The Proper Way To Tailgate

Tailgate parties are upon us, which means football season is here and that means there is only one proper way to tailgate. Nothing against football, and don’t be mad at me, but I’m just not that into football. I grew up in a house full of women. My dad spent most of his time at work (a.k.a. the pub) where he could hang out with other guys and watch sports. He was hardly ever home. While all of the other moms in our neighborhood would be threatening their kids “You just wait until your father gets home.” My mom would be threatening us “IF your father EVER comes home…whatever!” They were mostly empty threats, because when he did come home, “toasted” he’d give us money. Well, he didn’t really give us the money…he’d pass out and we’d take it out of his wallet. I called it my college fund. And, my dad was so proud of me when I graduated from college, he framed my diploma and hung it above the mantel. My sister dropped out of school, so, just to be fair, he framed her DWI Defensive Driving Certificate and hung it next to my diploma (crooked, because he drinks).

Although I am not an experience tailgater, I have done a little research on the proper way to tailgate. The Iowa State Food Safety website says you should always be careful what foods you pack and that you store them at the proper temperature to ensure they do not get contaminated or develop bacteria. Here are a few tips from their website:

Follow these simple steps to ensure food safety:

  • Buy reasonable quantities
  • If food won’t be served soon, store it in a cooler immediately
  • When you get home, properly wrap and freeze deli meats that won’t be eaten within two to four days
  • REMEMBER most food poisoning bacteria can NOT be seen, smelled, or tasted
  • Bacteria multiply fastest between temperatures of 40 and 140; it’s what we call the Danger Zone
  • If in doubt, throw it out! Keep hot foods HOT (above 140° F) and cold foods COLD (40° F or below)

The 21st Century Insurance company website offers these safety tips as well on the proper way to tailgate:

  • If you’re grilling, make sure to bring a fire extinguisher
  • After your tailgate is finished, throw away all food that may spoil. Leftovers may be tempting after the game, but they may also be dangerous
  • If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure to cool the coals properly before putting them in a garbage container or back in your car (unless you want to use them as a discipline tool)
  • Make sure you can see properly and that there are no items in your way, such as bottles or cans before starting to drive
  • Secure your grill and other items in the back so nothing can fall out
  • If any guest have been drinking alcohol, make sure they don’t get behind the wheel

And, most of all, have fun. You won’t have another 3 day weekend until Columbus Day.

Until next week…Happy Labor Day!

Daun T
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

The Proper Way To Tailgate – Comedy Defensive Driving