In my freshman year of college I learned the principle of K-I-S-S, or “KISS”. There are multiple variations and interpretations of what this means, but the way I learned it was “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” I was taught it in English 101, and while I can’t remember the professor’s name, I do remember the lesson. Even though I was too young then to truly realize what that really meant, it is much clearer now. And while I may understand it today, I never seem to use it when, or as much as, I should. I can only imagine how much easier things would be on a day to day if I made things a little simpler on myself.
Tailgating is a prime example of an activity that benefits from simplicity. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent your fair share of time planning your biggest and most amazing tailgate ever. For the lucky ones, those parties go off without a hitch and find their way into the proverbial history books. For the not so lucky ones, which is most of us, you’ll end up forgetting something essential, or your friends bail on you at the last second. Whichever of those scenarios fits you, you can still benefit from the KISS principle. There is an old saying that goes, “less is more,” and this is no exception.
In my case the “KISS” method paid off not more than one week ago. A couple buddies and I were talking about doing something on a Tuesday evening. To make a long story short we decided to catch a local minor league game. Since we were going to the game it didn’t take long to add tailgating to the to-do list. To simplify things, we divided up the responsibilities. I was bringing the food, they had the grill and games. Each man was on the hook for his own chair and beverage. Entertainment was to be handled by the local classic rock station loudly played from my vehicle’s radio. No tents, elaborate 5 course meal, or overly sophisticated electronics. All of those things would have complicated matters far too much for what we were trying to accomplish. Instead, to make it as simple as possible we made a menu of hot dogs, brats, and chips. A quick run to the store the night before and that was it. In retrospect I can’t say that I missed the hours of prep for all of the food that usually finds its way to my parties. When we got to the field we were set up and ready to rock in less than 5 minutes. That is a long departure from the 30+ minute job that a “big” tailgate can require.
Lets face it, life can be pretty stressful. It’s not enough that the economy is flat, gasoline still cost more than $3 a gallon, and the government doesn’t seem give a crap. On top of that we all have the stresses of daily life such as work, bills, and running out of beer. By the way, we still don’t know for sure if we’ll have NFL football next year. All of that tends to make for pretty dreary times. Fortunately tailgating can remedy even the most miserable of times.
Thinking back to that day I can tell you that I didn’t have a care in the world other than running out of beer. I think that out of the small list I made previously, one item isn’t too bad. If you’re still wondering what point I’m trying to make, it is that you don’t need to “keep up with the Joneses” of the tailgating world to have a good time. Getting worked up over tailgating defeats the purpose and spirit of the activity altogether. Do what YOU want to do, keep it as simple as you can, and you’ll never have to worry about having a good time.