Wednesday is "I’m not going out to a bar" night

I’ve decided that this Wednesday, I will try an experiment – I will not go out to a bar at any point during the evening. I will stay home, watch TV, read a book, have a good meal, hang out on the rooftop, go shopping – anything but go to a bar. I think I last had a night like this in approximately July but it seems like it was 1994 or so. Such is life downtown.

I would schedule it for Tuesday, but that’s the night the Rapscallions dominate the Saucer’s trivia contest. I am so confident of a victory that I am tempted to promise that I will post Carmel’s photo and phone number if we lose. I suppose I should clear that with her first though.

Keep in mind that this “no going out to bars” thing refers only to THIS Wednesday night, not EVERY Wednesday night. I’m not crazy, after all.

Attn George Bush: Suggested countries to bomb

Dubya’s popularity is dropping in the polls, and he’s got to be down in the dumps about that. What could cheer him up more than finding a country to bomb? I have some suggestions.


Visit Canada and you will find a country that is clean, relatively free of crime, and everyone has health care. And when was the last time they were at war with anybody? This country makes us look really bad. We should bomb them for that. However, we should not bomb our neighbor to the south, Mexico, because we need a steady supply of burritos and cheap tequila.

NOT Colombia

Colombia is the world’s leading exporter of cocaine. Bombing Colombia would interrupt the international supply line, which could make it harder for George W. to get his fix. For that reason he will never bomb Colombia.

Besides, I doubt Bush understands that “Colombia” and “District of Columbia” are two different places. And he wouldn’t bomb Washington, D.C.!


All you have to do is look at the beer menu at the Flying Saucer and you’ll understand why I have a problem with this country. Belgian beers are the most expensive. Let’s bomb them to kingdom come and install Pabst Blue Ribbon as their new national beer.


This has nothing to do with France’s opposition to the Iraq war. It’s just that, on general principles, France sucks. Bomb them.

NOT Austria

Beiing the compassionate conservative that he is, Dubya would never bomb the place that he thinks is home to all those cute kangaroos and koala bears.

NOT Romania

Don’t… you… DARE.

Besides, if the Bush administration ever decides to engage in genetic engineering (most fascist regimes eventually do), they’re going to need some examples of genetic perfection to use as models, and Romania can provide them.


Bush could get a boost in the popularity polls by going to war with Nigeria to end the infamous Nigerian e-mail scam once and for all. Really, though, this would just provide a convenient excuse for him to engage in one of his favorite pastimes, bombing black people.


Let’s bomb those ugly Pyramids and replace them with some nice-looking Halliburton corporate office towers.


What kind of stupid country calls itself “Turkey” and then doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday? Bomb them.


Believe it or not, I actually support George Bush’s jihad against Iran. Here’s why: I’ve known several Persian women in my life and they have been some of the hottest women I have ever seen. But over there, thanks to Islamic law, they have to cover up. We should bomb them and introduce one of America’s greatest innovations – the tube top.


Just because.

Somewhere in Washington, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are reading this and saying, “He lists ‘just because’ as a reason to bomb a country? This guy thinks like we do! Let’s get him a Cabinet post!”


Anyone who watches professional wrestling understands why we should bomb Mongolia. In the entire history of professional wrestling there has never been a Mongolian wrestler who was a good guy, or “babyface” to use industry jargon. They’ve all been evil bad guys or “heels.” There was Killer Khan who broke Andre the Giant’s leg. There was The Mongol, managed by Gen. Skandor Akbar, who fought the heroic Von Erich brothers in Texas. There was Archie “The Mongolian Stomper” Gouldie who wrestled right here in Memphis against Jerry Lawler. The U.S. government should team up with Vince McMahon and turn the bombing of Mongolia into a pay-per-view.


Now here is a country that makes us look really bad. All you have to do is walk through the science/engineering building of an American university and you will understand why. Who will you find there? Not Americans. Americans are too lazy to major in math, science, or engineering; they prefer to major in subjects where you can bullshit your way to a B on essay questions (history, English, philosophy) or learn absolutely nothing useful at all (business). As a result, any work that requires thought will eventually end up being outsourced to India. In another 30 years they will be the world’s superpower. Not us.

(Somewhere Imran is reading this and applauding)

Myanmar (formerly Burma)

Now here is a country I have a BIG problem with. They used to have a really cool name (Burma) and then changed it to something infinitely less cool (Myanmar). For that alone they deserve to be bombed.

Now, back in the ’60s Burma did provide the United Nations with a Secretary General with a very cool name, U Thant. I bet if U Thant were still alive, Burma wouldn’t have picked a new name that is so completely stupid.

NOT Thailand

Top American executives are on track to make some big money this year, enjoying windfalls from the Bush administration’s corporate-friendly energy and bankruptcy bills. They’re going to need a place to celebrate, and Thailand has the best hookers in the world. There’s no way Bush will bomb his friends’ party spot.


But just the capital, for the same reasons as Burma. The capital used to have a cool name (Peking) and renamed itself something less cool (Beijing).

Leave the rest of the country alone, particularly Shanghai. I have known some really hot women from the Shanghai area.

The North Pole

So this guy Santa Claus brings toys to children all over the world, for free? That sounds an awful lot like WELFARE to me. Encourages people to want a handout, expect something for nothing. For this Santa must be bombed.

As an added bonus, the bombs might kill some penguins or some walruses, which would be a good way for the Bush administration to thumb its nose at all those liberal environmentalists.

God. The CIA is probably going to open a file on me for this one. I don’t care though. Viva la Internet! Viva la free speech!

Romanian pics, round two

More pics of the two Romanians who are currently living and working in downtown Memphis (there are actually SIX Romanians, but the other four are guys, so who cares about them).

We’ll start with Ioana, the brunette Romanian.

After taking this picture I thought, “Okay, I might as well throw away the camera now, because I will NEVER be able to take another picture that is better than this one.” Good LORD she is photogenic.

Here’s another one:

This is a picture she’d probably like to forget, sweeping up at the end of her shift. During the past week she has told me about the digital camera she plans on buying when she gets home, and how she misses her family terribly. She has learned a lot about herself during her stay in America. A very cool person to talk to. I have nothin’ but respect for Ioana.

And now we’ll move on to Liana, the blonde:

A Liana quote: “Kissing is very important. I love to kiss, I love making out… the kissing, the holding. I am a great kisser… well, no not really, but… yes, yes I am. I am a great kisser.”

Here’s another one – I think this one captures her true essence better than any of the other pics of her:

As a Beer Goddess, Liana takes excellent care of her customers, always filling their orders promptly. Well, unless there’s a guy in the bar she wants attention from. Then you’re on your own if you happen to be sitting in her section.

(Edited Sunday, October 2) One more pic. Liana borrows my laptop to check her e-mail.

The Romanians go home this week. There will be a little less sunshine in my life here in Memphis without them.

Spam What Am (alternate title: Let’s Hear It for the Bandicoot)

I’ve been getting a record amount of spam lately, with really idiotic subject lines. For example:

dampen Pharrgmaceutical
bandicoot Pkharmacy
Psharmacy ranunculus
Pharmmacy cistern

I know that these things only need a success rate of like 1 sale per million e-mails to be profitable, but is there even ONE person strange enough to go, “I’m gonna buy my drugs at THIS pharmacy! They have bandicoots there!” Must be an Australian pharmacy, I guess. Or, I mean, an Australian pkharmacy.

Question for downtowners: If you had your choice between never receiving another unwanted spam e-mail again, or never being approached on the street by a bum again, which would you pick?

The new camera has arrived, and the picture quality is fantastic – far better than my previous camera. I snapped about a dozen pictures last night at the Flying Saucer, including three of the blond Romanian. She and I both agree that they capture her true essence much better than the last round of pics. I need to resize them so they don’t take up all my server space, and then I’ll post them later this weekend.

The camera is small enough to fit in my pocket, so it will go with me to tonight’s Bravo event at the Metal Museum and the Dempseys show at the Saucer, and tomorrow to South Main Trolley Tour and Mpact’s birthday party. This blog may turn into a photoblog in the near future.

Mid-week update: new camera, pork butt, and more

– I’m getting a new digital camera! It’s an Olympus IR-300. 5 megapixels, 3x zoom, and 19 different modes to handle all kinds of lighting. It should be here tonight or tomorrow, so be on the lookout for some new Romanian pics this weekend. I’ll also be able to shoot some new pics for Memphis Wallpaper, the first time in a year I will have updated that site. From the dimensions listed on the site, the camera appears to be no thicker than my cell phone, so I may be able to carry it around in my pocket everywhere I go.

– Take a look at my latest website creation: This is a company that outsources architectural drafting and CAD work to India, saving its clients money. However, they still have a management team here in the States, for the benefit of their clients.

– The Rapscallions suffered a rare loss at Trivia Bowl last night. Our friend Tracy, whose team was not present, joined us. She wanted to use her team name (“Sissy Bitches”) but we wouldn’t hear of it. There were lots of questions about flags. I should’ve studied the flag section in the World Almanac.

– During Trivia Bowl, team member Carmel mentioned that she had been to the fair. “I had pork butt on a stick,” she said. She told us that she had spent quite a bit of time this week wondering how the pork butt got on the stick. I think Carmel may be kinkier than any of us realize.

– Carmel also told us what she looks for in a guy: Someone who can expand her horizons. So, those of you reading this blog looking for Carmel dating tips, there you go.

– She also told me that she likes men who have math skills – like, if she’s out with a guy and he can look at the check and figure out the tip in his head, that’s sexy. You know, the more I talk to women, the more I like sheep.

– There was a question about sheep last night at trivia at the Saucer.

– Speaking of the Flying Saucer… the Dempseys will be playing there Thursday night. Needless to say, I’ll be in attendance, probably with my new camera.

– Friday I’ll be heading to South Main for the monthly Trolley Art Tour, then at 8:00 I’ll head over to Mpact Memphis’ birthday party at 36 G. E. Patterson. The party is open to the public, $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

– I heard that Lacey was thrilled at being mentioned in my blog. So, I’ll mention her again. Two in a row!

– Dammit, just got an e-mail that some friends are going to Hooters tonight. That would be a GREAT place to try out my new camera, but I’m not sure I can get it out of the box and learn how to use it by dinnertime. Nevertheless, in case I do, you might want to check back tomorrow for pics.

– And I’m outta here for now. Time permitting, I’ll post again.

Hair styling tips, courtesy of MLGW

So last night, I was on the Madison rooftop for their weekly party, and I ran into one of my regular blog readers, a redhead named Lacey. So, we were chatting, and then she says this…

“I stuck my hair in an electrical socket today”

I stood there for a moment, trying to imagine how someone could accidentally get their hair in an electrical socket. Couldn’t figure it out. “Wow, how’d that happen?” I asked.

“Well, I didn’t stick it all in at once, obviously. I divide my hair into fourths, or even tenths, and stick it in.”

“Wait a minute,” I asked. “You’re telling me you stick your hair in an electrical socket ON PURPOSE?”

“Sure,” she said. “I do it all the time. Doesn’t my hair look good?” I have to admit, her hair did look good. This, I told her, was worthy of mention in the blog. “I’m going to be in the blog?” she asked excitedly. “Oh, Paul, you’re breaking my heart! (that’s her favorite expression) Now, promise me you won’t get too drunk when you go out later on and forget this conversation. You have to put me in the blog!”

Later, I went to the Flying Saucer (I’m mentioning the Saucer in what, 90% of my blog entries these days?) and asked the opinion of two women there (not the Romanians, in case you’re wondering). Neither of them had ever heard of such a thing. One of them added, “I’d be insulted if someone told me it looked like I had been sticking my hair in an electrical socket.”

My conclusion: Lacey made the whole thing up, to get mentioned in my blog. Lacey… am I right?

The Rapscallions are back, baby!

Last night, The Rapscallions, trivia team consisting of No. 10 Main neighbors Imran, Carmel and myself went to the Flying Saucer for the weekly Trivia Bowl. We faced tough questions about buffets, space shuttles and chefs among other things, and managed to finish a very respectable third.

I was expecting a crap prize for third place but I was wrong. Our prize – a $25 gift certificate to dish. Nice! The other team members commented that “we need someone responsible to hold on to it” and pushed the certificate toward me. Not sure what on earth caused them to think of me as “the responsible one,” but, okay. We plan to claim our prize sometime in October.

Carmel told me a lot of details about her social life, but “don’t put this in the blog” preceded all of them, so no new reportable news on her. Don’t worry, though, I have a Carmel-themed blog entry in the works, coming soon.

And since I’m the trivia king, I’ll toss out another trivia question to my readership as I close out this entry.

Which Flying Saucer waitress has the same birthday as me?

E-mail answers to paul at paulryburn dot com. (I’m not linking to my e-mail address this time; last time I did it I was buried under a deluge of spam.) First person to answer correctly wins a can of Coke, three Taco Bell hot sauce packets, and the lint from my clothes dryer. So get your guesses in now!

Cooper-Young Fest notes

– Saw a lot of good T-shirts. One read: “I can only please one person a day. I PICK ME.” Thumbs up for having the right attitude.

– I signed petitions to demand a paper trail for voting machines, so there’s a hardcopy record, making elections harder to rig as happened in Florida in 2000; and to demand a living wage for the city.

– Another T-shirt: “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”

– A friend of mine met me up there. She has a special form of dyslexia where “Cooper-Young Festival PLEASE, NO PETS” is misinterpreted as “Cooper-Young Festival PLEASE BRING YOUR G-DAMN DOG.” She was stopped at the entrance and told she couldn’t come in. So she snuck in anyway, and another cop stopped her and told her to stay away from the food vendor area. I suggested she go back to the car, make sure she’s parked in a nice sunny area, and leave the dog inside with all the windows rolled up.

– T-shirt: “Dogs have owners. Cats have staff”

– Stopped in a very cool gift shop – Dylan Blue, at 933 S. Cooper just north of Young. They have handmade jewelry and crafts, and Fair Trade items made in developing countries. Got to chat with the owner for a few minutes – the shop is named after his grandson, who is named Dylan after Bob Dylan and Blue after the blue states.

– I didn’t get to meet Leon Gray from Progressive Talk 680, though. He has the best local talk show in Memphis – 4:00 to 7:00 pm on AM 680.

– My favorite Leon Gray quote: “We can sing together, but we can’t talk together”

– Saw a gay couple with T-shirts that read, “MAN HOLE” and “MAN HOLE COVER.” I would pay those guys to wear those shirts to the Germantown festival next year.

– The kids from White Station were there, doing the thing they do every year where one of them stands there like a statue, and if you put a dollar in their hand they will move and sing and dance for a minute. Why can’t the bums downtown do that? I mean, if you’re going to beg for money, at least be entertaining.

– There was a guy in a “W” hat. It takes guts to wear that to Cooper-Young.

– There were also “W” bumper stickers for sale, with “Worst. President. Ever.” written under the W.

– Got a flyer for a new coffee shop called Quetzal which is open at 688 Union. That would be at the corner of Union and Marshall across from Sun Studio, I believe. I’ll have to go check it out.

– All right. I’m typing this on my laptop at the Saucer, and the battery is just about gone. Time to go drop off the laptop, and get back down here for Trivia Night. Not sure if the Rapscallions will be entering as a team tonight, or if I’ll just be Professor Paul and enter by myself. I have an invitation to be a part of the Sissy Bitches but, you know, I just can’t deal with that name. Anyway, I’m outta here until later….

Two more opportunities to help Katrina victims, and an additional event

If you want to have fun and support Hurricane Katrina victims at the same time, here are two events coming up this week.

Wednesday night, September 21, the Flying Saucer will hold a “Buy the Beer, Keep the Glass” night with glasses costing $20 and 100% of the proceeds going to the Red Cross.

Thursday night, September 22, the bars of Beale Street will hold a Katrina Relief event. It will be a wristband night, with your $20 wristband getting you in all the clubs (except possibly Alfred’s, which doesn’t participate in regular wristband nights, not sure about this one).

However, I’m not sure if I will make it to Thursday’s event, because The Dempseys are perfoming at the Madison Hotel’s weekly rooftop party. I missed their June performance on the Madison rooftop (due to a cute blonde having a birthday that night) and am glad they’re back for one more show before the end of the season.

And that’s what’s going on this week. Back later with a Cooper-Young summary and probably a drunk post.

Help the Blue Monkey

Forwarded message from Terre Gorham of the Downtowner magazine:

As most of you know, the Blue Monkey Downtown
burned to the ground Sunday morning.

The owner plans to rebuild, but he needs our help! And
this is the kind of help that provides a GOOD TIME, to

Please soak off, air dry, and save your wine labels. Also
save your wine corks. The Monkey is going to need
plenty of both when they get to that point in order to
recreate the gorgeously original interior of the former

Pass this on to anyone who may want to participate,
and thanks!