Dodging snowflakes with Jimmy Buffett

One of the great things about a Jimmy Buffett concert is the way folks from all kinds of different backgrounds and persuasions come together as one wonderfully weird and colorful — if somewhat inebriated — flock (or “phlock for us Parrotheads).

Most of that experience happens in the afternoon of tailgating before the show, which is more of a show than the show itself. Friends and strangers share food and drinks, high-five, dance together, splash around in inflatable pools, throw leis and beads and roam from pickup tailgates to tents to makeshift tiki huts, palm trees, ships and volcanoes. I’ve been to eight (or nine) Buffett shows and I’ve never seen a single fight. For the cops roaming a parking lot full of tailgating Parrotheads, it’s about as easy an assignment as they’ll ever have.

My wife (then girlfriend) and I at a Buffett show in 2011

However, these fun festivities likely have ground to a screeching halt because I haven’t been there in years. In fact, because of various work commitments and bad timing, I haven’t been to a Buffett concert since 2012. I can only assume that Parrotheads have somehow managed to carry on without my presence — as difficult as that might be. Fortunately, we can rev up the party once again as I’ve secured a couple of tickets for the Thursday, April 25, show at Ameris Amphitheatre in Alpharetta — a town those of us below the Gnat Line refer to as “Atlanta.” Roswell, Decatur, Norcross, Kennesaw, Duluth, Conyers, etc., are all “Atlanta” to us.

But I did notice a little something different while buying tickets this time — snowflakes.

Granted, the whole ticket-buying experience has shifted to online, which has made it easier to secure passage to the show. (In fact, my ticket is a virtual ticket with a QR code on my phone.) If you miss out during the few minutes it usually takes for them to sell out, you can pay a little more later to get them on sites like StubHub. This is much better than the early days when a bunch of grown folks in Hawaiian shirts would gather at the Ticketmaster counter inside places like the Publix on Bradley Park Drive in Columbus (where I repeatedly failed to secure tickets) and linger for an hour until they went on sale while teenagers running the checkout lanes would look around bewilderingly wondering, “Why are all these tropical old people hanging around? Are they lost?”

Even online, though, times have changed. In our new hyper-partisan America, there were a lot of snowflakes on the ticket social media boards announcing proudly that they would not be buying tickets because they weren’t “giving money to that socialist libtard” and various stupid statements to that extent. To which we folks still hitting the reload button while trying to get tickets would respond, “Good.” We don’t need more competition for tickets.

Me (left) and my friend “Killswitch” drinking, um, coconut milk at a Buffett show a decade ago.

Besides, there’s no room for whiny snowflakes at a Buffett show or in the tailgating lot. This is for folks wearing straw hats with foam parrots, not MAGA hats. Down South, there likely are more right-of-center than left-of-center Parrotheads in the parking lot, but they are reasonable and can turn off their hyperpartisanship or Trump worship for a day. We all have to turn things off on the day of a Buffett show — things like new year’s resolutions, shame, teetotalism and fashion sense to name a few.

I’ve found that it’s the folks who scream “SNOWFLAKE!” the loudest are the ones who are most often offended, who bristle at every opposing viewpoint, who live in bubbles of thought and news, and who are most likely to boycott and call for retaliation simply because one does not always think as they do. In short, they are the biggest snowflakes.

I don’t like folks like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, but I don’t agree with left-wingers who want them censored, shut down or boycotted by advertisers. I’m not a fan of any news network because they’ve all plunged into the pit of perpetual punditry, but I see and a hear a little of each. Living in a bubble does not interest me. As Buffett sang in one of my favorite songs, “Cowboy in the Jungle,”:

I don’t want to live on that kind of island
No, I don’t want to swim in a roped-off sea
It’s too much for me, too much for me
I’ve got to be where the wind and the water are free.

What has Jimmy Buffett done to offend the snowflakes so? Most election seasons you can find him playing fundraisers and get-out-the-vote rallies for Democratic politicians. He cares a great deal about the environment, and I imagine manatees in Florida care a great deal about him. (Google it.) He pretty much confines his politics to there, not getting into such matters on TV shows or from the stage. He knows his audience is mixed, and he would like them all to throw money his way. They’ve done just that, making Buffett worth at least $560 million and one of the richest socialist libtards this side of Vladimir Putin.

So, boycott Jimmy if it makes you feel better and rein your bubble in to where everyone around you thinks the same. It’s worked for sheep for thousands of years, so I’m sure you’ll survive, too. If you’re withholding your money from Jimmy to punish him, I assure you that will not work. The man has made enough money off me in music sales, books, decorations and tequila to live a lavish lifestyle forever more. He’s never going to wonder how he will afford to eat the next day.

If you love the music and the atmosphere but are boycotting Buffett simply because you don’t like his politics, it sounds to me like you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face. Then again, I haven’t seen your nose — that may be a reasonable move.

And, if you vow not to attend Jimmy Buffett’s April 25 show in “Atlanta,” I’ve got just one thing to say to you:

“Thank you, snowflake!”

Make that two: “And, please, keep that promise!”

Here’s a very low-res video I made from my last Buffett show in 2012 before I really knew anything about shooting and producing videos. (I know a bit more now.) This year, I suspect there will be one or more Facebook Live videos coming from me. I might even get in front the camera instead of letting my wife star in it as she did here:

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