March 27, 2015

Big Ears Festival and Rhythm N' Blooms Fest arrested for fighting downtown

Two music festivals arguing over which of them is better were arrested Thursday for fighting in a downtown parking lot, Knoxville police said.

Police responded Thursday evening to a call about an altercation between an ambitious, avant-garde music festival that transcends genres and an American Roots festival that spotlights highly lauded acts.

Witnesses said the two festivals appeared to be drunk and were yelling obscenities at one another.

"Rolling Stone called me 'arguably the classiest, most diverse festival in the country' and 'the most ambitious avant-garde festival to emerge in America in more than a decade,'" a noticeably irritated Big Ears Festival was heard to say. "You don't even have your own Wikipedia entry. You're not even your own festival. You're part of the Dogwood Pollen Festival."

"Make up your mind, are you an electronica festival or a minimalist music festival or an experimental jazz festival," retorted the Rhythm N' Blooms Fest. "No one even knows what any of those things mean. You're just an occasionally on a four-year hiatus festival."

After a few minutes of screaming at each other, the two music festivals began hitting each other with cellos.

"Music festivals are angry drunks," said Sundown in the City, who witnessed the violent exchange. "When they saw me, they told me I was dead. Ouch. I'm still pretty sensitive about that, guys."

Before police could intervene, the two festivals were beaten senseless with a rolling pin by the International Biscuit Festival.

"Neither of you taste good with butter or gravy or jam," said the apron-clad commemoration of baked Southern deliciousness. "You both wish you were an internationally-renowned food festival."

Police were able to convince Big Ears and Rhythm N' Blooms to put aside their differences since they are both frequented by hipsters with oversized beards. The festivals subsequently agreed to go make fun of Boomsday for that one awkward time when it tried to charge for tickets.

March 26, 2015

TSA finds two loaded baked potatoes in carry-on bags at McGhee Tyson

In a period of one week, agents with the Transportation Security Administration have confiscated two loaded spuds at McGhee Tyson Airport's security checkpoint, officials said. The first was a large russet potato topped with ham, turkey, bacon, cheddar-jack cheese, green onions, black olives and sour cream, which was found in a passenger's carry-on luggage Saturday. The second, a russet topped with chili, melted cheddar cheese and sliced jalapeños, was confiscated Tuesday. TSA allows potatoes in checked luggage, but the spuds must be declared through the airline agency and cannot have toppings directly on the potato. Critics said the seized potatoes are a violation of their constitutional rights. "If I want to destroy all nutritional value these potatoes have by adding cheese, bacon, sour cream, butter, chili and chives, that's my right at an American," said Brent Baddis. TSA officials added that the potatoes were delicious.

March 24, 2015

Gollum finds former Vol Craig Colquitt's lost Super Bowl ring

When former University of Tennessee punter Craig Colquitt misplaced his Super Bowl XIII ring over the weekend, little did he realize that it would be discovered by a cranky hobbit perpetually coughing up a hairball. Colquitt lost the ring at a restaurant on Lower Broadway in Nashville on Saturday. The band commemorating the Steelers' 35-31 win over Dallas in 1979 was found under a table by Gollum, a former Stoor who was long ago corrupted by the Ring of Power. When asked to return the ring, Gollum hopped around the room muttering to himself like Cas Walker. "We wants it, we needs it," said the former Sméagol. "Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little Volses. Wicked, tricksy, false!" Gollum was last seen at a bar weeping at the thought of Peter Jackson shoehorning him into another Middle Earth film trilogy.

March 22, 2015

Tennessee to rebrand as Dave Hart Presents: Tennessee Volunteers

The University of Tennessee announced Saturday that it will implement another branding revamp that will feature a Dave Hart logo for all programs including women's basketball. Beginning in the fall, all sports will compete under the name "Dave Hart Presents: Tennessee Volunteers." "Following significant branding studies by me, myself and I, we will implement the related changes that resulted from this collaboration on July 1, 2015," said Director of University Athletic Branding Dave Hart. Officials said the move will create greater consistency as the university strives to become a top 25 athletic research university. Critics said um, no. "Yeah, this is stupid," said one Lady Vols fan. "I'm still going to wear my Lady Vols T-shirts to all UT sporting events, even ones where men are playing. I plan to be very consistent about that."

March 20, 2015

Pothole to open new I-40 West location

Pothole is expanding its asphalt pavement failure empire with another new location on I-40 West.

The Pothole is slated to open this weekend on a former patch of smooth roadway between I-640 (Exit 385) and Papermill Drive (Exit 383). The site will primarily be a gaping hole destined to flatten your tire in a fraction of seconds when you were already running late, but will also include jagged edges and a deep, hollowed out interior to sink into while driving at 75 miles per hour. Other amenities include the possibility of other drivers swerving into your lane to avoid it, according to the company.

Pothole said in a press release that the company is enthusiastic about bringing more vehicle body damage to the area.

"We are really excited to open a new Pothole in Knoxville and provide area residents with good flat tires, excellent bent suspensions and first-rate damaged tie rods," said company spokesperson Josh Doerr. "We pride ourselves on first-rate car repair preparations."

The new Pothole location will be the 55th site to open on I-40 West in Knoxville this year.

Some residents are concerned that another Pothole location might hurt the business of locally-owned pavement damage.

"This is what always happens," said Teresa Piskor of West Knoxville. "One of these Potholes moves into the neighborhood and puts all the other asphalt fissures out of business. But I really do like the convenience of this location. It's just a couple of miles from my house. Now I won't have to drive so far away to bend the struts in the front of my car."

A spokesperson for Pothole told reporters that Knoxville residents can ultimately expect the same "broad assortment of vehicle damage at high prices that they've come to expect from other Pothole locations."

"Our Potholes give our customers quick and easy access to a wide variety of car malfunction," she said. "They can expect an immediate trip to the mechanic for hundreds of dollars in repairs."

March 18, 2015

New Tennessee bill would make open bars in cars illegal

Current Tennessee law allows the operation of retail establishments that serve alcoholic drinks inside automobiles. But that could soon change if a new bill passes in Tennessee. The proposed law would make it illegal to operate a full-service bar in the backseat of a four-door sedan. Tennessee is one of seven states that allow customers to order drinks from specialized counters inside motorized vehicles. The bill's sponsors say the bill is common sense legislation, given that most cars do not have room in the back for a bartender, full bar and set of stools. Critics say the bill would make happy hour very sad. "This bill is completely ridiculous," said roving bartender Jerrod Roberge. "Drinking and driving is already illegal. This is overkill. And I make good money from my $5 cover charge. The only thing criminal happening in my car is that Ryan keeps ordering mojitos."

March 16, 2015

Knoxville prepares for rare Sunsphere eclipse Friday

Knoxville sky gazers Friday will experience a rare treat, as the moon will pass between the earth and the city's iconic hexagonal steel truss structure for a partial eclipse of the Sunsphere. Some parts of Knox County could experience up to 97 percent darkness as the moon descends out of its orbit and travels across the city skyline. Scientists caution that looking directly at the Sunsphere can permanently damage your eyes, so they recommend using a tool called a pinhole camera to watch the event safely. Area citizens said they are excited about the eclipse. "I don't know about you, but I plan to jump over that moon," said a cow residing at nearby Cruze Farm. "You may even see a cat playing bluegrass."

March 14, 2015

Man celebrating Pi Day just eating desserts

A Knoxville man is just celebrating March 14 by eating baked pastries filled with fruit. The date, 3/14/15, contains the first five digits of the popular mathematical constant. But for Bryan Salter of North Knoxville it is a handy excuse for shoveling mouthwatering desserts down his doughy gullet. "I don't care much for math," said Salter between bites of banana cream pie. "I'm more of an English guy. Thanks for the delicious homophone, ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter!" "The best thing is I get to eat a little more than three pies," Salter added. "Thank God mathematicians are obsessed with 3.14 and not Apéry's constant ζ(3). I can't imagine what dessert I would eat for that." The nation's time-sensitive eaters have not been this excited since April 10, 2014, when they feasted on palindromes.

March 13, 2015

Travel article about Knoxville oddly not focused on big box stores

A recent article on the Travel Channel's website saying lots of nice things about Knoxville strangely focused on unique, local dining and shopping, rather than on large corporate experiences that can be found anywhere.

With the exception of a hotel, the piece, titled "The Best of Knoxville, Tennessee," concentrated exclusively on local attractions. Many in the travel community were confused by the approach.

"The weird thing about the article is that it talks a lot about different things that make Knoxville a distinctive city, a city all its own that is unlike any other," said Jacoby Martin, a spokesperson for homogeneity. "There wasn't a single paragraph praising a big box store that can be found in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam. It's almost like they are saying Knoxville is a city worth visiting because it is Knoxville. I didn't understand it."

Martin was not alone in his confusion. Riran Nan, who owns a travel touring company dedicated to piling onto a bus and driving across the country to visit restaurants she has in her hometown, expressed similar concerns.

"This article is a complete disappointment," said Nan, who opened Traveling To Other Cities and Then Shopping in a Bunch of Stores That Are Five Minutes From My House Home Tours and Travel, Inc. in 2004. "Like a lot of people, I like to have the same experience no matter which state or country I visit. If it's good enough for me in Dallas, it's good enough for me in Chicago and New York and Knoxville, that's what I always say."

Other readers said they enjoyed the article for its depiction of Knoxville.

"It made me want to go out and explore my city," said Knoxville resident Wanda Besseck. "Apparently Knoxville is more than just a mall and a place called Turkey Creek that doesn't have any turkeys or creeks. You learn something new every day."

March 12, 2015

Yellow Pages unveils plan to deliver directly to homeowners' recycling bins

The makers of a telephone directory traditionally discarded on residents' doorsteps have introduced a plan to instead distribute the large manuals directly into homeowners' recycling bins. The new strategy is expected to save hundreds of hours of time across the region. "We have decided to cut out the middle man," said Gina Maser, Knoxville director of Large Reference Books No One Ever Opens Due To Having The Internet And It Being 2015. "No longer will our telephone directory spend six months on a porch before its wilted corpse is begrudgingly scraped off the hard surface and tossed into the recycling bin. Now our delivery force will just put them there and save everyone a few minutes." The nation's trees were unavailable for comment, due to having been chopped down to print telephone directories.

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