Why do I always say “ground and pound” on Facebook?

Ground and Pound

I’m a weird person, and I do/say weird things, especially on Facebook. For a while it was “Get What’s Yours” (probably 2010-11), along with “Fucking Get What’s Yours” (expletives are fun), and for a period in there it was also “Get That Brass Ring!” That has its own origin story, which I’ll tell at the bottom of this post. I also like calling people wrecks. I actually think that one is pretty universally funny — everyone, in their own way, is a wreck. It happens. It just does.

Recently I’ve been saying “ground and pound” a lot. It’s stupid and it means nothing, but here’s the story behind it regardless. 

Back in March-April, I was working part-time for Teach for America. It was a mostly terrible job where I coded a lot of expenses, etc. Everyone associated with the job seemed to hate me, and I was depressed as hell at the time anyway about not being able to find a real, full-time job. It sucked and I basically got fired. That’s the long and short of it.

Before that happened, though, I went to Memphis twice for conferences. We stayed in a mostly crappy hotel (with a nice staff) out by the airport. The first time I went was Wednesday — > Sunday, and on Thursday night, I went down to the hotel bar. I met this dude from Jackson, MS who was in on business. My context with him was thus: about 40 minutes before he came to the bar, a three year-old child ran through the bar screaming and giggling. A man ran after him, scooped him up, and took him out. Then, 40 minutes later, that man — Jackson, MS Sir — came back to the bar looking exasperated. He sat near me, so we started shooting the shit. He explained that the kid was with his wife, upstairs. (He was ordering doubles at this point.) Eventually this conversation lasted about 2 hours and went into family (“a racket”), sales models (“gotta build the relationship before the sale, but only Southerners understand that”) and a bunch of other shit. At the end, we were both wasted.

So this guy explains to me, near the end of our convo, that most business trips are of “the ground and pound” social variety. Having only heard this term used to refer to a style of fighting, I was intrigued. Here’s his drunken philosophy:

  • You tend to travel for business on weekdays.
  • Business tends to happen in mid-size to large cities, and you tend to stay downtown or near the airport.
  • Cities typically don’t have great downtowns or airport areas, especially on weekdays.
  • You promise yourself you’re going to explore the cool parts of the city you read about on Yelp, but the meetings beat you down (or you get in late) and you don’t do that.
  • You want a drink to keep things sociable, though, so you head downstairs (“ground”) and grab a few (“pound”).

This logic is asinine in many ways, but in the last 10 minutes of our convo, he said “ground and pound” maybe 45 times. It stuck with me. It seemed like an interesting thing to say on Facebook to people who would have no idea what I’m talking about, and now I just went and told the whole story. Oh well.

So on your next business trip, please, make sure you take the elevator to the ground floor, hit the pub, and pound a few drinks.

Final sidebar on the “Get that brass ring” story. I was drunk in DC in 2010 with my friends, doing a scavenger hunt. My friends and I are nerds. We were walking around on Friday night, basically bar-hopping (the hunt itself was Sunday), and my friend texted me that he was meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time that weekend and was nervous. I said something supportive, then added drunkenly (via SMS), “Get that brass ring, baby.” I have no idea why I typed that into my phone, but his response was even better: “The parents are making us stay in separate rooms, so I doubt there will be any getting of brass rings tonight.” I laughed so hard I almost peed myself, showed all the friends I was with, etc. It stuck with me. I started saying it a lot. That’s how my brain works, I suppose.

So, now that you’ve read this post, do two things:

  • Get that brass ring
  • Ground and pound


Ted Bauer