As I watched last week’s presidential debate, I also watched my phone, or more specifically, the Twitter coverage of the debate on my phone.
Most of the online conversation was, honestly, pretty predictable — support for and slams of both candidates, quotes of various statistics, a brief outpouring of support for Big Bird. Perhaps it is not a surprise that hash tags having to do with presidential debate drinking games were among the most eye-catching.
Specifically (among those I follow on Twitter, anyway), debate watchers were talking about Debate Drinking, which made the rounds on various social media channels last Wednesday night. The rules were simple. Pick a candidate. Drink when your candidate said certain words or phrases.
For Barack Obama: Millionaires, voucher, let me be clear, Bain, inherited, invest, General Motors, middle class, families and Clinton.
And for Mitt Romney: 16 trillion, unemployment, ObamaCare, my friend, job creators, 716 billion, redistribute, private sector, work and Reagan.
I realize that political debates and drinking games aren’t exactly a new combination. But last Wednesday’s debate was the most Tweeted event in history. And possibly, organized drinking games like Debate Drinking were the largest organized drinking games ever. (Or maybe not. This is not a scientific column).
In any case, my friend Andy Norman was among the Debate Drinking participants. He, his wife, Angie, and some friends from both sides of the political spectrum gathered at the Sydney, 5918 Maple St., for the debate.
Norman told me he had never played a drinking game during a political event. It had been years, he guessed, since he had played any sort of drinking game.
The first presidential debate of the 2012 election was as good a time as any to start again.
“The debate is 90 minutes of contentious issues, and you’re sitting in a bar with people who don’t necessarily share your views,” he said. “It could be heated in some settings.”
Making a game of it fostered a sense of camaraderie in the bar.
“Everybody wins when somebody says one of the key words,” he said. “It’s just silly, and I think it’s a good way to keep the whole thing a little more light.”
Norman said he didn’t pay much attention to the rules. Instead, he just drank (sips only) any time either candidate said one of the words on the list.
He plans to do the same during tonight’s vice-presidential debate.
After the Oct. 3 debate, Debate Drinking put out a call on Twitter for VP debate drink words. The list was posted Monday.
For Paul Ryan: ObamaCare, reform, small business, Libya, crisis, freedom, you know, generation, government and Reagan
For Joe Biden: millionaires, voucher, inherited, General Motors, middle class, literally, Bin Laden, teachers, Syria and Obama.
More rules are posted online at www.debatedrinking.com, and alternative VP drinking games are online on the examiner.com, clotureclub.com (this one is actually a drinking bingo game) and elsewhere.
And if you choose to participate, take Norman’s advice and stick to sips.
Maud Boutique, a new vintage boutique at 521 N. 33rd St., will offer a free primer on mid-century fashion Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Lynn Mills and Jill Anderson will discuss the history of the styles featured on shows like “Mad Men” and the short-lived “Pan Am.” Era-appropriate drinks including martinis and Manhattans will be served (for free). Additionally, everything at the boutique will be 10 percent off during the presentation.