Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tailgating

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.

4 comments:

Roselle said...

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

GandS said...

David will have to get an appropriate T-shirt!
G&S

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. ;)