It's What We Do
You may not be aware, dear reader, but a common activity enjoyed by the PND staff during our sparse downtime is beer pong. And we don't joke about beer pong. Sure, sometimes we'll mix it up, and throw down dixie-cup style...
...but we're still not joking.
So when a couple of suckers roll up and challenge us to a game, we accept. And when a couple of suckers roll up, challenge us to a game, force us to play on a non-standard, non-4'x8' and not-even-plywood pong table, we accept. Of course, this results in one of two outcomes: 1. we deliver to those suckers the sickest game of pong they've ever seen, and 2. somehow those suckers eke out a victory (generally via saran wrap on their cups).
One evening, not so many moons ago, in fact only days ago, the PND staff team of Tommy and yours truly failed to deliver Outcome 1. Devastating. Tommy's hair instantly grew long and black, and he dealt with the situation the only way he knew how: deep, despairing depression.
Heads hung low, we walked away from defeat in shame. For days, Tommy remained inconsolable. My own despondence was a physical force, a weight pressing down from above, a personal thundercloud that promised to turn the cheeriest of times into a funereal affair. My god, I think we were clinging to all we had left: guns and religion.
A Glimmer of Hope
On the evening of Thursday, May 8th, Tommy's despair lifted, if only ever so slightly. For on that day, he was to witness the only possible performance worse than our pong night experience: Pittsburgh Pirates baseball.
Defying all expectations, the Buccos won. John Madden would go on to claim that the key to the Pirates ball-game was scoring more runs than the other team.
Tommy instantly sprang into action, realizing that if the Bucs can win a ball game, by god, we can AND WILL, slam down some suckers like they've never been slammed before. Expertly arranging for the arrival of pizza, Tommy sped post-haste to PND half-headquarters, with suckers in tow, and the game was on.
Make no mistake, it wasn't revenge we were after. It was a reckoning.
When Tommy arrived, the suckers immediately turned to last-resort tactics: hip-hop bashing. The psychological warfare was starting early.
Gametime. Tommy is on fire. Literally. His eyes are blazing, but his hands are rock steady. He shoots heat seeking missiles. I perform well, but don't match up to T-bone, I swear he's been attacked by a radioactive spider. Game 1 is a blur, sheer beer pong destruction.
Game 2. The suckers recover from the nuclear bomb that T has just dropped on them. With all of their effort they muster enough game to sneak one past us. We're even, 1 and 1.
Rubber match. There is so much intense high-fiving and sucker-hating shared between us that I've got the missiles now, too. At the close of the game, I home in on their last cup, it was like dropping a marble in kiddie pool. With the odds against them, team suckers put enough away in redemption for overtime. Overtime 1: we give up some momentum, they think they've won. Of course, we force overtime 2. We will not lose. The suckers drop the ball during 2nd overtime, in fact, they drop it anywhere but in our cups. Victory.
The suckers sit the fuck down...
... but wait, are they still smiling?
Nails in the Coffin
We know this won't do. They still think they've got game. It's almost like when the bad guy thinks he has a chance before the good guy goes Super Saiyan and BUSTS HIS ASS UP. It. Is. On.
I look at Tommy, and he looks back. Have you ever known, beyond a shred of a doubt, that you are about to completely and utterly destroy your competition? This is our shared understanding.
Tommy sinks one. A gentle splash follows as I do the same. Somehow, we waste our rollbacks, this is their chance to get lucky. And yes, they get lucky. Sucker number 1 misses. Sucker number 2 shoots a wild shot, it rings around the outside of back left, hops across the middle of the formation, and drops into back right. It happened so fast we couldn't defend.
Tommy understands that one cup is already too many. His anger is visible, his will to dominate a force in its own right. He can't miss anymore, and he doesn't. They have three cups left. I am in the zone, I'm throwing more marbles into their kiddie pool. They have two cups left. Tommy smirks as he devastates the opposition, they're down to one. I don't hesitate to shoot. I don't need to look at the outcome, I know where that ball is going. Tommy knows where that ball is going. The suckers realize where that ball is going. Game over.
The crowd goes fucking wild. The announcer can't even believe his eyes. Welcome to PND beer pong, it's serious shit.