Booting & Rallying

Title: Booting & Rallying

General Information about Item:

  • Type of Lore: Drinking Game
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: America
  • Informant: Steve Swain
  • Date Collected: May 20, 2019

Informant Data:

  • Professor Steve Swain was born in California in 1957 and had a west coast upbringing. His father was in the military but he indicated that it had no influence on his upbringing. He has also lived in Vermont and Washington State. His origins are from South Texas and identifies himself as African-American. He is a Dartmouth professor in the music department.

Contextual Data:

  • Professor Swain indicates that he has not had a lot of association with alcohol, saying that “there wasn’t a lot of alcohol in my house”. Also, that he didn’t really drink in college or high school. He says he has never been drunk. The drinking games and rituals that he knows of come from the conversations that he has with some of his students who are fraternity members.


  • This is a drinking game/ritual in which a individual drinks so much, at such a rapid rate that they naturally and/or forcefully puke – which allows them to continue to drink.
  • When asked why he thinks the students do this Professor Swain responded with, “why climb Everest? Because its there.” Meaning that, because the students see the opportunity to drink, they will.

Informant’s comments:

  • When Professor Swain was asked for any additional comments, he responded by saying that drinking is stupid and questioned what the point of drinking alcohol in a group is? He believes that the law for the specific drinking age is too high considering the age group of students in college where alcohol is rampant. He said that he remembered when age was 18 and that there were compelling reason why the age limit was raised but doesn’t think those causes exist anymore. He expressed an ideal scenario, where students and faculty can drink together in a professional setting.
  • When asked how he interpreted this ritual he responded with the following items:
    • It encourages other people to drink
    • The competitive element makes it enjoyable
    • Alcohol is a social lubricant
    • Structured way to encourage drinking
    • It relieves boredom

Collector’s Comments:

This ritual is dangerous and should not encouraged. If one were to look it look it up online, one can see that it is a popular thing, which to me defies all logic. But, I can see the connection between this illogical ritual and seemingly illogical folklore rituals such as stabbing corpses and human sacrifice. Due to me being able to see this relationship (because both rituals involve illogical components), I feel that it gives this collected folklore greater depth.

Collector’s Name: Kyle Carlos


  • Ritual. Drinking Game.

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