Ping Pong vs. Table Tennis

OK. So. As my birthday was arriving, it was suggested by one of my classmates from International Management that since we would be celebrating an American birthday, that we play an American game, such as beer pong. We had discussed playing beer pong all year because most of the class has either never played it or played it a couple times when they were over in America. However, we had never gotten around to actually doing it. So enter my birthday. I figured this was a great idea and the whole plan for it came together in what better place than…the library. Several of us had been working on some assignments and were getting ready to call it a day when we had the great idea. We were getting people together and even had a venue set, even though there was an extremely poor excuse for a table. Didn’t matter. We were going to make beer pong happen in Galway that night.

I volunteered that I would get the cups and balls, two main essentials of the game. Teammate Chris McNairney arrived at my apartment just as I was getting ready to run out and grab these two vital components of the game as well as a couple groceries. While it had been brought to my attention earlier that I could find “Ping Pong balls” in Elvery’s, a local sporting goods store, Chris and I weren’t yet near an Elvery’s so I asked him where he thought I could get “Ping Pong balls.” We went into three different stores (found cups!) but could not find appropriate “Ping Pong balls.” However, in each store we tried, we saw little rubber bouncy balls and Chris continually pointed them out saying “Here you go!” The first time I’m like OK, Chris doesn’t know the game of beer pong and I tried explaining to him that those wouldn’t work and that I needed “Ping Pong balls”, to which he replied, “Yea these are them, no?” No. They were rubber bouncy balls. I also tried explaining to Chris that the rubber bouncy balls would not be suitable for beer pong as they would knock the cups right over, a concept he didn’t seem to grasp. After going to the 3rd store, Chris and I grew agitated with each other. Me getting disgusted that he kept insisting on stupid rubber balls and didn’t understand why I needed “Ping Pong balls” and him getting pissed about my “Stupid American game.”

So finally we go to Elvery’s, after one more stop, where Chris and I refused to speak to each other. I go to the gentleman at the counter and ask him if they have “Ping Pong balls” to which he quickly grabbed a pack of them for me from behind the counter. He slyly asked if they were actually for ping pong, spotting my American accent and knowing damn-well that they were for beer pong. Anyways, as soon as he put them on the counter, Chris exclaimed, “OHHHHHH YOU MEAN TABLE TENNIS BALLS???” I lost it.

Me: Table tennis? That’s the same thing as Ping Pong!!!
Chris: No it’s table tennis. And those are table tennis balls. Why didn’t you just say “Hey I need table tennis balls and we could have solved this an hour ago!”
Me: Table tennis and ping pong are the same thing!
Chris: No they’re not. Those little rubber balls we saw earlier, THOSE are ping pong balls.
Me: No they’re just rubber bouncy balls.
Chris: No they’re ping pong balls.
Me: So then WTF is ping pong??
Chris: There’s no such thing as Ping Pong. There’s only table tennis.
Me: (Absolutely lost it by now) SO THEN WHY THE F*CK ARE THEY CALLED PING PONG BALLS???
Chris: I don’t know. But they are. And those are table tennis balls.
Me: This country is driving me crazy

So we solved the dilemma over the Ping Pong/Table Tennis balls. A good group of us got together and enjoyed a very competitive evening of beer pong as best we could. And by this point in the night, Chris and I were able to settle our differences and join forces on a team.
It was absolutely hysterical though, to see so many of my Irish friends trying to play this game. Constantly asking the rules. Shooting really funny. And cursing the ball, the cups, and me, mainly, for them playing this game. My two favorite quotes from the night were:
How do you even play this focking game??

It always looks like it’s going to go in that focking cup!!!

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