Good O' Boy Roundup Report - March, 1996

2. Competitions

Apart from whitewater rafting and sports, attendees engaged in a variety of activities. One of the first competitive events at the Roundup was the "Liar's Contest," which required contestants to tell the most creative, humorous tall tales. [/ One year the winning entry was a person who merely stood up and said, "I'm with the federal government. I'm here to help you." ] Rightmyer eventually eliminated this event when, according to Rightmyer, the contestants stopped being creative and just started telling old jokes.

The Beer Enduro was another official event held in the early years of the Roundup. Enduro participants drank two ounces of beer every thirty seconds. If a participant vomited or needed to use the toilets, he was eliminated from the contest. The winner was the last one drinking the required amount of beer at the required interval without a break. Eventually, Rightmyer and others became concerned about the amount of drinking and the danger of alcohol poisoning to the participants and eliminated the Enduro, but a chug-a-lug contest has persisted.

Even after the Enduro ceased being an "official" activity, drinking large quantities of beer remained a feature of the Roundup. The registration fee covered unlimited amounts of beer, supplied by a refrigerated truck accessible twenty-four hours a day for the entire weekend. The beer vendor reported that five or six years ago he sold eighty 15½ gallon kegs to the Roundup. With attendance of approximately 550 persons, this meant on average each attendee drank twenty-four 12-ounce servings of beer over the course of the Roundup. Because many attendees came only for several hours one evening and consequently drank significantly less beer, the average beer consumption of full-time Roundup attendees was much higher. [/ If one assumes that on average a one night guest drank four 12-ounce servings, then the average consumption of the registered "good o' boys" rises to thirty-three 12-ounce servings. This also does not consider the alcohol consumed at Grumpy's or the other local bars patronized by the Roundup attendees or any other alcohol brought into the campground by attendees. In more recent years, with greater control over guests and lower attendance, on average the total beer consumption has been just over fifty kegs per Roundup. ] This ready and unlimited availability of beer was a major factor in the excessive drinking that occurred during the Roundup. We heard numerous stories of people drinking to the point of "falling down drunk." Some witnesses spoke in admiration of those who would drink until they passed out or fell asleep, sometimes just anywhere in the campground, and then upon arising immediately begin drinking again.

Unrestrained drinking undoubtedly contributed to skits and performances of questionable taste or worse, including the racist skits and displays. Performances at the Roundup began in 1982 with the Redneck of the Year contest. At first, this contest involved one person nominating another as the biggest Redneck by describing whether the nominee had a pickup truck, what bumper stickers were on the vehicle, what his favorite music was, and how he liked "possum" to be cooked. Sometimes the contestant was required to answer a series of questions intended to elicit humorous responses. As the years went by, this contest evolved into more skit-like presentations, with between three and six contestants each year. [ / When the number of contestants began to dwindle, the rules changed so that in order to be eligible for the overall team competition trophy, the team was required to enter the Redneck of the Year contest. ] Several of the winning skits were so memorable that they took on a life of their own, leading to local residents spreading rumors about the Roundup such as that to become president of the Roundup one had to choose between drinking motor oil or having sex with a goat. [/ Our investigation of these claims, described infra pp. 174-176, determined there was no truth to this rumor. ] This contest degenerated for a time into a contest of who could be the most vile and disgusting. [/ Some performances in this contest included biting the head off of a dead snake, eating a whole raw fish, swapping wads of chewing tobacco from one person's mouth to another, or defecating on stage. The various winners of the contest would also get together each year, stand in a circle, and urinate at the same time. Rightmyer called this "crossing streams" and said it was "a male bonding ritual" akin to rituals of persons mixing their blood together. ] Only three winners of the Redneck of the Year contest were employed by federal law enforcement agencies, none by the Department of Justice.

From the early 1980s until the early 1990s, another skit-like contest called the "Ugliest Good O' Boy" took place at the Roundup. The object of the contest was to humorously describe how ugly a particular person was. One person interviewed during the investigation recalled a winner describing someone as "so ugly his mother wanted to give him back" or "so ugly that as a kid they had to hang a pork chop around his neck before the dogs would play with him." Like the Redneck of the Year, this contest devolved into demonstrations of bad taste. Rightmyer eliminated this event when it was deemed no longer funny.