All aboard the ho train! We have a winner

Just looked at my site tracker, and my blog has had the most hits of any day this week. Unusual for a Friday, traditionally one of the slowest days. Funny how that happens when you put ho’s at the top of your page. There were a lot of hits from Autozone, which I expected (don’t forget to polish your shoes, Uniform Monday is right around the corner… snicker)… but it looks like people from Morgan Keegan like ho’s too.

Reminds me… a few weeks ago I was out at a popular downtown nightspot, and I ran into one of my neighbors, who works at Morgan Keegan. He estimated that 80% of the women in the club were hookers. I personally think his estimate was on the high side, but just in case, I’ll make sure to stop by the ATM before I go there next time, in case I see something I like.

We have a winner in the trivia contest. Thanks to everyone for playing. Check back this weekend, because I have a long article saved in Drafts that is about 90% done and will be posted soon, and I also have ideas for a couple of shorter entries. Throw alcohol into the mix, and reading this blog will be guaranteed to be the literary equivalent of taking a swim in New Orleans. Who knows, maybe I’ll do another trivia question… buying beer for the winners is going to get expensive though, maybe I’ll give away your choice of the hos’ phone numbers as a prize. Have a good weekend, and if you go to any bars downtown, you’ll probably see me.

Pimp and ho question, and trivia! PRIZES!!!

So last night, I was talking to my friend, former student and blog reader Melanie, who was one of my ho’s for the last Pimp and Ho party…

Hang on, let’s post a pic of the ho’s.

…There ya go. Melanie is the one on the right. She’s put blond highlights in her hair since this pic was taken. She works for Autozone.

Anyway, it got me to thinking, I ran into one of the organizers of the Pimp and Ho party back in February. He told me that he was trying to organize a party that would encompass several bars, to take place in the fall, maybe September or October. Well, it’s September. Anyone out there have info? Is the party still going to happen? If so, what day, so I can put it on my calendar?

And before I go… since I’m the new trivia king, how about a trivia question.

What piercing did Melanie (see above) take out recently? E-mail answers to paul at paulryburn dot com, and put “trivia answer” in the subject line so I won’t mistake it for spam. One entry per e-mail address. First correct answer wins a reasonably priced beer ($5 or under) at the downtown Memphis Flying Saucer. Winner must collect in person. All are eligible, including Melanie herself. Good luck!

An open letter to George W. Bush concerning gas prices

Dear George,

I’d like to try and explain the gas crisis in terms you can understand.

I’m not going to talk about single mothers, or poor people, or black people, or the elderly on fixed incomes. Instead, I’d like you to imagine, if you will, a group of fraternity guys. Can you see them, dressed in their Polo shirts, and khaki Dockers, and brown loafers, and Abercrombie & Fitch baseball caps? Imagine that they’re planning a party to be held after the big football game on Saturday.

Surely you can imagine that, George. Once upon a time you were one of those guys.

Now, here’s the tragedy. Rather than buying three kegs for the party, they’re only going to be able to afford two. And do you know why? Because they’ve spent all their money filling up their Explorers and Yukons and Tahoes and Suburbans and Pathfinders and all their other 12-mpg SUVs. SUVs that have “W the President” stickers on the back windows.

Their reputation is on the line here, George. How is their frat going to be known for “great keggers” when they run out of beer before midnight?

And that’s not all. These gas prices are really hurting them. Instead of getting Bud or Michelob like they usually do, they’re going to have to step down to Natty Light.

They may even have to forego the bottle of Everclear 151 they use to spike the beer so the sorority girls at the party will get extra drunk.

George, this is SERIOUS. I know you can’t relate to poor people or black people, but you can relate to these guys. These frat guys are SUFFERING. So please. Do something. Work with Congress. Get those gas prices down.

Double your dollars

If you’re considering contributing to the Katrina relief effort, you might want to do it through the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation – they’ll match your donation. See details below. Thanks to my friend Amy for forwarding this info to me.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, donations of cash and goods are pouring into dozens of organizations aiding the disaster relief efforts. I am sure many of you have already made donations, volunteered your time, or even opened your homes to victims of the disaster.
IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY made a donation to support the relief efforts, I encourage you to make your gift to the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation. Our team’s owner, Michael Heisley, has offered to match all cash gifts 1:1 and then all funds will be forwarded to the American Red Cross.
In other words, if you donate $50, it will be doubled by Mr. Heisley; $100 will go to aid the Red Cross.
All donations are welcome; none is too big or too small. That is why, even if you have made a donation elsewhere, even the smallest gift will be doubled if you make a donation to the Grizzlies Foundation.
Please send donations to:
Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation
191 Beale Street
Memphis, TN 38103
Please write “Katrina Match” in memo line, so we know for what your donation is intended.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call me at 901.205.1243 or email at
Thank you very much for your care and generosity. Please forward this to others who might be interested in this opportunity.

Team of one – but one was enough

Tonight I went to the Flying Saucer for their weekly trivia contest. Competing against teams of two, three, five, even six, I signed up alone. But at the end of the night, Team Professor Paul came out on top, and I found myself holding a free bar tab. A few questions that I recall:

– How many hardcover copies of a book usually have to sell for it to be considered a bestseller? (A: 100,000, and I totally guessed on that one)

– What vitamin has been blamed for an increase in hip fractures in old people? (I guessed C, but it was A)

– How many minutes a day does the average American spend in the bathroom? (I guessed 63, thinking it must be a high number since half the population is female. But the correct answer is 35)

– How many Triple Crown winners were there in the 20th century? (Correct answer was 11, but my guess of 9 was the closest)

– What director is Drew Barrymore’s godfather? (Steven Spielberg)

I didn’t use my free bar tab tonight, because I want to take it around and show it to people and brag before I spend it. Maybe next week I’ll win another bar tab. Maybe I’ll never have to pay to drink at the Saucer again. Maybe I’ll be able to convince both of the Romanian waitresses to go to Utah with me so I can legally marry both of them.

Maybe I’ll be hung over at work tomorrow.

The song that’s currently stuck in my head

“Eastbound and Down’ by Jerry Reed. Particularly, the line “we’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.” The Dempseys played it in their set Friday night and it got stuck in my head. I went home and downl- er, bought it, and I’ve been playing it over and over.

Country music from the ’60s-’70s is actually not bad at all. Maybe I’ll have to pick up that Classic Country box set I see on TV from time to time.

More downtown news

South Philly is now open. It’s located on Peabody Place just east of Third Street, in the same building as Hooters. Haven’t been there yet, but I got a copy of their menu yesterday at the Southern Folklore Fest and it looks good – philly-style cheesteak sandwiches. Will be interested to see if their sandwich is as good as Lenny’s cheesesteak, which is among the best I’ve ever tasted.

They’re open until 3 AM on the weekends, and the prices are very reasonable. Sandwiches are in the $5-7 range, and among their beers they have Tire Bite, In Heat Wheat, and Doggie Style for $2.75 and Corona and Heineken for $3.00. At those prices I might be tempted to pass up the Flying Saucer and do my drinking at South Philly. I wonder if any Romanians work there?

There will be a benefit concert for the hurricane victims in Handy Park on Beale Street. It will be Thursday night, 6 pm – til. Don’t have the lineup in front of me but I remember seeing Minivan Blues Band and the Gamble Brothers on the bill, as well as some displaced musicians from New Orleans.

The former site of Buckley’s on Union is being converted into El Patron Mexican restaurant. It will be good to have some real Mexican food downtown.

All right. That’s all I know for now. Time to get ready for day 2 of a three-day weekend, and it’s Sunday which means that Sleep Out’s is the first stop of the day. Have a good weekend everybody…

Hurricane housing

Hurricane Housing is a site that lets people in the Southeast offer hurricane victims a free place to stay, and lets people displaced by the hurricane search for housing. You can post how many people you can house, whether you have pets, whether or not you smoke, whether you know of temporary work in the area, etc. Good way to help out on a more personal level than just donating money.

Stuff going on around town

Last night I was out with some of my neighbors, and one of them commented, “Paul, you should keep a list of stuff going on around town on your website.” He went on to flatter me by suggesting that the city should rename Second Street “Professor Paul Parkway.” Since I am susceptible to flattery, here you go, here’s your list.

The Center for Southern Folklore’s annual festival is this weekend, on the Main Street Mall between Gayoso and Peabody Place. Check their website for complete list of acts and times. Here are my picks:
Cooking demo by Zanzibar, Saturday at 11:15, Viking
FreeWorld, Saturday at 12:30, Verizon Wireless stage
Breeding Ground, dance, Saturday at 2:00, Trolley Stop stage
Super Chikan, Saturday at 8:15, Folklore Store
Barbara Blue, Sunday at 2:15, Folklore Store
Sonny Burgess and the Pacers, Sunday at 6:30, Verizon Wireless stage

I’ve never heard Super Chikan, but anyone named “Chikan” has got to be good, I would think.

Wonder if Ms. It’s-Almost-A-Tube-Top-It-Has-Straps will be performing in the Breeding Ground piece? And I wonder if Mr. Date Guy will be there?

Alice’s Urban Market is hosting a free wine tasting 2-4 pm Saturday. Wines are provided by the Corkscrew. Always a good chance I’ll show up when there’s free alcohol being served downtown.

There was an article about a new group in town called Drinking Liberally. It brings people together over beer/drinks to discuss local and national issues from a progressive point of view. The Memphis chapter meets every Thursday night at 6:30 at the Celtic Crossing (the former Glass Onion) in Midtown. Don’t think I’ll make it tonight but I plan on going sometime in the next few weeks. I got on their website and signed up for the local chapter’s e-mail list.

There’s a Drinking Liberally chapter in Waxahachie, Texas… wow, I didn’t think there would be any liberals there. If you’re a pro wrestling fan, here’s a bit of trivia for you – Waxahachie was the home of the late great “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch.

Speaking of wrestling – WWE superstar and best-selling author will be at Davis-Kidd on Thursday, September 8 to sign copies of his new book. Not sure what time – there’s an ad about it in the Memphis Flyer, so look there for details.

A contemporary art collector’s club is forming downtown in conjunction with Jay Etkin Gallery. Kickoff party is October 7 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Great opportunity to learn about art collecting from one of the experts. Membership in the club is free if you attend the kickoff party. Here’s a link to details – they ask that you RSVP by October 1 if you plan to attend.

The best festival of the year (although Mike from my building would disagree – more on that in a moment) is coming up – the Cooper-Young Festival, from 9 to 7 on Saturday, September 17. I’ll be there all day.

Mike would probably vote for Art on Tap at the Dixon as the year’s best festival. It’s Friday, September 9, 6-9 pm, $25 admission. I probably won’t go to that one – a beer-centric festival plus a car to drive home is not a good combination. Here’s a business idea – a car service that transports downtowners to other parts of the city so they can drink without driving.

And now you’re informed on upcoming events. I’m going to get a good night’s sleep and prepare for the long weekend.