Spring break tips from a townie

As a resident of spring break hot spot Panama City Beach – where we affectionately call the visitors “tourons,” a hybrid of tourist and moron – I have witnessed some pretty outrageous things. For instance, a favorite pastime of the tourons is cruising up and down a two-lane strip of road at one mile an hour, hooting and hollering at cars going the opposite direction and maybe even flashing body parts for beads hanging from the opposing car’s side mirrors.

Granted, this is a time to let loose, but be smart and think of the consequences. If you want to survive spring break unscathed, here are some tips:

1. Unless your goal is appearing in a Girls Gone Wild video or becoming fodder for some camera-wielding chump’s fantasy, remember your modesty. Those plastic beads might seem appealing at the time, but really, a dozen beaded necklaces hanging from your rear-view mirror can be distracting.

2. When wearing “beer goggles,” do not go play on the balcony. Please, leave the balcony diving to the professionals.

3. If you don’t want to appear on Cops and/or end up in jail, do not drive drunk down the crowded strip of road where all the other college students cruise. The cops cruise there, too, by bicycle, foot and dune buggy.

4. If you are so hung over you can’t move for fear of your brain exploding, do not go the beach for some sun. Trust me, you’ll end up looking like a half-strawberry, half-vanilla human, and it’s just not sexy.

5. A tow truck driver can smell a dumb college student parking illegally from miles away. They’ve been laying in wait all year for this; don’t give them what they want. My personal experience with this set me back about $80.

6. Guard your drink at the bar like it’s the last one you’ll ever have. One of those “tourons” could be packing some scoop (GHB) to try to sweeten you up.

With that said, relax, have a good time and try to be the one laughing at the antics of others rather than the one being laughed at.