Today was the big day everyone in Louisiana has been waiting for. It was the first home game of the football season. I'd heard that it was insane, and huge, and there were going to be superfans like I had never seen before, and I knew that it would be a shitshow. But I didn't quite comprehend until I got there, and even now, many hours later, I still don't really comprehend it (Click photos to enlarge).
In the afternoon, I walked to campus. It took nearly an hour walking at a brisk clip. At first it was crazy hot, but I thought, I'll just walk through it. No other option, really. Around five, it started raining just like it does almost every day, but for some reason I haven't caught on enough to bring an umbrella with me. And I thought, Eff you, BaRou. I will walk through your heat. And I will walk through your rain. You can't beat me; I'm from New York. And I will not even take off my sunglasses, even though I know it is raining. And I know I haven't eaten a meal since my tragic Walgreens meal 20 hours ago because I don't have a car yet, but As God as my witness, I will never go hungry again! And I shook my fist at the sky. And then a few minutes later, I took my sunglasses off. And then a few minutes later, it stopped raining like it always does.
The only thing I can compare Tiger tailgating to from my own experience is Ag Field Day at Rutgers, which is the day that everyone heads for Cook College, the agricultural campus, and parties outside doing drugs and drinking (a lot more so than usual). You know, pretty much every university has a day like that; It's called Trip or Treat at Hampshire at Halloween.
Here's one of my handful of photos from Ag Field Day taken on my pink and purple LeClic 110 camera (I'm old!).
That would be a bidi that I'm smoking--I don't know, it's some kind of Indian thing that makes you lightheaded. They made Patty there [photo right] drop like a sack of potatoes after smoking one. I just spotted bidis for sale last month at a liquor store here in LA. (Another unfortunately bad-quality photo from another Ag Field Day has my pal KarTek
wearing her "Cool It" pillowcase dress that she made by following directions from Sassy magazine.)
But today was Ag Field Day by a multiple of 100, minus all hippy credo or sentiment, dressed in a campus-wide bruise of purple and gold. And this isn't a once-a-year occurrence; it's going to happen six times this semester. The bf compared it to a Dead show descending on the campus (minus, again, any and all hippy sentiment). Speaking of the old ball and chain, here is the design building that my bf and most of the rest of his first-year grad class were attempting to work in today.
The revelers might remember this building as "RESTROOMS," but they probably don't remember it as anything at all. Nonetheless, they were wandering about inside like zombies, silver-and-blue beer cans in hand, talking as loudly as you do when you've been drinking since 6 a.m. (not an exaggeration; the bf got to campus around that time in order to get parking, and people were already outside chugging, as they had been the afternoon and evening before).
Dear whichever paid-off jerk in the LSU bureaucracy who made the final decision to leave the design building open as RESTROOMS for drunken rubes to wander every floor, while your top-notch landscape architect first-year class had projects to get done for Monday, and while other buildings such as the architecture building were locked up tight: fuck you, dick. (Yesss! If I had said that in person, that would have been New York dick style!) I will say that the class extracted a small but rewarding revenge. That's all ah can say about thay-at [Forrest Gump voice
So where do I even begin. Tiger tailgating is an orgy of American excess, as if we were lacking in examples. It's a bit ironic that this region is so influenced by the French, because I think many French folk would take issue with such wasteful decadence. (Just as I take issue with many French folk, but that's another post altogether. A post called, "Extra! Extra! CoKane hates snooty jerks!") My brain refused to even consider the day's impact from an environmental standpoint. Basically, the entire campus of LSU becomes one giant outdoor party, beginning on the afternoon before game day. The parking lot is lined on the borders with RV after RV. Each one of those RVs must be worth much more than I have earned in my life altogether combined. Not to mention that each was outfitted with satellite TV, sound systems, and who knew what-all else. And that's just somebody's party
setup. Later when the game began, partiers abandoned their huge flatscreen TVs where they were to watch from the stadium, leaving them unattended. (What?!) Just the leftover booze from today could have gotten multiple third-world countries wasted (especially because they're not as fat as us).
Never mind that you know, everyone could have made a nice dent in the troubles of Darfur or Appalachia or, say, the blighted areas of Baton Rouge
with all the money and food thrown around at today's game. But I'll quit being Debbie Downer and just show you around.
This is pretty much what the young folks look like, though shown here with an unusually high representation of non-blondes.
To give you an idea of the scale of things down here, Tiger Stadium is a colosseum on par with something like Giants Stadium in New Jersey (which was probably the last time I was in a stadium, to see Guns 'n' Metallica in like '92 or so). In the past (according to hearsay), the roar of the crowd in Tiger Stadium has registered on the Richter scale.
A lot of the young people had a message they felt strongly about today, and that message was "WOO."
B.A.T.T. had nothing on a party gang spotted elsewhere on campus called T.I.T.S.: Totally Insane Tiger Spirit. GET IT? TITS! LIKE BOOBS!
I don't know what that spinny wheel below is all about, but I suspect it has something to do with the 8,000 dead soldiers in the foreground.
The above photo might also be the most non-blondes I've ever seen in one place in this state.
Noticing a theme in the ladieswear? A whole lot of girlie, non-threatening purple and/or gold dresses. That's why I was so stoked to see this girl, who was tossing a football with another little girl and boy. Too bad she's wearing LSU-colored Crocs, but I made a lot of fashion mistakes as a kid, too.
This bus below may be Shaq's gangsta-themed ride, I'm told he was there. I don't really even know or care who Shaq is, so talk amongst yourselves on this one. [Due to Blogger sucking, for you Mac users the picture might be two down. Readers, should I switch this blog over to TypePad? I've about had it with Blogger.]
"Know what GRITS means? Girl Raised in The South," I overheard someone say. (It was a big day for acronyms.)
I have so much hope for the cranky-looking girl on the left there. But a lot of young girls raised in the South also seem to wear bows, like the young lady on the right. Speaking as someone who regularly wears fashions several decades old, this is still pretty astounding to me. Like, what, are we in an episode of The Little Rascals?
And these folks below were doing THE MACARENA. For the entire duration of the song. In case you forgot, it's 2007. Doing the Macarena was not even acceptable in whatever year the Macarena came out in, probably about ten years ago. I become mortified on hearing the first notes. It's like a very effective song and dance created for the express purpose of embarassment.
Just then, my borrowed fancy camera's memory card ran out, and I had my regular camera as backup, but I was just exhausted, and headed back to the design building to pick up a borrowed bike to ride home.
"Hey," Some round-faced redhead kid in a group of three said to me as I was stopped, getting my bearings on the bike. "Think the Tigers are gonna win it today?"
"Oh, there's a game today?" I said.
"Come on, don't play with my emotions like that," the kid said.
We all laughed, and I biked off, enjoying his sweetness.
And then I guess there was a game or something. I don't know. I hate sports.
I took my borrowed bike to my borrowed car, and finally got to Whole Foods, the place in town that was most like how I wanted the world to be, and bought stockpile amounts of food to ensure that I would never go hungry again.
Labels: Baton down the hatches, F U BaRou, Holy Shit We Moved to the Deep South, jerks, what a hippy