Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Parker Heinlein
Outdoors Columnist 

Bring in the drunks

 


Only days after the most recent snowfall, it’s finally beginning to feel like summer. But the arrival of warm weather also heralds the return of one of Montana’s more annoying species: loud, outdoor drunks.

Apparently some folks just can’t get together in the great out-of-doors without acting up. Something about all that fresh air and open space brings out the worst in too many.

We’re forced to tolerate them at campgrounds, boat ramps, and on all the lakes and rivers. They’re hard to miss, always talking loudly in profanity-laced speech, and cranking up their music as if the neighbors a half mile away wanted to hear AC/DC at midnight.

Courtesy be damned. They’re going to get their drunk on.

It’s not just a Montana thing, but an awful lot of folks here tend to embrace the redneck culture that demands they get messed up and bother people. Come Monday morning back at work they’ll share war stories about that fifth of Jack they finished off, and laugh about the buddy who passed out and fell into the campfire.

This is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been that guy, but I probably have been a time or two. I apologize.

My only excuse is youth.

Unfortunately, a lot of those who embrace the loud, outdoor drunk lifestyle aren’t young. Like they say, some people grow up, others just get older. There are a lot of aging Jeff Spicolis in Montana.

While it is more of a guy thing, there are plenty of women who seem to think the Me Too movement is all about getting drunk and loud, too.

This summer may be worse than usual. Upset over shutdowns due to the coronavirus, there seems to be a feeling among many that now is the time to cut loose and celebrate. Pandemic? What pandemic? We have a right to party.

And a ready excuse for their boorish behavior.

They were drunk.

Instead of showing any respect for others, too many Montanans apparently feel entitled to be obnoxious while camping. In a campground, the neighbors are temporary. You’ll probably never see them again, so what the hell, party on, Wayne.

Act like that back home, however, and people will begin to talk. Or call the cops.

Loud, drunken behavior should never be acceptable. Let’s quit pretending it is just because you’re at the lake.

Parker Heinlein is at [email protected]

 

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