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Wasting away in Margaritaville


In terms of singular devotion, strong visual aesthetics and overall good vibes, few other 'heads can touch the Parrotheads. Sure, the Deadheads pulled throngs of acid-addled admirers into their orbit. And you've got your Phishheads and Spreadnecks and Umphreaks and, uh, Bisco Kids. But the Parrotheads display a devotion to recreational pursuits that borders on the religious. Your fearless Times staffers immersed themselves in the Jimmy Buffett tailgating revelry. Here are some of our findings from Margaritaville.

There were some truly impressive partying innovations on display, including a margarita blender attachment for a cordless power drill (in case your frozen marg runs out while you're waiting in the merch line) and a yellow ski, to which four shot glasses had been affixed for tequila shot taking. Its inventor, Joey Findley of Greenwood, calls it the "shot-ski," and it allows up to four people to do synchronized shots. Efficiency!

This mobile bar stool was easily the most remarkable. Its owner, Gary Barth of Hot Springs, said the nameless creation is always an attention-getter at Buffett concerts. Barth has seen Buffett 27 times in the last 23 years.

Probably the most visible innovators were the Fin Men, a group of dudes from Arkansas and Alabama whose giant homemade fin helmets (which light up with different colors at night, natch) help them find each other among the hordes of other, usually smaller, fin helmets. A few of the folks with smaller fins seemed intimidated. After a couple of Fin Men passed by, one of the more diminutively finned Parrotheads said to his friend, "These are the guys that make me lose faith." Lose faith in what, though? What was that line about the size of the boat versus the motion in the ocean?

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