/Collection:
Informant is a Facebook page that posts only memes. As the page’s primary following is teens and young adults, most of their content is humor based on early 2000’s culture.
This particular post shows a Super Nintendo gaming console (1990), with a decal of Superintendent Chalmers of the popular TV show the Simpsons. The pun here is on the words ‘superindendent’ and ‘supernintendo.’ By combining the show known for its success in the 1990’s, with a 1990’s video game console , this satirical image is aimed to evoke nostalgia for people who grew up in this era.
Residence: Echo Park, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4.19.2014
Primary Language: English
“Ahahah it honestly never gets old, we lose it every time and nobody is doing anything but staring at it.”
The Mustache Game is a drinking game wherein people make a cut out mustache and tape it to a random spot on a television screen — typically not near the edges. Then, everyone sits around watching TV. If the mustache perfectly lines up with a character’s upper lip, everyone watching drinks. The excitement from the game comes from when the mustache gets extremely close but the character keeps moving around it.
The informant says it’s the most fun drinking game he plays since it’s pretty passive — people can hang out and watch TV but also laugh incessantly at all the near misses. He also claims people can’t focus on anything else so it ends up getting turned off so people can actually talk or do other things. Sometimes he varies the game by having people draw or cut out different types of mustaches or facial hair. He made mention of putting two mustaches on the screen at once, but it apparently has never lined up. If it did, everyone would go crazy, he said.
This sounds like an incredibly fun drinking game. It’s really easy to set up, works on a lot of different TV shows I’m willing to bet, and is decently passive. To be fair, it’s not really much of a game — there’s not a ton of user input, a win state, or a risk of loss. But “drinking game” can connote more than traditional games, as its just an activity used as a platform to drink because in honor of. I also like the idea of expanding the rules — different mustaches, multiple mustaches, what channel you choose. It’s a very modern drinking game obviously, but accessible by many.
Residence: San Francisco, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: December 17,2012
In the late 1970s, Argentinian comedian, Humberto Vilchez Vera made a bet on his television show that he would stay in the house for seven days without incident. However, on the the fourth day, neighbors called police because of the horrible screams that could be heard inside the house. The police and ambulances arrived and took Vera away who was still screaming, speaking in tongues and acting erratically. He was also frothing at the mouth. He was sent to an insane asylum for 13 months and after his release forever declined to speak of the house.
While the previous versions about the Chinese family and the cruel master are not supported by any evidence other than property records which show that the house was indeed inhabited by Chinese migrants, the Vilchez Vera case re is the most recent occurrence that is well-documented and would seem to corroborate the stories of the hauntings. However, Vilchez Vera denied having entered the house in his autobiography and said that while he made the bid, his intention was only to fool people into believing he’d entered the house. Vilchez Vera was very vague in his autobiography which was published shortly before his death, and he doesn’t state exactly how he pretended to enter the house nor does he address his documented rescue by the police or his disappearance after the incident (the insane asylum story has never been proven since no documents have been found). Over all it’s a very puzzling case.
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/23/12
Primary Language: English
The informant (21) is a Junior at USC. She transferred to USC for her sophomore year, and before that, spent her freshman year at Bennington College in Vermont.
The informant is my roommate and she wanted to contribute a drinking game to my folklore collection. This game is known as the Law & Order: SVU Drinking Game:
“The rules are pretty straight forward. You take a drink when you hear the “dun dun” sound, when a weapon is drawn, someone hits on Mariska Hargitay’s character, when there’s a celebrity guest, or when Ice T says “that’s messed up.” Whenever B.D. Wong is on the screen, you drink half your beer and when Stabler worries about his daughter, you take five drinks. Sometimes people make up other rules, but those are my standard ones. I learned this drinking game in Vermont, when my roommates and I got really into the show and watched pretty much every episode. By best friend there had learned the game in high school from another friend of hers. It’s a fun game and I play it because it’s an excuse to watch more L&O SVU, which is the single greatest show of all time and there are a million episodes so you can change things up during different ones. Also, drinking is the single greatest thing ever and can be done a million times even if you know that the outcome will be the same each time.”
Having watched Law & Order SVU, I agree with much of what my informant says. The game is a great excuse to watch more episodes and there’s a lot of freedom with the rules so things won’t get boring from episode to episode. Depending on the specific rules, sometimes the game is designed to get a person to drink a lot in a short amount of time, or even to prolong it. Drinking games that involve TV are also a great bonding experience because everyone’s watching the show at the same time, looking for the same things, and no doubt, as episodes go on, the side-conversations get more and more hilarious.