Hamster Party Throwdown
Photos by Ryan McGinley
In the interest of putting an end to drinking contests forever (they kill 10s of people a year, you know) we decided to stage the ultimate throwdown of all fucking time so that anybody who ever thought about doing one again would be like, "Oops, can't hack it. I'm a total pussy compared to those two guys who ingested 50 beers, two bottles of Wild Turkey and six grams of coke in five hours in a tiny hotel room full of 28 shredded yellow pages and six live parakeets. Guess I'll just have a virgin Mimosa please." As my friend Steve Harvey would say, "You got serrrrvvvved, faggot!"
In this corner (of The Hamster Cage)—Dan
AKA Gargantuan Dan, Danimal, Liquor Face, El Cheapo:
Height: 6'6" / Weight: 200 lbs.
Age: 24 / Occupation: Artist / Years Drinking: 11
Father: Moderate drinker but "only drinks Manischevitz wine"
…And in this corner—Dash
AKA Tropical Fantasy, Shaniqua, Gutter King, Fuck Face:
Height: 5'11" / Weight: 140 lbs.
Age: 22 / Occupation: "Scumbag" / Years Drinking: 10
Father: "Heavy drinker of piss"
Mother: "Drinks piss and also drinks shampoo with piss"
To prepare the arena, 28 New York City yellow pages were ripped to tiny pieces (both by hand and in a professional document shredder) and spread about, filling the room. The debris became four-feet deep in places. Fifty cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon were put on ice in the bathtub. Six live parakeets ($9 each) were deployed across the shower-curtain bar to, as the combatants put it, "Guard the beer." The first beers were cracked at 8 p.m., and all things imbibed from that point forth were tallied, with regular check-ins on the hour.
ROUND 1 (9 P.M.)
DAN: 5 BEERS, 4 SHOTS OF WILD TURKEY,
DASH: 4 BEERS, 4 SHOTS OF WILD TURKEY,
At the one-hour mark, both subjects are clearly intoxicated, with Dash being way drunker than Dan. This is because Dash hasn't touched booze or drugs for 16 days prior to the contest. He's been sober because, until two days ago, his entire body (face included) was covered in a vicious rash. Apparently, Dash has given himself a chronic case of eczema. His doctor told him it was from his "lifestyle" and that he could literally die soon-ish if he continued living in the same manner, but they always say that because they're scared of getting sued.
Dan: "I just want to get naked in here. I wish I could get naked, man."
Dash: "I can't lie. I was already drunk before we made the hamsters' nest. I invented this hamster thing in Mexico. It's a work of art. We've done it already in L.A., South Carolina, Georgia, and Miami. If anyone tries to steal my idea, I'll fucking kill them."
STANDINGS THUS FAR: Although Dan is technically ahead in quantity; Dash's medical condition must be taken into account. He is going to look like a burn victim tomorrow, and that kind of dedication earns him points. So far, it's a tie.
ROUND 2 (10 P.M.)
DAN: 12 BEERS, 9 SHOTS OF WILD TURKEY, UNQUANTIFIABLE LINES
DASH: 12 BEERS, 9 SHOTS OF WILD TURKEY, UNQUANTIFIABLE LINES
At the start of the second hour of competition, the phrase "Draft Dodgers Rule" is spelled out in coke on the dresser. Both subjects have worked more than halfway through the huge letters of blow, each starting at separate ends. Dash's skin is already starting to look weird, and Dan has been gurgling mostly unintelligible nonsense since he got to the letter F in "Draft."
Dan: "Our crew is the draft dodgers because we're like…draft dodgers. That's what we'd be if there was a draft. We'd fuckin' dodge it."
Dash (to Dan): "I'll sniff coke off your dick if you'll sniff coke off mine."
The tally is exactly tied now because, starting at 9:50 p.m., Dash pounded three beers and two shots to catch up because he didn't want "that faggot to win another round." When it's pointed out that the last check-in actually resulted in a draw, Dash looks puzzled. The offer of dick-coke sniffing (which doesn't actually begin until much later in the night) ushers in a homosexual undertone to the proceedings, which seeps into the contest from that point on in.
STANDINGS THUS FAR: Still a tie, doye.
ROUND 3 (11 P.M.)
DAN: 19 BEERS, UNQUANTIFIABLE WILD TURKEY AND LINES
DASH: 17 BEERS, UNQUANTIFIABLE WILD TURKEY AND LINES
As the third hour draws to a close, both parties are recovering from a sudden and shocking burst of violence, which began when Dash threw a huge armful of shredded paper in Dan's face. Dan, in a semi-nude rage, flipped Dash across the bed and into the nearby nightstand, which collided directly with the healing tattoo that Dash had gotten the day before. In retaliation, Dash swallowed a slug of whiskey and sprayed it in Dan's eyes. Dan, blinded, managed to spray his own mouthful of whiskey directly into Dash's eyes. Thus, hour four is greeted with both combatants shrieking as if they've just been maced.
Dan: "Ohhh, it fucking stings! What the fuck?!?"
Dash: "Fuck! Was I bad?"
The room is now a quagmire of beer- soaked paper, making maneuvering almost impossible, which leads to much crashing and falling. When a hotel employee comes in to check on the room, Dash streaks out of the door behind her and disappears for 30 minutes.
STANDINGS THUS FAR: Dan is now in the lead, not only in quantity, but also by virtue of the fact that he didn't just run away like a little girl.
ROUND 4 (MIDNIGHT)
DAN: 23 BEERS, A HALF BOTTLE OF WILD TURKEY, THE REST OF HIS COKE
DASH: 20 BEERS, A FUCKING LOT OF WILD TURKEY, THE REST OF HIS COKE
Dash slips back into the room and mumbles a perplexing explanation about having to "make a phone call." Dan responds with a groggy mumble, thus beginning an hour during which he won't speak aloud, but only whisper mysteriously into Dash's ear. They slip into the bathroom together, scaring the parakeets enough that one falls into the icy beer-filled tub. Dan makes it his mission to nurse it.
Dan: "We named these birds Saddam. They're all named that. Saddam 1 through 6."
Dash: "Here, dude, check it out." (Forming his testicles into one turgid ball mass). "Smash balls with me. Let's do it."
Despite repeated admonishments from Dash to "Put the fucking bird away," Dan is carrying around the soaked parakeet as if he's Rutger Hauer at the end of Blade Runner. The two combatants are becoming secretive, and at one point ten empty cans are found in the bathroom. Were these drunk? If so, who drank them? Dash explains that, "The hamsters' nest breeds brotherhood. I don't even care about winning this shit. Fuck it." When Vice explains that it paid for the beer, coke, and parakeets, Dan adds, "All time and objects get lost in the hamster's nest. I gotta bring this fucking bird back to life."
STANDINGS THUS FAR: Dan is still ahead, although Dash's willingness to get his balls out and do fucked-up shit with them earns him some extra credit.
ROUND 5 (1 A.M.)
DAN: 25 BEERS, 3/4 BOTTLE OF WILD TURKEY, PLUS HE JUST CALLED HIS COKE DEALER
DASH: 22 BEERS, 1/2 BOTTLE OF WILD TURKEY, PLUS HE MADE DAN CALL HIS COKE DEALER
As the finish line approaches, the combatants become philosophical. Dan has successfully resuscitated Saddam 3 and sees this as confirmation of the essential goodness of the world. Dash has changed into a pair of hot-pink jeans.
Dan: "I said to myself, ‘You just have to let the birds fly, Danny. Just let them fly.'" [His eyes tear up.]
Dash: "These are my favorite bubblegum pants. I won them in a Double Dutch contest."
Dash is now firmly locked into the persona of a little black girl, while Dan is grinding his jaw furiously enough to generate the electricity needed to power a small city. Also, they have become cagey about who drank what and when. Those ten beers in the bathroom, whose were they? "Saddam's," cackles Dash. They seem equally hammered, and are acting suspiciously gay, sitting side-by-side on the edge of the paper- and feather-covered bed. It is clear that Vice is expected to leave now. It seems it's bedtime. The last thing we see as we shut the door is Dan discovering an uneaten room-service steak. Dash makes a dive for it.
And the winner is … nobody. Though it is reasonably certain that Dan drank more and sniffed more coke than Dash, it is impossible to gauge with 100% accuracy. It was fucking fun, though.
Editor's note: As this article goes to press (two weeks after said contest), Dash's skin is still so fucked up he looks like a lizard man.