A Visitor’s Guide to The Strip

After getting engaged and contemplating our new life together with my fiancé, we decided that living in Knoxville, Tennessee, would be close enough to family and friends to suit our tastes. It put us both in a great area to enable him to finish school, me to find a job, while allowing us both easy access to the conveniences that big city living provides. We moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in August of 2008.

I will be the first to tell you, I DON’T follow sports. I was unaware of the upcoming football season, and I hadn’t considered the fact that we were moving into a university town–this particular university harboring a football team practically worshipped by all of its natives. I was also unaware of an area nearby to the campus on Cumberland Avenue where most college kids go to imbibe copious amounts of alcohol, “dance”â€? (which to them means humping with clothes on), and generally make asses of themselves. There have been a few times that my fiancé and I ventured out into the night in order to meet a friend on “The Strip,” as–surprisingly enough–there are a select few bars/restaurants that aren’t overrun with complete douche bags. (Sunspot is actually very good, and the fiancé and I highly recommend it.)

It only took a few of these outings to figure out NEVER TO GO TO THE STRIP. EVER. FOR ANY REASON. Or, well, at least not on the weekends or while football is being played in town. The streets are lined with jerks of all varieties. People disobey pedestrian crosswalks and lights due to their highly inebriated state. Rednecks sport oversized bright orange clothing, park, and “tailgate” (i.e. start drinking beer early in the day to make sure they are good and sloshed before their beloved Vols even commence play.) Girls walk around scantily-clad, reeking of alcohol, less-than-subtly inviting the drunken frat boys who walk around hooting like mildly retarded apes to hit on them, in an attempt for everyone to achieve one common goal–a night of unfulfilling drunken sex with a stranger, otherwise known as “getting some,” “getting laid,” “getting ass,” or “attempting to soothe the pain and loneliness of their pathetically trite, meaningless failures of existence.” Meanwhile, everyone spouts off random idiotic comments about the superiority of the University of Tennessee’s football team, whether or not the team actually won the football game that day. Those actually driving on the road emanate loud booming sounds from their vehicles – the effects of annoying, repetitive music played at the highest possible bass volume level, which damages anyone in such a car’s ear drums and PISSES the people sitting behind them in their own cars–like ME!–THE FUCK OFF.

If you cannot avoid visiting The Strip in its entirety on weekend nights and during the football season, I offer you this five-point list of ways to identify its many douche bags so that you may be able to avoid interacting with them, at least.

To identify a douche bag, simply look for the following:

Number one: Boys exhibiting a “popped collar.” As defined by the Urban Dictionary, this is “the act of popping up the collar of a polo shirt, so it covers the neck. Twenty years ago kids in [the] ghetto wore their collars popped; now it is a trend among frat boys and preps.â€? You may see some boys with a layer of numerous popped collars. For each additional collar, double the amount of douche-bagginess present in the individual sighted.

Number two: Girls wearing dresses/outfits of which any parts can be mistaken as bathing suits, lingerie, or clothing/shoes that may have been pilfered from strippers or prostitutes. These “ladiesâ€? lack the brain capacity to have realized that the name “The Strip” refers to a stretch of road, and not to what activities they are supposed to engage in while present.

During Halloween, expect to see 97.5% of all women in the vicinity wearing the sluttiest possible version of normal Halloween costumes (i.e., slutty angel, slutty devil, slutty nurse, slutty slut, etc.). If you are hoping to fit in for, say, a Halloween (or other holiday) weekend, I suggest checking the closest alley for recently deceased prostitutes and helping yourself to their leftover vestiges of clothing–perhaps even availing yourself of their abandoned crack cocaine.

Number three: Any persons wearing articles of clothing with HUGE brand name logos printed across them (such as ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH or HOLLISTER). Often times, these are the same polo or button-up shirts worn with “popped collars,” as in number one. These persons might as well wear shirts with the words “DOUCHE BAG” written across them instead.

In fact, that may very well prove a worthwhile business venture for anyone willing to put in some extra time and effort; I say, who wants to join with me in creating the next big fashion trend: Douche Bag brand clothing?

Number four: Boys wearing a visor backwards and upside-down, any hat sideways, or sunglasses at night. (This usually comes coupled with numbers one and/or three.) Contrary to what the song says, it is not so they can see; it simply intensifies their douche-bagginess. And can anyone explain to me the purpose it serves to wear a visor on the back of one’s head… and upside down?

Number five: Any person on game weekends wearing an abundance of garishly bright orange-colored clothing, some oversized and most with the UT monogram. The most popular phrase heard from these walking zombies is “GO VOLS!” And please remember, for the love of GOD, do not–I repeat, DO NOT, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE if you value your life, health, and un-slashed tires, utter anything derogatory towards their beloved team within earshot. ESPECIALLY nothing that favors the Florida Gators. While some teams have a vibrant fan base, the Vols have a fervor nigh unto religion. And not the good kind of religion, but one of those scary cults, like the one that brainwashed Tom Cruise and Isaac Hayes.

Hopefully, this short list will keep you prepared if you ever have reason to be on The Strip during football games or on Friday/Saturday nights. If frequenting this area is unavoidable (say if you become a University of Tennessee student or employee,) I suggest faking blindness and carrying a cane so that you may “accidentally� trip and whack as many sighted douche bags as possible. Perhaps if we all work together, we can one day rid this good city of its horrible douche bag infestation. Until that day, I bid you all a happy douche bag thwacking, and I leave you with these words from Academy Award-winning hip-hop group, Three 6 Mafia, as a reminder of why I hate douche bag rap music:

“Now eva since I can remember
I’ve been poppin’ my collar…
(Poppin’ poppin’ my collar…)
(Poppin’ poppin’ my collar…)
Now eva since I can remember
I’ve been workin’ these ho’s
An they betta put my money in my hand.”

(Yes; they won their Oscar for another song entitled “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” in 2006. I’m not even lying or joking, either…)