Midtown is Midtown

Friday, November 30, 2018

Citizens Organize to Protect Neighborhood Bar With Wall, Moat

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2018 at 1:58 PM

Community organizer Bing Hampton knows his audience. "Big Development's not gonna get their grubby paws on Alex's Tavern," he shouts into his trusty bullhorn. There's no reason to believe developers of any size are looking to acquire the Jackson Avenue institution, but that did not allay the concerns of roughly two-dozen Midtowners who waved signs with all-cap messages like "THE DIVE MUST SURVIVE," and answered back, "Hell no."

"We've started a GimmeGimme fund to build a wall around this treasured drinking establishment," says Hampton, whose career in activism began when he organized protests to prevent a new Taco Bell from being built over the old Taco Bell that was built over the even older Taliesyn Ballroom where British Punk band the Sex Pistols played on their disastrous 1978 American tour. Hampton says he's still sore about losing that fight but counts his campaign to prevent the Union Avenue Kroger from being built in Germantown as a total win.

"I've shown the power of getting out in front of a problems that don't yet exist," Hampton told the crowd, recalling how he was shocked at first by news that his favorite Midtown bar,  Zinnie's, was closing as the result of neighborhood gentrification. Then he was disgusted when he heard it probably had nothing to do with gentrification. Then he was dismayed when he learned that sometimes stories are complicated with many shifting perspectives and no discernible hero or villain.

"The big takeaway for me was, we've got to save Alex's," Hampton announced to even greater applause. "And Murphy's too," he added. "But not right now because you've got to start somewhere and Alex's seems doable. Besides, the Murphy's guy heckled my band once, so whatever, dude."

Hampton told Fly on the Wall he'd already raised $80 toward erecting "a substantial
Bing Hampton
  • Bing Hampton
   fence," but won't be able to move forward with his multi-phase plan until he hears back from tavern owner, Rocky Kasaftes, whom he's yet to contact.

"We want to do a crocodile moat too, or maybe a snake pit," Hampton said, in his address. "Snakes. Snakes. Snakes," the crowd chanted.

"It would be nice to see a developer eaten by either crocodiles or snakes," says former Midtown resident and dive bar enthusiast Chelsea Lamar. "I miss all these shithole places I used go to before I moved," she adds. Lamar, who swears "shithole" is a term of endearment, now lives in Cordova. "Even if I can't patronize any of these bars anymore, it comforts me just knowing that they're there," she says.
Yes, this is a parody. Didn't you see the black and yellow tab up top?

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Great National Pancake Day Robbery + A Thirsty Burglar

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 11:55 AM

Fly on the Wall's always looking to spot new trends in TV reporting and WMC's recent marriage of food and crime news looks promising.
From this list of headlines we discover two things: It's national pancake day (who knew?). Also, the International House of Pancakes in Midtown was robbed.

Good news/Bad news
  • Good news/Bad news

WMC has also alerted Mid-southerners to the activities of a very thirsty burglar who'll break into your house and steal all your Capri Sun. We bet this fiend would grab your SunnyD too, given half a chance. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Guyliner Jesus and St. Manbun Go to Cash Saver

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 7:17 PM

Blessed are the FLEEK!
  • Blessed are the FLEEK!
Surely somebody on your Christmas list will appreciate Guyliner Jesus and St. Manbun. Both action figures are currently available at the Midtown Cash Saver. You can buy them separately, but obviously they'll be a lot more fun as a set. Because you can pose them and make up stories and stuff.
GuyLinerJesus: 'Sup, Bunny, what brings you to the Cash Saver this blessed day?

St. ManBun: You know, just getting some Pledge and stuff to shine my bling. You?
GuyLiner Jesus:  Doubting Thomas wants to see some boob, check it out.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Zoo President Shot After Falling Into Gorilla Enclosure

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 7:05 PM

Former friends Chuck & MJ
  • Former friends Chuck & MJ
Gorilla keeper Inna Myst says her team of large primate experts responded appropriately after Memphis Zoo President Chuck Brady fell into Primate Canyon's gorilla exhibit. "We understand the public's concern," Myst says. "We shot the chief executive of a major zoological attraction and Memphis deserves an explanation. I just want  everybody to understand that a lot of thought goes into our contingency plans and once Brady fell into the gorilla exhibit, taking him out was the only option that made sense."

According to Myst, Brady is "genetically hardwired" to be a dick. "This isn't really about the gorillas," she says. "If he hadn't been taken out of the picture quickly and efficiently, there's no doubt in my mind he'd have done tremendous self-inflicted damage to himself and to the zoo." 

Eyewitness and longtime Memphis Zoo member Clondyke Barr confirms Myst's assessment. "Brady spoke some really mean and, to my mind, completely unnecessary words to those gorillas. But he didn't seem dangerous," he says. "But then it was like he just couldn't help himself. Outta nowhere he chest bumps the hell outta this big monkey. Starts yelling about the status quo, and how little obese and crippled children shouldn't have to walk. Stuff like that. It was embarrassing as hell."

"He may have seemed reasonable to people who can't read CEO body language," Myst elaborates. "But we've spent years studying these creatures. They expect to be rewarded whether they make good decisions or bad decisions, and given a choice between any conciliatory action or pure assfaced dickery, we have strong reasons to believe that Brady will always choose the later. He'll tear the whole place apart — gorillas and all — and then expect someone to throw him some Monterey Jack cheese cubes."

Reports from the Zoo infirmary suggests that Brady, having no heart to stop, will make a full recovery and go on to bigger and better things in the future. "That's a completely natural outcome," Myst says.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Midtown Man Thinks Trader Joe's Imminent

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Memphis— You've probably seen Midtown resident Jay Effkay standing in the middle of the street at Union and Cooper, shouting at traffic and waving a homemade sign with the all-cap message "TRADER JOE'S IS NEAR."

"Oh yes, I am sure Memphis is getting a Trader Joe's," Effkay proclaims, brandishing printed copies of a blog entry he posted online two weeks ago. "So it is written, when Fresh Market builds a store at the Ike's location by Playhouse on the Square, the stage is set for Trader Joe's."

"It is only logical," Effkay continues, carefully rationing out a handful of banana chips he obtained from his last "Joe's Run" to Nashville, "When the Good Trader looks down and sees a Fresh Market flourishing in Midtown, he's GOT to come, right?

"And Midtowners must do all of their shopping at the new Fresh Market as soon as it opens. The stakes are just so high," Effkay proclaims affecting a tone of grave foreboding. "So high," he repeats. "So very, very high."

Effkay has previously proclaimed the revitalization of Overton Square, renovations at the zoo, and various weather conditions to be heralds for a Trader Joe's store that has not yet materialized.

When asked why getting a Trader Joe's is so important, Effkay snickered condescendingly and said "You'll know when you know."

Joey Hack is a regular Fly on the Wall contributor, and is a member of the Wiseguys improv troupe. Additional reporting by Davis Christopher.

Friday, November 15, 2013

In Praise of Booze

Posted By on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 12:02 PM

I've never seen the ghost of Elvis on Union Avenue, but I'm pretty sure this is a spirit photo of Joni Mitchell who turned 70 last week.

  • Kimberly Baker

Happy birthday Joni. And well played, Kimbrough!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Local Means Local," Local Locavores Say

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Where the hell is Ripley?
  • Where the hell is Ripley?
Midtown— A group of staunch locavores have started a boycott of the Cooper-Young Farmers Market due to a recent discovery that some of the “local” produce not only originates from outside Midtown, it also comes from outside the Memphis City Limit, Shelby County, and beyond.

“We’ve been tricked this whole time thinking we’re eating true local produce,” says Goldie Locke, a 54-year-old Midtown resident and regular farmers market patron. “When they said the tomatoes I've been buying came from Fayette County, I almost threw up right then and there.”

The issue has lead to a new movement from Midtown consumers demanding a specialized “38104 label” be applied to produce and foods that have originated from the area.

“My husband and I were eating a steak we thought was locally grown," Locke continued. "And I asked if he'd ever even seen a cow in our part of town.

"That’s what got us wondering,” she said with a trembling voice as a group of vegan onlookers grimaced behind her.

A representative of the farmers market, who wished to remain anonymous, went on record saying it is difficult to keep track of a product's origin. "We did have a '901' label a few years ago that was successful but then The Southaven Squash Scandal of 2011 kinda ruined that."

Farmer and life-long Midtowner, Moe Santo, likes the idea of local labeling. "We're always having to chase off these rascals from Mississippi, Arkansas, and those fancy-pants Eastern-ers. Go sell your got-dang melons at the truck stop and leave us alone!" Mr. Santo then grabbed a rake and shoo-ed away an SUV with a Germantown Red Devils bumper sticker on it that was attempting to pull into the parking lot.

As of this report, the only “38104 label" approved items for sale at the farmers market were a one pound bag of okra, a small bundle of catnip, and 3000 handmade candles.

Edward Valibus is a distinguished archduke of Lithuania currently residing in Memphis, TN. He spends his days frittering away his wealth making independent cinema with his production team Corduroy Wednesday. He holds the current world record for eating the most pudding cups in one hour and is a special contributor to Fly on the Wall

Friday, July 12, 2013

Local Man Loves Big Star

Posted By on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Barry Duhatchet, local Big Star fan
  • Barry Duhatchet, local Big Star fan
Midtown resident Barry Duhatchet can not have a conversation lasting more than two minutes that does not include at least one reference to the band Big Star. Friends of the 35 year old architect are both impressed and annoyed by this situation.

"Look, Big Star was great, and it's awesome that this city is so connected to it. But it's out of control," said Mary Maker, a friend of Duhatchet. "You can be talking about anything, and he finds a way to wedge Big Star into the conversation. Anything."

Last week Duhatchet managed to link the George Zimmerman trial to Big Star's song "The Ballad of El Goodo" with a barely noticeable segue.

"During the last election, Barry managed to compare Barack Obama and Mitt Romney with Alex Chilton and Chris Bell. It kind of made sense at the time, but after you got away from the conversation the whole thing was confusing. I just wish he'd chill out," said Mindy Mork, one of Duhatchet's coworkers.

Duhatchet was unavailable for comment, and calls to his voice mail (with a message containing portions of a recording of "September Gurls") were not returned. Neighbors indicate he was probably camping out for tickets to Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, a film he mentioned in response to a question he had been asked about school consolidation.


Monday, July 1, 2013

19th Century Club to Be Demolished, Midtown to Freak Out

Posted By on Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM

We cant have anything nice
  • We can't have anything nice
In light of news that the new owners of the Nineteenth Century Club" on Union Avenue will demolish the historic building, many Memphians, particularly Midtowners, are furious.

Perhaps the City Council can propose a bill aimed at mollifying the notoriously vocal Midtown crowd? The SUMO (Shut Up Midtowners Ordinance) would require that any Midtown building that is more than 50 years old can not be demolished unless it is replaced by a Trader Joe's.

Such an ordinance should have the effect of short circuiting Midtowners brains to the point where they are utterly unable to respond to any proposed demolition.

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