Every Friday from now until football season begins, I give this post up to you. You give me your favorite, most memorable, funniest, saddest, whatever story related to UK athletics. It doesn’t have to be any minimum length although the person who send me a 1-sentence post probably will not make it. But I just want the story that you always tell your friends or means the most to you. You don’t have to use your name. Just send it to me at [email protected]
“Good God!” I thought to myself as I gazed upon the orgiastic sea of revelers, knee deep in mud and smelling of charcoal smoke and bourbon. Some flung bags of corn in an errant attempts to crush the souls of men who only moments before were close friends. Others burned questionable animal parts on sacrificial flames, to curry favor with some enigmatic pigskin gods. “All this for a team that has never even won their side of the conference,” I whispered to my bewildered companion. As she, nauseous from the road, contemplated which green plastic cubicle would contain the least amount of feces and bile.
The road had been long and difficult for my companion as she suffered from a number of nausea inducing ailments, not the least of which was a hangover produced from too much wine and merry making the night before. Despite her particular short comings, she was a most excellent travelling companion as we barreled down a crowded ribbon of concrete and steal towards a sporting event that played second fiddle to the bombastic hedonism that preceded it.
The Orange Lot is a strange place, littered with all kinds of debauched heathens clad in one shade of blue or another. The men drink lustily from cans and bottles while the women try to maintain some air of elegance despite the muck and the heat of the sun. It’s a surreal scene, at once disturbing and beautiful.
Competing songs waft in on the breeze from tailgaters intent on sharing their particular brand of musical torture with the crowd. Like an unwanted groping in the backseat of a car on prom night, the music forces itself on you. “God Damn! When will that interminable Miley Cyrus song stop being popular!” But the music is essential. It’s the thumping tribal beat that increases the ferocity of alcohol consumption. First, to dull the intensity of “Rockin’ in the USA” and then to enhance its endorphin releasing chorus.
My companion and I quickly stake out our own private space and then decorate it with all the accoutrements of a French Salon. The nylon chairs that at once become our seat and our sign to the natives that this is our space. Our square of grass here in this mad world of swirling grill smoke, alcohol fumes, and Miley Cyrus music. “Stay back you! The space behind this great steal behemoth until the edge of the chairs is ours!”
The beer flows freely and my companion and I slowly lower our guard around the natives. A small round man appears at the edge of our land. “Hello,” he salutes. A conversation begins for no more reason than that he is parked next to us. It’s only now that I realize the enormity of his spread. Great quantities of tailgaters surround a tent so big that he could have been a Ringling brother. An endless row of plastic tables was covered with a veritable Noah’s Ark of comestibles. It seems this odd round fellow puts on a spread like this for every home game. He only wandered over to escape the very people he was catering too.
This ambassador from one car over noticed the sickly blue glow from the LCD on the child pacification system in the vehicle. “You got a VCR in there?” he asked with eyes that seemed to spring to life at the thought. I did not have the heart to tell the man that cars made after 2001 generally did not contain VCRs. But before I could speak, he continued. “Cause if you have a VCR in there, I’ve got some porn in the truck.” The words spilled out of his round mouth as casually as if he was offering me a drink of water on a hot day. Suddenly I felt trapped out there in the open. Had this short round man just offered me pornography to watch in the middle of field, in the middle of the day, in the middle of a crowd? My mouth moved slowly as my brain strained for words to delicately extricate myself from the situation.
“Let me make sure its still there.” He turned towards his truck and fumbled in the bed for a moment. “Yup, still there.” There could be no more perfect metaphor for the Orange Lot than this. Hell yes! Let’s fire up that porn here in the middle of the crowd. And watch as some sweaty steroid addled cretin abused some poor teenager with daddy issues. This is the Orange Lot, by God! It’s a surreal scene, beautiful and disturbing all at once.