Nashville has an alternative rag, printed weekly, called Nashville Scene. I got familiar with it during my earlier sojourn in Music City, 1984-91. In 1989 the newspaper began running an annual contest to complete the phrase "You are so Nashville if. . . ." Right from the start I've greatly enjoyed the completions entered. Many are hilarious comments about local issues du jour, or send-ups about characteristics of Nashvillians (whether the trait is real or stereotypical).
Well, last week's Nashville Scene carried the entries for this year's contest. I was alerted to it by either e-mail or a Facebook post in which a fellow church member expressed dissatisfaction with the entry the rag chose as winner. When I actually got hold of a copy of the issue at a nearby convenience store on Murfreesboro Road and read all the entries, I too was dissatisfied!
The Scene's chosen First Place? "You are so Nashville if. . . your local GOP makes the KKK look like the ACLU." Not very funny nor true.
But, dear reader, compare that one with the one my fellow church member considered the best:
YASNI. . . you're working on a rhyme for "Ahmadinejab" (submitted by Jimmy McCollum). This of course links Nashville as songwriting capital (part of its being "Music City") with the Iranian leader so big in the news of late. As in, you're penning lyrics for a song about our troubles with the crazy Middle Easterner or about the recent oh-so-obviously "thrown" elections in Iran.
Or compare the winner according to the rag with just a couple of the ones I found better, as in funnier, or truer or more apropos:
YASNI. . . you wish Fifth/Third would make up its mind (also by McCollum). "Fifth/Third" is the name of a bank that came into being here during my residence in Texas. Yes indeed! Make up your mind, bank!
YASNI. . . you see nothing wrong with carrying a gun into a bar but believe having wine for sale in the grocery store would lead to more drunken accidents (by Ilissa Gold). This entry comments on how the recent legislative session okayed bearing firearms into such public places as bars, parks and restaurants (so long as the weapon bearer has a permit and does not drink alcohol -- but come on, get real, folks!) -- and yet in Nashville one STILL cannot purchase any alcoholic beverage other than beer in Kroger or Wally-world.
YASNI. . . you carry your gun into Hooters for wings and. . . a soda? (by Michelle Totty). Another of the several comments about the hypocrisy of legalizing guns in taverns and eateries but continuing to forbid wine sales outside liquor stores. And do you see how several entries are humorous, dear reader?
YASNI. . . you tweeted something in Spanish to @ericcrafton just to get on his nerves (by Andrew Cole). This one uses the current rage for Tweeter to make hay with Metro Councilman Eric Crafton's crusade to make English the official language for Metro documents and transactions. I don't do Tweeter (blogging, e-mail and Facebook take up too much of my time already) but if I did, I'd most certainly have done just this, especially after we the voters defeated "English only".
Closely related,: YASNI. . . you wish you lived in Eric Crafton's district so you could run against him, or at least TP his house (by Lucas Leverett). Yeah, I seriously considered this during the "English only" tomfoolery! So this one's SO ME!
Also SO ME is: YASNI. . . you paid for your library fines with a can of corn (by Ms. Totty). You see, the public library had a few days late last year or early this one, when patrons could bring in canned food and have their library fines remitted. And so I carried a few cans down to our beautiful Greek-architecture downtown Nashville Public Library to "pay off" my fines!
And of the half dozen or so that commented on the sudden death by heart attack of beloved Channel 4 News anchor Dan Miller, this one was especially SO ME: YASNI. . . you miss Dan Miller (by Barrett Wallen). 'Nuf said!
I suppose the fact that I encountered several completions for YASNI with which I thoro'ly agreed, and more than one that was me to a "t", indicates that here just under a year of living again in this city, yours truly is once again indeed "so Nashville"!
Oh, and my favorite of all the YASNI completions I've read? The one that took First Place in the inaugural year of 1989.
You are so Nashville if. . . you think our Parthenon is better because the other one fell apart (submitted by Susan Fenton).
After all, only Nashville has a full-scale replica of that classical Greek temple as it looked when new! And I don't really think ours is better; in fact, sometimes I think they shoulda built a full-scale replica of the modern ruins instead, for the Tennessee Centennial in 1897. But I do find it both funny and endearing to think that there might be some native Nashvillian running around with such a consideration about one of our most-recognized and visited landmarks!