Fly on the Wall 

Drinking it In

Some weeks, writing an irreverent column about news and newsmakers in the Mid-South is like shooting fish in a bucket. Other weeks, not so much. This week, for example, the overwhelming bulk of Memphis reporting was dedicated to disaster coverage in the wake of last Tuesday's decidedly unfunny tornadoes. Headlines not describing weather damage tended to be about murder and mayhem. Some choice examples:

•Memphis Teen Critically Injured in School Shooting

•Residents Shaken by Attacks

•Search Continues for Gunman in Deadly North Memphis Shooting

•Suspect Found Dead after Standoff with Police

•Rapes in Memphis on the Rise

and our personal favorite ...

•Wrong House Firebombed

With so much violent crime making local and national headlines, we can only assume that members of Memphis and Shelby County law enforcement are devoting their efforts to capturing violent criminals and making our neighborhoods safe, right?

Well, according to Eyewitness News Channel 24, there has been at least one undercover sting operation conducted in the past seven days. Last Thursday, plainclothes officers visited several restaurants along Poplar Avenue where they allegedly observed 10 food-service workers selling beer to minors. Meanwhile, Fly on the Wall's own investigative unit received unsubstantiated reports that a Midtown convenience-store worker illegally sold cigarettes to an old man without identification. None of these criminal events directly resulted in death or loss of property.

In an unrelated but strangely relevant story, city councilwoman Janis Fullilove broke down in tears this week over her concern that efforts to set term limits for local elected officials have been motivated by race rather than public dissatisfaction.

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