Friday night: You’re at a crowded bar, and have to pee. Fearing the toilet seat, you pop a squat, clench your thigh muscles and hold onto the walls while you unleash your last five beers. You make sure you wash your hands (sometimes twice, depending on how filthy the pub is), and maybe even reach into your purse for some hand sanitizer, just to be safe.
Saturday night: You’re at a frat party. You just won three consecutive games of beer pong. You don’t think twice about drinking your cups, despite the fact that you’ve seen the ball land in other peoples’ used cups, roll along the basement floor, and watched the ball pass between thirty-something unwashed hands.
Obviously, beer pong isn’t the most sanitary party game out there. But you have the “water cup,” right? That cup of tepid, dirty water is totes gonna disinfect that old, recycled ping pong ball (that was most likely found under someone’s bed 10 minutes before party time). Or not.
Some microbiology students at George Washington University decided to test exactly how detrimental to your health beer pong can be. If you like beer pong, you may want to skip this article.
After a somewhat mild night of beer pong, consisting of eight students and thirty beers, the budding scientists collected samples from each of the beer pong cups and the water cup. What’d they find? A haven for germs. Bacteria from the E. Coli, salmonella, and pneumonia families were present in every single test tube containing samples from the game. Oh, and that water cup that everyone used to clean the balls? That was the most infected, and housed the most bacteria growth over night.
This study centered on beer pong only, but what about other potentially sickening games? When’s the last time you did a kegstand, putting your mouth on the tap that’s been who-knows-where after a dozen other people slurped down a few seconds worth of brew? How about the time you stood in for flip cup, and rotated through other peoples’ cups round after round?
We put our mouths everywhere when there’s cheap beer involved (and some of us really put our mouths everywhere), but we’re super cautious about where we place our ASS when we’re in a public place? Just some food for thought.
Not that you have to quit beer pong — hell, no! To be just a tad cleaner, change out the water cups and beer pong balls throughout the night, and keep your own beer cup to drink out of after the ball hits (just dump the shot’s worth of beer into your own cup).
Alcohol is bad enough for your immune system; don’t give germs a better opportunity to take up residence in your body.