So you’re throwing a soiree but you don’t want to have another tired theme party with a rhyming title like “CEOs and Secretary Hos.” Then look no further than Lance Armstrong for inspiration.
Let me explain: The Tour de France — three weeks of agonizing biking over unforgiving terrain. The Tour de Franzia — three hours of agonizing chugging from unforgiving pouches of wine.
The Tour de Franzia is a test of strength and endurance. It’s a path to glory, a challenge for the soul. Above all, it’s just another novel way to get drunk and sloppy (take that, Committee on Alcohol Policy!).
The basic premise of the Tour is to place pouches of Franzia wine at various “wine stations” throughout your humble abode (or dorm hallway or dingy frat house), and to do casual laps throughout the residence, stopping to chug at each station. Basically, it’s a college student’s version of a wine tasting course.
Franzia sells 24 flavors of premium boxed wine made with only the finest ingredients. First, choose your favorites — a daunting task, I know. Or, if you’re hosting a large party, go balls out and get all 24.
For our modest gathering, we purchased six kinds: Crisp White, Chardonnay, White Chablis, Rhine, Sunset Blush, and Cabernet Sauvignon … and if I may, I’d like to give you my highly qualified reviews of these flavors: Crisp White is mild and refreshing, the classic high school graduation party wine — adults tolerate it, high school girls can down it without holding their noses. The Tour favorite was Sunset Blush — mild, sweet, and smooth, this pink pouch of pleasure was the first to go. If you’re looking for a distinctive, robust white wine, Rhine is your flavor. The Chardonnay and Chablis were also robust — robust like pure gasoline.
Trying to pick which of the two was worse is like playing “Who’d you Rather?” with Rachel Dratch and Tonya Harding. Lastly, you have the Red Menace — Cabernet Sauvignon. This stuff will ruin your shirt and your night if you’re not careful. Consequently, it should be reserved for only the most grizzled Tour veterans.
Okay, so you have chosen your flavors. Next, remove the pouches of wine from their boxes so you can slap each bag after drinking from it. Yes, you must slap the bag after each drink. It seems stupid at first, but trust me on this one. You don’t know what fun is until you’ve made a plastic bladder of cheap wine shake like Kathy Bates in a Brookstone chair.
The further you get in the Tour, the more creative the slaps become. They turn into extensions of each player’s emotions — you can tell if someone is celebrating, taunting, admitting defeat, or just holding back chunks in his throat, all from the way he slaps the bag.
Because you’ll be dealing with unwieldy bags of liquid, you’ll need a teammate to hold them for you when you drink and slap. However, for you overachievers out there (and I know there are a lot of you — this is Yale, a place where optional sections are standing room only), try hanging the bags from the ceiling at each station, thus removing the need for a teammate. I’m going to warn you though, you’ll need a little bit of Bob Vila in you to be able to pull it off. But it’s worth it, because when they’re hanging, it adds a new challenging dimension to the Tour — especially for short people.
Attire is a key aspect of the Tour. You don’t want to stain that Lacoste shirt, do you? Then be sure to wear your favorite slop gear, because it will get messy. My Tour shirt of choice happens to be an “Operation Buckle-Up” shirt. Other favorites include the classic black “D.A.R.E. to keep kids off drugs” shirt and the 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champions shirt with the players with giant cartoon heads. You know it’s going to be a good night when you and your friends are dressed like you’re going to the Jefferson Middle School Teen Center.
So you have all the basics. Time to start drinking from the undulating plastic bladders. Turn those nozzles and begin slapping your hearts out.
When it’s all said and done, you’ll be crying tears of joy (or maybe pain) as you celebrate victory with your fellow Tour Champions — remember, in this era of class rank abolishment and the postseason NIT, everyone is a winner.
But if you’re not picking fights with lacrosse players by the end of the night and getting kicked out of bars faster than Cindy Sheehan at the State of the Union, then you didn’t give it your all. Hey, Lance Armstrong beat cancer and won seven Tours de France — the least you could do is drink seven Tours de Franzia and possibly get cancer as a result.
Carl Williott attends wine tastings in spandex shorts.