Monday lunch post: Safer downtown, Dempseys, trivia

I want to lead off this post with something that happened Saturday night… something very, very good. This is something I plan on writing about on the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis website, but I want to mention it here as well since my blog has a bigger audience.

Saturday night I was walking down Second Street with Semi-Charmed Kat, on the way to the Flying Saucer. As we walked past Texas de Brazil a voice off to the left said, “Hey man, good to see you, how have you been?” and I looked in that direction and it was a cop – and after a second I realized it was Maj. Johnny Currin, one of the top guys at the South Main Substation. Johnny was one of the cops Mike King and I met the week Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis kicked off. (At that time he asked us to drop the “Major” formality and use his first name.)

He introduced me to the two other cops who were with him, who were also very high-ranking Memphis Police officers and not the kind of people you expect to see out working the streets on a Saturday night. They told me they were downtown to check out for themselves what happens down here on the weekends. Meanwhile, there were bicycle cops weaving between cars and pulling people over when they saw violations. I was thrilled. I thanked them over and over again for being there. This is exactly what we need downtown. If the cruisers and panhandlers and would-be criminals see a cop every time they turn around, they’re going to get the message that Downtown Memphis is not a place where you can get away with stuff.

Which reminds me… if you haven’t seen this week’s Memphis Flyer, pick up a copy and turn to the “Home Safe” article on page 10 – it’s about us. They interviewed Johnny Currin about putting more walking patrols on the streets, and they used my famous “Taco Bell change” quote to explain why you need to be careful about leaving loose change in your car.

Johnny also told me that the downtown precinct has big plans for National Night Out, which will be held on the first Tuesday in August. More details to come soon.

Moving on to last night… I went to Downtown Huey’s to see The Dempseys, and was lucky enough to grab the seat at the front corner of the bar where I was only a few feet away from the stage. At one point the band did their introductions.

“On the bass, Slick Joe Fick!”

“On guitar, my best friend in the whole wide world, Mister Bradley D. Birkendahl!”

“On the drums, he’s only 16 years old, ladies and gentlemen, Ron Perrone Jr.!”

“And in the front row, ladies and gentlemen, Paul Ryburn! He’s our manager, folks, he books all our gigs!”

Absolutely true… I was the one who booked them to play for President Bush a couple of weeks ago. The way I looked at it, the more time Dubya spends listening to rockabilly, the less time he has to screw up America.

I had two pitchers of Budweiser and a Red Bull while I listened to them. Somehow my tab ended up to be $5.88. I have no idea how they did the math on that, but I sure didn’t argue!

After the show I mentioned to the band that I was heading over to Blues City Cafe to see FreeWorld. “Riiiiiiight, Paul,” they said. “We’re sure that’s REALLY the reason you’re going over there. It wouldn’t have ANYTHING to do with… Ukranians.” What a random comment! I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone from the Ukraine in my life! Those boys must have had a nip of Thomas’s moonshine.

Moving on to plans for tonight… I probably don’t even need to tell you that I’ll be at the Saucer for Pint Nite. However, I’m adding a new item to the agenda – Trivia Night at Huey’s, from 9 to 11 PM. I’m not taking the team with me – I’ll be playing under my solo name, Professor Paul. They have prizes of $50, $25, and $10 for the winners, and the manager told me it has been going really well, so I’ll give it a try.

I tend to believe that the competition will be stiff, because of the late start time. It’s my opinion that people who stay out until 11, 12 or later on weekday nights are generally smarter than people who believe they have to be home by 10 to get a good night’s sleep for work the next day. Why organize your entire life around work? Work sucks.

Depending on how awake/sober I am by the time trivia is over, I may walk over to Blues City to look for these imaginary “Ukranians” that the Dempseys claim are there.

Today’s post is being brought to you courtesy of the free wi-fi at Sleep Out Louie’s. Down at the end of the bar, SOL waitress The Most Annoying Woman On The Planet II is whining that someone stole the cover of her Danzig CD. Bartender Emma has a couple of sexual astrology and birthday books. I asked her to look up my birthday, November 18.

“Oh, so you’re a Scorpio! THAT explains why you’re so weird!”

What exactly did she mean by that?

Only one week remains in Tube Top Month Extended, and I promise you, I am NOT going to extend it again into August. I’ve finally hit the point where I’m tired of writing about tube tops. So I guess it’s time to look for a new theme for next month. I’ve had suggestions to do Miniskirt Month, Thong Month, etc. Not surprisingly, all of those suggestions came from guys. But, no. I’m tired of clothing items as a theme. Maybe I’ll pick a country to honor, kind of like Memphis in May honors a country every year. Any suggestions for which country I should pick?

Time to publish this post and slag through a long afternoon at work. I got up late today and didn’t have time to shower, so I have greasy hair. Blah.