As I am going to a big US college sports event in a few weeks not to mention a few key temples to ale, I am quite interested in the phenomena of tail gating or tailgating or tail-gating. Some readers outside of North American might not even know what a tail gate is - it is the openable rear wall of the box at the back of a pick-up truck...or the back of a station wagon or an SUV. Some have special modifications like the built-in tap shown to the upper-right. Tail gating is taking a vehicle like that to a sports stadium before a big game - usually football and usually college football - opening it's back end up and running a BBQ and beer shack right there at the parking lot. The meaning has been extended to partying before the game and can refer to a party watching a game on TV or, as in this story, drinking during the walk to the game:
Many residents agreed that the tailgating was far less than feared at the big evening game last week. Neighbor Bill Hass, who was concerned earlier this year when Boston College asked to expand tailgating from two to three hours, said he did not hear of any complaints, which he believes is good news. "But I was impressed with the amount of police presence this weekend and hope that prevented anything before it started." Some residents participated in the festivities, drinking beer on their lawns, and said they did not mind the game traffic or tailgating. "Boston College was here before I was and if I don't like it, I can move out to Weston," said Margaret Grealish on Undine Road. "There's extra traffic, but they do a good job," added Lorraine McGrath of Larch Street, who works at Boston College and graduated from there as well.Because the US has a general minimum age limit for drinking of 21, most college students break the law when they drink. In Canada it is 19 so most do not. Open air drinking is also often a no-no. So the semi-illegality of the event is part of the event. I would imagine more than a million Americans will do it today.