Ah, beer pong. A strange and delightful social phenomenon as old as beer itself. Although history tells us that the game was technically invented in the 20th century, I like to think that the ancient Romans were plopping ping-pong balls into an aqueduct and chugging watered-down wine as early as 420 A.D. Alas, this grand tradition may soon come to an end in one Midwestern college town: Earlier this month, Evanston, Illinois representatives proposed a ban on public drinking games. Bummer, dude.
If you’re not from the Chicago area, you might not be familiar with Evanston, the stately college town just north of Chicago that houses the Northwestern University campus. According to Patch, Evanston aldermen expressed frustration over a “lack of action by school administrators” at a recent Evanston City Council Human Services Committee. Patch reports that Evanston Ald. Judy Fiske proposed the ban on public drinking games, which she said were “devastating” some Evanston neighborhoods.
(One can only assume the worst when envisioning a neighborhood “devastated” by beer pong. Hideous Solo Cup effigies burning near elementary schools, miscellaneous co-eds sprawled out across well-kept petunia gardens. The horror.)
Modeled after a similar 2005 Belmar, New Jersey ordinance, the proposed restriction would ban residents from playing drinking games like beer pong on publicly visible spaces like their front yards, porches, or decks. And according to The Daily Northwestern, students aren’t terribly pleased. The college paper quotes Northwestern sophomore John Jack Soler: “People have been drinking on their lawns every Saturday and Sunday for the past hundred years. It wouldn’t really affect me too much, considering I don’t have a lawn, but it made me angry.” No word yet on whether the Evanston ordinance will pass, but one thing is absolutely certain: beer pong finds a way.