Study guide for beer connoisseurs

By Jason Fierstein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

"Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough" ─Mark Twain

As costs for college textbooks soar at campuses across America, it's time that at least one book was purchased for purely social and alcohol-enjoyment purposes. Even the illustrious literary forefather Twain would have hailed The Complete Book of Beer Drinking Games ─ Revised and Expanded, as either poetic genius or sheer suds-drinking ecstasy.

This definitive party book, which is "destined to become the college student's bible," according to one Villanova journalist, is back on bookshelves in a new and expanded form.

Burn your copies of Tolstoy's War and Peace and shred your copies of Teen magazine. The Complete Book of Beer Drinking Games ─ Revised and Expanded, with its "intoxicating" literary style, could make even the straightest of microbiology freshmen run out and slam a twelve pack.

Observe the authors, Andy Griscom, Ben Rand and Scott Johnston on the sociological importance of the brewski: " . the resurgence of beer is a positive sign. Beer binds father to son, worker to worker, and student to student. Beer is American, not foreign, like drugs. Beer is the drink America comes home to, the drink of quittin' time, backyard barbecues, and nights out with the gang."

Not only can these three guys party like gods, but their fusion of sheer eloquence with beer terminology makes for prime-time reading.

The Complete Book of Beer Drinking Games lays out the secrets of beer game etiquette for its readers/players in a structure composed of five "Boot Factors," increasing drinking factors where the games get players more intoxicated as the factors intensify and increase with each level. Each increasing factor thus kills more brain cells and wreaks more havoc on the liver.

The fun begins with the higher Boot Factors. Take "Beer Softball" (Boot Factor 2), a regular game of softball where beer is incorporated into the crossing of each base. A keg is placed behind second base and all baserunners who pass second base must slam one full cup of beer before proceeding.

What a frenzied blend of cardiovascular fitness and getting blitzed!

Boot Factor 5 is only for the professional drinkers. Many of these games are not for those who will easily heave chunky goodness or produce a "technicolor yawn."

For those caught up in another terrifyingly fun night in their dorm rooms offending their residents' assistants or for those who are tired of beer goggling (initiating romantic affairs with those who might not fit the category of "lover" if sober) and regretting their sexual rendezvous of the previous party night, buy this literary masterpiece. And The Complete Guide to Beer Drinkers Games even comes with a barf bag for those special nights.

(The Complete Book of Beer Drinking Games ─ Revised and Expanded, by Andy Griscom, Ben Rand and Scott Johnston, is available at most bookstores.)

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