Beer pong - because politics is thirsty work

ROB KIDD
Last updated 05:00 16/02/2014
Beer pong
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ

PARTY GAMES: Beer pong has gained popularity around the world in recent years.

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When Labour leader David Cunliffe said last week he could drink the Prime Minister "under the table", he probably didn't have any particular table in mind.

He and John Key later dismissed the banter as hot air but an Auckland company has called their bluff.

Managing director of Kiwipong Tim Kerr has set the table for a contest of epic proportions and he hopes the politicians will oblige.

"Now that they've talked the talk, I think it's time they walked the walk," Kerr said.

After Key played a game of beer pong at the Big Gay Out, he backed himself against his opposite number and Cunliffe was quick to respond.

"I could, I'm sure, if the moment arose, drink him under the table. I have body mass on my side," the Labour leader said.

Kerr has called them both out and come up with a custom-made beer pong table bearing party logos and the leaders' smiling faces.

His money was on Key but he reckoned it was all about who got the psychological edge.

"You don't have to be a supreme athlete, so our politicians probably fit the mold," he said.

"You have to be able to focus and you have to be able to block out distractions. At the same time you also need to distract your opposition, so it's probably the perfect game for them."

If the pair faced off and signed the special table, Kerr was confident they could make a tidy sum for charity if they auctioned it off.

The Kiwipong boss can afford to be generous as business has boomed since its launch in 2011.

Beer pong started life at university parties in the US but has gained popularity around the world in recent years.

Kerr imports tables from China and half of them - like the Key v Cunliffe design - are customised before being sold.

Often people wanted club or company logos adorning the surface but he said there had also been requests for family photos printed on them and in one case, a Harry Potter design.

Kerr was keen to stress it was not purely a drinking game adding to a well-publicised binge-drinking issue.

"It's not about getting hammered. That's a huge misconception," he said. "The people who make those comments have never played a game in their life."

RULES OF THE GAME

Competitors stand at either end of a table with 10 cups in front of them, all of which are partially filled with beer. Taking alternate shots, the aim is to throw a ping-pong ball into an opponent's cup. If a player lands the ball in a cup, the contents are drunk by the opponent. The first team to eliminate all the opponents' cups is the winner.

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