Proud members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. We strongly believe in personal freedom, responsibility, and gun rights. We also believe in the 90/10 theory. That means that 10% of the people have 90% of the talent. Unfortunately, we are not in the 10% category. However, the rest of us are still better than 90% of the politicians.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Elvis Week

I was accidentally in Memphis during Elvis Week once. I happened to be traveling through the area and stopped for lunch at a Shoney's. Upon entering I was captivated by the sight of a long line of Elvis Impersonators by the salad bar.

The line ran down the center aisle, almost to the doors, and was crossed at the other end by the salad bar in a T. As each one of the Elvises (Elvii?) reached the intersection of the T, they would cock their right leg out a give a hip swivel.

Being fascinated by this phenomena, I decided to wait for a table as it was likely to be the most amusing restaurant wait evar. As I looked around I found that the vast majority of the customers were Elvis Impersonators and they were all having a good time with it.

Once I was seated I asked the waitress (big red beehive, tight pink uniform and white apron, white waitress shoes, just 50's perfect) why the place was full of Elvis Impersonators. Her response, in a thick southern accent, was a huffy, "Well, Graceland is just down the street."

"Oh, Elvis was from Memphis?"

"Well, of course," said in a tone that clearly indicated my ignorance.

"Then do you always have this many Impersonators?"

"Honey, it's Elvis Week," said in a manner to indicate just how unenlightened I was to have to ask such a question.

Undaunted, I asked. "Elvis Week?"

"Why, girl, where are you from that you don't know that it's the anniversary of The King's death?" Said with hands on hips and arms akimbo, obviously perturbed by my cultural deficiency.

Having educated the obviously cretinous me on the importance of Elvis, she then took my order and left me to enjoy the show. After I finished the meal I couldn't resist going down the street to Graceland just to check out the festivities.

I'm not old enough to have been more than vaguely aware of Elvis' existence, so Graceland was a revelation. There were literally hundreds of people thronging the gift shop and parking lots. I couldn't tour Graceland itself as the waiting list was 4 hours long. But that was fine with me, the real fun was across the street at the gift shop, car and plane museum, and in the parking lots.

There were pavilions set up in the parking lots with bands and lined up for blocks around them were the Impersonators. When their turn came each would tell the band which song to play and sing their best Elvis song for the devotees.

While wandering in the parking lot I spoke with a man from Chile (sort of spoke with, he had no English other than lyrics to Elvis songs), a tour group from Italy (from Italy to Memphis for Elvis week?), another group from Germany (there's really a company that arranges tours to Graceland from other countries), and lots of the Impersonators. And every one of them ended our conversation by tossing his hair back and saying, "Thank you, thank you very much."

It was a lovely interlude in a cross-country drive and I still giggle when I think of it. Today is the last day of Elvis Week 2011, so this seemed appropriate.

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