My Beirut credentials are beyond reproach.
In college, I was the worst player in my house of 8. But my house was inhabited by 7 of the most competitive, highly regarded Beirut players in North America.
This statement is indisputable.
I have observed Beirut feats that defy imagination — consecutive perfect games, behind the back double-ups, sky hooks for the win, comebacks from 8 cups down in rebuttals — name it. I’ve seen it.
I’ve lived it.
In summary, it is difficult to imagine an act of beer pong to which I have not borne witness.
So imagine my skepticism when, at an after-party in the Hollywood Hills last night, teen pop sensation Jesse McCartney asks to partner up with me, declaring “I do not miss.”
Right. Weren’t you the voice of Theodore in the Alvin and The Chipmunks movie?
But we’re at his house, so what am I gonna say? We shake hands, line up…. and then came the rain.
Throw. Cup. Throw. Cup. Throw. Cup. Jesse is a Beirut machine sent from planet fucking Zebulon to destroy us all.
“Re-rack,” he demands. “Diamond.”
I toss a ball, miss — it rolls back to me. I nonchalantly slide it across the table.
“Whoa whoa whoa,” says Jesse to our opponents. “Give him the ball back — he doesn’t know the rules.”
My jaw hits beer soaked plastic.
What???? I don’t know the rules?
“Don’t worry about it,” Jesse says, patting me on the back like a 6 year old who forgot to collect $200 while passing Go. “If the ball rolls back, you get to shoot once behind the back.”
To be perfectly clear, I have played Beirut on 4 continents and NEVER heard anything even remotely resembling this rule.
But a gift is a gift. I take the shot and bank off the back row. I am duly embarrased. The game resumes.
Jesse hits 2 more cups, I hit 1 more, and we are down to our final cup.
I’m about to toss for the win when Jesse leans in and says, “Let me shoot first. I never miss the last cup.”
At this point, I’ll believe anything this guy says. He may as well have promised to vaporize the table with nothing but the power of song.
I hand him the ball. He shoots.
As a final note, let me say this: if Jesse McCartney had hit a few cups, it would have been enough. If he had hit 1 cup on a lucky bounce, it would have been enough.
If Jesse had stood idly by and poured us a can of warm Coors Light, it would have been enough.
But not only did Jesse thoroughly DOMINATE the table, he did so while fall-down drunk, chain smoking, and DANCING like he was on TRL.
Jesse McCartney, teen idol, I don’t know where exactly you learned to play this hallowed game, or whether it was simply born within you, encoded deep within the double helices of your DNA — somewhere next to the “real good at choreographed dance moves” proteins.
In any case, my faded white hat is off to you.
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