Do you know about Nextdoor.com? It's a social media site that links you with your neighbors, providing an online forum for discussing common concerns: garage sales, lost and found pets, garbage and recycling, criminal activity, references for chimney sweeps and handymen, and curb alerts, where someone announces they're putting, say, an old couch on the curb. First come, first served.
Last Sunday, the greatest curb alert of all time was posted on the Central Gardens Nextdoor.com site. It read:
Curb Alert - Ole Miss Football Season
The Ole Miss football season is on the curb by the Liberty Bowl.
Frankly, it was a rare example of wit on the site. Most posts are pretty mundane and some are borderline paranoid. "Suspicious" is perhaps the most-used word on Nextdoor.com. As in, "suspicious-looking teens walking down alley behind my house on Vinton at 4:45 p.m. Be aware." I leave it to you to guess what usually constitutes a suspicious-looking teen. But, occasional paranoia aside, the site is pretty useful.
As is a big win over that SEC team from Oxford.
I was out Friday night, listening to the City Champs at the Buccaneer. During a break, I got into a conversation with a couple of Ole Miss fans from Nashville. I could tell they were Ole Miss fans because they were dressed entirely in red and white, and they were a little drunk and a little loud. But they were raving about Memphis. Seriously.
"There's no music like this in Nashville," they said. "There are no little clubs like this. It's all that country shit." They'd just had a large time earlier in the evening in Cooper-Young, and then in Overton Square, where someone had told them that they'd hear the best music in town at the Buc.
Then talk turned, as it must when talking to people dressed in garish school colors, to football. The Rebel fans conceded that Memphis had a nice offense and that Paxton Lynch was a "good college quarterback." But, they explained, helpfully, Memphis was not ready for SEC competition. "Y'all's defense won't know what hit them," they said. "SEC football is on a different level. It might be a game for a quarter or so," they said, "but our depth will wear y'all down."
I blush to admit now that I sort of agreed with them. Like most Memphians, I was hoping the Tigers could score enough to make the game interesting, but I had few illusions that Memphis could actually beat Ole Miss.
I've never been happier to be wrong about something in my life. And I'm happy the Ole Miss fans at least had a great night in Memphis before their team got kicked to the curb.
They were right about one thing: It was a game for a quarter or so.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. — William Shakespeare
Is there such a thing as "bad activism"? I'm asking because I'm seeing a lot of criticism of the folks who are protesting the Memphis Zoo's encroachment onto the Greensward at Overton Park.
Exactly seven years ago this week, I wrote a column decrying a proposal by city engineers to turn the Overton Park Greensward into an 18-foot-deep "detention basin" designed to stop flooding in Midtown. The engineers claimed we'd hardly notice the football-field-sized bowl. "Except," I wrote then, "when it rains hard, at which time, users of Overton Park would probably notice a large, 18-foot-deep lake in the Greensward. Or afterward, a large, muddy, trash-filled depression."