Here's another Fest story halfway shrouded in booze and memory.
I was headed back to my room at the Hampton Inn the second night of Fest. As a middle aged man who had spent the day drinking and listening to loud music I was very glad Hampton Inn was within walking distance of everything.
I was feeling good. My ears were ringing and I was tired, but I was nice and drunkhappy. I was thinking about the last full Fest I had attended five years or so ago and how I felt like a completely different person. While I had an awesome time both times, there was a desperation last time - sort of a yearning need to blow out my system and ...I dunno, feel something, some sort of connection with people again or something. This time I was a little older and more centered, and was just focused on catching up with friends and bands and getting drunk.
I was holding on to that feeling as I settled into the Hampton Inn's elevator, an elevator so slow that I'm pretty sure it is powered by a Donkey Kong-like gorilla pulling the cable up and down.
I wasn't alone in my reveries. A group of British Fest goers was in the other corner. They didn't pay attention to me, as they were engaged in culinary conversation.
"Oi mate, that wasn't really gravy was it?"
"Blimey, and what they called biscuits was bleedin' huge and doughy. Nobody could eat that for breakfast, guv'nor."
It took a while to cut through all the gin and tinnitus and sleepy, but it slowly registered that these limeys were dissing biscuits and gravy, here in central Florida.
The nerve of these foreigners. Gainesville had put on an amazing music festival for them and they were gonna malign biscuits and gravy? You didn't hear me disparaging British cuisine when I was over there - no, I kept my comments stateside out of respect for their ...Queen or whatever. Plus, those people riot over soccer games, who knows what would happen if they heard my irreverent take on spotted dick, which I'm sure they had never heard before.
They might have well been bad-mouthing Steve Spurrier or Tom Petty (As a side note, I can think of at least three houses in Gainesville that I was assured were Tom Petty's old house. Dude got around).
I wasn't going to take this lying down. As a Southern gentleman, I was considering challenging them to a duel, but I think the limeys invented that game, so instead I just burst out with a incredulous "Whaaaaaat?"
That broke the ice. "What kind of gravy did you expect? And your biscuits are cookies. Why would you expect cookies for breakfast?" (I hoped they hadn't heard about Cookie Crisp cereal, or my argument would be invalid).
I actually meant my remarks to be in the nature of good-minded fun, but I did notice they visibly recoiled from my outburst. Then again, if I were trapped in an elevator with a dude twice my age ranting about cookies and gravy, I'm not sure if I'd be able to discern the feeling behind the words either.
We soon patched things up and hurled a few good-natured insults back and forth, all of which are lost in time, unless they've got the internet over in England and they happen to read this and can get back to me.
A week later, my country elected a TV con man to be President of the United States, so I guess they really showed me up, after all.