Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Morning After University Football

One of my roommates at the Twin Pines co-op has a new pair of Ray-Bans.  They aren't really new Ray-Bans.  They were a gift, from the football-crazy town of Lawrence, KS.

Kansas University, first game of the season, and everyone is rooting for the Kansas University Jayhawks.  The streets fill up early with people intent on packing the stadium - Canadians lose their cool over hockey, but Americans flip right out over football.  No one has heard of the UBC campus going mental over their university hockey team, but Lawrence filled up with blue and red Jayhawkers tromping over to the stadium like it was game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

(Side note: There's a tidy cottage industry in the area run by people who have room in their yards - $25 for a parking space on game night, and the Twin Pines can turn $400-500 a night if they pack the cars in carefully)

I don't think it'll surprise anyone that booze is very culturally prevalent in the States - it's everywhere and it's cheap.  Comparing it to Vancouver, beer is about half the price just as a starting point.  This means there's a stadium full of people, and a very respectable number of them are drunk or getting drunk, and then when the game lets out all the drunk people swarm in a mass along the otherwise quiet residential streets of Lawrence.  They leave behind all sorts of things - shoes, jerseys, wallets, and the occasional pair of expensive sunglasses.  Taking a walk in the early morning just after a football game can apparently be a source of good quality accessories.

It also, so I'm told, is the source of some amusement.  Around 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning when the college kids who got drunk are just beginning to stir and experience their hangovers, there's a decent number of people who duck out of a nearby shared house and try to get to their vehicles unobserved.  A conversation on the balcony of the Twin Pines sounded a little bit like this...

"You see girls running to their cars in their underpants, trying not to get noticed, doing the walk of shame."

"Why the walk of shame?  Nothing wrong with staying overnight like that."

"It's not that I think they should be ashamed, but if you watch them duck and blush and run it's pretty easy to tell that they're ashamed."

One person suggested renaming it the walk of awesome, in case that would lift some of the embarrassment from the experience... but so far as I know the name hasn't really stuck.




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