Bruce is out for the next two weeks, so I'm taking over the column. I know! Listen, no one is sorrier about this state of affairs than I am. You'll just have to bear with me. Stop struggling. It will only hurt a bit.
And, so, a few thoughts and observations ...
• Bruce mentioned in this space last week that when the graves of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife are dug up, it's going to cause a national stink. But what he doesn't know and what I'll tell you now is that the graves are already empty.
I've already mentioned my personal conspiracy theory on Twitter, but it bears repeating here. Stay with me, as it's complicated: Several weeks ago, the city issued a press release that a backhoe had been stolen and was last seen at 3 a.m. (3 a.m.!). The city asked for any information on the missing backhoe, knowing full well that MLGW's smart meters had meanwhile told Zimm the monkey how to escape the enclosure in the Memphis Zoo and, furthermore, told her how to elude capture. So while we were all fixated on the monkey, the city used the "stolen" backhoe to dig up the grand wizard and his wife. When the coast was clear, Zimm was finally nabbed. That Zimm has been kept out of the public eye since means that she knows too much.
• I know all the winners of this year's Best of Memphis. Well, not by heart. One upset surprised me. You can check it out when the Best of issue hits the stands September 30th.
• Cotton candy grapes ... I don't ... I can't ...
• The other day I was working the front desk when a woman called in who wanted to talk to someone about Elvis. I told her it was a broad topic, could she narrow it down? She said the history of Elvis. I transferred her to a coworker.
• I'm about a third of the way through Andy Weir's The Martian. Really enjoying it so far. Soon to be a major motion picture.
• I recently joined Instagram. The account's devoted to my dog Janet. (That's her pictured at top.) I read somewhere that Grumpy Cat has made something like $100 million, and while Janet is no Grumpy Cat, I thought maybe she was worth a fraction of that. I only have 10 followers, so I'm thinking I might have possibly been unrealistic. In any case, @janetellisthedog.
• A couple weeks ago, my mother sent me 24 dish towels. Seriously, I have no clue, except that I'm now set in dish towels for life.
• I followed Saturday's TEDxMemphis on Twitter. The theme was "What's Next." Lots of enthusiasm. A few of the highlights of many I gathered from Twitter were Todd Richardson's "Civic pride produces economic development"; Marco Pavé's call for more support of the arts; Melissa Sweazy on free-range parenting; and Kimbal Musk's "Obesity is not a barbecue problem" and "real food is the new internet."
It was hard to get the full context of TEDxMemphis via Twitter. So, what's next, Memphis?
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."
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.
I'm writing this from the restroom facility at Big Hill Pond State Park in southern McNairy County. On Monday, I commandeered the building, which contains the men's and women's restrooms, some racks of pamphlets, and two vending machines. There's no one here right now, but I plan to stay as long as necessary to protest the fact that the state of Tennessee is run by oppressive know-nothings who wouldn't know small government — or freedom, for that matter — if it bit them on their considerable backsides ...