As a kid who grew up in a pseudo-utopian society where kids thought they could get serious street cred by tossing the occasional egg at a house or setting off firecrackers on the 4th of July, the large-scale drunken debauchery that comes with fests is completely foreign to me.
Back home, I could see someone walking barefoot and shirtless with the classic Alabama A tattooed across their chest into a Chick-Fil-A and not bat an eye. When I see a blatantly drunk person stroll past a cop on the weekend, it’s the equivalent to giving the pope the finger in my well-ingrained southern etiquette.
Imagining thousands of drunken students pong-ing, boom-ing and flip cup-ing — the Alabama equivalent of thousands of obscene hand gestures and bewildered holy men — as law enforcement scans the streets and shuts down parties is confounding.
In order to prepare my fresh-faced, freshman self, I set out to Ohio University’s most popular social media platforms to become better versed in fest etiquette.
Here’s what I’ve gathered though the expert advice of my fellow Bobcats:
“If a cop walks up to you and asks what you’re drinking, always reply with ‘I know what you are but what am I.’ No one ever has something to say to that one.” — Yik Yak
Solid advice, if I do say so myself. The classic reversion to this childhood favorite is impossible to evade and sure to leave the “Men in Blue” stumped by giving them the great philosophical question of “What am I?”
I can’t even begin to count the times that I’ve been completely incapacitated by existential wonderment from this simple retort.
“Fanny packs are always cool during fest season.” — overheard outside of Chipotle
Recently, I have been wondering what’s missing from my look. Though I’ve tried, belts don’t seem to do the trick, and a straight-out-of-the-90s neon utility pack seems like the perfect accessory for an average, drunken human being.
Forget being dehydrated; a fanny pack is the perfect place to store emergency juice boxes and a bag of Bugles for when you need a snack that’s as delicious as it is entertaining.
“Carry condoms.” — Yik Yak
Sure, it’s a perfect way to fill your fanny pack, but I can see how that could result in an awkward situation. There’s nothing like flirting with a cute guy and moving forward with the ceremonial “Sharing Of The Bugles” and watching as a condom falls to the floor.
“It’s fest season, so that means I’ll have to go to the bars on week nights instead.” — an OU student on Twitter
I couldn’t help but be reminded of Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools” song after reading that tweet; “Sit down, drank, stand up, drank, pass out, drank, wake up, drank. Watch my liver go, drank.”
While spending the last half of spring semester as the college version of Schrodinger’s cat — in a superimposed state of both drunk and hungover — seems all fine and dandy, your liver might decide it’s not too happy with it’s landlord.
Though I’m not sure I’m completely ready for the right of passage and the awesome responsibility of attending a famous — or for some, infamous — OU fest, I’m sure that my fellow festers haven’t steered me wrong.
Happy festing, Bobcats! I’ll be the one with the notebook and the fanny pack.
Emily Bohatch is a freshman studying journalism and the Asst. Local Editor at The Post. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter at @emilybohatch