Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Plan Would Transform Overton Park Greensward into “Hippy Hollow” Exhibit and “Punching Zoo”

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM

  • Grass
What do you do when your park/parking lot is infested with a bunch of protesters, frisbee enthusiasts, and drum circle junkies who think they have the right to tell motorists where they can and can’t park their cars? It’s a problem every green space faces sooner or later and, once again, this was Memphis’ year to confront a never ending national dilemma. In recent weeks a pack of hippies have occupied Overton Park, shaming potential Memphis zoo patrons by telling them they aren’t welcome to park on the grass. After much contention between various parties, and solutions that make nobody happy, Jimmy LeDouche, a self-employed white guy from Cordova thinks he has a viable alternative plan.

“The best part is that you don’t even have to tell the hippies to shut up,” LeDouche boasts. “The angrier and louder they are, the better things work out for everybody.”

LaDouche is the founder of ZooFist, a new philanthropic organization created to “protect and enstrengthen” the Memphis zoo and other zoos, parks, and zoos in parks with a “hippie problem.”

“These people live to protest,” LaDouche says. “God love ‘em, it’s what they do. It’s in their nature. In some cases it’s part of the mating ritual. So if the zoo can’t get them off the greensward then maybe the best thing to do is to expand the zoo, transforming a portion of the park into a natural hippy habitat that also includes plenty of on-grass parking."

“I call it Hippy Hollow,” LaDouche says, pointing out the success of attractions like Primate Canyon, and Cat Country that have brought, “a fuck-ton” of visitors to the park, creating the need for common sense parking solutions that, “don't force people to walk on dangerous inner city sidewalks or be trammed from a location full of morally questionable theaters, then whisked through a terrifying forest filled with litterbugs and lesbians.”

Carmine Ragusa, a PR specialist with Milwaukee's Hasenpfeffer Ink has been working closely with ZooFist. "This could be huge," he says. "Hippies have more in common with hippos than just a lot of letters. They’re both things you want your kids to experience, just not up close.”

One advantage LaDouche sees in this bold new proposal is that no other zoo in the world is currently exhibiting American hippies. Although a deal has yet to be struck, ZooFist is currently in negotiations with "a guy in China" to create mutually beneficial hippy/panda exchange programs.

“The sticky part,” Ragusa adds reluctantly, “Is that you can’t technically cage up hippies and send them to China against their will. Not even the traditional American longhair, which is endangered."

LaDouche believes ZooFist's offer of free rent and all the grass and seeds you can "eat, smoke, or whatever," plus "some really egregious shit to protest" will attract more than enough interest.

Dagobah Fleen of the American Federation of Hippies thinks LaDouche's plan just might work.

"I don't like it," Fleen says, shrugging. "But as long as there's strong, enforceable provisions to forcibly house displaced animals or homeless people with neighborhood families, this will probably fly. We just want to know it isn't park gentrification as usual."

LaDouche says he is most excited about opening Memphis' first "punching zoo," which he describes as being, "Exactly like a petting zoo but with hitting and gouging."

"Visitors will be more than happy to pay a premium for this add-on," Ragusa says. "And at $5-$7 a head the punching attraction will quickly and easily raise enough revenue to pave and line as much of the park as necessary."

Zoo officials have not been contacted for comment regarding the Hippy Hollow proposal because we’re a little bit afraid of them.

Comedian Josh Androsky Ate Magic Mushrooms and Went on "The Price is Right." This Week He Plays the Poplar Lounge

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2014 at 12:24 PM

The Price Is Rights Skateboard Rabbi
  • The Price Is Right's Skateboard Rabbi

Tomorrow night (Thursday, May 29), the Poplar Lounge will play host to a trio of up-and-coming touring comedians: Chris Cubas, Jake Flores, and Josh Androsky.

Cubas hails from Austin, TX and was named one of Comedy Central's nine “comics to watch” in 2013. He's also a regular guest on Doug Benson's Doug Loves Movies podcast. Flores comes from Austin as well (though he now resides in Brooklyn, NY) and is a contributor to VICE Magazine and But the highlight of the bill might be Androsky, an Los Angeles, CA-based writer/comedian who is perhaps best known as the 'shroom-tripping “Skateboard Rabbi” from TV's The Price Is Right.

Yep, you read that correctly. In May of 2012, Josh Androsky and a group of friends attended a live taping of the Drew Carey-hosted game-show while under the influence of multiple substances, including hallucinogenic mushrooms. Androsky was called up as a contestant at the beginning of the show, and the rest, as they say, was pure comedy gold.

Here's Androsky recounting the tale as a guest on NPR's This American Life

And here's the actual footage of his appearance on The Price Is Right as it aired on network airwaves:

Josh Androsky, Chris Cubas and Jake Flores perform Thursday, May 29 at 8 p.m. at the Poplar Lounge. Admission is $3. Local comedians Katrina Coleman and Josh McLane will also perform.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Introducing the Amazing Elvis Pregnancy Test for Lions and Tigers and Bears

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Will work for a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Or any sandwich, really.
  • Will work for a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Or any sandwich, really.
Here at Fly on the Wall we like to keep readers up to date on all things related to, inspired by, and named after the King of Rock and Roll. Take, for example, Elvis the pregnancy sniffing beagle.

The relevant information:

A two-year-old beagle’s nose is about as accurate as an over-the-counter pregnancy test. Scientists at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) tested to see if a dog named Elvis could distinguish a pregnant polar bear from a non-pregnant bear by smelling fecal samples last year. Elvis was 97 per cent accurate. He was trained to pause and sit when he detects a pregnancy and to not show interest in samples from non-pregnant bears. After his training, Elvis was put to the test in October 2013. He was given 34 samples of feces to sniff from the 17 potentially pregnant polar bears that mated in the spring. The zoos that participated in this study were then told whether or not Elvis suspected their polar bears were pregnant.
This study is meant to help zoos determine whether or not they should mimic wild conditions for pregnant polar bears in the winter. In the wild, pregnant polar bears enter dens and don’t eat or drink for months. Non-pregnant bears spend the winter outside of dens. Zoos want to isolate the pregnant bears with little disruption and film them to know when babies are born and let non-pregnant females enjoy winter by swimming and socializing while out on exhibit with the other bears.

This sniffer-dog project is still in the testing phase.

Eddie Izzard Returns to the Scene of the Crime: Overton Square

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Last week Eddie Izzard told the Memphis Flyer all about his first performance in America, in a parking lot that is now the deck for Bosco's Squared.

Eddie Izzard in Midtown
  • Eddie Izzard in Midtown

While in town for his Orpheum date the comic visited the spot where he rode a 5-foot unicycle while escaping from handcuffs. And then, of course, he posted a selfie.

Technically, this shot is a little to the Southwest of the spot where Memphians, intrigued by the unicycle, encouraged Izzard to, "Ride that thing."

Proposal Would Replace Midtown's Old Forest with a Newer Model

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Some of my best friends are trees, says Portland transplant Lake Tweely
  • "Some of my best friends are trees," says Portland transplant Lake Tweely
Lake Tweely thinks Memphis has a lot of potential. The Boise native who spent a year-and-a-half in Portland before moving to a place where he thought that might actually impress somebody, cited all of the good things happening with Overton Square, Crosstown, Broad Ave., and Cooper Young, before airing his lone grievance and sharing his bold vision for the future.

"This place has so much energy and soul," Tweely says. "But the so-called 'Old Forest' thing that's happening in Overton Park has got to come down." Tweely isn't anti-tree, he just thinks Memphis would be better served by a newer forest that's up to date and appeals to younger people.

"The name says it all," Tweely elaborates. "'The Old Forest' doesn't sound like a place you hang out with your friends, it sounds like a place you go to kick your meth habit or something."

Although plans have yet to be finalized,Tweely has some ideas about what a new Midtown forest might look like.

"First, it has to be organic," he says. "So, to my mind it all comes back to food trucks and locally-produced craft beer. These are the sorts of things younger people expect from nature, and if we want to attract and keep innovative business-minded people in Memphis, we can't afford to not do this."

Tweely also invisions pop-up style kiosks he calls "coffee stumps," that would sell beverages and gourmet donuts while providing gallery space for local artists.

"Right now I'm talking to fabricators who build those cell phone towers that look like trees," Tweely says. "Can you imagine a brand new forest full of craft beer and artisanal donuts with the fastest Internet in the city? Of course you can't. That's what I'm here for."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Birthday: Ozzy Osbourne's Memphis Mugshot Turns 30!

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 1:34 PM

It seems like only yesterday that the Prince of Darkness was picked up stumbling drunk and tossed into the slammer by a couple of Beale Street cops. But 30-years has passed since the infamously drug and booze-fueled Ozzy/Mötley Crüe show came to the Mid-South Coliseum, May 15, 1984.

In honor of this momentous occasion Fly on the Wall wishes a slightly belated birthday to Ozzy's mug shot.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Awkward Reporter Photos: WREG's Melissa Moon poses with Superman, Batman, and the Amazing Spider-Man who's "Going Commando"

Posted By on Sat, May 10, 2014 at 9:53 AM

WREG reporter Melissa Moon tweeted this shot from a charity 5-k.


Is that a web shooter in your tights or are you just happy to see me?
  • Is that a web shooter in your tights or are you just happy to see me?

Also of note, Batwood.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Street Art: Marisol Tributes Appear on South Main

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Holy Family, Batman!
  • Holy Family, Batman!

While biking downtown today I ran into Brooks Museum curator. Marina Pacini. She was surveying the installation of some nifty student work inspired by French/Venezuelan pop artist Marisol that's on display in various shop windows along S. Main.

Marisol's "Holy Family" is one of the most striking pieces in the Brooks' permanent collection and Pacini has devoted a lot of time in recent years preparing a retrospective exhibition that opens in Memphis June 14. At a glance, the catalog looks fantastic.

Here are some of the window pieces.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bottom Line: Memphis Wants Candy

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 6:34 PM

For maximum enjoyment play this song while perusing.

A recent Commercial Appeal feature spotlighting Memphis Mayor AC Wharton's "Blueprint for Prosperity" yielded this charming anecdote from the Whitehaven Christmas parade.

Once upon a time Mayor Wharton was riding in a convertible through the streets of Whitehaven where he tossed individually-wrapped pieces of candy to the cheering crowd. While most parade-goers were happy to jockey for the colorful morsels, as is the custom, one woman rejected his honor's sugary gift and called out to the mayor louder than all the rest.

“I don’t want no damn candy," she said, clearly nonplussed. "I want a job!”

Its whats for dinner.
  • It's what's for dinner.

Being a wise mayor, Wharton recognized the truth behind the woman's stinging words.

“We’ve been throwing them candy," Wharton later acknowledged, realizing that his current sweet-related policies could never satisfy the basic needs of his hungry constituents let alone their late-night cravings.

"What they want to do is to be able to buy their own candy."

Mind. Blown.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Jolly Royals: Eleven Tips for Random Encounters with Visiting Monarchists

Posted By on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 10:39 AM


Psssssst! Have you heard the news? Prince Harry's in Memphis this weekend. And since British people aren't like us and British Royal people aren't like anybody, Fly on the Wall has assembled a handy guide for navigating any and all potentially embarrassing confrontations with traveling, quite possibly nude monarchists.

1. Never forget: British royalty is empowered to behead people in any nation which they visit. So don't sass them!


2. If a member of the royal family addresses you, all responses should be predicated with "Hello, what?"

Proper attire for speaking to a Royal Person
  • Proper attire for speaking to a Royal Person

3. It is now considered bad form to refer to any member of the royal family as "Jughead".

4. Do not attempt to feed the royals. Their palates are adjusted to British cuisine, and artisanal pork rinds and heavily seasoned barbecue may disorient them.

That alley looks familiar. Oh no. No. NO!
  • That alley looks familiar. Oh no. No. NO!

5. Anytime a member of the royal family passes, it is traditional that anyone with a saxophone play "Yakkity Sax" until they are out of sight.

6. Remind members of the royal family that Memphis has its own King. And then say "Thank you very much" while impersonating Elvis. They will be amused with this every single time. (Note: Myron Lowery has been designated as the city's person to officially make this joke the first time. Please respect this).

7. Try to avoid taking naked pictures of any member of the royal family. It upsets them.


8. If you give a member of the royal family a shiny penny, they are obligated to confer knighthood on you at that very moment. This also works with gifts of enchanted swords and strange beasts.

9. Do not invite members of the royal family to your Fourth of July picnic. It's too soon.

10. Members of the royal family enjoy nothing more than listening to you recite lines from Monty Python sketches and films. Follow them around bellowing these at every opportunity. Also, Downton Abbey. Strangely enough, however, they have no insight into "Game of Thrones." So don't ask them to explain it to you.


11. In case it comes up, remember that "pudding" is not the same thing in England as it is here. Here it is a dessert. In England it is an antibacterial ointment.

What a lovely pudding!
  • What a lovely pudding!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ride it Prince Harry: Did Fox 13's Lauren Lee Launch the Tweet of the Year?

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2014 at 1:26 PM

We're not sure what Fox News reporter Lauren Lee was doing at The Pony, but boy are we glad that she shared this fine example of Southern hospitality.

Clothing optional?
  • Clothing optional?

Oops! The "Commercial Appeal" Discovers That Juxtaposition Can Be Troublesome

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Memphis' Commercial Appeal used to advertise the newspaper's lasting value using the motto, "If you haven't read it it's still news." The same basic principle applies to publishing fails, we think.


Earlier this week a fellow staffer at Contemporary Media dropped by the Fly Cube brandishing the War on Terror section of the CA from January 9, 2005, which he'd discovered while doing some spring cleaning. It's as good an example as any of why, regardless of actual content, some ads just don't fit with some stories.


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