Letter from the Editor 

We had a couple of visitors to Memphis recently from an alternative newspaper in another city. Our cities are similar in size, and we share many of the same editorial and business concerns. They joined us in our conference room, and we discussed Web strategies, staffing, publishing software, the competition, and other common issues.

Then we decided to go to lunch.

"How about the Bar-B-Q Shop?" my publisher asked. "Best sandwich you'll ever eat."

"Um, we're vegetarians."

No problem, we said. Memphis is a sophisticated city with lots of places that have great vegetarian food. So we decided to go to a lovely little downtown bistro where there were many fine veggie options on the menu.

As we walked to the parking lot, I said, "We can all just pile into my car," pointing to my 11-year-old 4-Runner.

"Wow, an SUV. Pshew," one of our visitors said, sounding a bit like someone suggesting I might want to quit farting in public elevators.

"Yeah, it's paid for," I said, sounding a bit like somebody becoming less inclined to Southern hospitality.

Lunch followed in much the same vein. "How about a glass of wine?" I said. Nope, herbal tea was their preference. Dessert? Nope, no carbs.

Driving back to the office, my publisher decided we should get coffee for our afternoon meeting. "There's a Starbucks just up ahead," he said.

"Um, we don't do Starbucks," our visitors informed us. "Aren't there any locally owned coffee shops around here?"

"Yes, there are," I said. "And I go to one of them almost every day, but here's the thing: It's many blocks away, and we'll burn lots more gas in my SUV if we go there."

Silence from the back seat, as our visitors pondered the proper ethical move. Or whether I was being an ass.

"Two venti lattes," I said, as we pulled up to the Starbucks speaker. The afternoon meeting was a short one.

Don't get me wrong. I support locally owned businesses if their product is better. And I'm all for going green. When my car finally dies, I'll get one that's more fuel-efficient.

But I'm not giving up the Bar-B-Q Shop.

Bruce VanWyngarden

brucev@memphisflyer.com

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies trade Troy Daniels to Phoenix

Music Blog

Listen Up: Louise Page

News Blog

Suit Targets 'Destructive' Drivers License Policy

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

mother!

News Blog

Supreme Court Steps In on Fayette Church Matter

Intermission Impossible

Muhammad Ali Meets Stepin Fetchit at The Hattiloo Theatre

News Blog

Task Force Considers Medical Cannabis

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • Vendor in the Grass

    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.

    • Mar 31, 2016
  • Detention Deficit

    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."

    • Mar 10, 2016
  • On the Road

    "I can't believe it's not Buddha." — frustrated monk "I'm trying to be Zen about it." I hear this phrase, now and then. It's often used as a way of saying, "I'm trying to control my emotions." But "trying to be Zen" is an oxymoron. There's no trying to be Zen. You're here now. You're already enlightened. The trick is realizing it. Which is hard.
    • Apr 7, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation