Monday update

While preparing today’s blog post I came across a very important holiday some of you may want to put on your calendar. The first Friday of December – so this year, Friday, December 4 – is Bartender Appreciation Day. This holiday was created by Sailor Jerry in 2011 to show appreciation for bartenders’ skills and the services they provide.

From Cristina of City Tasting Tours:

City Tasting Box showed out with this holiday exclusive SUGAR & SPICE box! There’s FOURTEEN small businesses you can support with one purchase! Black Friday Weekend Sale ends Monday – 15% off everything + $5 Nationwide Shipping

If my mom were still alive, that box would absolutely be one of her Christmas presents from me this year. Keep it in mind for your family and friends who don’t live here – or even those who do.

There’s a GoFundMe to help feed and clothe the less fortunate in Memphis this holiday season. I can promise you the money will be used wisely; this is organized by my buddy Rahul, who participated in many activities to help the homeless when he and his parents had a convenience store out in Binghampton.

A petition is circulating to ask the Shelby County Health Department to release all COVID-19 data that led them to conclude that imposing further restrictions on restaurants was warranted for Health Directive No. 15. Sharing the data would go a long way to helping the restaurant owners understand the “why” behind the decision. Many restaurant owners feel like their industry is being singly targeted by health officials who want to be able to say they “did something” about the surge.

Not a local story but very cool: 17-old entrepreneur has a business selling chicken wing-style sauces. Her company generated $192,000 in revenue last year and she has raised $245,000 in funding. The barrier to entry in business has been flattened in the age of the Internet. If you have a great idea and are willing to go out there and put in the work, the sky is the limit.

From The Daily Memphian: COVID has taken a $4 million bite out of a fund used for Downtown improvements, funded by tourism dollars. This could affect Tom Lee Park improvements, most of which are scheduled to happen after Memphis in May 2021. (But will Memphis in May 2021 happen?)

Also notable in the article above: Downtown Huey’s is really hurting from the lack of tourists. Y’all go up there and get a Texas Toast Burger or some nachos or whatever your favorite is.

The DM’s restaurant reporter Jennifer Biggs will be on FM 91.7 Thursday at 11 AM with Tawanda Pirtle to discuss Biggs’ first-ever Steak Sandwich from Jack Pirtle’s Chicken. If that time doesn’t work for you, the podcast will drop this week on The Daily Memphian website.

Baptist Ambulance is hiring EMTs and Paramedics.

From The Dirty Crow Inn:

Who has been missing the food from The Dirty Crow Inn??
Well, stay tuned!

Momma’s took over the building at Crump & Kentucky where The Crow operated, but the deal allowed The Crow to keep exclusive control over its own recipes. I’d love to see the “5-Star Dive Bar” make a return, especially if it’s a little closer to home.

Still writing professionally on Medium… in October, it took only 8 days to beat my September earnings… in November, it took 29 days to beat my October earnings. Not particularly pleased with that but I guess it’s better than not beating my October earnings at all.

Hmmm… “Quotes from experts” is an article type that always does well on Medium. Maybe I’ll write one titled “4 Experts Share Their Most Powerful Advice For Fighting Covid” and quote the following experts:

  • Becky from Facebook
  • Karen from Facebook
  • Kandi from Facebook
  • Sue “Social Distance Yourself/Wear a Mask” Richardson from Twitter

I have a lot of errands to catch up this week, so it will likely be Thursday before I get out to do anything fun – assuming “fun” does not get completely banned by the Health Department by then. Back tomorrow with more news.


Sunday update

New Wing Order has a 20% off gift card sale going on through the weekend. Here are the details:

Blind Bear has size medium logo hoodies back in stock. I believe they are $35.

If you like Bardog’s food but maybe haven’t dined in as much as you would have liked due to the cigarette smoke, remember that it’s all nonsmoking right now – upstairs and downstairs. This isn’t due to a decision by Aldo, but rather Health Directive No. 15. They have a temperature check and the door and really good social distancing if you want to give dine-in another try.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID week-in-review. If even his most conservative predictions are correct, we’re in for another round of restrictions before Christmas.

That’s it for today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Gift card sale alert: Asian restaurant STIX will sell $50 gift cards for only $25 each at both its Downtown and Collierville locations Tuesday, December 1. Give the gift of Beale Street Rolls, Tuna Nachos, and Filet Mignon Hibachi to friends, family, co-workers, or yourself.

People suck: I was listening to the police scanner last night and there was a report of a man rolling a wheelchair toward the McDonald’s in the medical center district. It belonged to a homeless man with no legs who was left in the parking lot of the Exxon down the street lying on the ground, crying out for his chair.

I met a gentleness coach on yesterday. I didn’t know that was even a thing, but boy, do we ever need that profession right now.

Also on the scanner, last night a 2010 Dodge Ram was stolen at Fourth and Union by a man who put his hand in his coat pocket and implied to the owners that he had a weapon. This happened a little after 10. Everyone be careful going walking around Downtown at that hour. With all the restaurants closed, it’s the equivalent of walking around at 5 in the morning pre-COVID.

No matter who the players are, no matter who the coach is, the men’s basketball Tigers seem to produce the same result every season. They fail to pass multiple times to set up a great look. They jack up threes and generally play like they’re still in AAU competition. They lose to squads that are far less talented but who understand teamwork and taking care of the basketball. It happened yesterday vs. VCU and the Tigers now possess a losing record and an uphill battle getting to the Big Dance in March.

The Tigers have added Central Arkansas to the schedule, filling the December 4 slot Ole Miss pulled out of due to COVID concerns. Needless to say, that is a downgrade and the Tigers could win by 60 and still not impress the NCAA tournament committee. Tip-off will be 7 PM and the game will be on the ESPN+ subscription service.

The football Tigers are on the road at Navy tonight, a 6 PM kickoff with the game televised on CBS Sports Network. A loss would put Memphis out of the hunt for the AAC championship game.

Tin Roof is the latest restaurant to jump on board with Drag Bingo. Pattie O’ Furniture will call the action at 1 PM in the Green Room, but brunch starts at 11 AM and the Roof has bottomless mimosas.

There’s an Open on Main Small Business Saturday Pop-Up Shop today at 55 S. Main. They’re open normal hours 10:30 to 6, but if you come between 12 and 4 there will be free wine for those 21 and up, and you can get two purchases wrapped for free by Get Wrapped 901. The 30+ vendors’ offerings include ceramics, art prints, jewelry, apothecary, weavings, candles, vintage and more. There will be social distancing, of course.

Yippie Trippie & The Pork Stars will be the food truck at Grind City Brewing Co. today from 1 to 9. If you haven’t been to this fabulous new brewery yet, GO TODAY while you still can before the Health Department shuts everything down. It’s like Loflin Yard but with craft beer brewed onsite.

Those of you who are posting or responding to the “Honor a Pet Who Is No Longer Here” meme on Facebook, I hope none of you are using your deceased pet’s name as a website password.

High Ground News has excellent coverage of Downtown Memphis Commission’s transit and parking plan for the core, The Edge, and the Medical District.

A highly disturbing article from Gizmodo: Microsoft’s creepy new “productivity score” gamifies workplace surveillance. I’d recommend letting that system gamify you typing resignation_letter(1).docx. Furthermore, you know how career coaches advise you to be tight-lipped during exit interviews? This is an exception; tell them EXACTLY why you’re leaving.

Y’all want to see what my Thanksgiving looked like?

I debated long and hard whether to accept an offer to come out to my friends Randy and Theresa’s house in Eads for dinner. Dr. Haushalter and Dr. Randolph advised keeping Thanksgiving within your household wherever possible. However, my household is just me and it would be a lonely Thanksgiving, and Randy and Theresa are people I see regularly so it’s not like the chances of us giving each other COVID would be significantly greater. Each of us has to decide how much risk we can reasonably take on during this pandemic, and I judged the risk as reasonable.

My Thanksgiving plate. Since Randy and Theresa are Northerners who now live in the South, there was both dressing and stuffing. As you can see, Perjorie T. Roll chose to stand next to the green bean casserole because it was closest in color to her hair.

Apple pie with homemade vanilla ice cream. Theresa said the pie, pre-baking, weighed 20 pounds.

A canned mixed drink in their freezer. I posted this pic to Facebook with the caption “+1.” Most of my Facebook friends didn’t get that but I’m sure Wilbur, David the Worm, Mirrorboy, and Guido did.

Perjorie was super excited about this Grasshopper, a chocolate mint flavored mixed drink that exactly matches the color of her nose. Melissa at Bardog makes a good Grasshopper if you want to try one.

I watched the Downtown Memphis Commission set up for Safe Santa yesterday. They had a snowglobe set up next to the Christmas tree. He sat inside while kids stood outside the globe for photos.

Wait a minute… I thought Dr. Fauci said Santa is an essential worker who is by his very definition immune to COVID. You’d think the snowglobe wouldn’t be necessary then?

Other than the Memphis game, college football games of note today:

  • Texas Tech at #23 Oklahoma State, 11 AM, FOX
  • Penn State at Michigan, 11 AM, ABC (can a game be a “marquee game” when one of the teams involved is winless all season?)
  • #22 Auburn at #1 Alabama (Iron Bowl), 2:30, CBS
  • Pitt at #3 Clemson, 2:30, ABC
  • #8 Northwestern at Michigan State, 2:30, ESPN
  • Mississippi State at Ole Miss (Egg Bowl), 3:00, SEC Network
  • LSU at #5 Texas A&M, 6:00, ESPN

This has been an unusual November in that we have yet to have an ultra-chilly day when the temperature struggles to crack 40. Looks like that day will arrive as November goes out. has Monday starting in the low 30s, maxing out near 40, and then dropping to the mid-20s overnight Monday/Tuesday. I’m grateful we actually had a fall this year but it is coming to an end.

There’s a move to save the old Griggs College of Business building at 492 Vance, which has been scheduled for demolition. It was one of the first Black-owned colleges in the city and it was open until about 1976. Learn more about the building from Memphis magazine’s Ask Vance.

The Grizzlies have announced their preseason schedule.

  • at Minnesota (Target Center), December 12 and 14, both 7 PM
  • vs. Atlanta (FedExForum), December 17 and 19, both 7 PM

Fox 13 has coverage of the Peabody’s guests-only tree-lighting ceremony.

That’ll do it for today. Back tomorrow with more news, if there is any to report.

RIP Dr. Herman Green

I’m very sad to report that Dr. Herman Green passed away this week. Dr. Green, who had a drive-by 90th birthday party earlier this year, was one of the last (perhaps THE last) of the Beale Street musicians of the 1940s. Dr. Green was the saxophonist and heart and soul of local jam band FreeWorld. Thank you Dr. Green for your many years of service to the Memphis music scene.

Thursday update

The Memphis Restaurant Association hand-delivered a letter to Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. The letter requested improved dialogue between the Health Department and restaurants. WMC has the full text of the letter.

The Memphis Tigers defeated Saint Mary’s 73-56 in the opening round of the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota yesterday. They play Western Kentucky at 11 AM today, with the game nationally televised on ESPN.

Memphis River Parks Partnership will host two webinar feedback sessions for those who use the trails in Tom Lee Park. They want to hear from walkers, runners, bike riders, scooter-riders, and skaters.

Out in The Edge, Boxlot will host a Holiday Market next Friday and Saturday, December 4-5, with seven Black businesses participating.

In other Edge news, WREG reports that Slim & Husky’s pizzeria will open on Union in the neighborhood, just steps from Sun Studio. Opening date for the pizza joint, inspired by hip-hop, is December 16.

Just in case I don’t do a post tomorrow morning, remember that the Downtown tree lighting and photos with Safe Santa will happen at Main and Peabody Place tomorrow at 4.

Kellan Bartosch, co-founder of Wiseacre, told the MBJ the story of Little Bettie, the pizza kitchen that will open in the Downtown Wiseacre taproom.

The COVID numbers are starting to look a little better… this morning COVID Act Now has Shelby County with a reproductive rate of 1.01 (had been as high as 1.2) and a new case average of 34.0 (had been above 45).

WMC has the info on where to get a free Thanksgiving meal today.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams are allowing unlimited calls today so you can share a virtual Thanksgiving with family members.

Happy Thanksgiving. More likely than not I will take tomorrow off from blogging.

Wednesday update

I watched the COVID-19 task force press conference with a PBR in my hand, having got off work early yesterday. I want to start off with a scary statistic: Last weekend, the city hosted 4 testing sites for people who were asymptomatic – meaning, they had absolutely no idea they were sick, and were just getting tested out of curiosity.

9% of those people tested positive.

Friendsgiving events are popular Downtown, and everyone hosting one or attending one needs to take heed of that statistic. For every person you invite, there’s a 9% chance you’re inviting COVID as well.

Let’s do a little math here… if you’re asymptomatic, there’s a 91% chance you don’t have it.

If you spend Thanksgiving with one other person from outside your household, there’s a 0.91 * 0.91 = 0.8281 chance neither of you have it.

Invite a third person from another household, and there’s a 0.91 to the 3rd power = 0.75 chance neither of you have it.

Invite seven asymptomatic people from different households and the probability drops to 0.47 – in other words, it’s more likely than not that someone at your gathering has COVID and doesn’t know it.

Not to mention the person you invite who thinks, “My throat is a bit dry and I have 99.8 fever, but I’m sure it’s nothing, I’ll be fine, I don’t want to miss out on turkey and pumpkin pie.”

Dr. Haushalter clarified the part of Health Directive No. 15 that says people sitting together should all be from the same household. She said the restaurants are not expected to police their patrons, checking IDs and requiring MLGW bills as proof that people live in the same household. She said that if people tell the host or server they live together, it’s reasonable to believe that they do.

Next, I want to address an issue that was covered in the press conference yesterday: During this pandemic, health officials across the country find people cussing at them and threatening them. I’ll give a personal example. When one of the local bars restarted trivia night, a team named itself “Fuck Dr. Haushalter” and that was chosen as the winning name. I thought that was highly inappropriate. The health officials have a job to do, and while I disagree with some of the decisions they make, I have no doubt they have the community’s best interests at heart.

Dr. Haushalter, Dr. Randolph, thank you for your service to our community, and I wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Tigers on national TV today: Memphis plays Saint Mary’s in the first round of the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, SD today at 1 PM on ESPN2. COVID has caused several teams to have to be replaced. The tournament field is

  • Memphis Tigers
  • Northern Iowa Panthers
  • South Dakota State Jackrabbits
  • St. Mary’s Gaels
  • Utah State Aggies
  • VCU Rams
  • Good ole West Virginny Mountaineers

This MBJ article on inquiries about buying Earnestine & Hazel’s makes me think the real estate agent does not understand owner Caitlin Chittom’s desire to sell to a local owner who will keep the spirit of the dive bar alive. He’s talking about a restaurant downstairs and apartments upstairs.

Off work today, so I guess about 8 I’ll walk over to the Cossitt Library at Front and Monroe and read a book. Wait, what? The library’s not open? Well, I guess I will walk in that general direction a few minutes after 8 and see if I find anyplace that strikes my fancy. Thanksgiving is a slow news time, especially during a pandemic. Back next time I have news to report, sometime between later today and Saturday probably.

Tuesday update

Yesterday I reported that a well-known Downtown Memphis bar is said to be up for sale, and out of respect for the owner I didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag. Well, the announcement has been made: Earnestine & Hazel’s is for sale. Owner Caitlin Chittom posted to Facebook, saying the sale was not about money. Rather, the memories of her late father Bud Chittom, who had owned the building since the 1990s, were too much for her.

Caitlin says she is 100% committed to selling to someone who is local, and who will keep the legendary dive bar, known for its Soul Burgers, jukebox, ghosts, Nate’s bar upstairs, and history as a brothel intact as it has been for nearly 30 years. I am so relieved to hear that. E&H is a legendary piece of Memphis culture and needs to be preserved. The selling price is $975,000 and you can click the link above to see how to get in touch with the real estate agents. I’m going to go buy a Powerball ticket and buy E&H if I win.

Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter and County Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph appeared before the Shelby County Commission yesterday, their first public remarks since dropping Health Directive No. 15 late Friday afternoon. Haushalter was asked about the regulation that you must keep your mask on between bites and sips at restaurants. A Commissioner asked, wouldn’t that contaminate the mask by touching it so much? Haushalter stated that the goal of the regulation is not necessarily to take it on and off between bites and sips. “Exercise some common sense and work around,” she said.

Haushalter and Randolph left after giving their presentation. About 20 Shelby County business owners were there to give statements on the impact of the new restrictions, but by that point no representative from the Health Department was still present to hear their concerns, nor was a representative from either Mayor Harris’ or Mayor Strickland’s office.

I listened to part of the Commission meeting online and later in the evening talked to a business owner who had presented an impact statement. Let me just say this in response to the remarks of certain Commissioners: Liberal authoritarians are every bit as bad as conservative authoritarians. There are politicians I have supported in the past that I will never support again because of the way they have handled the pandemic response – in particular, being dismissive of those who do not hold the same opinions as their own.

Kooky Canuck owner Shawn Danko was interviewed by Action News 5 about the impact the new regulations will have on small businesses. No one wants to lay off employees right before Christmas, but restaurant owners may have to. Shawn said that Downtown Kooky’s profit is down by more than 50% since the pandemic started.

Jennifer Biggs and her team from The Daily Memphian went out spying on area businesses again, spot-checking them to see if the mask-on-between-bites rule was being enforced.

The DM has an opinion piece that Friday afternoon is the wrong time for the Health Department to drop new rules and regulations. Agree so much with all of this!

Not surprisingly, holiday parades are off the table this year. The Downtown Memphis Commission will have a safely distanced tree lighting Friday at the corner of Peabody Place and Main.

The Turkey of the Year glass is now on sale at the Flying Saucer. Normally, each year the Saucer picks a public figure as Turkey of the Year. This year, however, the Turkey is the year 2020 itself.

I made an appointment with Rachel’s Salon to get a haircut next week, and I want to remind all of you in need of a haircut or style or color or bad hair extensions (who was I thinking of when I typed that?), go ahead and get that done. If there’s an expected post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID cases, hair salons and barber shops could be on the chopping block in the next round of restrictions. The surge should hit around December 8.

A coronavirus outbreak has forced Ole Miss to pause its basketball program until December 7, canceling its game against Memphis and three others.

As a pro wrestling fan, I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate 30-year veteran The Gobbledy Gooker on winning his first championship. Sunday at Survivor Series, the Gooker pinned R-Truth to win the WWE 24/7 title.

That’ll do it for now. I’m off the rest of the week after today, so my posting schedule may be somewhat irregular. Back tomorrow if there’s any news.

Monday update

Memphis now has a kickoff time for its upcoming game Saturday against Navy in Annapolis: 6 PM. No national TV is listed for the game.

Thai food truck Soi Number 9 will be at Cordelia’s Market tonight from 5:00 to 7:30.

StyleBlueprint recently sat down with Paige Garland, owner of Rachel’s Salon and Day Spa.

Keep your eyes tuned to social media throughout the day, because the Downtown Neighborhood Association has promised a big announcement.

If you’re a Daily Memphian subscriber, Jennifer Biggs has a good piece on the latest health directive’s rules for masking in restaurants. Glad to see her calling them “outrageous,” but she points out, it’s what we’ve come to. If you go 78 on I-240’s south loop, the cost of the speeding ticket comes out of your own pocket. However, if you fail to wear a mask inside a restaurant, the restaurant is the one that could end up getting hurt, not you – it could have to close for two weeks. Support your local restaurants, but please follow the regulations, stupid as they are.

South Bluffs residents, lock your doors and don’t leave belongings in your cars. Three men were observed climbing over the wall to the private complex Saturday night.

Fox 13 reports that a man was stabbed at 272 S. Danny Thomas Blvd. last night. The woman who is said to have stabbed the victim apparently knew him, so this was not motivated by robbery or a random act of violence.

Rumors are swirling that a popular Downtown bar has closed for good and is for sale. I don’t want to report it here yet because I do not have confirmation from the owners, but people active in the community say the rumor has legs.

That’s the news for today… back tomorrow with more.

Sunday update

I want to start off today’s post by asking a question that is so, so, SO Memphis, but you’ll never see it asked in a commercial blog like I Love Memphis or Choose901.

What’s the longest street in Memphis that is NEVER not in the hood? Meaning, every single block of it is sketchy?

Let’s throw in a kicker that the street must operate under the same name at all points. So Stage/Delano/James/Scenic Hwy/Stage-James/James/Stage doesn’t count, nor does Frayser Blvd/Raleigh-Frayser/Yale.

This question came to mind yesterday afternoon. My friend Randy and I were hanging out at Bardog as per usual for Saturday brunch. We were coming up on the end of the incredibly stupid two-hour window for service dictated by the health directive, so we had to figure out our next move. “Why don’t we check out Grind City Brewing?” I suggested.

I showed Randy the way there. “The flashing red light is Chelsea,” I told him as we drove north on Second. “Once we pass that, we’re looking for Waterworks Drive about five blocks away, on the left.”

That made me think: Is there a street longer than Chelsea that is 100% in the hood?

(I’m probably going to get nastygrams from real estate agents trying to sell properties in Uptown, but I don’t care. They can come over and listen to the police scanner some weekend night.)

Lamar? Runs through sort of a nice neighborhood – the Annesdale Historic District – between Bellevue and Willett. Yes, there are some skeevy hotels, but if you have hipsters looking to buy houses in the neighborhood because they have hardwood floors and “character,” I think that disqualifies it.

Winchester? It’s hood for a long time, but when you get out by FedEx HQ it turns into a sort-of nice part of town.

Shelby Drive? Hmmm, never driven the entire length of it. I’ll have to get on Google StreetView and check it out, but I suspect it loses its hood distinction if you go far enough east.

Anyway… back to our trip to Grind City Brewery. It was a bit of a drive, but man, was it ever worth it. The place is spacious and beautiful. Best brewery taproom in Memphis by a mile (that I’ve been to; note that I haven’t been to Wiseacre 2 yet).

That’s a cherry hard cider Perjorie T. Roll is drinking. They had a citrus hard cider too along with about 15 different beers. I tried a lager with a lime as well (didn’t get a pic) and it was quite tasty.

What a gorgeous space! There were easily 150 people there, yet there was enough room for everyone to properly social distance. They had vendors on hand and Randy and I ordered a pizza and a quesadilla. Plenty of room for food trucks to set up out there.

I have to admit I was kind of surprised that Randy and I did not know a soul there. It was mostly a younger crowd, although I have seen photos of people from the corner table at Max’s Sports Bar hanging out at Grind City, so the geriatrics like the brewery as well.

I heard plenty of people griping about the new regulations that go into effect at midnight: At restaurants, bars, and taprooms you can only sit with people from your household, and you must keep your mask on even at the table, only pulling it down to take a bite of food or a sip of your beverage. To the people doing the griping, yes, the new regulations are unreasonable, untenable, and downright stupid, but look for the opportunity in them. There would not be names like Al Capone or Lucky Luciano in the history books had an unreasonable, untenable, and downright stupid regulation called Prohibition not existed 100 years ago. Channel your inner Capone. Channel your inner Lucky. Be the Meyer Lansky of your neighborhood. The Bugsy Siegel.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID week in review for November 21. Always a good read if you’re into data analysis.

WREG interviewed Halsey from Pontotoc Lounge/Silly Goose about the stupid new regulation that diners in restaurants wear masks between bites and sips. I guess restaurant employees are expected to be school lunchroom monitors now. Pull that mask up or I’ll send a Behavior Document home for mommy to sign!

From USA TODAY: How we celebrated Thanksgiving 1918 during the Spanish Flu pandemic

The Memphis Tigers rolled to a 56-14 win over Stephen F. Austin University yesterday.

Good news for Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers basketball team: Center Moussa Cisse has been cleared for eligibility. Cisse was one of the top recruits in the class of 2020.

There’s a Fun Cow Painting Class in Millington this afternoon if you’re looking for something to do with your Sunday. I think they mean you paint a picture of a cow, rather than actually brushing paint onto a real, live cow. But it’s Millington so you never know.

Yesterday on Medium, where I write professionally, my stories had the fewest views of any day in November. Yet my payout was the highest of any day in November. I don’t get it. I wonder if they spin a roulette wheel to determine how much to pay their writers.

WWE Survivor Series is tonight, and it’s the official retirement of The Undertaker, who debuted on Survivor Series 30 years ago. Predictions:

  • Kickoff Show Dual-Brand Battle Royal: Big E wins
  • U.S. Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn: Zayn finds some way to cheat to win, possibly by claiming interference from other members of The Hurt Business to get Lashley disqualified
  • Women’s Survivor Series match: Shayna Bayzler, Nia Jax, Lana, Peyton Royce, and Lacey Evans (Team RAW) vs. Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Bayley, and Natalya (Team Smackdown): The Riott Squad survives to set up a future tag team title match with Bayzler and Jax. Post-match Nia Jax puts Lana through a table. A lot of people think Bianca goes over here, but I think they have her win the women’s Royal Rumble in January instead.
  • Street Profits (RAW tag team champions) vs. The New Day (Smackdown tag team champions): I love New Day but I have to pick the Street Profits to go over. Montez Ford is the most talented male performer on the roster.
  • Men’s Survivor Series match: A.J. Styles, Braun Strowman, Sheamus, Matt Riddle, and Keith Lee (Team RAW) vs. Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, King Corbin, and Otis (Team Smackdown): This is the toughest match to predict. I’ll take a guess that Sheamus and Keith Lee survive.
  • RAW Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks: Carmella attacks Sasha, causing Asuka to be disqualified. Following the match, Asuka joins in the beating of Sasha, turning heel.
  • WWE World Champion Drew McIntyre vs. WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns w/Special Advisor to the Tribal Chief Paul Heyman: McIntyre gets a fluke win with a roll-up or some other unexpected move. Reigns and his cousin Jey Uso beat down McIntyre relentlessly after the match. As they walk away, The Miz runs to the ring to cash in his Money In The Bank contract on a nearly unconscious McIntyre. Sheamus prevents the match from happening. Tomorrow night Sheamus asks McIntyre for a shot at the Universal title to repay the favor.

That’s all for now. I could go out to Sunday brunch, but most likely I’ll stay home so I can value-signal all over Facebook that #IDidTheRightThing. I do need to get out to Walgreens because I’m out of sweets at home and that is clearly not acceptable. I hope they put the Christmas cookie flavored Blue Bell ice cream on sale this week. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

I case you missed it last night… and you probably did because who expects a post from me at 6 PM on a Friday?… the health department dropped Health Directive No. 15. Gotta love how they drop this thing at an hour in which they won’t be answering the phones, will be out of the office for two days after, and won’t be at a press conference in front of a microphone until half a week later.

Given what we had heard might happen, this wasn’t near as bad as it could have been. Restaurants, even limited-service restaurants, will still be allowed to stay open, even for indoor dining. The main things they will have to do differently are close at 10 (previously it was midnight) and only seat parties of no more than 6 together, and only 4 of those 6 can be adults and they must be from the same household (which is completely unenforceable; are we going to have to start bringing MLGW bills when we eat out to establish proof of residency?) Capacity is limited to 50%, but social distancing effectively did that anyway prior to the directive.

The big change for patrons, and I missed this when I did my update last night, is that masks have to remain on even at the table when dining at a restaurant. You can only take them off when eating a bite of food or taking a sip of your beverage. To me, that sounds like the task force is trying to make it as inconvenient as possible to go to restaurants so more people will stay home. The GM of Tin Roof commented that you’d need a “hall monitor” to enforce that rule. Yep, that was about what this has come to.

I noticed that smoking indoors is prohibited in all establishments in the directive; is that new for No. 15 or has that been in there and I missed it? Of the Downtown spots that’ll affect only Bardog. As a nonsmoker, I have no problem with this regulation whatsoever.

Gyms remain open too, but you must have your mask on at all times unless using the swimming pool or shower.

This could have been much, much worse, but I still feel bad for my bartender friends who make a big chunk of their money from 10 PM to midnight. Obviously they’re not happy with the new directive. Of course, I also feel for those who’ve lost a loved one to COVID or who have come close.

Here’s how I think we’ve got to look at it: 100 days from now will be March 1. Things won’t be cured then, but we will be well on our way. Vaccination will be fairly far along and we’ll have a president who is not nutsy cuckoo. We just gotta hunker down and remember We Are All One and we’re all in this together. That includes the bartender who just saw her income get clipped by 40%. That includes the teachers who badly want to see their children in person. That includes people like me who want to be fairly safe while retaining some semblance of normalcy. That even includes people on the far ends, the anti-maskers who think this is all a hoax and the preachy preachies who think we should be in lockdown until next summer because #PeopleBeforeProfits.

Enough about COVID. It’s Saturday and that means college football. Let’s see what we’ve got:

  • Memphis hosts Stephen F. Austin at 11, carried on premium subscription service ESPN+
  • In a game with CFP implications, #3 Ohio State hosts #9 Indiana at 11 AM on FOX
  • Not ranked vs. ranked but still a big game: #4 Clemson travels to Florida State. Here’s hoping the ‘Noles end Clemson’s playoff hopes for the year.
  • #7 Cincinnati goes on the road to UCF in a make-or-break game for the Bearcats’ playoff chances. ESPN, 2:30.
  • #10 Wisconsin vs. #19 Northwestern in a big game to establish the pecking order in the Big 10, ABC, 2:30
  • #23 Auburn gets a turn at the doormat of the SEC, Tennessee, this week at home. ESPN, 6:00.
  • Huge rivalry game: #14 Oklahoma State at #18 Oklahoma, 6:30, ABC

No shortage of good games today. As always, if you’re looking for a place to watch multiple games at once, my top recommendation would be Max’s Sports Bar. He has outdoor TVs and a really nice patio with heaters, although you won’t need those today.

The Memphis Tigers basketball team has announced its full 2020-21 schedule. Notable nonconference games:

  • November 25-27 – Bad Boy Mowers Classic in Sioux Falls, SD – Tigers could face three NCAA tournament teams in three days – but more on that in a minute
  • December 2 – first home game of the season vs. Arkansas State
  • December 5 – at Ole Miss
  • December 12 – vs. Auburn

Certainly a better nonconference schedule than the Tubby years, when the Tigers could expect to see names like Xavier and Samford on their list of opponents.

Geoff Calkins thinks the Tigers should do what millions of Americans are doing and change their Thanksgiving plans, meaning the Tigers should give up the chance to travel to South Dakota and play up to 3 March Madness-caliber teams. Calkins is right. It positively sucks that he’s right, but he’s right. Chances are too great the Tigers could bring back COVID with them. Also there’s the “role models setting an example” kind of thing. Kids and adults who look up to Penny will be more likely to give up their holiday plans if he gives up his.

For those who don’t want to take the time to read Calkins’ article, South Dakota has the second-highest number of new cases per day per 100K of any state (145.8 according to COVID Act Now; Harvard says stay-home orders should be considered above 25 per 100K).

From Insomnia Cookies:

BOGO 12-Packs are BACK in action all weekend-long!
today through Sunday, get your BOGO 12-Packs – filled with warm, melty Classic cookies – delivered or pick up in-store, no code needed. not available for nationwide shipping orders. exp. 3am, 11/23

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog has a look at King & Union Bar Grocery in the former TGI Friday’s space in the Doubletree. Man, that food looks scrumptious. I gotta get in there!

The news stations reported this earlier in the week, but now the fabulous local crime website Scoop Memphis has picked it up: Intoxicated man leads police in 10-15 MPH chase down trolley tracks

5:25 and I already have this post ready to go. I’ve been an extreme morning person since I started writing professionally; let’s face it, there’s not much reason to be up late at night anymore. Back tomorrow with more news.