Another proud tradition and the University of Southern Denmark, Kolding Campus is the annual, traditional pub crawl for new students.. Well, new students mainly. Because, naturally, us younger, more seasoned and responsible (cough!) students do need to help out in creating a pleasureable experience for the young ‘uns, either by chaperoning a team of youngsters around the town, or by standing around on the various stops, hosting activities and grading the youngsters on their performances.
This year was a particularly exciting year for me as I got to join the group of selected few who has taken part in this tradition a full five years in a row.. Once, back in 2004 as a newcomer myself, twice as chaperone and twice playing the host of various stops, once at the Student House last year and – this year – as a partner in crime for Dunkel, Einar and a few other good friends who helped me host this year’s amazing beer relay race.. If you’re not from Denmark, allow me to quickly sum up the rules of this wonderful game:
A group of people are split into two teams, they each line up some 10-20 meters away from a sufficient amount of beers (at least one per team member), the first team member of each team then dashes forwards towards the beers, downs one, puts the empty bottle on the ground and while touching the bottle with his/her finger makes a full ten circles around the beer before dashing back and tagging the next who then repeats the stunt and so on and so forward.. Ideally, in the end, you end up with a large group of intoxicated, wobbly people.
Of course, these old, boring rules weren’t quite enough for Dunkel and I, so we rather quickly came up with the so-called wildcard rules which pretty much stated that we weren’t going to judge people on how fast they ran or how much they drank, rather we’d grade them based on whatever funny antics they managed to pull while running and drinking. As I’d managed to bring our trusty starfucker-pferd, aka the bright pink toy horsie used as a mascot during KFC games, it seemed somewhat obvious that we’d somehow get it involved in the fun (by the way, walking through downtown Kolding at noon on a Friday with your girlfriend in one hand and a pink horse in the other earns you a lot of weird looks, but that’s another post).. But things were to get even more messed up than drunk people riding horses, we’d soon find out.
It goes without saying that we hadn’t made it very far through the pre-pub crawl briefing before diving into the beers and it also goes without saying that we all had a few beers while waiting for things to kick off. Me, I was lucky enough that both Dunkel and Louise owed me a few beers so I got tipsy and happy for next to no money at all, plus of course our drinks during the four hour pub crawl came for free as well. So we were kept pretty happy for most of the day. Setting up took us all of two minutes as we were positioned right outside uni in the nice, little courtyard and all we had to do was find ten cases of beer, a couple of empty bottles for people to spin around.. And find whichever other accessories we thought might come in handy which amounted to a sombrero and a plastic soccer ball, the exact purposes of which we were not too certain of.. We then sat down to wait anxiously for a few minutes for the first team to arrive for our plotted piece of mayhem.
Traditionally, we knew not to expect too much from the first team to arrive, but I must say we were pretty taken aback by the effort of the first team we greeted this afternoon. Not only were they pretty keen on the whole drinking beer game, they also took the wildcard rules beer relay race idea seriously and were pretty quickly goofing around, galloping in the horsie, kissing it and feeding it beer whilst other team mates were spinning around beer bottles with friends on their backs in a mock attempt of a fireman’s carry and generally acting like total lunatics. The whole show culminated with random bystanders watching in amusement as all female members of the team pounced on me and the poor unsuspecting horsie, jumping on us and eventually knocking us over in a turbulent pile.. Right as my lovely girlfriend exited the Uboat with a team she was chaperoning around.. Umm.. “Baby, it’s not what it seems!”
Luckily, as we switched teams, Louise and her new-found friends wasted no time in trying to raise the bar which the pretty much did.. But then again, they kinda had the advantage that Louise could freely snog the living daylights out of with me for the good of her team without offending or surprising anybody.. Except maybe the one half of the crowd or so who had not yet figured out that we were an item.. But at least her attempt to score some extra points for the team left noone in doubt about or relationship status.. And maybe left me a bit breathless and confused as well, because I’m pretty sure I missed some of the other stuff that was going on aside from more horse worshipping and some stripping (gotta love those drunken pacts).
I pretty much came to my senses as Louise’s team moved on and we were met with an unexplainable 30 minute break between teams which was spent by Dunkel, Under and I playing soccer with the ball we’d found something I was better at than my opponents for a change.. Oh, and we had a few beers as well, of course, and time for a wee before the next team arrived, spearheaded by Lea who lived up to her new alias as “stripper Lea” by losing the shirt pretty much immediately upon arrival.. Or maybe it was after throwing herself at us and hugging us to death.. Yea, it probably was.. As you may be able to tell, the beers we were constantly throwing down were starting to have an effect by now as details got more and more sketchy. Anyways, Lea’s team was a lot of fun as well, mostly because they didn’t really know what to do for extra points when we’d finished the relay, so Dunkel and I invited the “pass the Lea” game which pretty much consisted of picking up tiny Lea and throwing her from guy to guy in the crowd with complete disregard for her safety.. Good times!
And.. Okay, I wholeheartedly have to admit that after the third or fourth team things kinda started to flow together as people got more and more rowdy and more and more drunk.. At one point I do remember that we had one girl running the relay in bra and hot pants while some bloke was doing cartwheels in the nude while Dunkel and I were standing around in our underwear, egging them on.. Because at that exact point, Jakob Fischer, the master of disaster (aka responsible for the pub crawl) arrived to told me that the bemused looking, elderly gentleman watching us from afar was actually the dean of SDU, and ask me if I could maybe tone it down a bit. Happy to follow orders, I put my pants back on and made a loud (probably too loud given my state of intoxication) rant about how it wasn’t all nudity and binge drinking and how we should maybe try something else. When asked what else they could do to earn cheap points, I looked at the century old birch tree next to us and mused that if they could get ten people into the tree, I’d score them top points. As was soon evident from the shaking of heads in the background and the rather death-defying attempts to actually follow orders, this wasn’t the best idea in the world and we thought it wise to abandon the attempt and just award them the points for effort. Only problem by now was that by then, two team members had actually made it about three meters up into the branches of the tree and out of those, only one was able to make it down on his own.. The solution to this problem was to actually have the last guy just jump down and then position the rest of us to catch him as he fell. A stunt which could’ve easily gone very, very wrong.. But luckily went well.
After this scare, we took things a bit slower and settle for awarding points for things that we found would be impossible to do, such as kicking the semi-deflated ball over the roof-top of the four story high university building.. Something we found highly unlikely to ever happen, but actually ended up costing us a lot of points to one team.. Oh, and we managed to pretty much make things end in disaster for the lot of us as the second to last team arrived consisting of 98% girls and a single guy, yet insisting that the relay race be fought out boys vs girls.. Of course that meant we had to jump in and help the poor guy.. And, well, about all I remember from that experience is a lot of dizziness, vast amounts of chugging and not feeling too well afterwards.
By the time the last team arrived, I was about out of it and running on fumes, staggering through my introductory rant and surely not making much sense.. A trend I continued for the rest of the evening, or what was left of it for me anyways.. After dinner and a subsequent slur of profanity and complaints about said dinner, I wholeheartedly had to admit defeat, hand Louise whatever items I had of her’s and go home to get some sleep.. At 8:15 PM.. Apparently by way of the local supermarket where I may or may not have purchased a rack of bacon wearing a sombrero and a pink horsie.. I don’t exactly remember.. But I do remember really enjoying sleeping for a few hours. And I also do remember an equally intoxicated Louise arriving home some seven hours later, arguing that she was making perfect sense despite frequently stopping in mid-sentence and falling asleep two times while I was trying to get her in bed.. Yes, suffice to say, SDU introductary pub crawls hit you hard!
But to be fair, I did swear I’d give it my best this year and I reckon I did.. And hey, it’s been officially recognized as only the second time in five years of uni binge drinking that I’ve managed to drink myself completely under the table.. The only good thing about this being, that falling asleep at 9 PM, you’ve a pretty safe chance of waking up without a hangover the next day which is more than could be said for poor Louise who was still hung over when she left at 1 AM Sunday.. Or, Monday, technically, I guess.. Poor thing.