Title: PBR and Lil’ Smokies
Informant Info: Josie Nordrum is a 20 year-old junior at Dartmouth College. Josie was born in San Francisco, CA and now lives in Corte Madero, CA. She has been climbing for two years and is heavily involved with the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club. Josie’s climbing phobia is exposure to the elements, and her favorite part about climbing is the satisfaction she gets when she finishes.
Date Collected: 5/15/16
Place Collected: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
Type of Lore: Material, Recipe and Tradition
Country of Origin: United States
Social/Cultural Context: At Dartmouth, each term there is a big weekend. Big Weekends include Homecoming in the fall, Winter carnival in the winter, and Green Key in the spring. Over Big Weekends, students tend to party a lot and celebrate. Such celebrations usually include alcohol and gatherings at fraternities. Big Weekends are generally liked by the student population at Dartmouth. Students tend to look forward to Big Weekends as a break from studying and a reason to celebrate together.
Lore: Before every big weekend, Dartmouth Mountaineering Club members sustain themselves exclusively on a diet of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and Lil’ Smokies. Breakfast generally includes Lil’ Smokie Breakfast Burritos and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. Lunch generally includes Lil’ Smokies in Lil’ Blankets and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.
Informant’s Comments: The reason for this weird combination of foods can only be explained by tradition and members are not really sure how it came to be. However, members continue to follow this ritual because it is tradition and a fun bonding experience.
Collector’s Comments: PBR and Lil’ Smokies is an example of a ritual marking the beginning of of something — this time the beginning of a big weekend. This a theme which is consistent throughout the majority of rock climbing folklore collected. Even though the combination of PBR and Lil’ Smokies is pretty disgusting (allegedly), DMCers continue to partake in this celebration to honor tradition. In addition, it is a weird variation of a purification rite before the Big Weekend. Although counterintuitive, drinking beer and eating only Lil’ Smokies is a way for DMCers to prepare for the coming weekend celebration. By following this specific diet, they set themselves up for a fun and safe Big Weekend celebration and prepare themselves for the festivities.
Tags/Keywords: PBR, Lil’ Smokies, Big Weekend, tradition, diet, food, initiation