By Leigh Welch, Staff Writer

Pepper Flipping is a new trend that is sweeping the University of Maine Farmington (UMF); the rules of pepper flipping are simple, and the game is intriguing, to say the least.

“Pepper Flipping is the act of challenging a friend to an activity, or whatever you like, and then taking the pepper shaker and making it rotate at least once around and making it land back up right,” said Jackson Fortin, a senior, and the person who introduced the game to UMF, according to him, “[I] would like to think that I started it up.”

The rules are simple enough to follow. “So if they make the pepper flip the person who accepted the challenge has to do it [whatever the challenge was]. If they don’t make the flip than nothing happens,” said Fortin.

“You only get one flip per meal. That way so you can’t practice Pepper Flipping at meals,” said Fortin. This makes sure that “people who have natural Pepper Flipping abilities can shine,” Fortin, explained further.

The game is known to get very interesting, very fast. “I think the craziest one that I have had to do was probably eat an entire peppershaker worth of pepper,” said Fortin. “It went pretty well, I mixed it with applesauce, and I did complete it. My stomach did not feel phenomenal, but I got through it.”

If you do not complete the challenge there are repercussions. “If you don’t complete the Pepper Flip, our own personal rules at UMF are that, you either cannot Pepper Flip until your flip has been completed. Or you take ‘the drink,’” said Fortin “‘The drink’ is a full size dining hall cup, and the person who flipped you is allowed to make whatever concoction they want, and you have to dink it until they say stop or you finish it all.”

The number of people that are involved in this game at UMF is “unknown,” said Fortin. “But it is popular among a couple athletic teams that I’m aware of.”

UMF is not the only campus that Pepper Flipping has consumed. “I heard it from my friend who goes to Bowdoin, where apparently the tradition was started up, back in 2004,” said Fortin.

Fortin’s roommates participate in this game, almost everyday. “It is interesting,” said Zack Lavoie a sophomore, and one of Fortin’s roommates. “I had to eat a chicken sandwich from Aramark in two bites. It wasn’t the best. But I did complete it.” This is the first year Lavoie had heard of pepper flipping “Jackson told me about it, and I didn’t understand it. So then Jon explained it to me,” said Lavoie.

Fortin did have tips, for those who decided to try Pepper Flipping, “What I’ve found out in my pepper flipping career, would be that some peppershakers are easier to flip than others,” said Fortin. “The ones in the UMF dining hall are much, much more difficult since they are octagonal shaped, unlike other peppershakers that are just circular. It is definitely much more difficult to flip the octagonal peppershakers than the circular ones.”