Once upon a time, Joe Neanderthal went out with his buddies to go hunting. Being Neanderthals, they didn’t have the option of going to the nearby store and picking up dinner on their way home so they had to stay out hunting until they actually caught something. In the interim there were lots of stories about the mammoth that got away and whether or not the saber-tooth squirrels were looking especially furry that year.
Eventually the Neanderthals clunked something over the head and dragged it home to their various spouses. Mrs. Joe Neanderthal was of the opinion that Joe had taken rather longer than was necessary and therefore clunked him over the head. Fortunately, Joe was extremely hard headed and just staggered around a while until he felt like himself. This is generally considered the First Homecoming.
In modern times, the first homecoming was in 1911 at the University of Missouri. There are some disputes about which college held the first homecoming. But since the Most Important Authorities in the Land (by which I mean Jeopardy!, Trivial Pursuit, and NCIS) all say it was Missouri, I think we can agree it was Missouri. Anyone who wants to argue with Alex and/or Gibbs is on their own as far as I’m concerned.
Here is a recipe for a successful Homecoming:
- Arrange for clear weather. Downpours, drizzles, squalls, tornadoes, and flurries tend to put a damper (get it? Ha!) on the activities.
- Participate in spirit week. If you’re a high schooler, roll your eyes but participate anyway. Be especially annoyed about “Denim Day.”
- Agonize about a date to the Homecoming Dance. Once the “who” is settled, agonize about the “what to wear,” the “who else is in the group,” the “where to take pictures,” the “where to have dinner,” and any other details you can think of.
- If you’re in Texas, include mums. And by “mums” I mean huge, over decorated concoctions. I’m not from Texas so I don’t really get it, but I have it on good authority that mums are a critical part of homecoming in the Lone Star State.
- Have a parade and a pep rally. Not necessarily at the same time, but when one rolls into the other, it’s a nice touch.
- Tailgating is considered by many to be a mandatory part of the weekend.
- Crown the court. It is more interesting if you know the crownees, if someone falls off the risers during the crowing, or if they try to crown a band member who’s still wearing a marching band hat.
- Win the football game. This is a considerably better option than losing the football game.
- Enjoy the homecoming dance. Attendance is not a guarantee of enjoyment, but it is a prerequisite. There will be pre-dinner photos. Deal with it and smile.
- Tell your mother everything. Telling All does not guarantee a peaceful existence, but it is likely to cut way down on the Annoying Mom Questions.
Happy Homecoming! Whether you’re coming home for it or not.
Homecoming Part II tomorrow. Probably.