Saturday, January 01, 2011

Central Time New Year

Dr. Theresa and I were home before midnight and we decided to turn on the TV to see if anyone was dropping anything locally or semi-locally, you know, the way they drop that big ball in New York City. Turned out the Hard Rock Cafe was dropping a guitar in Memphis. Now this was on our local PBS affiliate, and it was odd, because the "show" was mostly blatant, prerecorded advertisements for Beale St. businesses that seemed maybe (I don't know!) a notch above Applebee's in "authenticity." Some "expert" from the chamber of commerce or somewhere claimed that before Beale St. became refurbished with these (apparently) Applebee's type places, "The only place to hear music in Memphis was the lounge at the Holiday Inn." He really said that! Now I am no expert on anything, and maybe I misunderstood the guy, but I believe there has always been music in Memphis, very little of it at a Holiday Inn. One business owner was a guy named Silky Sullivan (Dr. Theresa kept calling him Silky Soft) but the name of his place is Silky O'Sullivan's, with an O thrown in. Silky Sullivan explained to an interviewer that he was named after a racehorse. Then, in a prerecorded segment, he sang his "theme song" ("When Irish Eyes Are Smiling") getting a lot of the words wrong. I guess the most exciting part was when they were going to drop the guitar. We cut to three hosts sitting around a cramped little table. One of them says (I will paraphrase slightly, probably), "I had the good fortune of speaking to the manager of the Hard Rock Cafe earlier today, and he explained that dropping the guitar from a height of one hundred feet in ten seconds requires split-second... what? They already dropped it?" That's right! While she was talking, they had dropped the guitar four or five minutes early! And we didn't even get to see it, not that seeing the guitar prematurely dropping would have given us much satisfaction, it having forfeited its function as a celebratory marker of the exact beginning of the new year, which was not to commence for several more minutes. So they cut to the scene of the already-dropped guitar, where, in Dr. Theresa's description, a few people were "shuffling around in the rain like zombies." Happy New Year!