JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 02: Fans participate in tailgating activities before the game between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field on November 2, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Tailgating is a beautiful recreational activity, full of stratospheric highs and memories to last a lifetime. But frequently overlooked are the devastating lows — the things that you never want to remember again. The things that prompt you to send a card that begins with “look, I’m really sorry, but…” Unfortunately, these things happen from time to time. They’re inevitable. But hopefully we can walk you through the warning signs so you can be better prepared for when your day isn’t going the way you would have liked it to.
10. The First Beer
Not to say your first beer is a bad idea. Gotta start sometime. But what you do have to do is make a quick gut check before you start. First of all, check your watch. Are you comfortable with how close it is to noon? If not — wait. Ok, now what’s your mindset before cracking said beer open? Is it “Mmm! This’ll be refreshing”? Or is it, “Oh God. Here we go again…” If it’s that second one, maybe hold off a bit. This should be a joyous thing. Not, like, some kind of Matterhorn.
9. The Chug
Inevitably, someone, at some point, will suggest you chug a beer. Maybe they’ve handed you a fresh cold one and you need to finish the one you’re holding. Or maybe you’re about to enter the porta potty and don’t want poo molecules in your beer. Or maybe someone gave you a good old fashioned challenge. No matter how it came about, you’ll have to face a chug at some point. In fact, some breweries have started putting vent-top cans on their beers for easier pouring, which could only help the process and hurt your liver. Tread carefully.
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8. The Shotgun
“Hey, you guys wanna shotgun a beer?”
“Screw you dude! I’ve never LOST a shotgun”
*circle of 15 people ingests 180 ounces of beer in 7 seconds*
Just remember. Nobody has ever woken up and said “thank goodness I did those shots last night.
6. “Hey man, not to sound weird, but your mom looks really good. Has she lost weight or something?”
BEWARE. This is the beginning of the end. If you’ve done 10 through 7, there’s still time to eat a burger, drink some water and go on cruise control the rest of the evening. Once you say something like this — something which you THINK is a compliment, but is actually a very clear, very aggressive pass on your friend’s mother — you’ve officially entered “that guy” territory.
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5. The Grabbing of the Food
By now, you’ve realized that you’re starting to make a scene. Quick! Grab some food! By now, manners don’t matter, you just need MASS in your STOMACH to slow down the absorption of those Cuervo shots. Of course, once your friend’s newly slimmed-down mother catches you, you’ll have two hands full of American cheese and no excuses to offer.
4. “And look, let me tell YOU something, [Your politician of choice] has NO IDEA what [he or she] is talking about!” (frequently confused with “What are your views on God?” and “After we die? I don’t think anything happens after we die.”)
Ah, the “Professor” stage. I’m a big offender of the Professor stage. Just the other day I remember saying, at a bar, to a friend, while sports were on, “Look, I understand where Libertarians are coming from, but…”
Just be careful. Conversations about big topics like this, goaded on by the powers of alcomahol, can never be taken back once they’ve started. Oh sure, you can blame it on the sauce. But your friends will still always wonder if you really believe that extreme thing about that controversial topic.
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3. Puke and Rally
As a general rule, if you’re old enough to have voted in more than one presidential election, you’re too old for the puke and rally. That said, understand that if your system wants to forcibly remove some toxins, you should go ahead and let it. It’ll be good for you in the long run. But after that, maybe sit out the rally. And if you can’t resist the rally, well. That’s when you move on to #2
2. Handing over your Costco card instead of your ticket
It’s happened to me. Don’t you judge.
1. Picking up Where You Left Off After the Game
Once you’ve reached this point, nobody can help you. We can only pray to the gods of tailgating that your hangover be swift and merciful. Remember to consult our top 10 ways to avoid a hangover. And next time? Hop off on #8. You’ll thank me in the morning.