The Freshman Are Coming, The Freshmen Are Coming

front porch-1I live in a small, Southern college town. Oxford, Mississippi. It’s a lovely place.

The campus is consistently named one of the most beautiful in the country. There are award-winning restaurants gathered around the picturesque Square “downtown.” Football season involves tailgates to rival any of those touted by the football faithful and dressing to impress does not involve jeans and a sweatshirt. Sportscasters vie to cover one of the best football experiences in the nation.Crown royal-1 The Grove is an institution on many a bucket list and scores of Northerner’s bachelor parties are set amid the sea of red and blue tents, pretty girls, and Crown and Coke in red Solo cups.

Sometimes, though, living in a Town and Gown has its drawbacks. Consider the annual influx of the freshmen. Accompanied by helicopter parents, Momma and Daddy and their little darlings make for scary traffic and parts of town are best avoided. Like around Walmart. Right now, the best one-stop shop in town is piled high with mini-refrigerators, pillows, printers and TVs. Where most of the Walton’s finest stores carry colorful markers and kiddie backpacks, ours is overflowing with twin-sized comforters and coffeemakers. Terrified looking teenagers pretending bravado are dragged up and down the aisles as Momma directs what makes it into the shopping cart, or “buggy” as people from around here are wont to say.

This is the time of year I swear off Walmart. The traffic getting into the home of Rollback Prices is insane and won’t let up until “Momma n’em” head on back to Jackson or Buckhead or Highland Park.

Just yesterday I was chatting with a woman I don’t know in a check-out line (because that’s what Southerners do in small towns), and she told me she strives to leave town on “Move in Weekend.” A Walmart clerk told me she was trying to gear up for the circus that will soon be upon us.

Meanwhile, I stock up on carrots and watermelon to feed my horses so I don’t have to go into town. Amazon Prime is my friend. I can get to the feed store without venturing near the Walmart parking lot. And we wait for football season to begin. Because that’s what Southerners do in college towns.

Hotty Toddy y'all redo-1





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