Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your beers.
The 2016 Beer Bike theme for Rice University’s Graduate Student Association was a truly remarkable team effort in play wordplay: The Selected Works of William Shakesbeer.
Beer Bike is a tradition at Rice University where alumni and current students come together to participate in friendly relay competition of chugging and bike racing. Back when the legal drinking age was 18, the chuggers drank beer and even though all teams have transitioned to water, spectators of the race keep up the tradition. Each year, the teams choose themes that parody pop culture references or either aspect of the event (eg drinking or biking).
The coordinators provided me with the chosen theme and a fantastic list of Shakespearean puns to incorporate. The viking headgear is a hint at the campus’ graduate pub, Valhalla, an underground dive decorated with an undercurrent of Nordic mythos. The skull mug is meant to be a two-pronged allusion: both a second nod to Viking culture as well as a reference to the soliloquy Hamlet delivered to (alas poor) Yorick’s unearthed skull.