Thursday update

Elmwood Cemetery will present an encore of its popular Scandals & Scoundrels Tour on All Saints’ Day, Sunday, November 1 from 1 to 3 PM Central Standard Time. (The word “Standard” is used for emphasis here: November 1 is the day the clocks fall back an hour.) Learn about the famous residents of Elmwood and how some of them came to a questionable end. Good walking shoes are recommended. Cost is $25 and space is limited.

The Daily Memphian reported a couple of key facts from the Southern Lodging Summit, which was supposed to be hosted by the Peabody Hotel but which ended up being held virtually:

  • Hotel occupancy nationwide is about 40% following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; in Memphis it’s 50%
  • The lodging industry is not expected to fully recover to 2018-19 levels until 2024

Every restaurant (full- and limited-service) should have signs like these at their bar areas, as long as bar areas remain closed by health department directive:

Wednesday I was at a restaurant (not the one pictured above) and a man came in, wearing a mask. He walked past three signs saying you must have a mask on except when seated. He walked right up to the bar, took the mask off, and asked, “Do I really need this?”

By the way, the back part of this sign, the part facing the bartender, needs to be a reminder not to serve customers standing at the bar.

COVID Act Now reports that the infection rate in Shelby County is up to 1.17. That is really not good! We need to get that back below 1. We’re also back up over 20 new cases per 100,000. 25 is considered “out of control.” Many counties in Tennesee are over 25 already.

Jennifer Chandler of the CA had a taste of brunch at Coccoza recently. I want one of those Antipasti Bloody Marys!

There’s a sales associate job open at Trek Bikes in South Main.

Free tacos at Taco Bell next Wednesday, October 28 thanks to Mookie Betts stealing a base in the World Series, paying off the “steal a base, steal a taco” promotion.

Tennessee men’s basketball head coach Rick Barnes indicated the game with Memphis won’t happen this year.

Tonight in the Downtown Dinner + Music Series:

  • Tonya Dyson at Huey’s
  • Deborah Swiney at Canopy and Rendezvous Alley
  • Life Explicit at patio between Automatic Slim’s and Kooky Canuck (wait, what patio?)
  • Tori Whodat at Blind Bear
  • Mississippi Sounds at Peabody and Main

It happens 5-7 PM. Come listen to some live music and support some great Memphis restaurants.

That’s all for today. I’m going to watch the final debate tonight. Here’s the drinking game. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

There’s going to be a rule change in the debate tomorrow night between the Trumpster and Joe Biden. During each candidate’s opening two-minute response to a question asked by the moderator, his opponent’s mic will be cut. LOVE IT! No more interrupting! The first debate reminded me of Archie Bunker arguing with the Meathead on All in the Family way more than discourse between two nominees to the world’s most powerful office.

Tomorrow after work will be a stay-home day for me, for sure. Even though I’ve already early voted, the new rule makes the debate must-see TV.

After years and years of talk, One Beale is finally leasing apartments. For now, potential residents will be limited to a virtual tour. December is the move-in date. In other project news, plans for the office tower have been scrapped.

In yesterday’s COVID-19 press conference, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announced a new faith-based initiative to support places of worship that have been affected by the pandemic. These places can apply for grants that can be used in one of two ways:

  • For those organizations that would like to stream services online, the grant can be used to cover those costs;
  • For organizations that prefer to worship in person, the grant can refund the cost of PPE to make that activity safe.

So there have been grants for hair salons, bars, and faith-based organizations. Mayor Harris, I have a question for you. WHAT ABOUT THE STRIPPERS? Adult entertainment businesses have been shuttered since March. How about some financial relief for people in that industry? In college, there are Pell Grants to help those in need. How about Pole Grants, for pole dancers?

In other press conference news, Health Department Director Dr. Haushalter and Assistant Director David Sweat reiterated that the second wave of COVID-19 is here. 342 new cases were reported yesterday, and over 800 the past 3 days. The Facebook “health experts” are starting to come back out of the woodwork too. I’m sure Halloween will give them plenty to complain about.

WMC Action News 5 has a 5 Star Story about Bass Pro at the Pyramid.

Forbes had some love for Bass Pro at the Pyramid as well, particularly the Mississippi Mud Cookie that is part of turndown service at the Big Cypress Lodge hotel there. Check out their chocolate lover’s destination guide.

The DM’s Chris Herrington discovered the Smurfey’s Smokehouse food truck recently. That’s my favorite BBQ food truck. Pulled pork baked potato! Herrington is starting a new street food column, a fine addition to the publication.

City Council members were skeptical about the plans for a 30-to-45-story tower in the Pinch District in yesterday’s meeting.

The Memphis Tigers will once again be on national TV for their road game at Cincinnati on Halloween. The game will kick off at 11 AM and will be carried either on ESPN or ESPN2.

The MBJ has a slideshow of convention center renovations. The slideshow is free to view, although you have to be a subscriber to read the accompanying article.

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

Tuesday update

Downtown Dining Week is coming back! This year it will be November 1-7. That’s earlier in November than DDW usually occurs, and no doubt they are doing it so more people will choose outdoor dining options. It’s often still patio weather in early November; much less so the closer we get to Thanksgiving.

This year, rather than sticking to a 3 courses for $20.20 theme that may have been a bit limiting during a pandemic, DDW is letting each restaurant choose a theme or special that best expresses itself. There’s a Daily Gift Card Giveaway you can enter (follow the link for rules) and Explore Bike Share will offer free bike rides for DDW.

Time for me to sound like a broken record and give the yearly advice: If there’s a restaurant you feel like you want to go to during DDW, make reservations now or you won’t get a seating during the prime dinner hours. This is especially true with the really popular restaurants like Felicia Suzanne’s, Rizzo’s, Bishop, Cocozza, and the Andrew Michael Downtown restaurants (Bishop, Catherine & Mary’s, Gray Canary).

As we get ready to celebrate the Halloween season, the Orpheum has announced three scary movies to get everyone in the mood this week. They are:

A proposed tower of 30 to 45 stories, if approved, would, well, tower over The Pinch District. City Council members will hear about the plan today, which would include a hotel facing Main Street. There would be condos and a rooftop lounge as well.

Katrina Burgoyne plays South Main Stream, broadcast live from South Main Sounds at 550 S. Main, Friday 6:30-8:00 PM. They’ll have limited seating inside and unlimited seating online.

University of Memphis quarterback Brady White has been named Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week. The honor comes following a comeback victory over UCF after trailing by three touchdowns in the third quarter.

Great quote I saw over the weekend:

“The best revenge is not being like your enemy.” -Marcus Aurelius

So true!

Primas Bakery + Boutique will have an Election Day Bake Sale. Come by for patriotic-themed cookies and cakes after you vote.

Stacks & Rowell play Momma’s, corner of Crump and Kentucky, at 6:30 Friday.

This past weekend’s Women of Soul concert must have been a success, because the Orpheum has announced WOS 2: Stefanie Bolton, Kia Johnson, Tonya Dyson and Taliba Safiyah for Saturday, December 12 at 7:30. Tickets are $34.

Food company Sysco is still searching for an outside sales rep to cover the Downtown and Midtown areas.

Only in Memphis: A rapper has been charged with unemployment fraud after he bragged about it in a music video.

Downtown nonprofit Meritan is collecting gifts and monetary donations so 300 homebound seniors in Memphis can have a merry Christmas.

Two weeks out from the election, Biden is down to a 1.0% favorite in Florida, according to the latest from RealClearPolitics. He had been ahead in the 3.5% range for much of the campaign. Biden has paths to 270 that don’t include Florida, but the Midwestern states and Arizona would become much more important in those scenarios.

I’ve stayed home the past two days, so I will treat myself to a stop at the Blind Bear today after work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

Even the Halloween decorations at Bardog Tavern wear PPE

Three cheers to the Memphis Tigers, who made a comeback against the foe that has given them trouble like no other, UCF. The Tigers, down by 21 in the third quarter, came back for a 50-49 win, the first against Central Florida since 1990.

On the other end of the state, the Tennessee Vols lost to Kentucky at home for the first time since 1984. The 34-7 loss was embarrassing even by UT standards, and the program is three years removed from Butch Jones so his recruiting can’t take much of the blame. The University of Tennessee should voluntarily step down to the Sun Belt Conference so an institution with competent leadership can take its place in the SEC.

The Daily Memphian reports that South City developers have given up trying to recruit a grocery store to that neighborhood. The challenges of serving that community and the Downtown community at the same time are said to be too much for grocery chains to be willing to tackle. The incentive money that was included in the South City project for a grocery will be redirected to other purposes.

Front Street will reopen tomorrow between Poplar and Jackson. That section of Front has been closed for a year, creating some major traffic snarls. Main Street will reopen in a week, much to the relief of Pinch District restaurants.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID week in review for Shelby County. He has concerns about the reclassification of schools in the latest health directive.

Ohio has flipped back to red in FiveThirtyEight’s election simulation. Trump is a 51/49 favorite there over Biden. Ohio has also flipped back to Trump in RealClearPolitics’ no toss-up states map of aggregated poll numbers.

Alexis Taylor plays Slider Inn today at 1.

Here’s a pic of a troll eating an Insomnia Cookie, and that’s all I’ve got for today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Mid-afternoon yesterday, I walked down to the Shelby County Election Commission at Second and Poplar to early vote. The facility was very professionally managed: Volunteers kept everyone six feet apart in line, and I was offered hand sanitizer as I came in. I got to keep the Election Commission pen I used to sign forms, preventing spreading germs by using the same pen as other people. They gave me a wooden stick to use to vote, so that I didn’t spread germs by touching the touch screen.

One note I want to point out: My ballot was three pages long. The first page was the Presidential ticket, the second page was the U.S. Senate race, and the third page had both the U.S. House race (the Steve Cohen one) and the Tennesee House race (the Barbara Cooper one). I almost didn’t realize I needed to vote twice on the third page, so keep an eye out for that.

I was probably 12th to 14th in line when I walked up, and was at the counter in about 5 minutes, plus another 2 to complete the voting process. I gotta tell you, I don’t understand why anyone waits until Election Day. Early voting is so much easier.

Perjorie T. Roll will be old enough to vote in the 2036 presidential election. “We’re sending a troll to the White House that year!” she informed me. God help us all.

From the folks at Walking Pants Curiosities gift shop, where you can find all kinds of really cool stuff sold by good people:

Walking Pants
We are a couple of weeks late but now that the store is open again it is time to celebrate our 4th anniversary!
From the bottom of our hearts, we are grateful, for each of you. We had an idea for a crazy little store in the South Main of Downtown Memphis and all of you helped bring that dream to life and proved love works!
Thank you for believing in impossible with us!
Ashley and Daryl

Walking Pants is in the same shopping center as Arcade Restaurant, Cheesecake Corner, and Max’s Sports Bar on G.E. Patterson at Main.

Very cool: Google now lets you search for a song by whistling and humming

Maciel’s now has online ordering. I tried it Thursday evening and it works great. There’s just something about not having to talk on the telephone that makes me so much more likely to order.

Cossitt Library will present Riverfront Story Time at 4 PM tomorrow, Sunday, October 18, in River Garden Park. They will read the book Quick as a Cricket. Kids must be accompanied by an adult and masks will be worn by everyone including library staff. Everyone will be properly social distanced. Blankets and chairs welcome. You’re encouraged to sign up in advance.

You remember how, in pre-COVID times, the Memphis Farmers Market had Master Gardeners on hand to give you free advice? Did you ever wonder how one becomes a Master Gardener? The Daily Memphian has the deets.

COVID stats update: 17.0 cases per 100K, 1.08 replication rate, 7.1% positivity rate for Shelby County. All of those numbers fall into the “not quite alarming but definitely not good” category.

No new Downtown updates but Scoop Memphis continues to be my new favorite website.

Someone who works near Beale but not on it, and who is a reliable source of this type of information, told me that Beale Street restaurants are allowed to stay open until 5. All other restaurants are directed to close at midnight by Health Directive 14. I am so tempted to comment on the absurdity of that situation, but why even bother…

Last night at the Blind Bear, Jeannette handed me a business card and told me this would be a good business to tell Downtowners about.

(click/tap image to view at a larger size)

Red Rover, Red Rover, who’s coming over? Not just everyone… happy birthday Neal AKA Hollywood.

The Oscar Meyer Wienermobile is in town and will be at the Edge Motor Fest today 10-3 at 645 Marshall.

Coca-Cola is getting rid of Tab, one of the original diet colas. Oh, man, I have a co-worker who is going to be extremely disappointed.

Memphis Magazine’s Ask Vance column has info on the building that is now home to the Rumba Room. 100 years ago it was the Whistle Bottling Company.

Don’t forget, UCF at Memphis is on ABC at 2:30 today. Looks like the game of the week will be #3 Georgia vs. #2 Alabama at 7:00 on CBS. Based on today’s schedule, I would surmise that the old farts corner table at Max’s Sports Bar will fill up early today.

Hospitality HUB has had to abandon its plans to build a women’s shelter on top of the old auto inspection station on Washington Avenue.

2 Crazy Fellas will be at Ghost River this afternoon 3-7 serving their Cajun-inspired menu.

That’s it for now. Got a full schedule today, the fullest weekend schedule I’ve had since the pandemic hit. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

I want to make a reminder to my readers that is very important in the age of COVID-19: If you have reservations at a restaurant and can’t make it, please call and let the restaurant know so they can re-book the space. Jennifer Biggs of The Daily Memphian reports that this is a big problem during the pandemic. With many restaurants forced to operate at half capacity or less, keeping tables 6 feet apart, a no-show on a reservation hurts twice as much as it normally would.

There are a couple of American Athletic Conference games on ESPN tonight: #17 SMU at Tulane at 5:00 and independent powerhouse #14 BYU at Houston at 8:30.

Women of Soul, a concert featuring Karen Brown and D’Monet, happens at the Orpheum at 7 tomorrow tonight.

However, tomorrow morning’s performance of Baby Shark Live scheduled for the Orpheum has been canceled.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will hold its first in-person monthly meeting since February on Tuesday, October 27 at Loflin Yard. DNA members will be given priority over non-members with space limited to 50 because of COVID regulations. There will be temperature checks and contact tracing at the door.

The Memphis Business Journal asks, whatever happened to the proposed Mud Island aquarium? The city first proposed the idea in 2018 but has been unable to find an investor.

By the way, if anyone from the MBJ is reading, you might want to do a Google search on that article’s headline. My daily Google Alerts indicate there are some shady websites scraping your content.

The pandemic led to a $1.7 million loss for Memphis in May this year. That’s nearly three times the largest loss of any previous year.

The Shelby County Health Department has revised its recommendations for Halloween. While trick-or-treating is still not recommended, there are best practices you can follow. You can give out individually bagged candy so kids are not reaching into a common bowl. You can give candy to kids outside, wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently.

It looks like the popular Monster Mash party at the Mallory-Neely House in Victorian Village is still on. The party is outdoors and is limited to 100 guests, and therefore is considered a “small gathering” (less than 200) by the Health Department.

Marcella and Her Lovers perform at Health Sciences Park today 11 AM to 1 PM. A food truck will be at the park. Masks are encouraged and sanitation supplies will be available.

Alexis Taylor plays The Vault tonight at 8. Prior to that she’ll be on South Main Stream Live at 6:30.

That’s it for now. I’m going to early vote after I get off work this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

The Memphis Chess Club opened yesterday at 195 Madison. They offer casual play, tournaments, and family play. If you’re new to chess or need a refresher on the game, they have classes for both kids and adults. They also have a full cafe with sandwiches, salads, pizza, and a kids’ menu.

The club is open to the public, and you’re always free to drop in, play, and watch games. However, they think you will find reasons to want to join the club. Here’s their list of weekly events (hat tip to Jerred Price for posting to Facebook. A star indicates registration is required):

  • Wednesdays: Blitz Tournament* 7:00-8:30 PM
  • Thursdays: Ladies’ Knight 6:00-9:00 PM
  • Fridays: Music Knight 6:00-9:00 PM
  • Saturdays: Quads Tournament* 2:00-5:00 PM
  • Saturdays: Adult Beginner Class* 5:00-6:00 PM
  • Saturdays: Adult Open Play 6:00-9:00 PM
  • Sundays: Kids’ Open Play 1:00-4:00 PM
  • Sundays: Kids’ Beginner Class* 1:30-2:30 PM
  • Sundays: Kids’ Intermediate Class* 2:45-3:45 PM

In addition to the scheduled classes, private lessons are also available.

Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team has an opening date: It will be November 25 vs. Ohio State in South Dakota as part of the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic. Fans will be allowed but required to wear masks. Strict testing protocols for players and staff will be in place.

In other college basketball news, FedExForum has been selected as a site to host first and second rounds of the 2024 NCAA tournament.

The Memphis Flyer has more information on The Paramount, the restaurant to be opened at Front and MLK Ave. in the former Bluff City Law office from TV.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. has an Alt-Radio beer this month to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Radiothon for the Ronald McDonald House on 98.1 The Max. A portion of the sale of every case of beer will go to support the house, offering parents a place to stay while their kids undergo treatment at St. Jude.

From the Green Beetle:

Hey everyone! Join us and River Rat Rounders Tuesday October 20th to raise money to support Dannie Medlin, the much loved father of two of our employees. We will be doing a tasty sandwich special and donating proceeds from its sale straight to the Medlin family.

Dannie is a hard working self employed father of 4, an avid cyclist and unfortunately was diagnosed with a brain tumor on September 28th. He was immediately admitted for surgery whereby a mass the size of a tangerine was removed. He spent 10 days in the hospital with his wife Diana by his side every second and luckily is home now but they are awaiting on biopsy results. He has a long road ahead of him and we want to do whatever we can to help!

Come join us Tuesday in support of our employees and a family man who needs our help! We will also be hosting a shrimp boil on Sunday the 25th to raise money (details on that to follow).

MLGW is accepting applications for seniors (60 and over) and the disabled to join their winter moratorium program. Those participating in the program won’t have their utilities cut off during the coldest part of the year, December 1-March 1, although charges will continue to accrue.

The Edge Motor Museum will host a car show this weekend.

From The Daily Memphian: Meet the man making a 1700 mile Mississippi River journey in a pontoon boat

The New York Times has a look at when mail-in and absentee votes will be counted for the November 3 election.

Interesting new Memphis publication I found this morning: Scoop Memphis. It seems to highlight crimes not reported by mainstream media. The Downtown Family Dollar and the Silly Goose have both been in the publication recently.

Lyft recently consulted with UT Health Sciences to develop a clean ride guide, a set of standards for properly disinfecting a vehicle between rides in the era of COVID-19.

In other COVID-19 news, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has tested positive.

Better take the jacket if you go out: A cold front is bringing big changes today. There’s a chance of afternoon showers followed by a plunge into the mid-40s for Memphis.

The Downtown Dinner & Music Series is back tonight. Music lineup includes

  • Ryan Peel at Main and Monroe
  • Angie Holmes at the mural on Main just north of Gayoso
  • Jay Daskreet at the same mural
  • Mississippi Sounds at the corner of Main and Peabody Place

If you decide to partake in the dining as well as the music, may I recommend the Blind Bear’s new dinner menu? They have an expanded patio just steps away from the music at the mural.

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra presents Amadeus: Inside the Mind of a Genius tonight at the Halloran Centre.

That’s it for today. I’m off to work, then this afternoon I will be out at Blind Bear and Silly Goose. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update #2: Free movie showing at AutoZone Park Saturday

Special guest post
by Perjorie T. Roll

Greetings and salutations! I’m Perjorie, Paul’s troll. Paul wore himself out doing a nightmare election post earlier this morning, so I’m handling this morning’s daily news. We have a huge announcement coming out of AutoZone Park to discuss. But first, here’s a picture of me!

The other two trolls in this photo certainly are skinny, aren’t they? They could stand to eat a hamburger or two.

Now, on to my announcement – I would like to nominate AutoZone Park as Good Neighbor of the Year. I have three reasons for this nomination:

First of all, the folks at AutoZone Park are going out of their way to provide top-quality, safe entertainment in the middle of a pandemic. Saturday night they will show one of the all-time classic movies, Trolls World Tour, on the big screen. Tickets are free but you have to claim yours in advance.

A ticket allows you to sit in a pod as part of a group of up to 8 people or trolls. There are only a limited number of pods available, which is why you have to claim yours in advance. Pods are social distanced from each other. You can add a food order at the time you claim your ticket.

Masks must be worn at all times when inside the park. Chairs are not permitted on the field but blankets are encouraged. Gates open at 6 PM Saturday and showtime is 7.

Let’s move on to the second reason I feel AutoZone Park deserves to be named Good Neighbor of the Year: inclusive language. Let’s have a look at the first paragraph of the park’s press release about the movie:

MEMPHIS, Tennessee –The Redbirds are inviting kids, adults and trolls to enjoy a free showing of the hit movie Trolls World Tour from the field at AutoZone Park this Saturday, Oct. 17.

In this human-dominated society, it is heart-warming to see that AutoZone didn’t default to human-only language in its press release. That happens far too often. AutoZone is sending a message that trolls are welcome and are first-class citizens.

Third, AutoZone Park’s management is in touch with the desires of the surrounding community. No doubt they are aware that my brother Mendatius and I live a mere two blocks from the park’s front gate, and took that into consideration when selecting the movie.

In other news, early voting in Tennessee begins today. Here’s a list of early voting locations in Shelby County. When you early vote, you can do it at any location, not just your designated polling place which is the only place you can vote on Election Day. Bill Dries of the Daily Memphian is back with his excellent Ballot Basics column. It tells you everything you need to know about the voting process.

For those of us Downtown, the Election Commission at Second and Poplar is the most convenient place. It offers short wait times, COVID-19 precautions, and scenic views of 201. That’s where Paul is going. He talks about early voting and keeps saying that he doesn’t plan on waiting until November Third to flush the turd. I’m sure Walgreens has medicine that could help with that.

People who take their dogs and trolls out for walks are reporting that males in hoodies are trying to open car doors in the area around Front Street and the railroad tracks. Make sure you lock your doors.

The Shelby County Health Department released guidelines for celebrating Halloween yesterday. TL;DR: If it’s fun, it’s not permitted, or at the very least it’s frowned upon.

  • Halloween parties that draw large crowds are prohibited
  • Parades are prohibited
  • Festivals are prohibited
  • Haunted houses are prohibited
  • Carnivals are prohibited
  • Trick-or-treating is not recommended
  • Trunk-or-treating is not recommended

I wonder if bars will throw Samhain parties the last Saturday of October, kind of like they throw Big Game or Superb Owl parties the first Sunday of February?

The list of safe activities to celebrate Halloween is pretty depressing:

  • Online Halloween parties and costume contests (Because there’s so much you can do! You can throw a virtual dance party, a virtual game night… ALONE, TOGETHER!)
  • Drive-by events
  • Decorate your home
  • Drive-in Halloween movies
  • Outdoor, social distanced events

Side note to hackers: If you’re looking for something to do today, see the bullet list above.

Shelby County officials say the fall wave of COVID is here. A huge number of new cases were reported yesterday in Shelby County, and this time it wasn’t due to a backlog. Thank goodness they got the bars open before the fall wave hit. Otherwise it might be months before you saw any pictures of me standing next to Paul’s PBR.

Which reminds me… here’s a pic of me standing next to Paul’s PBR. I’m digging the new can art!

Very important: Note that the beer and I are standing on a table pulled up next to a bar, not on the bar itself. If either of us were on the bar, Paul would catch COVID. The health department says so!

The Downtown Neighborhood Association is inviting people and trolls to assist with their Fight the Blight program. In association with Two Broke Bartenders, this program hires furloughed service industry workers to clean up blighted lots in our neighborhood. Sponsorship starts at $500 and gets your business promoted to the DNA’s 12,000 members and on their social media.

Disabled Memphis residents: There’s a Ticket to Work Open House for you 10 AM to noon today. Services are free for those 18-64 receiving SSI or SSDI benefits. The open house is in Suite 800 of the Falls Building at the corner of Front and Court.

The Mersey Beatles concert at the Orpheum tonight has been canceled but it is still showing up on social media. Come Downtown anyway and enjoy some homestyle Italian dining at Cocozza, a troll-friendly restaurant a block up Main inside the Majestic Grille space.

Paul says we’re going out to the Silly Goose after he gets off work, so perhaps there will be a photo of me standing next to a pizza or some nachos on tomorrow’s blog. Keep scrolling to read Paul’s post from earlier this morning on the nightmare election scenario no one has thought of. Paul will be back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update #1: Nightmare election scenario

I woke up with a presidential election nightmare scenario in my head. Imagine this:

The morning of November 4, swing states Florida and North Carolina are called for Joe Biden. Swing states Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, and Texas are called for Trump. Votes in Maine congressional district 2, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona are projected to take days or even weeks to count, leaving those states uncalled, with exit polls showing Biden up by at least 5% in all of them. This produces the following map:

Click the map to create your own at

With 277 electoral votes, Joe Biden clears the magic 270 number needed to be declared the winner of the election. He is announced as president-elect and Kamala Harris vice-president elect.

The Senate looks to have a floor of a 51-49 Democratic majority and could go as high as 54-46 Democrats after mail-in votes are tallied. With Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote and a projected Democratic gain of 5-15 seats in the House, Republicans’ days of influence in Washington are numbered.

On Tuesday, November 10, Justice Clarence Thomas announces his retirement from the Supreme Court. Seeing the blue wave, Thomas, 72 and the court’s longest-serving justice at 29 years, realizes he could be in his mid-80s before another Republican president returns to the office. He therefore decides to step down so that outgoing President Trump can pick Thomas’ successor as a final act, cementing the GOP’s influence on the high court for possibly another 30 to 40 years.

Seething with anger at America’s rejection, Trump no longer feels the need to nominate a highly accomplished jurist to the bench. His only decision is whether his nomination should reward a crony or act as a form of revenge on the voters who ousted him.

Option 1: Ivanka

Trump probably sees his daughter more as a future president than a Supreme Court justice, but hey, you take what you can get. Besides, Ivanka is young, turning 39 the day before Halloween. She could serve on the court for 20 years then resign and run for president as the grand old dame of the Republican party, or the conservative party that exists in 2040 following the implosion of the GOP.

Option 2: Don Jr.

Realizing that Ivanka is the only junior Trump with even half a brain, Donald decides she is too good for America. He wants to dumb down the Supreme Court with a justice who is completely incompetent, and whose incompetence is he more convinced of than his eldest son? Alternately Eric could be the pick; they’re interchangeable.

Option 3: Kanye West

What would be a better f-you to the voting public than to nominate a possibly insane celebrity to the highest court in the land? In doing so, Trump could say thanks to Kanye for his attempt to run interference in the 2020 presidential election. If Kanye doesn’t want the job, Dennis Rodman would be a possible substitute. Wouldn’t Kim Jong-un be thrilled?

Option 4: Pick ’em, Putin

One of Trump’s very real fears is that at 12:01 PM on January 20, 2021, indictments will be unsealed, outlining his business ties to the Russian mob. Those folks don’t particularly like having their secrets brought to public light. So Trump makes a deal with Daddy Vladdy to spare his life in exchange for letting Putin pick the next Supreme Court nominee, giving Russia influence in yet another branch of American government.

Option 5: Donald Trump

Trump announces that, pending confirmation of his own nomination by the outgoing Senate, he will step down as president and accept the open seat on the Supreme Court. Mitch McConnell, incensed at the loss of his position as Senate majority leader, rams the confirmation process through in December, with defeated senator Lindsey Graham promising “a confirmation so fast, you’ll think the Road Runner is voting.”

If confirmed, Trump will resign early, making Mike Pence the 46th president of the United States for a few weeks. Speculation will run high on whether a sitting Supreme Court justice can be indicted for crimes, and if so, will Trump eventually vote to overturn his own convictions? Meanwhile, all eyes will turn to outgoing Senator Susan Collins of Maine, her seat to be turned over to a Democrat in January. As the key 50th vote to confirm the Trumpster, what will she want her legacy to be?

Whew! All this speculation has me worn out! I’m going to hit Publish and then turn the keyboard over to my writing assistant for the Wednesday news.

Tuesday update

Catherine & Mary’s got their menu up early for tonight’s PPP (pasta, plate, and pinot for $25) so I’m able to give you the scoop on tonight’s menu after all! They’re introducing a new Brussels sprouts dish this week. Call 901-254-8600 to make a reservation or to place an order to go.

  • Plate: Brussels sprouts | caesar dressing, walnuts, and lemon, panna gratta
  • Pasta: Rigatoni | broccoli rabe, sausage
  • Pinot: Noah River

Pro tip: If you go tonight, ask if Hillary is working and if she is, ask to sit in her section. Cheers to Hillary for making me aware of the weekly PPP special!

New yoga instructor announcement! My friend Hannah is now offering private yoga classes, either in-person or on Zoom. She’s working on building a website but for now you can follow her on Instagram at @901wildfloweryoga on Instagram. Hannah has amazing energy and will be a fantastic teacher. You may remember her from Aldo’s Pizza Pies Midtown, Loflin Yard, or Longshot.

An announcement came yesterday about the new restaurant going in the former Bluff City Law office space at Front and MLK, being opened by the people involved with The Vault:

Collaboration is the new black.   Opening soon on the corner of MLK and Front, The Paramount, a Tyson Bridge project in collaboration with Head Chef Derk Meitzler, Brent Mcafee, Mac Edwards, Jordan Mitchell Beatty, Lee Anna Beatty!  Be on the lookout for this New Orleans styled eatery to open featuring locally sourced sausages, tasso ham, Brent’s bacon and dacon and deli meats from Black Sheep Meats with the fun Big Easy vibe of restaurants like Cochon Butcher with Derk Meitzler’s food and Mac Edwards’ charm.
Opening late fall/winter 2020/2021!

The Grizzlies made a key signing yesterday: Announcer Pete Pranica, one of the very best in the league, has agreed to a new multiyear deal.

Shelby County issued a new health directive yesterday, Health Directive No. 14, but the closing time of midnight for restaurants and bars remains unchanged. Also unchanged are the incredibly stupid rule that food must be ordered with alcohol and the ridiculously stupid rule that food service must be limited to two hours. The new health directive deals with evictions and with who has the power to close K-12 schools should the pandemic get out of hand.

Live music announced for Momma’s this weekend: Broke Tail Folk Friday evening and The Accessories – Unplugged LIVE Saturday evening. Both shows start at 6:30.

A new Gus’s Fried Chicken has opened in the Deep Ellum neighborhood in Dallas. If you have any friends who live in the area, let them know they simply must stop by!

Nextdoor post titles this morning:

  • “Potential gun fire on Mud Island”
  • “South Bluffs lock your doors”

Kickoff time has been set for the Memphis-Temple game on October 24. It will be at 11 AM at the Liberty Bowl and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

I won’t have a recap of the COVID-19 task force press conference this afternoon. I’ve got somewhere to be right after work, and the press conference is unlikely to deal with anything concerning restaurants. Back tomorrow with more news.