Earlier this week, as part of the Cup's weekly Rebel Roundup, Ghost linked a Wall Street Journal article entitled Take Monday Off: Oxford. A travel guide piece, it recounted the author's four-day excursion into our favorite southern town, highlighting gourmet eateries, historical locations, quirky attractions and local art and music. While it honestly sounded like a spectacular time, it seemed quite different from the weekends that I, and I'm sure many of you, experience upon returning to Lafayette County.
Give the original article a run-through, then come on back here and check out my revised guide to enjoying a weekend in Oxford, Mississippi.
7:00 P.M. Arrive in Memphis. Make the 45 minute drive south, taking a sip of one of the beers you bought at a sketchy gas station in south Memphis every time anyone in the car spots an Ole Miss decal. Check into the apartment of your old pledge brother, who, for the third semester in a row is "only a few hours short of graduating." Smugly chuckle to yourself at the fact that he is now in his sixth year of college, if only to cover your repressed jealousy.
9:00 P.M. Head up to the Square for a nice meal at Boure. Stuff your face with crabmeat au gratin, shrimp 'n' grits and strawberry cheesecake, and make sure to wash it all down with a few bottles of Lazy Magnolia. Climb upstairs and continue your boozing from the balcony, where you recount, in detail, every moment of your college career with ever-increasing embellishment and drunken gesticulation.
11:00 P.M. Unsteadily saunter across the street to Funky's. Gaze in amazement at the gorgeous co-eds patronizing the bar before turning to your buddy and, straining your voice to be heard over the obnoxiously loud Drake song blaring from the speakers, demand a reasonable justification for "why in the hell we ever left this place." Wait half an hour at the bar for service, jostling for position like Murphy Holloway in the post. Then, in an effort more reminiscent of Chris Warren, start taking a large number of ill-advised shots.
12:30 A.M. ?????
10:00 A.M. Groggily reanimate with your head foggy and the roof of your mouth burning. Spend a half-hour recounting with your cohorts in an attempt to piece together the events of the previous evening, noting your scalded pallet as evidence of a late-night visit to Square Pizza. Pour a bowl of cereal and sit down to College Gameday.
1:00 P.M. Throw on your Vineyard Vines button-down, creased khakis and a pair of Sperrys and make the short pilgrimage to the 10-acre holy land that is the Grove to enjoy the pinnacle of college football tailgating. Graze on chicken tenders and crawfish bites while peering at beautiful women swish by in tastefully revealing sun dresses from over the brim of your bourbon-filled Solo cup. Watch the football team file down the Walk of Champions amid boisterous renditions of Hotty Toddy, noting especially the gargantuan form of Terrell Brown, who's appearance stirs the imagination at how anyone could be so massive and yet so bad at blocking.
5:30 P.M. Pour one for the road, lock your cooler, and follow the red and blue hordes through Whiskey Alley and into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, where you'll experience one of the most thrilling and awe-inspiring spectacles in all of sports: SEC football under the lights.
8:00 P.M. Back to the Grove. No, the game's not over yet, but the Rebs are down by twenty and the flask you smuggled past security in the bosom of a well-endowed KD has gone dry.
10:00 P.M. Forty-five minutes after the cabbie with Angel Taxie told you he only had one more pickup before he was heading your way, give up and set out for the Square on foot. Stop by Burgundy Room for a cocktail or three, then stagger over to The Library. Wait in an overly-long line to pay an overly-expensive cover then shove yourself into an overly-crowded bar. While here, you're sure to run across some of Oxford's A-list athletic celebrities: listen to Nick Williams slur out a promise that the Rebel roundballers will DEFINITELY make the Dance this year; watch Tanner Mathis impress girls with his gold chains; notice Andy Kennedy buying a vodka-tonic for a woman that looks less like his wife and more like a sophomore Chi O.
1:00 A.M. The bars may be closed, but the night's not over yet. Scoff at the idea of calling a cab and enlist your "best" drunk driver to chaeuffer you and whatever group you've accumulated to one of the town's premier late-night eateries: IHOP. Don't miss the chance to order something you would cringe at while sober, and inhale it without chewing. Bid goodnight to the group of black guys in the next booth who you've become best friends with over the course of the last half-hour and call it an evening.
8:30 A.M. Curse your phone for its insufferable alarm and Expedia for booking that 11 A.M. flight out of Memphis. Throw whatever meager belongings you brought in your suitcase and head back up I-55. Recollect all the stupid decisions, embarrassing moments, and money spent during the past two days and wish you could do it every weekend.