We didn't just recently think of drinking a yard of ale and making complete fools of our selves. The yard was originally used as a convenience to the inn keeper by allowing him to remain on firm ground while handing the coachman his beer. The yard was also a reflection of the state of the glass blowers art, in that the flute or stem of the glass represented, in those times, a very difficult piece of construction. In more recent times the consumption of a yard of ale in the shortest amount of time and without spilling a drop has become the symbol of the true trencherman.
It is said, in some exalted circles, that an ex Auzzie Prime Minister who shall remain nameless in this article, his initials are Bob Hawke, held the world record for clearing a yard of beer in the shortest amount of time, but that's probably just some rumour perpetrated by some other Auzzie. Regardless, the art of drinking a yard of ale is alive and well and can be a fun addition to any pub party especially by those who have yet to master it.
The trouble isn't in drinking the ale already in the stem; it's the stuff in the bulb at the bottom that is likely to get your attention. Tipping the yard of ale high enough to get the brew from the bottom to start down the stem, without tipping it so high that it all comes at you at once is the trick and that's the hard part to master, it's also the fun part. For those not highly skilled in the art, a chest soaked in ale and the resultant loss of the contest is the probable result. The possibility that the wet t-shirts could be the basis for extending the party with an entirely different contest, gives one pause.