In the News

This is a new feature for my blog, In the News, in which I will add my own personal spin to current news items.

News item: Libertyland likely to close

This is bad news for all of Memphis. Not because we’d miss the theme park (Libertyland, to be quite honest, sucks) but because they offer summer employment to hot girls from all over eastern Europe – and in particular, Romania. These girls, once here, are able to get out of their Libertyland contracts and get actual decent jobs – waitressing in bars downtown, for example. Up until this year I never realized what an essential role Libertyland played in the local economy. We MUST find a way to keep it open.

News item: Bush Administration announces plans to combat avian flu

More bad news. Part of the plan is travel restrictions to and from countries affected by the new strain of bird flu. And one of the affected countries is Romania. That means that people like these might not be able to travel to America next summer on student visas. Come on, George. So the flu hits America and some people die. It’d just be some old people and some kids, for the most part, and who cares about them, anyway. Do the right thing, George. Keep our borders open.

News item: Eastern European governments deny secret CIA prison camps

And one of the first countries to deny that the CIA was operating prison camps within their borders was… Romania. Now, let’s take a moment to examine their history. During the 1930s-1945 they were a Nazi satellite. From the end of World War II to 1990 they were a Communist satellite. So doesn’t it make sense that they’d buddy up to the Evil Empire of the 21st Century – the Bush regime? I bet there are CIA prison camps all over Romania.

News item: Paul discovers one of his former Blue Monkey bartenders working at Cafe 61 tonight, drinks three stiff drinks

And as a result, we have this stupid blog entry.

You know, about 6 months ago, I had a dream that I was talking to a girl at the downtown Blue Monkey – at the upstairs bar. After I woke up, I thought, that was a weird dream, the Monkey only has one floor. And now the Monkey has burned and they’re rebuilding. Wouldn’t it be odd if they built a multi-story bar, and six months ago I dreamed of sitting at the future Monkey, instead of what was at the time the current one?

All right. First drunk post in a while. That felt kinda good. Maybe I’ll do another drunk post this weekend. Which means, as a prerequisite, I’ll have to be drunk at some point this weekend. I’ll see what I can do about that.

I wonder if, in the 24th century, kids will be required to study this blog as an example of classic American literature.

Probably not.

Schnucks sucks

Tonight, after leaving First Wednesday at the Brooks, I stopped at the Schnucks on Union. I hardly ever eat any veggies, so I decided to pick up celery, carrots and a tub of Marzetti’s Southwestern Ranch dip.

I drove home, unloaded the groceries and prepared for a relaxing night in front of the TV. I opened the ranch dip. It looked old. I looked at the date on the side of the container. “Sell by 9/11/05.” And today is November 2!

I got on the Contact Us section of Schnucks’ site and blasted them for ruining the evening I had planned. It will be a long time before I visit that store again. Looks like Miss Cordelia’s on Harbor Town is going to be seeing more of me.

November 1: Back to being a normal person

I made some seriously good tips working the Beer Goddess costume at the Saucer and at Bluefin last night – so much that I even gave a bum a dollar on the way home. But the best thing, I discovered, about the Goddess costume is that women would come up and feel my boobs – which gave me an excuse to feel theirs.

But now it’s November, and things are getting back to normal. Hopefully the alcohol I consumed this weekend didn’t kill all my brain cells – I’m going to need extra brainpower tonight, because the Rapscallions trivia team is going to be minus TWO members. One is in Hong Kong on business, and another seems to think that attending a Leadership Memphis meeting is more important than hanging out at a bar. Clearly a case of wrong priorities.

Tomorrow night I’ll be attending First Wednesday at the Brooks. It’s both an Mpact and a Bravo event, and the theme is Day of the Dead. I definitely will NOT be participating in the tequila tasting.

Thursday night I’m going to hit Sleep Out Louie’s for all-you-can-eat crab leg night, or “Glutton Fest” as it has been called. Apparently the people who show up are such pigs that they’ve driven all the regulars away. Sounds like some good people-watching.

Friday I plan to return to Sleep Out’s for Fish Races. They take the goldfish out of their tank and race them down these rain gutters. This is the type of intellectually stimulating event that I enjoy.

And that’s how the week looks. Halloween pics might be up late tonight, but I’m not making any promises.

Very quick Monday update

Halloween pics will be up sometime around mid-week. Haven’t had a chance to download them from the camera yet.

If you missed the Beer Goddess costume on Friday, I’ll have it on again tonight. I’ll be at Pint Night at the Saucer from about 6:30 until whenever I feel like leaving. I may stop by Bluefin’s Halloween party for a little while as well.

No. 10’s Halloween party Friday night was a blast as always. Never made it to the 450 Stonewall party on Saturday, although after viewing the pics from that party it doesn’t look like I would have known many people there.

Yesterday, dressed as a vampire I hit Sleep Out’s for brunch, then watched part of Voodoo Fest from a friend’s balcony at Echelon at the Ballpark. The park only looked about half full, although it could have got more crowded after I left around 7:30 pm.

All right, time to go be a responsible adult for 8 hours.

Math lesson, and a Scooter comment

This morning on the radio, I heard that oddsmakers are saying the odds are 1 to 2 that Karl Rove will be indicted, and 3 to 2 that he will not.

That isn’t possible.

Odds of 1 to 2 that he’ll be indicted mean that for every chances, there is 1 chance that he will not be indicted and 2 chances that he will. That corresponds to a probability of 2/3 that he will be indicted.

Odds of 3 to 2 that he won’t be indicted mean that for every 5 chances, there are 3 chances that he will be indicted and 2 that he will not. This corresponds to a probability of 2/5 that he won’t be indicted.

But the probability that he will + the probability that he won’t has to equal 1. 2/3 + 2/5 does not equal 1. The oddsmakers don’t know what they’re talking about.

They were also saying that Dick Cheney’s chief of staff “Scooter” Libby will almost certainly be indicted. You know, when I was 21 I went to this club downtown called Zot which was about 50% straight/50% gay. There was this very flamboyant guy named Scooter who danced on the speakers and told everyone he had a vagina, not a penis. I wonder if it’s the same guy?

Let the games begin! – Thursday update

– Last-minute preparations for Halloween are complete. Today I bought makeup for the vampire costume I plan on wearing Sunday. I also stopped by the liquor store – I had run out of vodka, and that’s certainly a situation that needed to be corrected before the rooftop party tomorrow! Bought a brand called Ston which is a relatively new brand, imported from Estonia. I sampled some at a friend’s house in East Memphis last week. Good stuff – seems to be the same quality as Grey Goose, but about $12 a fifth cheaper because it doesn’t have the name recognition.

– Happy 30th birthday to my friend Kelly! Kelly is one of the most generous people I know – last Saturday I was in Tater Red’s where she works, and mentioned that I needed an apron to go with my Beer Goddess costume, so I’d have a place to store money and my camera. Five minutes later I was walking home, and she called and said she had found one for me. Her party is tomorrow night – I’ll be taking the early shift (6:30ish until 8ish or so) and then heading back to No. 10 for my building’s party.

– Here’s the website for the party I’ll likely be attending Saturday night: 450 Stonewall (although the party isn’t at that address anymore, it’s at 146 E. Butler downtown). They have pics from past years on the site, and I found a pic of my ho’s, Angie and Melanie, in the 2004 pictures.

– One of the ho’s (the blonde) will be at the No. 10 party tomorrow night.

– I’m considering giving my Big Paul the Pimp persona the year off and doing the Beer Goddess both Friday and Saturday nights. I’m not going to decide for sure until Saturday.

– Anyone know of a good photo hosting service? I’m looking at ImageStation, Photobucket, and Shutterfly right now. I have the space on my own site but it looks like my web host doesn’t have the server-side graphics software installed to generate thumbnails automatically, and that’s such a pain to do by hand that it would be well into December before I got the Halloween pics online.

– My term as an Mpact board member officially came to an end last night. They gave me a stainless steel silver paperweight in the shape of a star to commemorate my two years on the board. I’m still trying to sort out how I feel about Mpact’s restructuring, dropping the pillar system in favor of Engage/Empower/Inspire. When I figure it out I’ll write an editorial on it here in the blog.

– And we’ll wrap up this blog entry with a news item: Northwest Airlines is considering outsourcing thousands of flight attendant jobs to foreign nationals. I can just imagine a future phone conversation going something like this:

“Hello, Northwest Airlines.”

“Yes, I’d like to reserve a ticket, please.”

“Very well, sir. What is your destination?”

“Oh, it doesn’t matter. Just as long as the flight attendants are Romanian.”

– All right. It’s coming up on 10:00 in the evening. Normally that would mean it’s time to go to a bar, but tonight I’m going to bed – want to be well-rested for the weekend. I’d be very surprised if there are any more blog posts until Monday, but you never know.

HOLY SMOKES! – Hot wing update

A few months ago, I published rankings of the best places to get hot wings downtown. At that time the Flying Saucer came out on top. And apparently people take this blog seriously – I’ve heard that people visiting here from Nashville have made a special trip to the Saucer to try their wings.

But now, there’s a new contender on the block. Last night, after a visit to the Tap Room for Pint Night (Stella Artois for $2.50! Not bad!), I decided I was hungry. Now, usually Huey’s is where I make my drunken stop for wings, but this time I decided to try something new – Big Foot Lodge, on Second across from the Peabody Hotel.

They had several varieties of wings, including medium, hot and HOLY SMOKES! Big Foot is not famous for its wings like Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters, I reasoned – how hot could the hottest be? So I ordered 12 HOLY SMOKES! wings to go.

That turned out to be a mistake. When I got home and took a bite of the first wing, it felt like my lips were on fire! I had to run to the kitchen and get a big glass of ice water. I could only make it through 6 of them before I gave up, putting the other 6 in the refrigerator for today.

However, I would still rate them highly. First of all, they were big, meaty wings, bigger than any others I’ve found downtown. And they’re an excellent value – for $5.99 you get 12 wing pieces (equivalent to 6 whole wings), celery, carrots, and fries. At the Saucer you pay almost 8 bucks for 10 wing pieces and no fries. Big Foot’s dill ranch dipping sauce is very good too. Service was quick and very friendly, and if you eat in you can complement your wings with a 34-ounce beer for $3.99.

I’m gonna go back and get the regular hot wings before reaching a final verdict, but there’s a very good possibility that I may award Big Foot the title for best wings downtown.