Sunday, May 23, 2010
Jimmy Buffett concert review: Trapped in an RV in parrothead paradise
We are the people our parents warned us about.
Please be warned that the photos and story contain some adult material. It's all in good fun.
FRISCO On Friday afternoon, I embarked – by choice, I remind myself – to live in the parking lot of Pizza Hut Park in Frisco for the weekend. We rented an RV that slept 4 people (we squeezed 6 in there, naturally), took a big run to Wal-Mart to get enough food and beverages to last us the weekend, and posted up in the parking lot. Sure, there were things we forgot, but we remembered the essentials: jello shots, lawn chairs, and toilet paper.
Could we survive? Here's a journal of my memorable moments in parrothead paradise.
11:15 a.m. Friday: The guys in our group drive the RV up north to Frisco and sit in line for about three hours. We were outraged to learn that the price to park a single RV has increased from less than $100 two years ago to $240 this year. We complain. Then pay the $240.
6:30 p.m. Friday: Here we are. The RV is set up, beers are chilling in the cooler, and jello shots are ready for consumption. First activity is to meet “the neighbors,” or the folks parked about 5 feet from us who will be our first strangers to befriend. The neighbors are a group of middle-aged adults who are all friends from church. We later learn they have an impressive tolerance for alcohol and are totally on board for a weekend filled with pirates, boobs, and tequila.
7 p.m. Friday: I'm beckoned by nearby neighbors to play Duck Duck Booze. The process is simple: Pick a duck floating in the “pond” and you'll either get a prize or a shot. I was handed my first shot of the day from a woman wearing Mardi Gras beads with plastic boobs hanging from it that were almost life-size (depending on who you are, I guess). I like these neighbors.
12:15 a.m. Saturday: We wander over to Pizza Hut (the restaurant, not the concert/sports venue), which is, in my opinion, the best Pizza Hut in the world. It isn't your typical red-roofed restaurant out in the country; this is a Gucci Pizza Hut. They were offering six drink specials on Friday night, including $1 shots. (And note: They always have good drink specials, even when Jimmy Buffett fandom isn't descending on the park.)
3 a.m. Saturday: What happens in Pizza Hut Park stays in Pizza Hut Park. Time for bed.
8:35 a.m. Saturday: I wake up in the RV to a crowd of people whooping and hollering. A peek out the window shows me that our neighbors have convinced a female passerby to show them her, um, upper half.
11:35 a.m. Saturday: We meet Officer Hawthorne for the first time. He tells us he'll likely give out more public intoxication tickets than DWIs. Though the RV crowd has their vehicles firmly parked, many over-imbibe, he says. I act surprised. “That won't be us, officer.”
11:45 a.m. Saturday: Officer Hawthorne comes back by to chat with us and a friend asks him how many times he might have to use a tazer this weekend. He drops this gem: “I don't taze people. You either get pepper sprayed or you get shot.” I see. “That won't be us, officer.”
1:45 p.m. Saturday: I meet a man wearing 1,105 bottlecaps around his neck. He made the “necklace” by first drinking a whole bunch of beer. Then he drilled a hole through all the bottlecaps and used baling wire to string 65 bottlecaps to each loop. Must do this.
3:40 p.m. Saturday: A stripper pole draws a big crowd, as both guys and girls take a spin. (They were all wearing clothing of some sort.) Call it free entertainment?
6:15 p.m. Saturday: Snoozing in our front yard, I'm woken up and forced to walk a few RVs over to meet the owner of a riding lawn chair. I thought my non-moving chair was the Best Place in the World until I took a spin on that riding lawn chair. Must have one of these.
7:35 p.m. Saturday: We've arrive inside Pizza Hut Park. The beer line is long, but what's a 10 minute wait with this kind of people watching? I politely make a path so the man wearing a watermelon on his head, with little holes cut out for his eyes, can pass.
7:50 p.m. Saturday: The moment we've all been waiting for: Jimmy Buffett takes the stage. Bobbing throughout the packed Pizza Hut Park are about a dozen human “landsharks” (named for Jimmy Buffett's brand of beer and for the many songs he sings). The landsharks are wearing hats with giant fins on them with glow sticks in the top, and they're “swimming” throughout the floor of the concert leading a conga line.
9 p.m. Saturday: Going hoarse from singing. Must re-hydrate.
9:40ish p.m. Saturday: Jimmy Buffett is nearly finished, ending with “Margaritaville.” Before then, he played tons of new songs and a few fan favorites, including “Northeast Texas Women,” to the delight of the crowd.
9:55 p.m. Saturday: Encore! He played the three songs we'd been missing: “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Fins,” and “Growing Older But Not Up.” One of us was so happy, there were tears. I can't say who.
11:30 p.m. Saturday: Back at the RV, I find our neighbor Tom laying face-up in our front yard. As I get closer, I realize he's singing to himself and “looking at the stars.” I leave him peacefully.
12:15 a.m. Sunday: Our friends are fading fast. After more than 12 hours of parrothead mania and only a small nap, it's time to call it a day.
8:30 a.m. Sunday: I wake up to find that Tom isn't in the front yard anymore, and the six of us packed into the RV are awake and ready to go home. The wreckage outside our RV is embarrassing: Our chairs have blown over, we've got four bags of trash, and someone's pirate hat has gotten stuck under the back tire of our vehicle. We clean up quietly so as not to wake the neighbors and head back for what might just be the most boring day of our lives.
Then this from someone in our crew: “Everyone gets a quick break from Jimmy Buffett today. I'll send an email out tomorrow morning to make plans for Buffett 2011.”
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