Normalcy in Utah is a relative term. There's normal for Utah. And Normal for everywhere else. Part of "normal" here in Utah and elsewhere, is shedding your adolescence for your inevitable adulthood and trying to find your place in this world. Some of us will attend college or move far away. Or my personal favorite, squatting in mom and dad's basement 'till your given the boot(man, I miss that couch).
Part of the growing experience are the "Pack Games". These are the competitions that are usually played at the Frat house or in a friends kitchen and usually involve one of the following. Beer and or schnapps with the object: have fun, without getting completely shit-faced to the point you find yourself naked in a Denny's parking lot at 4am.
Some of the more popular of these Pack Games are Quarters, Mexico City, Beer Checkers, This Is My... and the ever so popular Beer-Pong. For those of you who don't know, the objective of beer pong is to bounce a ping-pong ball from one end of a table into a cluster of six cups at the other end. If the ball lands in a cup, the owner of that cup drinks its contents - usually, beer. I haven't played most of these games in a while, but I have very fond and not-so-fond memories of them. And I guess that's my point. That which makes you happy, can also make you unhappy. We've got to learn the price of excess and a respect for the fermented grain.
But at Utah State University, a dry campus with a heavy Mormon population, the Aggies play with root beer. "We want to make this a tradition at USU." Campus Recreation Chairman Lance Brown elaborated on why he thinks the game, which students played Friday at the Taggart Student Center, has caught on. "It's like people here want to look worldly, but they don't want to be worldly," he said. "Living in a Mormon community, students want to push the edge a little." It's good for our student body to relax and help people experience something they normally wouldn't," said Lindsay Hall.
Brown said he doesn't see the game they've named Beirut fading away any time soon. I guess there's something very enticing about the worlds drinking cultures. When people who promise to abstain from a culture of drinking concoct social events called "mocktail parties" to experience a social tradition that's denied to them because of some primitive superstitions, it tends to make members of the said drinking cultures shake their heads in disbelief.
If your going to set yourself apart, great. Just do it with a little integrity. Faux cussing, faux indecent attire (rolling up the magic jammies so they don't show), and now faux drinking of alcohol. Appearance and intention is just as important as the act. What's next a smoking section for bubble gum cigars or snorting lines of Fun Dip? Well, don't worry. There will still be plenty of vomiting and hangovers, but with a diabetic edge.