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by Tim Sampson

thursday, september 24

Okay. Everyone knows the “in bed” game. You know, when you get a fortune cookie, you read it aloud, followed by that phrase. Example: “You find great satisfaction in doing good things for others today . . . in bed.” But I say, since the whole damn country can’t think or talk about anything other than President Clinton’s private sex life, we change “in bed” to “while being forced to stare at nude photos of Ken Starr” and have it apply to more than just fortune cookies. Juvenile? Of course. But just try it. Here’s a few lines from Sunday’s Commercial Appeal that become much more interesting when given this application. From the U.S. Space and Rocket Center: “‘Oops,’ whispered my 4-year-old son Josh, releasing the joystick of the ‘Land of the Shuttle’ flight simulator we had so cluelessly piloted together, while being forced to stare at nude photos of Ken Starr.” After which Josh comments, “This is just so cool, Daddy. Wanna try it again?” My, my. For you health and fitness buffs: “Lie on your back with your left foot flat on the floor and your right leg extended, while being forced to stare at nude photos of Ken Starr.” Sounds difficult, but the article points out that “you can use your hands, a towel, or a rope to hold your leg in position.” And don’t think you’re too old to exercise. Consider this: “The mental lift that strength training delivers has been shown in younger and middle-aged adults, and now a new study found that women in their ’70s benefit too, while being forced to stare at nude photos of Ken Starr.” Here’s one Monica could have used if she were a Taurus, from Sunday’s horoscope: “Heed inclinations urging you to reorganize your affairs in ways that make you more productive, while being forced to stare at nude photos of Ken Starr.” This could also be applied to phrases, movie and song titles, and famous quotes to make them more interesting. Like: “The grass is always greener while being forced to stare at nude photos of Ken Starr.” “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country while being forced to stare at nude photos of Ken Starr.” How Stella Got Her Groove Back While Being Forced to Stare at Nude Photos of Ken Starr. There’s Something About Mary While Being Forced to Stare at Nude Photos of Ken Starr. And my personal favorite: Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte While Being Forced to Stare at Nude Photos of Ken Starr. So there. Just a new way to think about things – if you don’t mind grossing even yourself out, as I just have. In the meantime, life goes on, and here’s a brief look at what’s going on around town this week. Tonight, at the University of Memphis’ Theatre Building, it’s opening night of The Tempest, performed by ACTER, a group of artists from the Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre of Great Britain, and other English companies. At Memphis College of Art, there’s The Way We Wore Fashion Preview and Cocktail Party, which kicks off the Gayle Kirkpatrick retrospective of fashions from the ’60s and ’70s; proceeds benefit the Gayle Kirkpatrick Scholarship Fund. Down in Tunica, Ray Charles is playing tonight at the Horseshoe Casino. Back in town at the New Daisy, there’s the kick-off party for River of Song, a Smithsonian Museum-sponsored project that examines American music from the banks of the Mississippi; then there’s the Keith Sykes Songwriter Showcase at the Black Diamond on Beale; today kicks off the weekend-long Memphis Dulcimer Festival at Idlewild Presbyterian Church; and at The Map Room, there’s a live show by David Quimby and the Simple One. And last but certainly not least, the Mid-South Fair starts today.

friday, september 25

Back at Memphis College of Art, there’s an opening reception for a new exhibition, “Figuring: Representations of the Human Body.” For animal lovers, there’s Who’s Who in the Zoo After Dark at the Memphis Zoo, a fund-raiser for the American Association of Zoo Keepers’ conservation programs, featuring behind-the-scenes tours, chats with the keepers, games, and food. Across town, there’s Summer Nights at Lichterman at Lichterman Nature Center, with picnicking and various programs. As for live music, Frank Sinatra Jr. is performing big-band tunes down at Grand Casino; Paul Revere & The Raiders are playing a free concert at Fitzgeralds Casino; renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma is performing with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at Germantown Performing Arts Centre as part of GPAC’s fifth-anniversary celebration; Alicia Merritt is playing her Celtic brand of music at Kudzu’s; and surf rockers Man or Astroman? are playing at Barristers. And for the happy hour of all happy hours, the Flyer is hosting an Alley Party this evening in the alley next to Sleep-Out Louie’s.

saturday, september 26

And there’s yet more live music tonight. At the Hard Rock Cafe, you can hear some of Memphis’ best at the NARAS Indie Label Showcase; there’s a Jerry Lewis Birthday Bash at the New Daisy; the Tunes in Bloom: Memphis Music Showcase at Memphis Botanic Gardens features live music by a number of local bands, including Faces With Shoes, Elmo & the Shades, FreeWorld, and Straight Up Buzz; Matchbox 20 with opening act Paula Cole are at The Pyramid; there’s great R&B/jazz by Blue Silk at French Quarter Suites; and there’s live music at this afternoon’s Art Farm, an open house of the Marshall-Monroe neighborhood art district, which begins at Marshall Arts and includes walking tours, food, and more. And for non-live music, check out today’s Memphis Record Convention at the Ridgeway Hotel, where you can choose from new and used CDs, hard-to-find vinyl records, imports, and music memorabilia.

sunday, september 27

At the University of Memphis Art Museum, there’s an opening reception this afternoon for “Long Memory/Short Memory,” an exhibit by 10 Israeli artists. Later, Frankie Beverly & Maze are in concert at the Mud Island Amphitheatre, and CeCe Winans is on the Main Stage at the Mid-South Fair.

monday, september 28

Back at the Mid-South Fair, Wayne Newton is playing tonight (eerie, I know). And back at the New Daisy, there’s a live show by Monster Magnet.

tuesday, september 29

George Jones at the Mid-South Fair.

wednesday, september 30

The Neville Brothers at the Mid-South Fair. Jimmy Davis at the Hard Rock. And today’s Calvary and the Arts noon concert at Calvary Episcopal Church is by the ever-wonderful Reba Russell Band. And there you have it. As always, you can do any, all, or none of the aforementioned. I don’t really care what you do, because I don’t even know you, and unless you can get me a bumper sticker that says “I Brake for Crack,” then I’m sure I never want to meet you. Besides, it’s time for me to blow this dump and go finish my remake of the song “Live and Let Die, While Being Forced to Stare at Nude Photos of Ken Starr.”

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