by M. Lewis Barker
My ward (yes I am one of the many, many Mormons in Provo) had its Winter Semester Closing Social last night, and I was in charge of the talent show. By the time we finally got out of there, most of the local shows were underway and I wasn’t planning on spending any money. The only thing left was Sugar Ray at the Riverwoods. It was free and they used to be one of America’s biggest bands, so I hopped in a car with some friends to check it out.
A few thousand people were there, all with the same idea as me. I’m sure there were some hardcore Sugar Ray fans in the audience, perhaps the last of their kind. But for the most part, it was full of the zoobiest zoobies that ever zoobed.* Suddenly I was hit with the grand realization that I don’t fit in with these people at all. It’s something I’ve often thought about, but it had been a very long time since I was in a group of zoobies so large. When did backwards baseball caps become cool again? Oh, that’s right: never.
Sugar Ray was already up on the stage and “performing” by the time we got there. First, I must give it up to the actual band, who did a wonderful job playing and are some fine musicians. But Mark McGrath decided to spend the whole time talking into the mic while some morning radio DJ played sound bites from Will Ferrell movies. It did not feel like a concert at all. It definitely felt like a party, but not the kind of party that I like to attend. Mark McGrath’s slicked back hair and sunglasses made me question if it was actually him or just some imposter. Bring back the spiky hair, dude! At least he gets me props for hosting VH1’s 100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock & Roll back in the day.
Though I must say, when they finished the set with “Fly”, the 11 year old in me suddenly came back and I was singing along. It was a wonderful pop song back in a more innocent day, just as boy bands were beginning to roam the Earth. So, thanks for that, Sugar Ray.
*Urban Dictionary defines “zoobie” as the following:
A zoobie is a derogatory term for a certain genre of people who attend BYU. The term evolved from the word zoo, which was a common nickname for the university in the 80’s. Possible explanations for this nickname may include the chaotic, often carnival-like atmosphere of raging hormones and desperate hunting for mates.
A zoobie is the quintessential BYU student. A zoobie is just a member of the flock of sheep. Zoobies don’t think for themselves, they are the oblivious morons who roam BYU campus in droves.
You can’t tell a zoobie by appearance only, although there is certainly a stereotyped look. Preppy sweater boys and plastic girls are often associated with zoobiehood.
“DUDE!! Did you see that hot girl walk by?”
“Yeah, she’s a zoobie.”
“Oh, f**k that!!”