Protest song drops just in time for Cruisin’

I refuse to stand for this flag. It's among the checkered flags in front of a beachside Gulfport home and they're on display to welcome Cruisers. JOHN E. BIALAS

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I’ve come up with a song to protest Cruisin’ The Coast.

Actually, it’s not my song. It’s a parody of “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag,” a Country Joe and the Fish Vietnam song.

Call it “The Ballad of the Uneasy Cruiser.” It represents my displeasure for Cruisin’, which rolls Oct. 1-8 and disrupts life on Highway 90 in Biloxi, Gulfport and other cities as visitors stall traffic flow with rat rods, resto rods, four-bangers and flamethrowers.

Forget peace and quiet. You can hear the noise of carburetor dung all the way to Saucier.

“The Ballad of the Uneasy Cruiser” goes something like this:

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we driving for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is a vet’s Trans Am,
And it’s five, six, seven,
Close up the VA gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! We’re all gonna drive

The vet reference in the lyrics does not besmirch war veterans. It besmirches veterinarians who assume poodle skirts are a new breed of dog at the Cruisin’ Sock Hop in Ocean Springs.

The mention of VA gates is a reference to Cruise Central, the old Gulfport Veterans Affairs property now known as Centennial Plaza.

In case you have never heard of Country Joe and the Fish, check out the video below.

To pad this out for SEO purposes, I’m adding a couple of lyrics from a Phil Ochs Vietnam song, “I Ain’t Marching Anymore.”

Here are the lines:

Now they want me back again
But I ain’t driving anymore
Tell me is it worth it all

If you have never heard of Phil Ochs, check out the video below.

I know many of you don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to Cruisin’.

I know many who have a sense of humor when it comes to Cruisin’.

If you appreciate the humor, let’s protest together.

Fight the horsepower.

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The best day of Cruisin’ The Coast

My sign would be, "You're not welcome, Cruisers." This sign is near the corner of Highway 90 and Hewes Avenue in Gulfport. JOHN E. BIALAS

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Cruisin’ The Coast is the annual gathering in which thousands of owners of vintage cars lollygag their way on the beachfront road known as Highway 90, which includes Biloxi and Gulfport.

The neighboring cities are the epicenters of the event, and the participants are called Cruisers.

Who are the Cruisers? For the most part, they are out-of-towners, freeloaders, carpetbaggers, vagabonds, scalawags, ne’er-do-wells, squatters, codswallows and homesteaders who make it a pain in the ass for me to get where I need go on Highway 90. I’m forced to take back roads or I just stay at home, suffering in silence, until the traffic is unjammed.

A lot of the Cruisers look old: 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. Head out on the highway lookin’ for adventure? More like lookin’ for dentures.

If it could be a movie, Cruisin’ The Coast would be titled “My American Graffiti Nightmare.” Early ’60s nostalgia meets 21st-century reality.

The young blonde from decades past driving a Thunderbird in Southern California in 1962 now looks like an octogenarian who can barely stay awake at 8 p.m. while cruising in a shiny super-stock Dodge from DeBuys Road to Courthouse Road. Go, Granny, go? I don’t think so.

The onlookers aggravate me, too. They park their campers on hallowed beachfront ground made vacant because of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They are robbing our land for their enjoyment, which is to sit in their folding chairs on the north side of 90 and drink an X amount of beers as they watch cars pass by.

The weather is great this time of year. It’s cool with bright blue skies and little humidity. The problem is we don’t get to take advantage of it. It is wasted on all the damn visitors.

Residents, excluding me, and businesses welcome the Cruisin’ influx. The city of Gulfport has sent out crews to clear sand from the sidewalks along 90 to accommodate the out-of-towners. The city seems to care more about its visitors than its own residents.

Believe me. I won’t see crews clearing sidewalks any other time.

My message to the local who embrace Cruisin’: Curb your enthusiasm. The event is not fun for the rest of us. For eight days, we will air our grievances. It’s our Fall Festivus.

This year’s Cruisin’ is Oct. 1-8.

You know what my favorite day will be?

It will be the day after.

Oct. 9. I’m circling it on my calendar.

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Tulane will shake up College Football Playoff picture

The Tulane Green Wave will pull off the Upset of the 21st Century on Saturday against the mighty Oklahoma Sooners. OU FOOTBALL INSTAGRAM

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Tulane will shake up the College Football Playoff picture.

Yeah, The Tulane University, the little New Orleans school that could. The school is so little, the fans who attend road games are few. Maybe the sports information director and three Uptown friends.

Yeah, the team that is 1-1 and sixth in the American West with absolutely no chance of getting into the CFP picture this century.

Some sportswriters are wishy-washy and willy-nilly and namby-pamby about their weekly predictions.

I’m not. Watch the Green Wave, 35-point underdogs, shock the No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday night in Norman before a crowd of four Tulane fans and 86,108 OU fans.

Tulane 35, Oklahoma 31. Bet on it. Not a whole lot of money. Maybe pocket change.

My pick is based on using the Theory of Faulty Logic. The pick violates some of the basic laws of logic. One of the basic laws is that Oklahoma will beat Tulane 59-13. I saw that prediction on a bookmaking site.

I’m going against the grain. I know it’s wild and crazy and stupid, but the upset will happen. It will be the Upset of the 21st Century.

You won’t catch Tulane looking ahead to Army, the team Ohio State plays Saturday, Ohio State the team that quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Sooners embarrassed three nights ago in Columbus.

I’ve been doing a lot of studying. One statistic stands out.

The Greenies are giving up just 140 yards passing per game this season.

Their defense, unlike the one that plays for Ohio State, will challenge Mayfield. Actually, challenge is not the word. They will intercept Mayfield three or four times and give him a face-planting five or six times.

Mayfield has lost his focus. He’s caught up in the Heisman Trophy hype. He’s doing radio interviews and talking about his wish to meet Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, the Master of Supreme Self-Confidence.

Cockiness will get in Mayfield’s way. He’ll have no respect for the little Greenies, just like he had no respect for the big ol’ Buckeyes. He’s still apologizing for disrespecting the Buckeyes with a victorious midfield flag plant. Around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, he will be apologizing for losing.

Oklahoma’s 31-16 win at Ohio State will be forgotten, and the Sooners’ CFP hopes will plunge. No OU at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Jan. 8, the site and the date of the national championship game.

On Twitter, I have started following F— Baker Mayfield, a strong ally in my deep dislike for Mayfield. FBM caught my eye with these two perfect retweets.

I’m sure my wife, Patty, an Ohio State graduate, will also become an FBM follower. She’s the reason I’m a Buckeyes fan down here in South Mississippi.

Right now, the Greenies are so confident they are practicing for the postgame flag-planting celebration at Owen Field.

Make sure to put it in Mayfield’s pie hole, and when that happens, the soul of Jimmy Steele will raise his cup to the Greenies.

A One, A Two, A Helluva Hullabaloo.

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What the eve of September means to you

September Eve leads to thoughts about pumpkin patches.

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

It’s the eve of September and it means a lot to you.

It means going to The Dollar Tree for autumnal designs, Halloween candy and Thanksgiving decorations.

It means rushing to Hobby Lobby in hopes of loading up on Christmas decor.

It means coming up with a list of easy dishes you can make for Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving, and you shop at Rouses for some ideas.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
On September Eve, you’re looking forward to an autumn leaf served with your ghost roast. Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

It means you are ready to rock October with haunted houses, corn mazes, scary makeup and horror movies.

It means dreaming of your first Pumpkin Latte of the season while you are in the Starbucks drive-thru.

September Eve means letters to Santa, even though The Claus isn’t thinking of you as he hits the beach for Labor Day weekend. Photo by srikanta H. U on Unsplash

It means Christmas planning and sips of hot chocolate. Letters to Santa and wish lists for family and friends.

It means you want to clean the fireplace, even though your AC might keep going full blast through Oct. 1.

You forget that you live in South Mississippi. You forget about the Labor Day weekend and the baseball and football that go with it. You want to bypass it all.

It’s Aug. 31. September eve. Almost 90 degrees, but change is coming.

Happy fall, y’all!

Editor’s note: This post’s featured photo is  by Hide Obara on Unsplash. Inspiration for this post came from 40 Holiday Blog Post Ideas by Amanda Cross, who, unlike me, is sincere about the holidays.

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