Off-duty: My secret life as a Jimmy Buffett parrothead

We headed to Dallas, Texas, to make the annual trip for Jimmy Buffett.

We like Dallas because it’s a family visit as well. Detective Sandy’s brother Martin and wife Pam are big-time parrotheads.

Another reason is the venue. Pizza Hut Stadium in nearby Frisco is a great tailgating spot because it has acres of paved parking area. That’s important because the drunken parrotheads seem to navigate the golf carts with fewer problems.

If you have never been to a Buffett concert, you should go for several reasons. Among them:

    • It’s a great opportunity to show your friends you aren’t afraid to spend too much money on something that on the surface seems to revolve around a two-hour concert, but in fact revolves around an all-day tailgating extravaganza and fashion-stomping exhibition of grass skirts, coconut bikini tops and makeup — and those are the guys.
    • It is probably the biggest collection of baby-boomers acting at such a level of immaturity that if the aliens ever landed and landed at a Buffett tailgating session, they would immediately report back that Earth is there for the taking because we are still in the savage stage of evolution. Easy pickings.
    • It’s a collection of expensive motor homes owned by older men, surrounded by younger women — surrounded by younger men who are ignored by the younger women who look a sight better in grass skirts and coconut bikini tops than the men do in theirs. (If you’ve been, you know what I’m talking about.)
    • It’s a great time for Capt. Jack Sparrow lookalikes.
    • It’s a human zoo and just plain mindless fun.
    • The tailgating starts about Thursday for the hardcore parrotheads, which I am not. I’m the 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. variety and that seems to work for me. There is just so many times I want to use the Jiffy-Johnny or available tree to take care of business. I’m spoiled that way.

      I enjoy our annual Buffett trip.

      My wife is obsessed by it.

      It is her thing. She makes the arrangements and I keep quiet. She has Jimmy Buffet CDs, a Margaritaville tote bag for the lake, shirts, hats, parrothead Glock holster, handcuffs that play “Cheeseburger in Paradise” when you open them up

      Detective Sandy with the Fin-Guys. There are about a dozen of them and they walk around the floor of the stadium all night long.

      Detective Sandy with the Fin-Guys. There are about a dozen of them and they walk around the floor of the stadium all night long.

      and just about everything else. As we passed the souvenir tent, the line was 20-deep for the $35 dollar T-shirts and $11 margaritas. She saw the traditional leis and shouted “I want a lei!”

      Five guys rushed over.

      After correcting the misunderstanding, we settled in and watched the show.

      If you go to Buffett, you’re going to hear the same songs you heard last year, with two or three new ones thrown in. For the parrotheads, introducing a lot of new songs would be a disaster and who needs all those drunken guys in coconut bikini tops and grass skirts miffed?

      One thing I have not had success with is my wife’s Holy Grail of an obsession of meeting Jimmy. Countless letters and endless e-mails get me nowhere with it — still. She tried the direct approach, but it seems the backstage security guys run pretty fast.

      If you want to go next year, start saving now! If you’ve never been, go. It’s better than any trip to the zoo you’ve ever taken. The worst part is explaining the coconut bikini top in your baggage when you come through airport security.

      13 comments Add your comment

      Mr Papagiorgio

      May 24th, 2010
      8:16 pm

      Amen, I am 27 years old and have been attending Buffett concerts since I was old enough to ride to the concert. I’ve quit jobs, showed up late, alienated friends and family…just to make it to his annual show. I’ve watched in the rain, sun, wind(this past year) and frigid cold…it’s exactly what you say and probably a little more. See you at the next one.

      Georgia Parrothead

      May 25th, 2010
      12:15 am

      Amen brother! I am 42 and see Buffett at least once every year somewhere…From Chicago to Tampa from ATL to New Orleans… I have a group of about 40 that tailgates all day whenever he comes to the ATL. I love his music, books, etc…

      Ronald Shook

      May 25th, 2010
      8:44 am

      My wife and I saw Jimmy here in Atlanta and he puts on a great show, but like the story says, all the fun is before the show. Jimmy sometimes forgets the words, sings off key, but writes some great lyrics. As he says “It’s a great summer job.”

      Van Jones

      May 25th, 2010
      1:39 pm

      Parrothead Glock holster? Please tell me she has a sister!

      kay simmons

      May 25th, 2010
      1:58 pm

      Concert in The Woodlands, TX (north of Houston) was great as usual. Only complaint was that a beach ball knocked my beer out of my hand. All those around me said, “awww.” Sent husband for new beer.


      May 26th, 2010
      1:18 pm

      This blog is a travesty. When a blog edits its posters and censors itself…it is not a blog, it is propagandist. And I would imagine that Steve rose is a drunk when off duty, or was at some point. Most cops do have alcohol and drug problems, like Duluth pd.


      May 26th, 2010
      3:18 pm

      Woo Hoo! Nothing says cuff-n-stuff like musical handcuffs!

      [...] on Twitter • Sporting News Top game-day traditions in college football • My secret life as a Jimmy Buffett parrothead • 10 sports figures who deserve a star on the Hollywood walk of fame • Does Oregon just hate [...]

      Lt. Steve

      May 26th, 2010
      4:40 pm

      So Steverino…….I have a beer and I’m a drunk (you imagine?) or…..was at some time?? Well that pretty much sums it up. Maybe add : “or possibly could have at some time maybe or at least for a minute or two was a drunk—like all cops are drunks and so are other people like….like lumberjacks!! Yes! They’re drunks too becuase they look rough and that is how I know!!
      Do you ever write stuff down and then when you read it later-it sounded better in your head than in print? You tried and that is the important part!

      Way Prettier Than You are

      May 26th, 2010
      5:18 pm

      Hey, calling ALL COPS Drunks is like saying ALL COPS cheat…..NOT TRUE……..duh I love cops.

      Telly Savalas

      May 26th, 2010
      11:12 pm

      Wow! Me and my lollipop should go. Sounds like it would give me a Venice Beach flashback! Now THERE’s the quintessential ‘human zoo’ with a cast of characters to rival this one.
      (P.S. Steveorino – we’d all like to hear about your experience getting arrested by Duluth PD, and how you were discriminated against. NOT. Loser.)


      May 27th, 2010
      2:14 pm

      I gotta tell ya….this blog/column MAKES my day!


      May 28th, 2010
      12:52 am

      tom — me TOOOOOOOOOO!!