Our 21-year-old daughter Emma is suggesting that I take part in a beer-pong tournament this weekend and I don’t know what to think.

On one keg, I’m OK with the beer but, on the other keg, I’m uneasy about the pong.

This may come as a bit of a shock to some of you but I’ve never played beer-pong. The reason I think the fact that I’ve never played beer-pong might come as a shock to some of you is because it came as a giant shock to my wife.

“You’ve never played beer-pong?” my wife said in her shocked tone.

By the way, my wife is one of those people who insist on repeating what someone has just stated, in the form of a question. It’s as if, to her, life is one big game of Jeopardy.

What I wanted to say, in answer to my wife’s question was, “Why in the world would I say ‘I’ve never played beer-pong if, in fact, I had played beer-pong?”

But instead, I said, “I don’t even know how to play beer-pong”.

To which my wife replied, “It’s like playing quarters”.

To which I replied, “I’ve never played quarters,” which – I swear – prompted this shocked response from my wife, “You’ve never played quarters?”

I’m a few years older than my wife so it’s possible that the whole beer-pong and quarters craze came along after my beer drinking days ended but I don’t think so since I currently still am in my beer drinking days.

I think the real reason I’ve never played beer-pong or quarters is because I was never one who looked at beer-drinking as some sort of game.

When you’re drinking beer in a bar why waste time ponging or quartering? If in fact “ponging” and “quartering” can be used as verbs.

When drinking beer in a bar, time is best spent listening to good music or watching sporting events with – ideally -conversation kept to a minimum.

I suppose I should stop for a second and clarify that there is a difference between my beer-drinking days and my beer-drinking in bars days. As I said earlier, I am still in my beer-drinking days. I am not, however, still in my beer-drinking in bars days.

My beer-drinking in bars days, pretty much, ended in 1991. Perhaps coincidently 1991 was also the year in which my wife and I got married.

Oh, sure, since 1991 my wife and I have spent many happy hours in bars, but beer-drinking in bars with your wife is not the same as beer drinking in bars as a single person.

In what way, some of you are asking.

I don’t know it just is, is what I say to some of you who are asking.

I’m not saying it’s better and I’m not saying it’s worse. It’s just different, is what I’m saying.

The beer-pong tournament Emma thinks I should take part in will be held this weekend in Lawrence, Kansas as part of her sorority’s Dads’ Weekend.

I suspect the girls in Emma’s sorority decided to host a beer-pong tournament in hopes that it will make Dads’ Weekend less awkward.

Although there are some dads at Dads’ Weekends who have known each other for years and therefore actually interact with each other, many other dads have not known each other for years.

Here is the extent of the interaction of dads at Dads’ Weekend who don’t know each other.

Emma (To use a hypothetical name): This is Bob. He’s Hannah’s dad.

Mike (To use another hypothetical name): Hey.

Bob: Hey.

This is usually followed by a very long and very awkward silence. Well, long and awkward for Emma and Hannah but not so awkward for Mike and Bob. See, most dads don’t find silence awkward. Most dads see silence as a way to restore order to their lives.

This is why, for the second year in a row, many of the sorority moms will also attend Dads’ Weekend. Moms tend to help make the awkward silences go away.

The dads still don’t talk but nobody cares because the moms are there to fill the void of silence.

So, this Saturday, I will probably play in a beer-pong tournament. And, who knows, I might like it. And, what the heck, I might even win. If I do, I already have my victory speech written. Want to hear it?

Here it is.

“Hey.”

 

BREAKING NEWS!!! CNN HAS JUST LEARNED VIA A WHISTLE BLOWER THAT MIKE DID PLAY BEER-PONG THIS PAST WEEKEND AND HE DID NOT EMBARRASS HIMSELF AND MORE IMPORTANTLY DID NOT EMBARRASS EMMA.

HERE ARE PICTURES TO PROVE IT.

this picture shows the importance of stretching before a game of beer-pong
As in all sports, it is important to stretch before a competitive game of beer-pong.
Here is a picture of me after letting go with a sucessful pong.
Here I have just sunk a pong. Note the dejected look of my opponent as he sees that my pong has dropped into the cup.

 

A picture of Mike and Emma high-fiving after a sucessful pong.
Emma and I exchanging a high-five after Emma sank a pong. It’s important in the game of pong-as in the game of life-to high-five a lot.
Mike and Emma are laughing at something during the game of pong
Sheriff Bart: Mongo what is happening in this picture?
Mongo: Mongo not know. Mongo only pong in the game of pong.