So. WTF is Flunkyball you ask? I was asking myself the same thing as 40 or so Italian, Spanish, and Slovakian students rolled up to the Catania bus station in the middle of the night, armed with beer bottles and a soccer ball.
It all started when I ran into a Slovakian family from my hostel as I was hopelessly wandering the city looking for the beach. Shamelessly crashing their family vacation, I drank their warm beer and played sand volleyball with them as they struggled to find the English words for “Fuck off, weird girl.” As it turns out, the son of the family was an Erasmus student studying in Catania. For those who don’t know, Erasmus is the program that helps European students complete “exchanges” in other European countries, which are basically months-long, booze-filled, foreign adventure parties. Anyway, the Slovakian son offered to introduce me to the city’s nightlife. Little did I know this would include an Anchorman-style gang meet-up at the abandoned bus station.
After grabbing some cheap beers from a market off of Piazza Duomo, we headed over to the station for the 11:00 meet-up time. As it turns out, Italian-style 11:00 means 11:45, so we sat and waited on an uncomfortable railing bathed in the yellow light of the McDonald’s arch behind us and laughed nervously as we watched someone down the street trying to steal a motorcycle. (He eventually gave up, so we didn’t have to alert the polizia and end up on the wrong side of the mafia or something.) Eventually, the university students started to arrive. How they knew to show up at this empty parking lot at 11:0011:45 I couldn’t tell you, but they came by the droves, toting lots of booze and singing Happy Birthday to some guy named Giorgio in Italian.
It wasn’t long before the Flunkyball commenced. I have compiled a little step-by-step guide, so that you may recreate the scene in your local, sketchy, after-hours parking lot.
Assemble a squad of random strangers that don’t speak English. The louder and rowdier the better. Acquire a soccer ball, a water bottle, and many beers.
Divide into teams of 5 to 6 people and line two teams up opposite each other with about 20 paces in between. Set the (full) water bottle in the center, and give each person a beer.
Choose a referee to explain the rules, preferably the person who is the most drunk and speaks the least amount of English. The referee should place the ball next to the water bottle.
When the referee shouts “Go!” (except in a language you don’t understand) one person from each team should run to grab the ball and bring it back to his or her side.
Teams take turns throwing the ball to try to knock the water bottle down. In the event that the bottle falls, the team who hit it should start drinking, and stop when someone from the opposite team has run to set the bottle back up and returned to their own side. The game continues in this manner until everyone from one team is done with their beer and crowned champions for getting drunk the fastest.
So screw you, beer pong. Try Flunkyball, the fast-paced, getcha plastered game that all the Italian students are playing these days. It’s just so hot right now.