Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Back in 1975-'76 I was a senior at the University of Connecticut living in Crandall D dormitory located in the South Campus section of the school. Crandall D was a four story building with the first floor having a kitchen and student lounge area with three floors of rooms above.

We used to play a beer drinking game called "thumper" back then down in the dining area. "Thumper" started when everyone around a table picked a "sign" as their own. For example one sign could be holding your nose,another grabbing an ear lobe, tapping the top of your head, etc.. My sign was usually crossing my hands across my chest and double tapping the opposite shoulders.

Once everyone had their signs the game was ready to begin. The way the game was played is that first someone does their own sign and then a second sign from someone else in the game. Then the second sign person does their own sign and then a sign of another person and so on. Prior to the start of the game everyone started pounding on the table by hitting the table with alternating right,left,right,left with a continuous open handed rhythm. Then everyone shouted,"WHAT'S THE NAME OF THE GAME? ...... THUMPER!!...HOW DO PLAY IT ?...
THUMP LIKE HELL !!!" and the table thump continued throughout the game.

That's"thumper".The object is to see how long the game can continue as each person has about a second to perform their sign and the next sign they choose as described above.The person who messes up by not performing the two signs within a second is penalized by having to drink some beer (such a harsh penalty). So you have to watch everyone to see if your sign is used as the second sign.

From as distance the game looked like a convention of excited sign language interpreters during a thunderstorm. "What's the name of the game? ......THUMPER!!"