Here’s the scene: It’s LSU’s last homegame of a disappointing the season, and they’re hosting Alabama. It’s a fierce rivalry, but the thing about tailgating is that everyone’s welcome. Later in the day, a Tiger fan will explain it best when he points to a fan in a ‘Bama shirt and assures me, “I can drink with him, and be his friend all afternoon, but come game time I hate him.”

My dad, stepmom, sister and brother in-law are all with me (they’re here for most of the games, actually). Everyone in the tailgate we’ll be joining pooled funds at the beginning of the season, so it’s time to clear out the account. We’ve been promised a full bar, with bartenders, a cochon de lait (suckling pig, slow-cooked inside of a large wooden box), and a wide spread of amazing food. Here’s how the morning unfolds:

  • 8:46 a.m. Button up newly-acquired purple and gold flannel. Drink coffee.
  • 9:22 Leave the house.
  • 9:26 Stop to buy bourbon.
  • 9:31 Stop to pick up king cake donuts.
  • 9:48 Slow down to yell “Tiger bait!” out the window of the car, to a runner in a ‘Bama shirt.
  • 10:02 Start looking for parking.
  • 10:29 Find parking.
  • 10:40 Pour the first tailgate mimosa: bourbon, orange juice and ginger ale.
  • 11:02 That first drink doesn’t count, y’all.
  • 11:08 “Eye of the Tiger” plays (for the first time).
  • 11:26 Snacks are out!
  • 11:55 Drunk before noon…
  •  [Things get blurry.]
  • 12:30ish p.m. More snacks. Start wandering around to scope out other tailgates.
  • 1:30ish Shrimp and quail over cheesy grits. OMFG.
  • 3:00ish Raid another tailgate for all their cookies and pigs-in-a-blanket.
  • 4:00ish Decide the lines to the bathrooms aren’t worth it. I can hold it.
  • 4:30ish That was stupid. And now the lines are longer.
  • 5:30ish Time to pull the cochon de lait from the “Cajun microwave.”
  • 6:00ish Join the herd and file in to Death Valley.

The rest of the evening doesn’t really matter, because we lost in overtime. For future reference, though, you can make a delicious slushy by scooping out the center of a frozen lemonade and pouring in that whiskey you snuck into the stadium.