One of the charming aspects of VC culture was that shortly after Orin invented a drinking game (see 4:38 p.m. post on Nov. 23) based on how often commenter J. Aldridge mentioned John Bingham, readers wanted clarification on the rules. In particular, the rules say that one must take “a drink” whenever J. Aldridge mentions Bingham; but what constitutes “a drink”?
Since it’s Orin’s game, he has the final say, but pending any dispositive pronouncement from him, let us consult precedent. “Aldridge’s Bingham” is plainly a descendant of “Hi Bob,” in which a person watches The Bob Newhart Show, and takes a drink whenever anyone says “Hi Bob.” The Webtender handbook chapter on Drinking Games specifies that “a drink” in “Hi Bob” means that the person must take “a very generous drink of their beer.”
The Webtender rulebook is useful but is not controlling precedent. First of all, the “Hi Bob” parallel rule that when the prompt occurs, everyone must say “Hi Bob!” is plainly inapplicable. All the more so since J. Aldridge’s first name is unknown.
Further, “Hi Bob” is premised on a half-hour television show, in which the number of instances of characters saying “Hi Bob” will likely be less than three dozen. In contrast, “Aldridge’s Bingham” contains no such upper limit, is already well over three dozen, and could eventually reach three digits.
Accordingly, the provisional rules for Aldridge’s Bingham are as follows: 1 unit = a 12 oz. beer, or 4 oz. of wine, or one shot of distilled spirits. Upon reading the prompt (that is, Aldridge writing “Bingham”) immediately consume 1/5 of one unit. In other words, a “drink” for purposes of Aldridge’s Bingham is 1/5 of one alcohol unit.
A short FAQ:
Q. What about a comment in which Bingham is mentioned more than once? For example, Aldridge quotes a previous comment about Bingham, and then himself writes about Bingham?
A. In such a case, you would be required to have two drinks. Anything written by Aldridge, include a quotation from a previous comment, counts.
Q. What about another commenter who quotes Aldridge discussing Bingham?
A. No drink required. The game is “Aldridge’s Bingham,” not “Anyone’s Bingham.”
Q. What about that huge comment with a half-dozen Bingham quotes?
A. You must immediately consume the corresponding number of drinks.
Q. I already saw that big quote on a previous thread, and now I see it again. Do I have to have another half-dozen drinks?
A. Yes. Rules are rules. When you start reading a thread, you are responsible for the game-related consequences. The possibility of encountering the mega-quote is similar to a game of “Hi Bob,” in which five characters might say “Hi Bob” all at once. This adds excitement and diversity to game play.
Q. I have been playing diligently. I read every thread today, and drank all that I was supposed to. Yet I barely feel tipsy.
A. Stephen Green, we are pleased that you are a reader of the VC.