With the help of a hitchhiker we picked up in the bowels of downtown Atlanta, my friend Gregg and I finally found the tailgating spot for Parrotheads known as "The Gulch" before Wednesday's Jimmy Buffett concert at Philips Arena. From makeshift beaches to hula skirts and tiki huts, Parrotheads managed to turn the parking lot into a bit of paradise in the urban jungle. Everybody talks to everybody else, and there are no strangers in Margaritaville.
But I got in trouble with the police in the parking lot. OK, it was the "Margaritaville Police," and they issued me a written warning citation for not wearing a lei. The citation noted that it wouldn't go on my "permenant record." When I pointed out they misspelled permanent, they issued me a second citation for being a nerd. I did purchase a $3 lei and the police later struck my first offense. As punishment, they also ordered me to go to wicked Wanda's trailer and have an upside-down tequila shot, which I passed on. I'm still upset that they didn't check the "too sexy" box on the citation, but then again it was two guys patrolling the parking lot, so that's OK.
Parrotheads are fairly normal people most days of the year (perhaps I'm the exception to that rule). But when Buffett comes to town, let's just say they let it all hang out, figuratively and literally as you can see in this slideshow from WSB TV. If you're offended by folks drinking mass quantities of alcohol, you may not want to view it.
Oh, a bonus during the show: Jazz great Earl Klugh played guitar during "A Pirate Looks At Forty."
I survived the mayhem and am fully functioning today, despite the tailgating, the show, a friend's cell phone beeping every 10 minutes all night long, and getting up at 7 a.m. in downtown Atlanta and getting to work by 10:15 a.m.
It was the third Buffett concert experience I've had, and I can say that Wednesday will go down as one of the most fun days of my life.