May 29, 2015
There's nothing like the sights, sounds and smells of Dave Hensley of Halls kicking back on the couch in his underpants with 12 bags of chips, an extra-large sausage and pepperoni pizza, a massive bag of Peanut M&M's and four two-liter bottles of Mountain Dew. It's the place to be this summer.
Starting today, the couch of historic Dave's Living Room transforms into a great big binge-watching paradise, with no shirt, no pants, junk food, more junk food, even more junk food and multiple seasons of TV on Netflix. The kind of depressing fun begins at 5:01 p.m. and runs for nine days, until Dave begrudgingly drags himself back to work.
"I'm bringing about 30 different kinds of snack foods from the grocery store - Doritos, microwave popcorn, Dr. Pepper, onion rings, ice cream, chicken wings, the works - to demonstrate and share their delicious traditions with my mouth while I watch multiple seasons of 'The Walking Dead,' 'Mad Men' and 'Family Guy,'" said festival director Dave Hensley.
The festival is free and plenty of parking will be available for buttocks on Dave's couch. A restroom is accessible down the hall. Ice is in the freezer and beer is in the fridge.
Other attractions include Dave dozing off while watching "Orange Is the New Black" and Dave stumbling down the hall to finally take a shower after five days.
One person, Dave, is expected to attend and enjoy the artificial flavors and preservatives of cookies, Chili Cheese Fritos and donuts, the kinds that make Dave's Living Room the "Pantsless Guy Eating Snack Foods and Watching TV Capital of the World."
The Southeast Tourism Society has repeatedly listed the festival as one of its Top 25 Events of the Summer.
"This is a unique cultural celebration that I really look forward to each year," said Hensley. "This year's theme is delicious comfort food that I will eat lying down on the couch, while I catch up on some great TV. It promises to be a wonderful experience for the entire Dave."
May 27, 2015
Wow, #4 had us so weak. You will never believe this shocking news that you can't live without! This is a story that no short man should ignore about a single mother who tries to fight off a bear with 19 rusty spoons that were fed to a pinecone and a pot of coffee that was forced to leave the Internet due to 29 slices of bacon that only introverts can possibly understand. What happens next will amaze and surprise you like 17 things that only a college professor should say to seven videos of rabbits shoplifting a toaster that will make you cry. When I found out why, I couldn't believe it! You will be able to look like 37 life hacks retweeting this ancient scroll about tambourines for the rest of your life.
May 25, 2015
A Knoxville woman's photos of her vacation were made up almost entirely of her sunbathing feet. Facebook users reported that Kelsey Durman of South Knoxville spent nine days on the sunny beaches of Florida, with only pictures of her toes coated in sand to show for it. "My friend spent more than a week staring out at the majestic beauty of the ocean," said Joseph Gillman. "All she managed to take pictures of were her selfies of herself from the knees down. Poor Eastman Kodak went bankrupt for this." "Couldn't she at least have thrown in a couple of pictures of her in midair jumping on the beach," said Ashley Hutchinson. "I feel kind of cheated."
May 23, 2015
A new Tennessee state logo unveiled this week is at third glance the work of a professional marketing and advertising agency, not an assignment by a second grader that was salvaged from the trash. The new design features the postal abbreviation for the state in white letters on a red background with a blue stripe underneath. Despite the new logo's appearance as an assignment that was completed five minutes before the bell rang and Mrs. Quinn started collecting homework, it was in fact designed by Nashville professionals who charged $46,000 for their services. The new design is only liked by four people in the state, two of whom didn't have on their glasses. According to Gov. Bill Haslam's office, the logo is intended to give the state a unified look that says "Tennessee: if it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is."
May 22, 2015
Knoxville celebrated the grand opening of its new parking garage district with the unveiling of the Walnut Street Garage.
The garage holds over 1,000 cars and is a stone's throw from both the Locust Street Garage and the Market Square Garage, literally cementing the area's status as a hub of elevated parking boxes.
"We want to remind visitors to Knoxville that the best way to enjoy a walkable neighborhood is with a car," said Brad Woodford, Knoxville vice director of parking garages parked right next to other parking garages. "The city's new parking garage district will nicely complement our theater district and our arts district."
City officials said the parking garage district will help the city's reputation as a place where people live, work and park.
"I wish we could have found a way to incorporate some retail space on the ground floor of this new garage," said Woodford. "But with only 1,000 parking spaces, I'm not sure where people would have parked. As it is, we're already running out of places to park downtown again. Maybe we could turn Krutch Park into a parking garage.
City residents said they can't wait to go downtown so they can park their vehicles.
"This new parking garage is going to be great," said Dustin Yearwood, a longtime fan of parking garages. "Now I can walk from one single use parking garage to another single use parking garage. Plus, the completely blank south wall really speaks to me as someone who wishes he were Spider-Man."
"Thank God this new garage doesn't have retail space," added Desiree Stewart of South Knoxville. "I can't wait to park here and admire the other nearby parking garages. Or there is a surface parking lot nearby if I really want to spice things up. I only wish the nearly always half-empty State Street Garage wasn't a whole five blocks away."
May 21, 2015
A federal judge in Knoxville issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday against all the mosquitoes. United States Magistrate Judge Samantha Leiphart issued the order after the city was ranked the 20th worst in the nation for the insects. Many citizens have accused the insects of repeatedly biting them and leaving itchy red welts. "It appears mosquitoes are airborne disease vectoring jerks that just go around irritating people and sucking their blood," wrote Leiphart. The people of Knoxville asked the federal court to stop the mosquitoes from entering their cars even though the door was only open for three seconds and then biting them 900 times on the way to work, to refrain from leaving pepperoni-sized marks all over their skin and to at least pretend that bug spray is effective.
May 19, 2015
Two U.S. Senators who have received over $1 million in combined campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry Monday questioned TVA's plan to place more emphasis on renewable energy. "As a politician who has received nearly $600,000 over the course of his political career in contributions from the oil and gas industry, I really don't think we should be focusing on renewable energy," said Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, speaking at a round-table discussion at the University of Tennessee. "I think my next reelection bid is better served if TVA sticks to my campaign contributors' mission of providing non-renewable energy instead of chasing the latest energy fad." Lamar Alexander agreed. "It is imperative that as leaders of this country we stick to my short-term goals of pleasing my campaign donors instead of addressing long-term environmental concerns."
May 17, 2015
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett announced a new initiative Saturday that will focus on the fun children can have by reading about taking standardized tests. As part of the program, kids enrolled in elementary school will read about the excitement that can be had by tying education funding to the answering of multiple choice questions. "We need to make reading enjoyable for kids," said Burchett. "And what is more thrilling than taking a standardized test? This new reading program will tell stories about the exhilarating adventures of filling out bubbles completely with a No. 2 pencil." Beginning in third grade, children will receive story books about taking tests that can be read with parents. "There is only one TCAP test, and children all over the state enjoy reading about their adventures," begins one story designed to make reading more pleasurable. "Our teachers do outstanding work," Burchett said in a press release. "We want to implement a program that will give our students the best chance of preparing for a decade of reading geared toward the taking of tests."
May 15, 2015
When Clay Parker flew into Knoxville from Michigan for this year's International Biscuit Festival, he was pleased to see a mandatory training course for Northerners about the South on the schedule.
Parker, a self-described Northerner, had never been to the South before this week, and wasn't sure if he could survive the culture shock.
"I was a little intimidated, coming down here," he said. "I've always loved biscuits, ever since I found out about them when I went to Cracker Barrel. But when I asked someone where I could find some pop and they looked at me like I had two heads, I knew I needed some help."
The organizers of the annual event have heard similar pleas for help from other festival visitors. This year they have instituted the specialized training for those new to the South, and perhaps the biscuit itself.
"We said to ourselves, 'Bless their little hearts, they just don't know what's going on,'" said certified Southernness trainer Brittany Hayes. "So we came up with a three-hour crash course on the basics."
The course begins by covering the South's regional culinary differences.
"We teach some very important food lessons in this training, not just about biscuits," said Hayes. "For example, the word is 'dumplin,'' not 'dumpling.' Also, tea was meant to be sweet. Have you tasted it without sugar? There's a reason people don't use leaves to flavor things. Finally, barbecue refers to a specific cooking method. It's super disappointing when you expect barbecue and end up with grilled hamburgers and hotdogs."
Other topics covered in the training include the South's three dominant religions - Christianity, football and pickup trucks; how to buy up a grocery store's entire stock of milk and bread when a meteorologist utters the word "snow;" and how to survive a mosquito attack.
Festival organizers are hopeful the training will help Northerners fit in better during their stay, and that it will help them understand that biscuits out of a can are basically just trash.
May 14, 2015
A Middle Tennessee man hopes to someday have his glow-in-the-dark toilet seat in every home in America that has indoor plumbing but no electricity. Wilson County resident Eric Nance is the creator of a phosphorescent lavatory lid, which he created because like hell is he turning on a light at 3 a.m. "I don't know how many times I've needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night but was all like, 'I'd rather just have a very wet butt,'" says Nance. Nance is marketing the radiant lid to the nation's vast population of people living in caverns. And to Gollum. "Some people have told me that lightbulbs have already been invented," he says. "But this is America, a place where waterproof billiard tables and hoodies for pets are actual things."