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Posts Tagged ‘Tailgaiting’

Polo!

Here in the South, there is never a shortage of Big Occasions. Life is a revolving door of one Big Occasion after another, and, like the new Geico commercial says, we have “more fun than a slinky on an escalator.”

New Year’s Day is laden with meaningful traditions which involve black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread, and shortly thereafter we rev up for Mardi Gras. Then, about the time we’re polishing off the last Moon Pie and recycling our beads, it’s time to think about Spring Break, Easter and then summer vacation. Football season is a series of Big Occasions in and of itself, taking us through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then we start all over again.

And down at the beach we have our own Big Occasions like snowbird and tourist seasons, seafood, beach, music and art festivals, Cajun and other local holidays, hurricane closure days with hurricane parties and all other manner of other excuses to eat, drink and be merry.

Sprinkle in all the usual holidays the rest of the country celebrates as well as those distinctly Southern, and it kind of makes it look like work/school is just something we do to fill the days in between all the Big Occasions and three-day weekends.

Even weekly Sunday School classes do not go without mini-buffets of sausage biscuits, fruit plates and Mrs. Eunice’s requisite Crockpot of Little Smokies. If there happens to be nothing special going on, someone will inevitably initiate the First Annual Something-Or-Other, guaranteed to draw a crowd. And we even make Big Occasions out of the things we can’t control, like births (the mother of all casserole contests), deaths (deviled egg showdowns) and yes, taxes (party at the Post Office!).

Y’all c’mon, now, y’heah?

Each spring and autumn where I live, we have another Big Occasion in the form of a polo tournament. The well-manicured lawn which sits idle most of the time bursts alive for two weekends each year with some of the top international polo players gracing our humble “horsey park,” as my youngest dubs the place we whiz past every day on our way to and from our daily routines.

Like the Kentucky Derby, most of the event is dedicated to food/drink, people-watching and enjoying the weather. And hats. Why, I can’t imagine – the horses are some of the most magnificent creatures to be seen, most of them thoroughbreds and well-trained animals, precise in their maneuvers and accurately reading the minds of others. I suppose the same could be said of the spectators. The players are an interesting sort, as well, with colorful backgrounds and stories to tell, if you ever get a chance to befriend one.

Nevertheless, the real focus of the event is the tailgating, with spreads of all kinds:

From the excruciatingly cozy (Triscuits, check – mimosa, check – smartphone, check) …

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…to the seasonally-correct, decked-out spread:

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You can tell folks’ priorities by what they whip out first – in this case, he got the bubbly going before the table was even set:

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Beautiful basketry, but where’s the food?! TELL me he didn’t make his gal trek back to the Escalade to get the cooler…

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This bloke couldn’t even wait for his chug-a-lug-of-choice to be poured into a more discreet cup (tut-tut):

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Creative pumpkinry at its best…

Polo Decos

For a minute it looked like a mannequin on a pole –

Polo Mannequin

…but upon second perspective, it was a lady with really BIG, um, equipment:

Polo Camera Chick

Oh, and of course, btw, there was some quality horsing around going on out there…

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