I was just up in the realm of Starlake Amphitheater. Some call it Post-Gazette. Others Niagara. If you insist on that angle, I prefer Generic Viagra Pavilion. Has a nice ring to it. Anyway, roughly 20,000+ (70% of which are imbeciles) descended upon Burgettstown last night. For the most part, these people are an odd mixture of irreverent douchebags and wannabe calypso rockers. You know the type of people who delight in going to one of those Texas-themed roadhouse restaurants and aggressively discard peanut shells on the floor. They just can't resist. It's so much fun. It's even encouraged. Everyone's doing it. Because we're all just that crazy. Honestly, it's just another way to "amp up" the party. Rest assured, they're are other ways.
1) Call the waitress "Darlin."
2) Ask if the potato skins have "baked potato appeal."
3) Periodically yell, "Yee-Haw" and then pretend it wasn't you.
4) As you're waiting in line, tell the person standing next to you, "Oh, I can't wait to strap on the old feed bag."
5) And of course... reminisce about prior Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney concerts. We saw Buffett here in '97. He "blew the roof" off the place. Yeah sure, of course he did. What the fuck does that even mean?
Anyhoo, it got me to thinking. At the Buffett shows, you see so many people bite the dust. The EMTs are out in full force. It's really an overtime, non-stop, EMT-extravaganza. And at the venerable lake, when you go down, you get a face full of dusty rocks, smoky soot and remnants of parking lot shit all up in yo face. So naturally, I comprised a list this evening...
It's divided into 2 parts (injury and death):
5) Strangulation - You decide to take a piss in the woods. In midstream, you the hear the faint sounds of "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Fuck it... the concert has begun. He's opening up with a surprise cheeseburger. Holy shit! Instinctively, you run toward the venue, but your coconut bra becomes entangled on a tree limb. As the song ventures toward its crescendo, you struggle to break free from the intransigent, mighty oak. No such luck. No show for you. You just got choked out! (Buffett style). Do not confuse this with rectal impalement by tree. We call that getting "Buffetted in the butthole." As Mr. Miyagi solemnly said in Karate Kid Part II, "Don't know, never been attacked by tree."
4) Urinary related - I refuse to name names, but there was a limo/party bus crew at the 2005 PNC Park Jimmy Buffett concert. They had the infamous Walmart port-a-toilet in the vehicle. Needless to say, it was getting repeatedly filled to the brim with reckless abandon. Choosing a location to dump the urine was an easy task. Some next door tailgaters had one of those shallow, kiddie wading pools. Whenever they departed to scope out the scene, someone would discreetly empty the toilet's liquid content into the pool. Sure enough, when the unknowing victims returned from their drunken escapades, they'd jump in the pool and whimsically splash about. It was a good 'ol fashioned pee party. Granted, this is not a way to die. But the limo crew could have died from uromysitisis if they had decided to "hold it." (in an early Seinfeld episode, Jerry's looking for the lost car in a parking garage and a cop arrests him for public urination). Uromysitisis is some serious shit! He could have died.
3) Broken neck/concussion - Your sloppy, drunk-ass friend (ironically, his name is Dick) stumbles into a spirited game of cornhole (in Pennsylvania they use the more sophisticated term "bean bag toss"). He does a face plant directly into the actual "hole" in the board. Fortunately, it's the "Eat Shit Pitt" one, not the "Let's Go, Mountaineers" one. But he literally has become one with the board. You will become one... with the board (Jean Luc Picard - Star Trek Next Generation).
As he struggles to his feet, his head is literally jutting out from the board. He's wearing the cornhole game as if it were mere garb. The crowd begins to chant, "Eat Shit, Dick. Eat Shit, Dick." Suddenly, he lunges forward and falls back to the ground. His neck violently snaps. We call this being "adorned with board."
2) Marijuana related - No one has ever died from marijuana. WRONG! There's always this one frat dude at every Buffett show. He prides himself on the fact that he has NEVER done illegal drugs. But he also prides himself on the ability to drink 10 Miller Lites per hour. So at that rate... 4 hours of tailgating = 40 beers. Although he has never smoked, he's having the time of his life... so he impetuously asks his friend Tootie for a drag off her cigarette. But unknown to him, it's a deadly hand-rolled marijuana cigarette. That one toke puts him in a coma. He just got smoked out! We call this "wasted away again in marijuanaville."
1) Death by Parrot Pecking and Winged Suffocation - There's always this one older, bearded man. He slightly resembles Jerry Garcia, wears a tweed jacket and is smoking a pipe. This old-schooler brings an actual, live parrot to the concert. He has trained to parrot to say, "son of a son of a sailor." I was standing nearby when some drunken bimbo got in an argument with the parrot. She verbally tears into the bird, "That's Saf. He's ain't no sailor." (slurring her words badly) "That's a son of a son of a Saf, you stupid bird." Well, the bird has had enough of the taunting and verbal abuse. It launches itself toward the girl's face and violently starts pecking. She tries to ward off the frenzied attack, but to no avail. The parrot opens its wing span and engulfs the bleached bimbette's head.
The first 3 ways are exclusively vision related.
5) Lime-related injury - That new flavor of the month, Bud Light Lime just ain't gonna cut it. Not for a jolly-man show! Did Trinity remember to pack the ziplock bag filled with meticulously cut lime wedges? Of course, she did. Cuz it's not a true Buffett show without a case of Corona. Unfortunately, her boyfriend Toby gets a little carried away. He needs that one extra lime. He goes for the squeeze and Trinity gets some pulp in the eye. God damn-it, that stings! "Hey, pulp can move baby!" (George Costanza).
4) Sand in the eye - Some Buffett-infused tailgaters really know how to bringeth the sights and sounds of Miami Beach. And they bring that heralded joy straight to the Burgettstown, PA exit conveniently located off route 22. They pull up in a massive GMC Envoy. On the back window, someone has written "Life's a beach!" "Buffett or bust!" How inventive. Not to be outdone, their personalized license plate reads "CHZBRGR" - I can die now. Anyway, some body builder dude jumps outta the back seat and rips open a giant back of sand. An hour in to the tailgate, some little, scrawny kid tries to make a sandcastle replica of something that resembles Heinz Field. The muscle ripped, steroid man kicks sand in the kid's face. We call this getting "Mr. Fuji'd."
Mr. Fuji is the salt throwing heel from Tokyo, Japan. Just FYI - his tag team partner was Mr. Saito and he hailed from... drumroll please... Osaka. F'in Osaka. If the mother fucker can't speak the language, he don't deserve to hold the title belt. I hope Rick Martel and Tony Gonorrhea kick their asses. Multiple dropkicks can serve as a legitimate finishing maneuver.
3) Shark fin tears the retina - Yep, someone went that extra mile and made real, mammoth shark fins from plaster of paris. These aren't the crappy, inflatable knock-offs. They're attached to the hood of the Caddy, kind of like Boss Hog's horns. Sure enough, some youthful Buffetteer accidentally turns his head. Wrong place, poor judgment, bad timing - all the elements of any evening spent at a Parrothead show. The fin mercilessly rips through the delicate cornea. No lasik for you (Soup Nazi in paradise).
2) Carbon monoxide poisoning - This one sometimes results in death, but usually just burnt mouth. It's the same fraternity dude from the marijuana incident. He passes out next to the ample shade of the limo. As he starts to awaken, he triumphantly wraps his mouth around the exhaust pipe. When the emergency med techs arrive to treat him for 2nd degree burns, he hazily replies, "Man, I thought it was a beer bong."
1) Limbo concussion/foot burn - Yep, gotta join the party. Time to doooo the limboooo. But it's just too low and you is too fat. It wasn't meant to be this way. So inevitably the question arises, "Just how low can you go?" Well... you try your best, but fall straight backwards. Your skull violently bounces off the lot pavement. As you rise to your feet and start to regain composure, someone offers you a super-duper Jager-jello shot. You reply, "Nah, I'm gonna take it easy for a bit. Then, you calmly turn around and step right in a pile of hot coals. There's a simple name for this one. It's just called the "ol' one two."
Hope you enjoyed the annual Buffett show. I tried to snag a free ticket but was declined on 4 separate occasions. Sucked. Somehow... some way... I will try and summon the pieces of my shattered life and move forward.