Sunday, October 12, 2008

back just in time

Whoah, this blog got girly while I was gone. I gotta dude it up, quick…

Spit, punch, honk.

There we go. Now, where was I? Oh yes, Kingsport, Tennesse, my little work trip last week. Man…

You may or may not remember an earlier (apparently, hotbutton) post about an elephant and a rope. If not, go back a few.

So it turns out everybody knows about Mary the elephant but me. Weird.

As soon as I got to Kingsport, I started asking people about the incident. The first person I asked was he chief PR woman we were dealing with, who said, “oh please don’t include that in the video. You’d be surprised at how many people bring it up.” It made me feel bad for her. We’re talking about something that happened over 90 years ago. The fact that nothing significant enough has happened since then to get people to forget hanging the elephant is exactly the type of town it is.

It’s one of those towns that has one reason for existing, and that reason is a gargantuan chemical plant. Where the air smells like forgetfulness, and cameras are unwelcome. In Kingsport, you work at the chemical plant, or you don’t. And God help you if you don’t.

But I will say that the people we dealt with were mostly very, very friendly. Certainly on our side of the camera. Our little video crew was full of local guys from all parts of Tennesee, and every one of them had awesome, hilarious stories.

And man, is Tennesse is the SOUTH. It’s so south their forebears decided to make 2 syllables out of one, whether you like it or not. So, people in Tennesee don’t say him. They say hee-yim. They don’t say four. They say foh-wer. They don’t say oops. They say shee-yit.

We tried to woo our client by bringing her to the fanciest restaurant in town. The concierge (an old man with an incomprehensible accent and a bruised lip) told us we should go to “Cootie Brown’s.” This is a picture of Cootie himself, a “fictitious figure” who travels all around the world serving “delicious home cooked meals.” Which, incidentally, was also fictitious.

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