Tuesday, September 9, 2008


This past Saturday was a home game at SMU and you know what that means (and if you don't, act like you do): Tailgating. This is a big, big deal here. The main street on campus is a wide separated boulevard called Bishop Blvd. On home game days, you can rent your very own parking spot along the boulevard for the rock-bottom price of two hundred dollars. (If you just want to bring your barbecue stuff and leave your car at home – or more to the point, bring it and park it off campus – you're free to do that for a reduced rate).

Everybody gets into the spirit of this event, and I mean deep. I don't think I saw a single person there not wearing SMU regalia or at least the requisite colours of red and blue (I luckily had recently purchased a pair of SMU shorts, and David wore a blue shirt... by accident). There are temporary tattoos, pom-poms, megaphones, painted chests, and (I truly saw this at the SMU store) a cedar plank for barbecuing your salmon with the Mustangs logo carved into it. That's right! But wait, there's more. We saw a five-year-old girl in a mini Mustangs cheerleader uniform, a full brass band in red and blue serenading (more like rallying) the tailgaters, a demonstration by the spirit squad, and there was even – no foolin' – a bouncy castle in the shape of an SMU Mustangs football helmet. (I knew you'd have trouble picturing that one, so I documented it). Don't have the right gear for the next tailgating event? Fear not! Simply go to the local SMU bookstore, where there is a "Tailgating" section with everything you need (don't forget to pick up your SMU Mustangs truck hitch cover).

It was an amazing event to be a part of, but I definitely felt like as a participant I was missing some cultural assumptions. Maybe next time I'll put on my SMU Mustangs lip balm before we go.


Roselle said...

OMG...serious culture shock eh?!
so glad to see you've settled in nicely :)

GandS said...

David will have to get an appropriate T-shirt!

Larry said...

Are you going to be able to absorb this "cultural" tradition? Do you want to? Will you bring such ideas home with you? :)

hilaryseraph said...

Well Larry, I think some things that happen in the Deep South should stay in the Deep South... though I wouldn't mind the occasional maple-leaf shaped bouncy castle in my life...

Yes, we'll have to get David a t-shirt... though he might insist on buying a generic one and putting his own logo on. ;)