Homecoming Survival Guide
There are certain things on Earth that inspire that sort of primal, butterflies-in-your-stomach, emotion as that fateful October date every month in Blackwell. You know, that “oh my God, I am lucky to be living, what a wonderful world.”
Certain things like your Pizza Hut app letting you know you have enough points for free breadsticks, the lady at Shepherd’s slipping an extra piece of popcorn chicken into your foil sack, your bar tab being less than you thought, or pulling into a stall at Sonic, checking in on the app, and seeing that your order is right on out.
Homecoming, for Blackwell, is all of those emotions wrapped into one.
Last month, I wrote the “Kay County Fair Survival Guide” to help readers navigate the annual fair here in Blackwell. This week, let’s take a look at my first-ever HOMECOMING SURVIVAL GUIDE…
1. NO ONE THINKS YOU’RE TOUGH
I promise that when you go to the Elk’s Lodge, VFW, or Hideaway this Friday or Saturday and decide that, after slamming your 6th Jack and Coke or Michelob Ultra, that you don’t need to strut up to Billy Joe and hash it out over that time in 1994 that he kicked the tires on your station wagon while you two were playing marbles outside Old Man Jenkins’ malt shop.
Every year, without fail, someone’s night at the Elks or anywhere else is interrupted by two hotheads who rip each other's Tap Out shirts off while they’re flinging themselves across tables to settle some decades-old grievance. No one cares. No one is impressed. We’re all just trying to have fun.
2. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS LIE ABOUT WHAT YOU DID AFTER HIGH SCHOOL
We’ve all been there. The guy or girl from your class comes back to town with their picture-perfect life and family. Sally Sue married her high school sweetheart, Chad Thundercock, and they live in some Edmond McMansion where she sells “nutritional teas” and posts Tiktoks about her children Braxlyn-Daxlyn Lee and Bratynzleiygh-Nichoel while her husband sells insurance and has an affair with his coworker, Blade, a spunky girl in her early twenties who majors in Wiccan Baked Goods.
You might not have that life. But they don’t have to know that. Make sure to always lie and one-up them.
They’re married? You’re married more. They’re a stay at home wife who has a Pinterest following? That’s cool. You made Pinterest.
They go to the OU game and sit in the box? Pft. You own the team. Your kids play for them. Which player? Who cares?
They went on a cruise to the Bahamas? You own an island in the Bahamas.
Just go with the flow.
3. PLAY STUPID GAMES….
…you know the rest. Homecoming is a huge weekend in Blackwell. The population surges, and with so many visitors that means that the usual flow of things is going to be disrupted.
So if you’re hanging out Friday and want to go eat at, say, Los Potros, don’t act surprised when every single person in town is there too. Don’t complain that the waiters are taking too long making your order because, I promise you, while those men can work miracles (seriously, have you seen them carrying 6 plates at once?) they are just as stressed under the surface of their perfectly styled hair, gray slacks, and black polos as you are.
Same goes for anywhere, really. Don’t run into Walmart this week and groan loudly when you have to wait longer in line to buy your pork grinds and tide pods because half of the staff probably took time off this week and the other half are insanely frazzled high school kids that have nothing to do with your lack of planning.
Braum’s? Yeah. Shepherd’s? Same thing. Be nice to Blackwell’s workers (you should, in general, try to be nice) especially around Homecoming, because they’re dealing with a huge surge in traffic, same as anyone else.
4. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
While you shouldn’t drink and drive anyway, Homecoming is definitely not the time to do it.
You might think that you successfully slammed 4 shots of Fireball with your buddy after day drinking since 8 a.m. and then that you can just “cruise” over to Jimmy Joe’s little kick-back.
Then you leave the bar and it’s that scene from “The Wolf of Wall Street”.
Always keep a designated driver around. No one wants to get hurt this weekend.
5. THROW YOUR TRASH AWAY
I’m bringing this one back from the fair article because it’s pretty important. The Chamber, Blackwell Tourism, and City of Blackwell are hosting a Main Street clean-up on Wednesday. Please don’t show up for the parade on Friday and toss your Sonic cups and cans of Mountain Thunder on the sidewalk, or let your messy kid just unwrap their parade candy and toss it into the street. Like, come on. There’s trash cans on Main Street for a reason. Or just throw it all in the bed of your truck and make that today problem a tomorrow problem instead.
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