Friday, March 18, 2016

Spring Break

It's spring break time again! And you can expect the usual television news and other programs having the usual reports of crowds, drinking, and debauchery as college students avail themselves of the usual Spring migration to warmer parts of the country or the Caribbean. And there's guaranteed shots of lithe bodies, raucous parties, and mandatory censoriousness to put a fig leaf on the pandering to the possible viewers in order to squeeze more ratings for moribund news or feature programming.*

Yes, this is as American as apple pie, or hot pockets that can be warmed in five minutes!

The custom of spring break emerged during the 1950's; and was primarily centered around Fort Lauderdale where, with the book and movie Where the Boys Are (1958 version), it was depicted as a romantic place where husband-hunting Midwestern co-eds could snare an Ivy League mate! Well, the hoi polloi started going; and students from other institutions began to get into the act. Eventually, Fort Lauderdale passed restrictive laws regarding partying and drinking, and Fort Lauderdale declined as a spring festivities locale. **

This simply meant that other coastal areas got into the act: Panama City and South Padre Island became rowdy mainstays with time; and Caribbean beaches such as Cancun, Cozumel, and Jamaica became desirable places to go. Spring break was realized as a profitable occasion, and some communities actually published newspapers extolling the specifics of their place as a locale for a fun spring trip! Al.com recently posted scenes extolling Gulf Shores as a spring break site.

Spring break became so institutionalized that universities would not dare eliminate their mid-spring break in fear of protests. At least they have a grasp of reality sometimes.

Practically speaking, spring break is a godsend for many coastal communities: cheap motels are fully rented, restaurants and bars can jack up their prices, the visitors provide a cheap entertainment for locals, and all it takes is loosening up of certain rules, and hiring a few auxiliary police to look the other way strategically.

Vendors can sell sun block and tanning lotions, skimpy bathing suits, and souvenirs of spring break like work shirts with the stenciled label: "Property of Panama City Beach Jail."

Yes, I'm all for spring break, although I have opted for a less frantic place like Rosemary Beach. Orange Beach is pretty nice too.

Remember: Sex on the beach is a name for an oversweet mixed drink, not an option for an activity.


*This is sometimes referred to as hypocrisy.
**It's now mostly a cruise ship port.

12 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i hope the majority of breakers have a good time and stay safe!

Linda Kay said...

I'm with Tex...I'm always concerned for the safety of these crazy kids. Even "Bad Grandpa" the movie spent time during Spring Break with disastrous results.

Cloudia said...

Worthy survey of the season!

Dixie@dcrelief said...

I would love to do it again.... but too old to enjoy all the shananigans!

Mike said...

You made me look up lithe and now I am all for lithe.

Chuck Bear said...

Good luck with spring break!

Duckbutt said...

SOTB is a pretty disgusting drink!

allenwoodhaven said...

Well said, as usual! Not being one for the huge crowds and the rowdiness, I went to more sedate places in my Spring Break days.
Getting away has restorative value, that's for sure.

The Bastard King of England said...

Panama City Beach has gotten tame this year. Where are the spring break crowds going?

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Spring Break is a tradition locally now. Unfortunately, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are banning alcohol on their beaches.

John Hill said...

Only one year of college and I was a poor boy. Besides, going to school at Tulane was kind of like spring break to a northern kid, anyways!

Bilbo said...

You're right about sex on the beach. The drink is enjoyable, if overly sweet, but the act can lead to sand in uncomfortable places.