“My story is that of a Stockholm victim. The Pong lifestyle came naturally to me, and I mean the whole wonderful idea of it—the aesthetic principles of the game, its sacred rituals, and intense drinking requirements; the late night binges, missed classes, punishing drunken aftermath and obligatory hangovers—all set against the outlandish backdrop of elite academia.”
Pong is a beautiful sport. Unlike its monotonous sister-sport, beirut, beer pong is a paddle-based drinking game that graces Dartmouth College basements seven nights a week. Even years later, the sound of ping-pong balls bouncing on wooden tables brings back fond memories. Around the time I was playing my first games, Crispus Knight was mastering “ship”, a Chi Gamma Epsilon variation of beer pong in which fifteen cups of beer are spread across each side of a pong table in battleship formation. In his new e-book, Three For Ship, Knight has written the first definitive pong memoir.
Three for Ship isn’t only about beer pong, of course. Knight’s dark tale of a descent into alcohol, drugs and nihilism in bucolic New Hampshire is neither meant to glorify the college experience or demonize fraternity life, but candidly map how easily a young man full of promise can slip through the cracks at one of the nation’s top colleges. The imagery can be jarring, but the stories are often hilarious. This emotionally turbulent journey is further spiced up by ruminations on the art of pong, the constant in his life during these tough times.
Later this week, fellow LTDer Guillermo Olivos and I will be doing a podcast with Knight to discuss what inspired him to write the Three For Ship, some our favorite stories, and of course, beer pong. The e-book is now available at Amazon and Nook downloads. At the Three For Ship website, Knight has a highly entertaining excerpt, if you’d like to get a flavor for what’s in store.
“There was something disconcerting about my complicity in all this. A switch had been turned on and Beer Pong had gone from being a weekend leisure activity to my primary daily concern. Everyone around me seemed to accept this change in my behavior and demeanor and there was never any reason not to. The benchmark for Chris Knight was the blank slate that I was as a pledge, not the fully realized young adult who had arrived at the school two years before.”