Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Questions Raised By Billy Joel's "Piano Man"

Posted By on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 1:43 PM

What is Billy Joel pointing at?
  • What is Billy Joel pointing at?
Billy Joel is making a rare Memphis appearance next week. And, as Memphis prepares for the wave of Billymania sure to sweep through the ranks of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents who are really into him, we take time to reflect on Joel’s signature song, Piano Man. The iconic tune is filled with enigmas and mysteries. And perhaps riddles. The point is, we have the questions. Perhaps you have the answers.

1. How does one make love to a tonic and gin? Or any other beverage?

2. Who has ever used the phrase “I knew it complete.”

3. When the old man says he knew the song when he wore a younger man’s clothes, does he simply mean he knew it when he was younger, or did he murder some guy, steal his clothes, and sing a sad and sweet song? Why does the old man talk in this affected manner?

4.Is John a good bartender? He doles out free drinks, which can’t be good for business, right?

5. Is John a good actor? Could he, indeed, be a movie star? Has he tried acting? Or does he just think that, on the strength of his ability to quickly light cigarettes and tell jokes he could be a movie star? Even if he can’t get out of that place (for whatever reason, perhaps this is an indictment of the nation’s refusal to adopt a country-wide rail system), he could try acting at some level, don’t you think? Maybe take a class.

6. What kind of politics is the waitress practicing? Is she Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or perhaps Tea Party? Should she be getting political in a bar? It seems a dangerous tactic as she shouldn’t want to offend a potential tipper.

7. Why are the businessmen getting stoned in the bar? Drunk, sure. But stoned? This seems legally ill advised, unless the bar is in Amsterdam. Or Colorado.

Who is sharing a drink called loneliness. Is it just the businessmen? Or is the waitress also somehow involved? Is that wise? And is it actually better than drinking alone? Depends on the other businessmen, I suppose.

9. What the hell is a real estate novelist? Does real estate novelling actually eat up so much time that you can’t find a wife? I think Paul just didn’t really want one and uses that as an excuse.

10. Which would explain why he’s talking to Davy, who conveniently for rhyming purposes, is in the Navy.

11. I understand why the microphone smells like a beer. As we’ve established, John gives Bill free beers, so it’s no wonder that the mic smells of free beer. But how does a piano sound like a carnival? Is he just playing that clown song over and over again? You know the one. They always play it at circuses. If that’s the case, I do not understand why the bar retains Bill. Unless it is a clown bar. Which would be awesome, but unlikely, as real estate novelists hate clowns.

12. Is it appropriate to tip musicians with bread? Maybe it is in a clown bar.

13. When the crowd asks Bill “Man, what are you doing here?” is it because he keeps playing that carnival song, and is not actually hired by the bar? If so, John really shouldn’t give him free drinks.

Joey Hack is a member of the Wiseguys Improv troupe and a kind of regular contributor to Fly on the Wall.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

24 Ways Germantowners are Preparing for the Arrival of Trader Joe's

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 11:39 AM

Insert Heavenly harps and angel choir music here. Or "Arthur's Theme."
  • Insert Heavenly harps and angel choir music here. Or "Arthur's Theme."

Did you hear there's a Trader Joe's coming to Germantown? (pause for laughter). Yeah, us too. But did you hear all the ways Germantown residents are preparing for the blessed event? If not, we've got you covered.

• Germantown City Council ceases throwing virgins into volcano in tribute to Haikili, who has now granted their desires.

• Massive Yacht Rock party at Chad's house!

• Setting up rest stations/credit check agencies for weary midtown travelers.  

• Installing toll booths at all Western entrances.

• Speed limit on Poplar between West Street and Forest Hill will be lowered to 3-mph.

• Another massive Yacht Rock party at Chad's house!

• Purchasing $20 cheeses to pair with Two Buck Chuck. Meanwhile...

• Every man in Germantown named Charles braces for when people start to call him "Two Buck Chuck".

• Having t-shirts, bumper stickers, yard signs and internet memes made: "A bad day at Germantown Trader Joe's is better than a good day at Murder Kroger! "

• Calling all Midtown friends and starting the conversation with, "I heard you guys finally got a Fresh Market. That's cute."

• Hiring the Whiffenpoofs of Yale to stand near the construction site and sing the praises of Trader Joe's every weekday until the store opens. Also hiring Loggins & Messina to play at...


• Merchants to open eight new pizza restaurants within a block of Trader Joe's site.

• All Midtown ex-pats will add a line about Traders Joe's to their "see, Germantown's not that bad" speech.

• Citizens begin two years researching the varieties of artisan jerky that will be available to them.

• Spies sent to the Cooper Young festival to learn how to be snobbish to "outsiders".

• Capital campaign launched to build tear cistern in Midtown as an environmentally friendly way to water Trader Joe's lawn.

• New tennis skirts and yoga pants!

• Blocking texts and voicemails from midtown/downtown friends before they start asking if you might pick up a few things, "next time you're coming to town."

• Pop up emergency grief counseling clinic in Crosstown!

• Addition of commemorative plaques marking important stops along the great white migration.

• Germantown Charity Horse Show to be renamed Germantown and Trader Joe's Are Better Than You (Horse Show).

• Publix, Winn-Dixie, H-E-B, and Piggly Wiggly are buying prime retail space in Germantown to make it West Tennessee's official Grocery District.

• Party at Chad's to feature all the white wine. And an intimate set by Michael McDonald! 

This list was made with the help of Improv superheroes, The Wiseguys. 

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!

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Hey Girl": Some Valentine's Day Pick-Up Lines That Are Guaranteed to Elicit a Response*

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM

It's the time of year when we celebrate love. Or something. So, uh... here you go...


Hey girl, they should call you Charlie Rose, 'cause I like falling asleep while you talk.

Hey girl, they should call you Captain Crunch, 'cause I want to wake up to you.

Hey girl, they should call you Fred Sanford, 'cause I'd like you to handle my junk.



Hey girl, they should call you a cab, so you can come to my house and get busy.

Hey girl, what's your sign? I hope it's DIVIDED HIGHWAY because I have a road sign fetish.

Hey girl, you're prettier than that girl in those ads for the Kindle feature where you get help from a live person right on the damn Kindle.


Hey girl, they should call you Jabba, 'cause I'd love to have you all up in my hut.

Hey girl, I hope you like ham sandwiches because that's what I made for dinner.

Hey girl, I hope you like reality TV because I'm the Biggest Loser.

Hey girl, I wouldn't mind being a Corvette if you were a sinkhole.

Hey girl, if loving you ain't logical, then just call me Evil Spock. You know, from that episode where everybody was opposite and all.


Hey girl, if they had a bootylicious olympics, you'd have a high medal count.

Hey girl, i was nice to you for a few minutes back in middle school, you owe me.

Hey girl, do you like chicken? I'm a vegan you disgust me.

Hey girl, let's play Dominos and get this done in 30 minutes or less.

Hey girl, do you like portmanteaus? Because I wanna smang it baby.

Hey girl, you must be gluten free...seriously you MUST be, because I am Highly intolerant.

Hey girl, are you on Game of Thrones, because I have no idea who you are or what your name is.


Hey girl, if love were candy corn, then I'd have a bag and a half when I'm around you.

Hey girl, are you Brian Kelsey, because you have turned the gay away. (Yeah, we know, we know...)

Hey girl, they should call your bed Disney World, because it's the happiest place on Earth. Also due to the lines.


Okay, that's the best we can do. You're on your own from here. And remember, a *cold uninterested stare is still a response.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Alternative Uses for Jack Pirtle's Gravy

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Okay, now it's y'all's turn.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey's 10 Best Paranoid Fantasies

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Twelve Reasons to Visit the Delta Fair

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Monday, July 29, 2013

Chuck & Barack: An Extraordinary Correspondence

Posted By on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 9:49 PM

By now everyone has surely seen the extraordinary postcard 3rd-District Congressman Chuck Fleischmann created for the benefit of President Barack Obama. But have you seen the President's extraordinary response?

From Chuck:



From Barack:

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Smart Meters and You

Posted By on Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 10:09 PM

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Monday, July 1, 2013

New Gun Law May Impact Junk in Your Trunk

Posted By on Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Eat me
  • Eat me
Tennessee's "Guns In Trunks" law takes effect today. State and city leaders are still not in agreement as to how this impacts employers' rights to establish rules prohibiting guns on their property.

It is also unclear whether this law will impact the 1995 "Junk In The Trunk" law enacted after state legislators watched an episode of The Jerry Springer Show and ate some ham.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Six new names for Paula Deen's buffet that should probably be avoided

Posted By on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 2:09 AM

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Knock Knock?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.
  • "Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying."

Knock Knock?
Who's There?
Get a new lawyer.
Get a new lawyer who?
No, seriously, get a new lawyer.

How Not To Give An Opening Argument

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