Festival of Motherhood / South Padre | A Wandering Minstrel I

Festival of Motherhood / South Padre

Like the rhythmic chants of the famed Golden Temple of Punjab, I could hear their cries from half a mile away. The endless drone of “Jugs, Jugs, Jugs,” piquing my curiosity. As I grew closer, I could feel the beat of the music seismically course through the sand and into my feet. This was Spring Break. And this was (I could only assume), the Festival of Motherhood.

The festival sleeps at night.

Once far more common, this rite of Spring Break has become elusive in recent years – I was lucky to have stumbled upon such a rare event. A dozen nameless contestants, all identified by the numbered badges hanging from their respective bikini bottoms stepped forward in virginal white ribbed cotton t-shirts, an obvious symbol of purity. Water (from whence we all came) was sprayed forth across them, drenching their chests and exposing the nourishing flesh beneath.

Scenic South Padre Island

Anthropologists have traced the Festival of Motherhood to the 1984 Spring Break of Ft. Lauderdale and like my colleagues, I pressed forward, camera in hand to document this rare event. It is my conclusion that my bald head set off a confused reaction between the males, one too many fleshy orbs for them to process. In doing so, I had upset the delicate balance of this ancient festival and retreated to my motel, one eye swollen shut. The maternal rite I had witnessed had obviously entered my psyche and I wept for my mother to come take care of me.


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