Some of the best stuff happens when you don’t have a camera, or have one but don’t think to use it. So it is with this past weekend’s trip to Memphis. Turns out that after downloading pictures, I find that some of my favorite memories have no corresponding visuals. So I’ll paint you a picture with my words instead. This really serves the selfish purpose of preserving my memories before I forget the details, but you get to be an interloper.
The Significant Weather Incident, Complete with Poultry: Picture if you will a large and beautiful park (Overton Park, to be exact) with a band shell where a Friday night concert has just been cancelled due to impending weather doom. You stand in the lovely evening air saying “the weather’s fine, we could just stay and hang out”. Cut to five minutes later in front of the SUV where the wind begins to speed through the treetops and gets louder and louder until you think it can’t possibly get any louder. But it does. You are amazed and totally forget about how your friend from Arkansas has said that when the wind sounds like a train, your ass just might be about to find a tornado kicking it. And suddenly the wind swoops down and there is dirt and rocks and acorns pelting you in the face, and you are holding a dead turkey by the neck (yes, really) and hoping that its permanently outstretched wings don’t catch air and fly all the way to Nashville. Then the turkey is unceremoniously shoved in the back seat between two slightly horrified ladies – I say slightly because no one in this group is completely horrified by much of anything – and you are yelled at to “GET IN THE CAR GET IN THE CAR”. But the wind was pretty cool.
Who Parties Hardest: Dear college students, I say this with all due respect having been one myself. You have no idea how to party. You think you do, and pop culture has glorified your efforts, but you’ve got nothing on old people. Old people have developed the wonderful ability called Not Giving a Shit. It’s pretty awesome to watch. It’s not about looking your best, dancing your best, or getting stinking drunk (although stinking drunk does sometimes happen). The art of Not Giving a Shit develops over time and you young folks just don’t have the life experience yet. I haven’t perfected it either, but I’m working on it and envy the people I saw that night who have it. As time goes on and you go through things that are more critical than failing an exam, breaking up with your cheating boyfriend, or having nasty things said about you on Twitter by your roommate, you’ll figure out what’s worth freaking out over. How badly you look when you dance at the Beale Street Tap Room will be nowhere on your list of concerns and you will bust so many ridiculous moves. People will point and laugh at your age inappropriate (says you) clothing, dirty dance moves and wonder about the relationship between all the people tripping and groping, but it won’t matter because you are having the best time ever. And having the best time ever beats looking cool any day, which is why old folks party harder.
The Superior Karaoke Three: Somehow you’ve had enough of the Tap Room and it’s time to find the other half of the gang across the street at Superior Bar. OhMyGod it’s karaoke night. Never having witnessed the human tragedy that is karaoke you are crushed to learn that you have just missed the best rendition of “Baby Got Back” EVER. And you love that song. And it was sung by a skinny white dude with a scruffy beard and hipster hat. In a Scottish accent. It is suggested that you go ask him to sing it again and although he politely declines, he promises to do Rod Stewart’s “Do You Think I’m Sexy”. It’s a mix of sincere effort and absolute hilarity – mostly hilarity. The crowd goes wild. Three ladies devise a “wouldn’t it be funny plan” and start flinging bras on the stage. Said bras are then used as props for the rest of the song and the ladies are besides themselves with joy that only butchered karaoke, propelled undergarments, and overpriced mixed drinks can bring. Even better, the ladies have their bras returned which is a blessing for the entire city because no one wants to see those knockers flinging around the rest of the weekend. The singer seems dazed. Our work here is done.