Strickland’s message, sent while Councilman Joe Brown was comparing a proposed parking garage for food trucks to a ship built on top of an igloo, was re-tweeted by several high profile investigative reporters who wanted to know what Flinn was doing with his hand in his shirt.
“It’s just disrespectful,” Brown later explained. “Every time somebody else starts talking he puts his right hand under his left armpit, and he pumps his elbow up and down like half a funky chicken.”
“It sounds just like someone passing gas,” Strickland says, struggling not to laugh. “Sometimes it’s high pitched and squeaky, sometimes it’s loose and juicy. But it is always hilarious. And entirely inappropriate when Council is in session.”
This isn’t the first time Flinn has been at the center of a major media controversy. In April, 2011 Flinn was grounded for a week by the Council for giving Wanda Halbert something she called a “Wet Willie.”
“It’s when you put your index finger in your mouth to coat it with saliva, and then you stick it in somebody’s ear,” Halbert explained. “And yes it’s just as nasty as it sounds.”
“He doesn’t always make those sounds under his arm either,” said Janis Fullilove, stopping momentarily to swat at the air and complain about “crazy snakes.”
“You’d be amazed at all the places on his body where that man can make a fart noise,” Fullilove said. “It is almost beyond belief.”
Councilman Flinn was unable to comment having invited several friends to join him for a weekend snipe hunt in Arkansas.
"Oh yes, I am sure Memphis is getting a Trader Joe's," Effkay proclaims, brandishing printed copies of a blog entry he posted online two weeks ago. "So it is written, when Fresh Market builds a store at the Ike's location by Playhouse on the Square, the stage is set for Trader Joe's."
"It is only logical," Effkay continues, carefully rationing out a handful of banana chips he obtained from his last "Joe's Run" to Nashville, "When the Good Trader looks down and sees a Fresh Market flourishing in Midtown, he's GOT to come, right?
"And Midtowners must do all of their shopping at the new Fresh Market as soon as it opens. The stakes are just so high," Effkay proclaims affecting a tone of grave foreboding. "So high," he repeats. "So very, very high."
Effkay has previously proclaimed the revitalization of Overton Square, renovations at the zoo, and various weather conditions to be heralds for a Trader Joe's store that has not yet materialized.
When asked why getting a Trader Joe's is so important, Effkay snickered condescendingly and said "You'll know when you know."
Joey Hack is a regular Fly on the Wall contributor, and is a member of the Wiseguys improv troupe. Additional reporting by Davis Christopher.
“I’m not angry,” Crimma insists. But the culinary genius behind the popular food truck That’s Nacho Cheese, is lying through her meth-ruined teeth. She’s really pissed off, as are several of the more reputable automobile-based restaurateurs that are supposed to fill spaces at a new parking garage built into the meticulously restored facade of the Nineteenth Century Club on Union Av.
“What I am is disappointed,” Crimma continued because nobody was brave enough to tell her the interview was over. “There was an understanding between the city and numerous small business owners that this new garage would be for food trucks and food truck customers only, and so a lot of us were shocked and dismayed to see plans that include what appears to be a brick-and-mortar McDonald's built right into the ground level of the garage.
“On one hand, I recognize the value of having an anchor business like McDonalds,” Crimma shouts unreasonably. “It just seems like this was inserted behind our backs and at the eleventh hour so there would be no time for anybody to negotiate.”
“I’ve got no problem with McDonald’s entering the food truck market if that’s what they really want to do,” says award winning chef Sayden Dunn of the upscale TruckDucken Diner. “But if they want to be a part of this food truck parking garage they need to at least respect the integrity of the potentially mobile business model it was created to accommodate.
“Frankly, if they want to slap some golden arches on an old school bus with no wheels, I’m fine with that,” Dunn says. “It would feel like they were at least meeting us somewhere near the middle.”
The McDonald’s flap is just the latest hitch in a plan that had been devised as an alternative to an earlier proposal to use a large crane and magnet to stack a similar number of food trucks vertically in the parking lot of Urban Outfitters on Central.
“This would have been the largest food truck tower east of the Mississippi River and an overnight tourist destination,” says Midtown resident and large magnet-crane operator Benny Hanna, a vocal opponent of the food truck parking garage.
“The food truck tower is an idiotic idea,” says regular food truck patron Kai Yiyo who says he will definitely use the parking garage even if it houses a stationary fast food restaurant. “Times are changing and people need to get with the program because the younger generation doesn't like its food trucks parked on top of each other. They want them either in a garage, or crammed together on a big slab of asphalt, or randomly scattered all up and down Summer Ave."
Additional reporting by The Wiseguys
Midtown — Business owners along Madison Avenue expressed concern as an inter-dimensional portal to The Ninth Level of Xibalba, an underworld of eternal damnation and chaos, erupted along the Madison Avenue bicycle lane today, spewing forth hell-demons and the resurrection of Lykraalith, god of destruction.
“I told ya’ll didn’t I?” quipped Dee Bunker, a bar owner on Madison and staunch opponent of the bicycle lanes. “I knew it was fishy how they pushed this on us and when they came to re-stripe the roads and started to bury crystal skulls in front of my bar, I knew they were up to no good.”
Ms. Bunker is one of many who tried to prevent the installation of the bike lanes but eventually caved due to the overwhelming support for a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly area. “I can say goodbye to my property value now. Who’s gonna come grab a drink when there’s a 900 pound Three-Headed Dog sleeping in front of my place?” exclaimed Ms. Bunker. She then attempted to shoo away the beast but was unfortunately engulfed and devoured by swarms of thousands upon thousands of Fire Spiders.
City of Memphis representative Red Taype released the following statement today at a press conference:
“We all knew there would be some bumps in the road getting bicycle lanes to become a popular addition to our thriving city. Whether it is enacting traffic laws, increasing awareness of greener transportation options, or bringing forth the end times through enchanted seances and summoning our true overlord of evil, Lykraalith, King of Vile and Death, cursed be the unbelievers’ souls, may He rule us mortal servants for eternity.”
City Councilman Phil Landers unveiled a bill today that would return Lykraalith and his minions back to their underworld home but it would require a taxation and licensing fee for all cyclists in Memphis and Shelby County for a thousand millenia. It is predicted that the bill does not have the support needed in the council to pass at this time.
However, not everyone sees the negative side to the impending demonic doom. Rex Carrs, an avid cyclist and long-time Memphian, likes the new look for Madison Avenue.
“I tell you what," he says proudly. "Overton Square is really starting to look more and more like it did in its heyday.”
“She was working it hard too,” says Officer Weston Krupke who wrote Fullilove a ticket for driving while fabulous. “She wasn’t going straight but kind of weaving back and forth in the road. Slow. Fierce.
“Damn, I just can’t stop smelling her perfume,” Krupke exclaims. “I could look at that woman all day, and that’s what makes her such a danger to herself and to other drivers.”
According to the police report it was the powerful odor of fresh polish that alerted officers to the fact that Fullilove’s nails had just been done. The nails were also extremely well manicured and shiny and the colors she’d selected beautifully complimented a generous application of electric blue eye shadow. Her rouge and lipstick were perfect, if thickly applied, and her short blonde wig was sharp and businesslike.
“She blew a perfect 10 on the fabulyzer,” Krupke says. “I had no choice but to issue the citation.”
No attempts were made to contact Fullilove who is too busy thinking about Memphis and the people she represents to be bothered.
Additional reporting by Danny Bader, a Wiseguy and regular contributor to Fly on the Wall.
Family Dollar Airlines President Umberto Martine was on hand to display working models of the high-powered catapults that would propel cash-strapped travelers from Memphis to “the general vicinity of” Little Rock, Nashville and Jackson, Mississippi in under an hour’s time, and for less than the cost of traditional airline baggage fees.
“We can offer this service at an incredibly low price because we cut out a lot of the extras that people are used to, but don’t really need when traveling,” said Martine. “Without beverage services, trained pilots or airplanes to account for, you’d be surprised how little it costs to run an airline.”
Passengers on FDA will be loaded in fifty-person batches into a pressurized biodegradable plastic sphere and hurled through the air by minimum wage employees, reaching speeds that NASA scientists have deemed “offensive.” Riders are encouraged to wear helmets, earplugs and many layers of soft clothing, in addition to carrying a precautionary first aid kit, all of which can be purchased at one of Memphis’ 2000 Family Dollar locations.
Martine is hopeful that his employees will take advantage of the complementary jump-seating policy, which allows them to travel on the exterior shell of the sphere to any available destination. In addition, the company plans to offer a seat on the inaugural flight to “anyone adventurous to try our ‘fresh’ produce.”
Round trip services are not offered, nor needed, at present.
Robert Callahan is a member of the Wiseguys and a regular contributor to Fly on the Wall
“I asked him to leave but he wouldn’t,” Grant further explained. “I called the police but the team they sent looked more like a military unit. They had body armor, and all kinds of weapons, and they just started pounding him. It was awful. It was amazing.”
Regional cinemas had been on high alert since Ungolf posted a message on Facebook explaining how he had been "inspired and empowered" by the “rich white people” in a new series of online advertisements for the Motorola Droid Ultra. He said he applauded the telecommunications company for encouraging “sexy rich people” to flirt electronically at “shitty fat people operas.”
“Once these deviant phone behaviors were ascribed only to the poor and powerless — to the gang bangers, and the Norwegians like me,” Ungolf wrote. “Now that we see that hot wealthy American white people in tuxedos are also enjoying these same wicked pleasures there is no turning back.”
In various interviews Ungolf has claimed that the people of Norway didn't appreciate his art either and that he moved to Tennessee after the opening of a 22 screen Muvico megaplex in Downtown Memphis. He has been annoying the shit out of regional cinema and live theater fans since. In fact, he has often been blamed for the now-shuttered Muvico’s ultimate demise.
“People always fear the new,” Ungolf was quoted as saying in August, 2007 after being dragged from the Muvico-22 by the MPD’s Gang Unit.
“If only these stupid cow-faced audiences would listen they would know I am not talking to friends. I am not hooking up to say ‘Yo-yo man, whazzup’ like you see on TV. I am responding in the moment to what is actually happening on the screen. If it is an asshole up there I may say, ‘Look at that asshole up there, who does he think he is?’ And sometimes I am then responding to people who are responding to me. And it is beautiful.”
According to police reports Ungolf was removed from the theater when two Muvico customers who were trying to watch Transformers complained that there was a man behind them who was even louder than a Michael Bay movie, taking selfies and making frequent attempts to contact his drug dealer to obtain marijuana.
Eyewitnesses to Ungolf’s recent arrest say the crowd that assembled at Playhouse on the Square to watch police officers mercilessly brutalize the artist was both large and enthusiastic.
“They were all chanting, ‘Kill him, kill him,” Grant remembered. “I can’t remember who started it,” she added, conspicuously crossing her fingers.
“Best show I’ve seen all year,” community actor Giles Hamm said, after expressing some concerns about the use of excessive force. “That guy who talks through movies was just screaming and asking, ‘where is your freedom of speech now fat opera people? Where is it now?’ And that’s when somebody would hit him in the face again or shoot him with a TASER. You can’t script this stuff.
“I’ve got to admit, I have been concerned about what looks like an epidemic of police brutality in America,” Hamm added. “But this time they were going after somebody who deserved it. They were just kicking the absolute crap out of somebody who I personally hate, and who everybody hates. That kind of thing always brings people together."
Warren Grantham is a Wiseguy and contributor to Fly on the Wall
In light of reports of a giant hat stealing owl in the High Point neighborhood, Dr. Berry is concerned that more terror awaits the Memphis citizenry.
"If it were just the owl, I would be concerned. But not THIS concerned," Dr. Berry said while nervously mixing test tubes filled with colored liquid with dry ice to generate an atmospheric fog. "But you combine this hellish bird with the verified existence of the Midtown Coyote, and it's clear that MONSTERS ARE INVADING THE CITY!!!" Dr. Berry then laughed maniacally and shook his fists towards the Heavens.
According to Dr. Berry, other monsters have been reported in Memphis, but the media has "kept the news buried deep, much like a ghoul. But as we all know, eventually ghouls will emerge!"
Dr. Berry claims that the unreported monster list is extensive. Shuffling through yellowed papers with glyphs and unreadable script, Dr. Berry noted alleged sightings of the Binghampton Buzzard of Monstrous Size, the Collierville Chupacabra, the Whitehaven Dune Worm, the North Memphis Yeti, the Raleigh Tyrannosaurus, the Wolfchase Elder Thing, and the Ghastly Giant Firebreathing Moth of Millington.
"Worst case scenario, these monsters are gathering to destroy every man, woman, child and structure in the city during a monstrous battle royale that will rage on for weeks. Best case scenario? The very same," Dr. Berry stated with unusual gravitas.
Dr. Berry believes this struggle will be triggered when Great Cthulhu arises from his water tomb in the Wolf River Harbor and emits a battle cry to the other beasts. He anticipates this will happen next Thursday. At about 3:30 p.m.
Joey Hack is a Wiseguy and a regular contributor to Fly on the Wall.
The 451 spot parking lot is free this month, but beginning next month parking will cost $3 between 6 pm and 4 am, while remaining free at all other times. That may sound like a good deal but the $3 fee does not sit well with some.
"Freedom to park should be every bit as important to us as freedom of speech and religion," said Jenny Tonic, a 43 year old Midtown resident, and founder of "Don't Tread On Me With Paid Parking," an organization with a mission to make parking fees illegal in Tennessee.
"Our Constitution gives us freedom of assembly. How can we assemble freely if we have to pay to do so? I mean, that's the exact opposite of free!" Tonic said while working on a design for her protest flyer on her Macbook Pro while enjoying a scone and beverage at a local Starbucks that cost a total of $8.42. "Times are tough, and it's ridiculous that we have to pay to park anywhere."
Tonic says that people who believe they will be allowed to park for only $3.00 haven't read the fine print. "Special event parking may have different fees," she insists. "And who exactly do you think it is who gets to decide which events are special? Hint: not you or me."
In addition to her public protest, Tonic is working hard to get a state Constitutional ban on parking fees throughout Tennessee. She has been in contact with state legislators attempting to have them put forward a referendum to amend the state's constitution. So far, no legislators have returned her calls or email.
"I can only assume that these people are in the pockets of Big Parking," Tonic said. "It's frustrating and upsetting. All I know is that until this is resolved, there's no way I'm going to Overton Square. They'll take my $3 from my cold, dead fingers!"
Reports indicate that after the interview, Tonic drove her Acura MDX to a convenience store, where she purchased a pack of cigarettes for $5.89. Later that evening, she reportedly enjoyed three beers at $3.50 apiece at a local bar as she and like minded citizens discussed the proposed amendment.
Joey Hack is a regular contributor to Fly on the Wall and is a member of the Wiseguys improv troupe.
"It’s exciting but it’s also scary," says museum founder and CEO Jerry Manders who originally operated the museum from the back of his 1998 Chevy Tahoe before upgrading to a converted school bus. “We are entering uncharted territory. The NMTI has always been a mobile attraction, but it’s time to settle down, and the fact that this project has such a tremendous reputation for being a SNAFU-plagued money pit is icing on the cake.”
"The building is also attached to this impressive floating boat dock that hasn't really worked out," Manders adds. "There are no downsides to this partnership."
Although he’s happy with the way things have turned out, Beale Street Landing wasn’t Manders' first choice.
“Oh no, it was't even on our radar," he says. "We’d originally hoped to open up shop in the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame building in Cleveland, but when it became clear that space wouldn't be available any time soon, my people put in a more than reasonable offer to move into the empty Memphis Pyramid.
"At the end of the day, unfortunately, the city liked Bass Pro better," Manders says. "It was their decision to make.”
Rather than becoming discouraged after the Bass Pro deal went south, Manders and his “board of directors” — Mittens the one-eyed kitten, an Iguana named Sam, and Dookie, a 13-year-old Basset Hound — decided that Memphis was where they needed to put down roots.
“The decision to put a gigantic Bass Pro store with its own indoor cypress swamp in a building modeled after an Egyptian tomb is absolutely in keeping with our museum’s mission,” Manders says. “It told us that this was where we needed to be.”
Although numerous friends recommended that he look into the Beale Street Landing project, Manders says he was reluctant to do so.
“Frankly, a more developed riverfront seemed like a really good idea to me at the time,” he says. “But when things kept going further and further over budget, I became interested. When they finally built that plaid elevator thing on top I knew it was destiny.”
Manders isn't sure when his new riverfront museum will open, but hopes to announce by the end of next year.
"The Beale Street Landing project is supposed to be complete sometime in 2014, but I'll believe that when I see it," he said.
“I had the agenda set in stone,” said John showing a Google map on his sauce-smeared iPad with pinpoints of BBQ destinations. “They were going to have a tour de force of the finest BBQ ever made. Cozy Corner, Payne’s, Central, I thought they’d love it. Boy, was I wrong.”
John’s culinary plans first hit a bump in the road during his parents initial arrival Friday afternoon. "They pulled up to the house and my dad gets out of the car holding a bag from Burger King" He explained. "Then dad goes on and on about how tasty the Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich was. I was like are you fucking serious?”
It only went downhill from there. After complaints of the appearance and “cultural surroundings” as Sharon Arlington put it, many BBQ restaurants were vetoed by John’s parents in lieu of suggestions like P.F. Chang's, Applebee’s, or “maybe a nice looking Shoney’s.”
Dinner the previous evening was eventually decided to be a Memphis BBQ Chicken Pizza delivered by Domino’s since Sharon had a coupon that was about to expire.
“John tried taking us to all these crazy places,” said Stan Arlington. “Randy’s Cue I think was the name of it, was in some spooky alleyway downtown, and Sharon almost got hit by a bicycler in front of the BBQ Shop place.”
“I liked the ones with the drive-thru like the Porky’s on Popular Street [sic],” noted Sharon Arlington. “It’s so much easier but the sandwiches are just way too big. I usually just eat half a McRib. You should do a story on that so people know when they are for sale again.”
“Never again,” expressed John as he tried to repair his damaged passenger door lock on his car from what he says was due to excessive use by his mother during the visit. His parents then asked if he wanted one of their Swanson Hungry Man Riblet Dinners they were preparing, causing John to dash off in a huff.
“Ever try this stuff? It’s pretty darn good,” claimed Stan.
Edward Valibus is a distinguished archduke of Lithuania currently residing in Memphis, TN. He spends his days frittering away his wealth making independent cinema with his production team Corduroy Wednesday. He holds the current world record for eating the most pudding cups in one hour and is a special contributor to Fly on the Wall
The annual Tetanus Day event is set to take place on Tuesday at the Memphis Scrap Metal Museum and Gift Shop on S. Florida next door to the National Semi-Trailer Graveyard. And, if past experience is any indication, it will not be well attended.
"Well, the idea is that the public is welcome to come on down and step on some rusty nails or scrape their arms with a rusted out piece of metal siding," explained museum spokesperson Russell "Rusty" Troubles. "And then, they sit back and wait for the tetanus to kick in, which can be a few weeks. Less if you're lucky"
The idea behind the event is to give people tetanus in a controlled environment so they can experience muscle spasm and lockjaw through a controlled process, as opposed to less certain exposure through normal means.
"We don't want kids or people over 60 doing this, as it can be real dangerous," Troubles explained. "And, obviously, if you have an up to date tetanus shot, I wouldn't bother."
Participants sign a legal waiver before participating, and are urged to prepare a will and durable power of attorney documents.
Organizers are ambivalent about attendance, but note that they do not expect a large turnout. "Last year, no one took part in this," Troubles said, while passive-aggressively pointing to a museum t-shirt for sale that was clearly marked with a 2008 date. "Zero. That is the same number we've had for the past five years. Honestly, I have no idea why we do this. And, truth be told. you'd be an idiot to participate. It's ridiculous."
The Scrap Metal Museum and Gift shop is open intermittently on weekdays.
Joey Hack is a regular contributor to Fly on the Wall and member of the Wiseguys improv troupe.
“I’ve been coming to this fair off and on my entire life,” said Harmon removing his shirt and hiking up his tube socks. “Sure it’s had some wear and tear over the years, but it’s like they’re not even trying anymore.”
Harmon described how he had struggled to enter the locked Lifestyle Center building for upwards of forty minutes, hoping to get a glimpse of some classic cars, or sit in on the preliminary rounds of the Junior Youth Talent show.
“The cutbacks are really noticeable when you go to see the livestock show,” the delirious man continued. “I don’t think I saw any show animals that weren’t squirrels or birds.”
"Thanks Obama," Harmon shouted and then he proceeded to award a blue ribbon to a nearby tree.
Even though Harmon says he probably won’t be attending the fair in the future, he did have some good things to say about his final visit.
“I like that they added all of this extra parking,” he said. "And I like the construction equipment exhibit." The interview was cut short as Memphis Police arrived to arrest Harmon for destroying a section of the Kroc Center.
“I’m not surprised that something like this could happen,” said Bing Hampton, standing on the sidewalk watching a wrecking crew as they prepared for work. The crew had come come to take down the Taco Bell at 1447 Union, which was built on the site of the previously demolished Taliesyn Ballroom where British Punk band the Sex Pistols played on their disastrous 1978 American tour.
“It's the same old song, isn't it? First we tear down our history and then we tear down the Taco Bell we build on top of it,” said Hampton, wearily shaking his head in response to an announcement that the new Taco Bell being built on top of the old Taco Bell would have a completely different architectural profile.
“Why can’t they do like they did with Stax and build it back exactly the same but with a charter school,” Hampton asked as he gathered discarded building materials to sell on eBay. “The Sex Pistols didn’t really play all that many dates in ‘78 and this Taco Bell was built on top of one of them. It was the Graceland of Taco Bells and Memphis totally blew it. Again.”
Hampton believes the city will someday regret allowing Taco Bell to tear down the Taco Bell it built over the site where the Sex Pistols played.
“Oh well,” he said at length. “I’d rather eat Krystal anyway.”