2008-04-03 / Sam Bari

You can't beat a system you can't understand

Spring is not around the corner - it's down south
By Sam Bari

Last week I ventured down to Ft. Lauderdale to do a little business, as I do from time to time, and in the land of eternal summer, I found spring. Ah yes . . . the wonderful season of spring does exist in Ft. Lauderdale, and for those of us living in the cold country, springtime in party town is a real eye opener, or should I say, eye strainer?

The temperature does not change in the springtime in Ft. Lauderdale. It's about the same as it is all winter - warm. Wonderfully warm. So how do those living in this utopian area of the world know when spring has sprung? Fortunately, the wise founders of party town USA provided for this tidbit of important information many years ago.

They knew that the first day of spring could go by unnoticed if they didn't do something so people would know when the blessed event was happening. Soooooo . . . they invented the event of events, the mother of all parties, the grand basharoonee of all basharoonees - Spring Break!

It's the only way to celebrate the beginning of spring.

Nothing, but nothing, can compete with spring break in Ft. Lauderdale. For decades, the city has set the undisputed world standard for party intensity and extreme funnism. And if funnism isn't a word, it should be. Just say fun and add nism; it says it all. Funnism is what spring break in the sunny city on the beach is all about. And Floridians know how to do it up right.

They start with miles and miles of pristine sand. Constantly bleach it with all day sunshine. Cover it with bathing suit clad bodies lathered in sunscreen, moving to the thumpa-thumpa of really loud music designed to inspire mating rituals among primates. And the throngs are kept entertained by everything from wet T-shirt contests to the most attractive belly button competition at hundreds of bars lining the beach. Good formula, huh?

What's that? Did I stop a few hearts out there? Are some of you suddenly experiencing dry-mouth, and palpitations of the old ticker? Oh my . . . hmmm . . . I'm sorry . . . I didn't know.

You say you have a kid in college and he mentioned something about leaving for a week to take a break from the unrelenting demands of unreasonable professors who have the audacity to fill their students' heads with a ridiculous thing called knowledge? And you sir, say the kid isn't a "he," you have a "she," who allegedly went south with friends to catch a little sunshine, but she wasn't real specific about exactly where she was going . . . I see.

And as I understand it, you are concerned about the thumpa-thumpa of the ritualistic mating music sort of, shall we say, influencing the impressionable minds of your offspring. Is that what's bothering you as you freeze your butt off up north while they are enjoying the sweet aroma of coconut oil and all you can smell is Vicks? That is sad . . . so very, very sad.

Now, just to be clear, are you saying you are worried about your daughter possibly being one of the hundreds of thousands of gorgeous young co-eds on Ft. Lauderdale beach? Does it disturb you that your friend's son is probably suffering from the eyestrain that I mentioned earlier from witnessing such visions?

If the aforementioned scenario is what you are experiencing, you are the victim of a little thing called - payback. Oh yes, you are paying for the sins of the father, and the father is you.

Your kids are doing exactly what you did 30 years ago. Only they're doing it with style. They're making you look like a rank amateur. They are enjoying party time on your dime, just as you did to your parents when you were the age of your children. If you don't believe me, and you know you do, go down there - take a look. They don't care if you're over 40. They'll just ignore you.

You might even be jealous, because these kids really know how to have a good time. Unlike you, they are young, healthy, and in fabulous shape.

So if you're worried about your kid waking up in the morning after partying all night long to the last man standing, stop acting like an old fossil and get over it. There is no point worrying about it, because that is exactly what they are doing, and they are better off for it.

Allow them to enjoy one of the few wonderful events that life has to offer as they grow up in this system we just can't understand.

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