That game we all loved to play in college—you know, the one with a long board or table, two ping-pong balls, ten red Solo cups at each end filled halfway with beer, and two water cups—it doesn’t matter whether you call it beirut or beer pong. In the Northeast, where I’m from, it’s always beirut. Pong is something else; they play it at Dartmouth and it involves actual paddles and a net across the middle of the table. But a number of my friends, like the ones who went to Vanderbilt or grew up in the Midwest, they call the game beer pong. And that’s fine.
But to the people, my people, who do call it beirut, a certain epic fail of intellect has got to stop: why the fuck does every idiot who mentions the game in a Facebook status update, tweet, email or text message, spell it “ruit” when they abbreviate it? RUIT? The word is beirut, because the game is named for the city, the capital of Lebanon, which is Beirut. B-E-I-R-U-T. I’m not sure why the game is called that—I assume it’s a kinda offensive reference to the violence, i.e. tossing balls like bombs—but it doesn’t matter. The point is, if you want to abbreviate, dipshits, it’s ‘rut.
I imagine the strange change comes from people simply not liking how short the word is when you abbreviate it; write playin some rut tonight! on your status, and it kind of looks like you mean rut, as in, “Damn, boss, we are in quite a rut.” But that can be fixed: just put an apostrophe before the r to show it’s an abbreviation, i.e. playin some ‘rut tonight! Instead, everyone seems to write ‘ruit. But come on, don’t you want your mom to see, when she looks at your Facebook page or Twitter (because you know she does, somehow), that even though you’re out drinking the night before an exam or a job interview, at least you know how to spell?
So, clean up your act. Because if you can’t spell such an easy, phonetic word (it’s spelled just like it sounds, “bei-rut,” it’s not pronounced “bei-roo-it”) then chances are you also can’t keep track properly of how many cups in a row you’ve made when you’re playing with NBA Jam rules (hint: sink two in a row and you’re “heating up,” three and you’re “on fire” and get to shoot ’til you miss).
By the way, I fucking love beirut. The very best drinking game, still. Find a bar in NYC that has beirut tables set up—there are many—and it won’t be the classiest place, but damn, you’ll have a great time. Just spell it right when you tweet-brag to your lame friends who are home feeding their cats.