(I wrote this as a persuasive essay in college a few years back. Still rings true to this day.)
I love music.
From traditional rock to punk. From Willie Nelson to Barry White. My musical taste spans a fairly wide spectrum. Sometimes I listen for the soulful harmonies of Sam and Dave. Sometimes I listen to artists like Kenny Rogers just to fulfill my daily kitsch quota. In all honesty, there is very little I won’t listen to.
I tolerate my fellow humans.
From neighbors to family. From strangers to friends. I have absolutely no problem dealing with the common idiocies we, as humans, encounter daily. I smile and politely decline when a mechanic offers to change out my entire transmission despite the fact I only asked for an oil change. I laugh heartily when my dentist inadvertently strikes an exposed nerve while drilling – then asks if it hurt. I accept the fact that nobody’s perfect, and plod through my existence making every effort to be as amicable as possible.
But everybody has their limit. No one is without a breaking point.
I hate Jimmy Buffett. And for the most part, I don’t like those who listen to him, either.
I’m not exactly sure from where this hatred stems. Granted, Buffett’s music is both middling and obnoxious – but so is a vast majority of other popular music. If Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” comes across the radio, chances are pretty good that I’ll simply change the station without incident. If preoccupied, I may not even bother. Now, if Jimmy Buffett was to grace the airwaves, I don’t care if I just plucked a drowning child from the pool and was administering CPR – I’m going to take the 30 seconds necessary to turn off the damn boom box.
Perhaps I have some sort of chemical imbalance. Perhaps something traumatic happened to me as a youngster while Jimmy happened to be playing in the background. Or perhaps, quite simply, Buffett sucks like none other.
The music itself is horrible. The perpetual xylophone, the grating maracas – it’s like stepping into some overpriced roach motel in Bermuda that pumps faux island muzak through the lobby so the moronic tourists will think it’s “quaint.” Lyrics about getting drunk, pigging out, and waking up with some degenerate from the bar could be considered funny. The humor wanes, however, when every song is about getting drunk, pigging out, and waking up with some degenerate from the bar. Perhaps Jimmy Buffett considers it charming to be a middle-aged Peter Pan. I consider it pathetic.
It’s Buffett’s rabid fans that take the lunacy to another level.
The only thing sadder than a middle-aged Peter Pan is the herd of mindless disciples that idolize him. They dub themselves Parrotheads. Choosing a life devoid of identity, these maniacal groupies practice the bohemian lifestyle of debauchery portrayed in their hero’s ditties, all while repeatedly drinking themselves sick from caps adorned with beer cans on either side.
In bars, Parrotheads monopolize the jukebox; blasting Buffett’s music – completely oblivious of the patrons around them – and dancing (poorly) well into the next morning. Once intoxicated, they hit on co-eds half their age. Once rejected, they proceed to verbally slander their former targets, unable to understand why intelligent young women would want nothing to do with an overweight, balding Parrothead sporting khaki shorts two sizes too small and a screaming Hawaiian shirt that’s stained with a combination of Corona, ketchup and vomit.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for living the life you choose. I may not enjoy having to endure a Jimmy Buffet marathon at the local Waffle House at 3 a.m. while you and your plastered frat brothers sing along with more emphasis on volume than melody. Heck, I may even resent you for it. Nevertheless, I whole-heartedly believe in your constitutional right to make a complete ass of yourself.
So hey, want to waste away in Margaritaville while enjoying your cheeseburger in paradise?
By all means, knock yourself out. Enjoy your stay.
Just don’t hurry back.