I’ve been working really hard to get the Beer Olympics off the ground and for a while, I wondered why I was doing anything. It seems that lots of people have issues with Beer. Others have issues with having to pay for beer or any sort of function at the moment. Some have issues with barbecued meat. It seemed that every way I turned I had one person or another giving me bad attitude and I really wondered why I was putting in so much time and effort into putting it together.
It’s not that I should be surprised. Some people really don’t like beer. That was why I was giving other events that didn’t involve chugging beer. As for the barbecue aspect, I know that people are vegetarian and wouldn’t be wanting to eat meat. I was more than willing to go out and get veggie dogs and burgers. Also, if anyone knows me, they know I like condiments. There will be plenty of condiments to go around. I’ve also asked that people volunteer food. I did this mostly because I cannot afford to supply all the food – and I won’t have time if I have to organize the games, the property, the drinks, the barbecue goods and all the other things that go along with hosting an event such as this.
The one that bothered me though was the money aspect. I’m not doing this as a profit. I’m not expecting to get anything out of this other than a good time and a memorable experience. By asking people to pay I would be coordinating a day/night of entertainment, food, a place to crash, unlimited beer and water, cleanup services (other than puke!) and games. That’s a lot to ask for only $15 and as I started telling people about it long before the event I figured it wouldn’t be that much of an issue. Some people have suggested alternatives to me regarding spectators and others that aren’t playing in the games. I’ve taken into account people’s feelings and now have added a stipulation that if you come, you need to bring some food for potluck dinner and if you don’t bring food, then you have to bring $10. I think it’s only fair. If you go anywhere nowadays you have to expect to pay for what you get. It really bothered me that people were starting to make it seem like I was trying to steal their money.
Don’t get me wrong, I did have some really great responses from two of my closest friends, who are now on the B.O.C. with me (Beer Olympic Committee.) Problem is – they don’t drink beer. I also got a huge response from my sister-in-law’s boyfriend Richard. He was planning his team immediately and became very confident that they would destroy all other teams. I really thought the momentum would continue, but unfortunately with the responses I was getting, it didn’t seem to be the case.
I felt so down and so dejected that I was almost ready to quit before I started. I had gone and made packages which I forwarded to a large group of friends in Paris (which will be in PDF format soon for the rest of you.) I drove around on Good Friday and hand delivered them with Richard as a nice little surprise for when everyone woke up. We put them in mailboxes and on car windshields. They ended up on doorsteps and only one was hand delivered. I figured that I’d start hearing from people about it to get a better gauge of how they felt and if they were going to play. Yet all I could hear for about a week was crickets. Okay maybe not because there’s still tonnes of snow outside, but in my head I heard them. I really thought I’d hit a homerun with this event and I really feared that I was off the mark.
With an event this crazy and awesome, I really wanted to invite our groomsmen from the wedding. We don’t hang out that much, but I still consider them the some of my favourite men. We met up with them for dinner at Boston Pizza and handed them manila envelopes. They were looking at us quizzically, unsure what they were getting. As they opened the package their eyes lit up and the excitement grew. They assured us that they were in and then spent the rest of the meal trying to determine their team country and their costumes. It was so great to see people that were really into it!
Still feeling a bit sad about the reaction or lack there of, I talked to James via email at work. (shhh don’t tell – not allowed!) He said for me not to worry as I have a bunch of other friends that love drinking beer and would probably jump at the chance to play. I came home that night, hopeful but still a little timid. I started chatting with some people on MSN. Mostly starting off with “You like beer right?” or saying “Would you pay to play the Beer Olympics and how much would you be willing to put in?” I was so excited by the reaction – it was a big hell ya from everyone! They started bouncing ideas off me as to who to invite and what the whole thing was about. One of them told me that for all we are including they would expect to pay upwards of $40 and our event would be a steal at $15. Of course I did have to give them a chat about how this is going to be a private party and that they can’t go crazy inviting people. I want serious people only, and not those that will trash the place. The games will be outside, but with so much opportunity for something bad to happen, I want to make sure I have some limitations.
I’ve created a website for everyone to see what’s going on and what the rules are. That seems to help because it gets them thinking. The reaction since then has been great and I’ve even had pregnant girls say “you know this is a competition and even though I don’t drink beer, I’d suck it up for one day because I’d want to win. That would be if I wasn’t pregnant of course.” I’ve had my hope renewed after talking to more and more people that had been talking about putting a team together and thought they had lots of time to do it. Now that I’ve got 7 teams lined up and only room for one more, I feel much better about this event going off without a hitch.
By the looks of things now, I’ve got to turn away teams rather than have not enough. It seems the Beer Olympics will be a success after all!