10 things I’d rather be doing than SXSW with an Austin local

Meet Cara Burke. Cara’s a local Austin resident, and a huge SXSW hater.

Every year for almost two weeks, Cara has to cope with an obnoxious population swell, traffic jams, stupid tourists, dirty musicians, streets being closed off, and all the annoying inconveniences that we out-of-towners don’t really think about while we’re running amok all over the weirdest city in TX. We just get to show up, party, sneak into shows, eat awesome truck food, get free tattoos, and then peace out, leaving the locals to clean up the aftermath.

I’ve known Cara for many, many years but hadn’t seen her since about 2010 so she came over to catch up before my hangover crew and I headed out for the day. She was hating on our debauchery, so I asked her what she would rather be doing instead of all the awesome aforementioned stuff I had on my agenda.

1. Go to the gynecologist. Cara is a safe and responsible adult that visits her gyno on the regular. Why the hell you would rather have someone dig around with cold metal tongs over watching Ice Cube play ‘Fuck The Police’ at a Doritos-sponsored venue that’s crawling with cops, I’ll never know. But, to each their own.


2. Go for a jog. While I’m toasting to good health, Cara would rather do something to actually improve hers. She’s an avid runner, but every year during SXSW her favorite greenway is inundated with bike-rental patrons that like to lackadaisically zig-zag down the path causing obstructions for the ‘real runners’.


3. Hang out in a cramped bungalow with a bunch of smelly dudes. When Cara came over, my buddy asked, “Wait, you’re actually going to invite a girl in here? Look at this place.” And I was like, “Yep.”


4. Get a cup of Joe. Cara’s favorite local coffee shop is Allegro. The cold press is like crack, I hear.


5. Have sex. Well, this one is pretty obvious and I can almost relate. Almost.


6. Go to a funeral … Come on, CB, this one is just a little far-fetched. But Cara has a friend that’s currently in hospice, which as you know, usually means the end is nigh. 🙁 This is super sad and we’re all hoping for the best, but if it comes down to it, Cara would rather pay her respects than bother with SXSW.


7. Go to an AA meeting. I gave this a go myself, and just couldn’t rock with the culture. But ol’ CB’s been sober for a whopping 17 months now. Huge congrats to her for cleaning up her act. Maybe I’ll get there someday. But probz not, lol.


8. Do WORK. Cara’s been a loyal employee of the uber-hip, albeit overly-supportive of Republican endeavors on the backend, retail chain Urban Outfitters for a few months and her location here in Austin gives away beer and throws shows in the back parking lot for festival-goers. You know what that means. Way too many drunk punks soaking up free beer and not even buying any cool graphic tees or anything.


9. Watch The Walking Dead at home, by herself. This one might be lost on me because I’ve never seen a single episode of the show. I figured reading Compendium 1 in a single roadtrip was sufficient so I just never bothered. And maybe it’s a symptom of my supersocial nature, but I’d almost always rather do anything than watch TV. I’m still scared it rots my brain the way this chick’s face is.


10. Pay bills. This one came with a condition, the bill needed to be small. But still, this silly chick would rather cut a check than party. What a weirdo. At the very least she should have said cash ‘em, am I right?