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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Does your mom play Beirut?

Family Weekend: a time for togetherness, bonding, beer and discovery. Clans from all around the country make the trek down to Tucson to see their college champs and confirm that they are, in fact, completely wasting their tuition money.

There are many great activities, but for me, Family Weekend has always come down to one special event. This event, of course, is watching other peoples’ moms play Beirut. It’s truly a magical time in college history and even trumps the other incredible Family Weekend dynamics — awkward little-sister sexual tension and little-brother alcohol poisoning.

Before we proceed any further into this excellent diatribe, there is one crucial, critical and all-important fact we need to get out of the way. It’s called Beirut.

I realize that most of the people reading this are from Arizona or California, but I will gleefully and gladly challenge any of you on the subject, as I am right, and you are wrong. You see, when I first arrived here in Arizona from my native coast of East — home of Red Sox, Plymouth Rock and sarcastic remarks — and arrived here in Arizona, a lot of things rang differently. Most of these stimuli, such as “”chillness”” and “”hella”” I was able to comprehend and adapt to, but there is one thing that I simply will not stand for, especially when people allow me to write things in a published newspaper. It’s called Beirut, not beer pong.

Beer pong involves paddles, thus making a remarkably eerie, more than coincidental comparison betwixt it and another game that has paddles, called ping pong. Not a big deal, but I expect to get many angry letters from people who are in the act of “”hyphying.”” Or who are “”Hyphys.”” I’m still working on that one.  

Anyway, the most memorable part of Family Weekend for me has to be the “”cool”” moms hurling white orbs at cups while everyone around the table completely overreacts with crazed laughter, as if the maternal figure just denounced her love for her child and started burning Bibles (or Korans, if that’s more topical).

The biggest reason this happens is, for the most part, students feel the need to impress their parents with the amount they drink here at the UA. I’m sure that, somewhere out  in the universe, there exists a place (Oxford?) where the biggest scandal of Family Weekend is moms taking part in debate team, or solving math conundrums. However, here at the UA, we drink. We drink fiercely and copiously. And when our family shows up, we get them to indulge in our liquid breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well. Which is why we get bombed for the football game, get bombed during and get bombed after. And now, for the weekend, we have adults that can buy us bomb-juice! As the hot girl in my chem safety class recounted: “”Family Weekend — I threw up on five different people’s shoes on the way out of the stadium.”” Definitely a family refrigerator moment. So the pinnacle of the weekend arrives as we celebrate the women who raised us as they swat away a bounce shot like a “”true OG.””  

Bonus: Try and find the one guy in the corner who doesn’t get it, muttering about how the moms’ elbows are over the table. There’s always one.

However, all of this is not to discredit other integral parts of Family Weekend that I have noticed in the past. As mentioned earlier, there is always awkward little sister sexual tension. This is that special moment where you introduce your baby sister to all your guy friends and then instantly and acutely realize that they are all sex-crazed maniacs. Somehow you missed it in the first two years of friendship, but now that your sister is here in Arizona, their inexcusable, rampant hedonism is crystal clear. And despite the nods of understanding after, “”Guys, please don’t hook up with my sister,”” you still find yourself guarding her like you’re Vin Diesel in Babylon A.D.. Or Clive Owen in Children of Men, which is a better movie.

Another fun standard of Family Weekend is little brother alcohol poisoning. A simple concept — a younger brother, fresh off a high school party a month ago where they ran out of PBR in the first 10 minutes, arrives in college-land. In your attempt to impress him and show him what college is all about, you overshoot the landing by about 10 Everclear shots. Shenanigans ensue — mostly just that one shenanigan where you try to wake him up with mop water (this was actually tried on me once) and not let the parents know. Once again, moments for the family scrapbook.

Now, all of these scenarios are simply my own experiences with the Family Weekend. I’m sure many of you have non-dysfunctional families (functional families?) that come down and have a civilized time. And I’m sure there are also many others who have other fun Family Weekend drinking stories. So hey, write the Wildcat a letter about it. Just be sure to get in line behind all of the “”it’s called beer pong”” death threats.

— Johnny McKay is a media arts senior. He can be reached at

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