In the past, drinking games have treated alcohol as a penalty. Games such as Revolver, for instance, rely on some curious notion of skill, with failure being rewarded with drink1. This is clearly unworkable among professional drinkers. Such participants find themselves competing to lose, and thus the rules are perverted and the game collapses into a sorry shambles.
To remedy this rum set of affairs, the fabulous drinking game 'Where's My Meniscus?' was created. The game requires each participant to consume a full pint of beer, thus satisfying alcoholic requirements whilst also supplying fun. The meniscus, incidentally, is the curved upper surface of the beer.
Unlike a number of drinking games, such as those involving playing cards, loud music or insanely complicated rules, there are no complicated requirements. You need four or more players, each with a full pint of beer (lager, bitter, gin, whatever). A paper and pencil are also helpful if you intend to keep score. If you do not keep score, the game simply becomes sitting in a pub and drinking. This is not so much fun.
The Aim of the Game
The aim is to have a large number of points by the end of the game. Quite what use points are remains unclear. We are seeking parity with the Euro.
At the start of each round, pint glasses must be on the table in full view for all participants to see. Participants then drink from their glass, but must ensure no other participant can see how much they are drinking. The quantity they drink is at their discretion. A sip? A gulp? A pint? All are valid moves - a democratic sport indeed! Unlike many other drinking games, this means the descent into alcoholism is entirely within the participants' control.
The glass is then hidden under the table.
Participants now guess, in turn, the order into which the pint glasses will fall, from most full to most empty. This is all written down on a piece of paper.
The leader of the game now shouts out 'Where's My Meniscus?', and the pint glasses are taken from under the table and placed in full view. These can then be arranged into order. Three points are awarded for each correct ranking.
The game then continues for as many rounds as there are participants in the game. The same pint is used for each round of the same game.
There are only two tactics in the game, but this is quite sufficient:
Don't drink anything for the first three rounds: just wet your lips. After the three goes, drain your glass completely.
Drink large amounts at the start. Just when people are working out that this is your tactic, stop drinking completely.
This is really the same tactic in reverse. There is a third tactic:
Drain your glass completely in round one.
Do not try this tactic! It sounds tempting to do the unexpected, but for the remainder of the rounds it will be quite obvious how full your glass is.
There are only three officially outlawed practices:
Sneeping, or trying to see a participant's glass before guessing.
Drippage, or topping up your glass with more beer from a clandestine glass. (But topping up with urine is permitted, since you earn your own punishment of having to then drink it.)
Stouting, or topping your glass up from another participant's glass, with their permission.