How to entertain a mobile drunken mass of people?
February 27, 2007 8:06 PM   Subscribe

Ideas for Comp Sci Pub Crawl: Keep walking from bar to bar amusing.

The scene: T-shirts have been ordered, bars have been lined up, and the Computer Science department is all a quiver about their upcoming super awesome pub crawl. We're looking at about 100 of the geeky and not so geeky persuasion ready to storm the downtown district of our mid-sized city.

The problem: We have a bus that drops us all off at our first destination. After that we walk to the rest of the bars. Looking at 15min from place to place.

The question: What to do to keep the group amused and together? Marching chants? Songs? Hold hands while crossing the street? We'll have a handful of sober types to make sure no one gets run over, but I want to keep the spirit alive as we move from bar to bar, especially considering it's March and still a little chilly outside.

Ideas, thoughts, and feedback all apreciated. We want to make this a safe and fun night for all.
posted by billy_the_punk to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Pub Golf!

Each bar consists of a hole, where the object is to order and consume a specific drink. A "stroke" is counted from when you bring the glass to your lips to when you bring it back down. Thus, a hole in one would be slamming a drink back while a moderate score consists of a few more sips. Of course, pars should be set accordingly.

We may have different definitions of "safe" and "fun", but depending on what the drinks and par scores are, it can be played more moderately. What makes it fun is going all into the details, like printing out little scorecards and making golfing metaphor jokes.
posted by Zaximus at 8:19 PM on February 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Call me a spoilsport, but marching chants/songs and holding hands while crossing the street would ruin what sounds like an otherwise enjoyable evening. Sounds like you have planned the pub crawl pretty well, why not let the group figure out how to amuse themselves throughout the unscripted moments (like the walk from place to place).
posted by necessitas at 8:26 PM on February 27, 2007

Based on my bar crawl experiences, after the first two bars, you'll provide plenty of your own entertainment.

"Look at drunky falling down in the gutter!"

"Put your pants back on RIGHT NOW!!"

and so on.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:26 PM on February 27, 2007

CS people + bar crawl = random walk
posted by scission at 8:38 PM on February 27, 2007

We have "Poker Runs" here, we do our's in boats with bars on the waterfront. It rewards those that visit all of the bars.

Here is a short description from

Definition: A Poker Run is an organized event where people travel over a prescribed course and at designated stopping points, select a card. At the end of the run, the person with the best poker hand wins a prize. Poker Runs usually require a fee to enter with a part of the proceeds going to charity.

You could charge $5.00 per person with the best hand winning the pot. Email me if you need more details.
posted by JujuB at 8:41 PM on February 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

i can almost guarantee anything more than basic 'where are we going next' planning on a drunken bar crawl will result in confusion.
posted by ZackTM at 9:38 PM on February 27, 2007

What necessitas said... but for a 15 minute walk between pubs, I suggest a spliff.
posted by pompomtom at 10:00 PM on February 27, 2007

Sing songs!

There are classic drinking songs that we sing at our engineering/cs pub crawls (most "borrowed" from rugby) such as I Used To Work in Chicago ... and you can come with some extremely nerdy puns ("A path she wanted, a deep traversal she got", "A shell script she wanted, a PERL necklace...", you get the idea)

If you have school chants or songs, this is a great opportunity to teach them to people.

What we do at our pub crawls is split up into teams of about 15-30 people each, and each team comes up with their own name, chants and songs. This gives them something to do between bars (like come up with more chants!) and helps foster some friendly competition. (This also lets us rotate the times that each time visits each bar, so that no bar is empty until the crawl is over -- at any time there will be two teams per bar).

And while you're in a bar, if you'll excuse the (relevant) self-link, I've been dying to get people to try a Binary Tree Boat Race.
posted by DrSkrud at 10:27 PM on February 27, 2007

Here's an example of what NOT to do. I was one of the sober types on a pub crawl years ago. The organizers decided it would be a good idea to keep everyone together between bars by borrowing a tug-of-war rope and having everyone hold it while walking between the bars.

Never underestimate the power of stupid drunk people in large numbers with a long rope. They drug a postal box down the road, ripped out or bend over a couple of dozen roadsigns, and we sober types were barely able to unlash the rope before they pulled a telephone booth over. Suprisingly, the police were able to follow the path of destruction and caught up with the group after the drunks had mostly dispursed and the sober responsible types were left draging the rope to the last bar. Due to a riot in another part of the city, they let us go with a warning. At the end of the night the rope was stolen and the organizers had to buy a replacement which was a couple of hundred dollars.

The moral of the story is that keeping a crowd of 100 drunk students together downtown is not always the best idea. It is better to let them flow on their own.
posted by Yorrick at 10:43 PM on February 27, 2007

Yorrick made me realize what I forgot to mention: Each of the teams that we split up our students into have at least two leaders. The leaders are appointed and imbued with a schedule of all the stops, and are responsible for not losing their teammates. (Leaders still tend to get pretty drunk, they're just able to keep their cool while doing it).

By having 2 people manage groups of 15-20 drunks, you lower the risk of causing serious damage and you're more capable of handling the people.
posted by DrSkrud at 10:51 PM on February 27, 2007

Team leaders must each be equipped with a rubber chook on a pole.
posted by flabdablet at 5:03 AM on February 28, 2007

Running the "Turing test" after every pub, where the test is something hopelessly biological and biologically rewarded.
posted by plinth at 5:08 AM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Also on the Turing tip: Alan Turing played a version of chess where one guy ran around the block while the other guy studied his next move. When the runner returned, the other guy had to make his move.

You could turn this into a drinking game as such: person A needs to finish his pint before person B finishes running around the block, or person A buys the next round. Something like that. This might also have the beneficial effect of burning off some alcohol and giving the runners an incentive not to get too loaded in the first place.
posted by adamrice at 7:41 AM on February 28, 2007

Have a race between pubs for 2-4 of the participants. Pick a ridiculous conveyance (pogo stick, Big Wheel, trike) which the racers will not be able to get going much faster than the spectators can walk.

Pick the most inebriated geeks as racers and the "spectacular" crashes will keep the spectators close to the action. You could make it a relay race if the distance is too far.
posted by OpinioNate at 11:05 AM on February 28, 2007

I don't know exactly how legal this is, but the best pub crawl I ever went on filled in the spaces between bars with free shots of vodka, poured on the move by the organisers (you had to keep your own plastic shot glass). The vodka was liberally mixed with orange juice, but it provided a focus for everyone and a reason to keep up with the group.
posted by jacalata at 7:25 PM on February 28, 2007

Thanks for the insight all. The rope idea was actually brought up, and the anticdote above closed that case quickly. Some of the cool ideas (bar golf, Turing test), are awesomely on theme, but I think not possible for the large group that we have.

I'll have to try em on my smaller crawls.
posted by billy_the_punk at 2:09 PM on March 2, 2007

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