August 29, 2014

Officials anticipate increase in the singing of 'Rocky Top'

With Tennessee set to open its football season against Utah State Sunday, many officials in Knoxville report they anticipate a significant increase in the singing of the song "Rocky Top."

Administrators say they expect boisterous choral arrangements of the fight song about carefree mountain life, the mysterious disappearance of two federal agents and wild Appalachian women to steadily increase over the weekend, ultimately leading to a major sporting event on Sunday.

"We're looking at anywhere from a 1,000 to 2,000 percent uptick in the singing of 'Rocky Top' on the University of Tennessee campus and in surrounding areas of Knoxville," said a spokesperson for auditory perception. "I think something in that range would definitely be fair."

Some analysts believe the growth may be due to the overall improvement of the economy. But most experts say the surge in up-tempo songs about moonshine and cramped up city life most likely has something to do with the Southeastern Conference.

"Certainly correlation does not mean causation," said Susana Hales, a professor of Half Bear the Other Half Cat Studies at the University of Tennessee. "But there seems to be a direct connection between football games being played in Neyland Stadium and the bellowing of 'Rocky Top, you'll always be home sweet home to me' at the top of one's lungs. The color orange also seems to be involved. We're expecting to see a lot of orange around here soon."

"We're hopeful that an increase in 'Rocky Top' crooning will lead to an upsurge in the lost voice index and the I said it's great to be a Tennessee Vol industrial average," said school spirit forecaster Grey Vestevich.

Other key industries anticipating higher than average increases this weekend include the orange and white checkerboard end zone market, Bluetick Coonhound manufacturing, sailgating and tailgating development, and running through large letter Ts made out of band members production. Trash talk about Florida, Alabama and Lane Kiffin assembly is also expected to rise significantly in the days ahead.

August 28, 2014

Snakes pure evil, UT scientists confirm

University of Tennessee scientists today confirmed that snakes are at best creepy, at worst pure evil, by just look at the things for God's sake. The scientific assessment affirms that, no, get it away, get it away! The finding is significant for two reasons. It confirms that people who keep snakes as pets are not to be trusted. It also upholds the popular notion that the proper reaction to a snake is to scream like a baby and jump onto a chair. "Look at that one," said UT professor of sheer terror Alan Overdorf. "It doesn't have legs. And yet, there it goes, right across the grass in my yard. Is it venomous? Like hell I'm going to get close enough to find out."

August 26, 2014

Allergy-free cake made out of meat

A dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free birthday cake at an Oak Ridge birthday party Sunday was made out of meat, party guests said. The decadent beef-pastry was frosted with a moist icing made of gravy and topped with three lit candles for birthday boy Cameron Burg. The cake was a hit with the tiny socialites and their parents, many of whom went back for seconds and even thirds. "It was so moist and delicious," said four-year-old partygoer Gavin Scott-Moore. "It practically melted right in my mouth. It was really filling, too." "My kids really seemed to like it," said parent Gillian Ridenour. "Even better, they weren't bouncing off the walls from all the sugar. I hope I can convince Mason to have a meat cake on his birthday."

August 24, 2014

Knoxville man ritually sacrifices worms to appease river gods

A Knoxville man Saturday engaged in the ritual killing of a common earthworm by offering it to the gods of the Tennessee River. The tube-shaped sacrifice was speared through the barb of a stainless steel hook, attached to a metal pole and cast into the murky waters of the freshwater tributary as an act of worship. Witnesses said the unnamed believer hoped that the offering would gain the favor of the river gods, who would then anoint the supplicant with an abundance of largemouth bass. At least one eyewitness said the gods turned away their anger, bestowing the petitioner with 25-pound catfish, which was held high to the heavens and photographed. This is not the first time East Tennesseans have petitioned their favored deities. Last year thousands of Knoxville residents wore orange and white each week in hopes that the gods of football would grant them a favorable season.

August 22, 2014

Cumberland Avenue streetscape plan will improve traffic, Knoxvillians keep telling themselves

As University of Tennessee students headed back to campus this week, Knoxville residents stuck on the Strip kept telling themselves that the city's Cumberland Avenue Streetscape Plan will someday improve traffic there.

The project, which is scheduled to begin eventually, will redesign Cumberland Avenue from 22nd Street to west of 16th Street. Plans include narrowing Cumberland Avenue from four lanes to three lanes. One lane will become a median and left turn lane. The project will also widen sidewalks, plant several new trees, and add benches and new crosswalks. Utilities will move underground.

Traffic experts say that somehow this will work with a Walmart, popular football stadium and a university campus on campus.

"I'm really excited for extremely congested Cumberland Avenue to decrease its capacity for how many cars it can hold," said motorist Kelly Richardson. "I look forward to having to detour into a maze of residential one-way side streets in order to find my way to a fast food corndog."

"The other day it took me 30 minutes to drive down the Strip," added Ron Stuessi, a Knoxville resident who commutes from Sequoyah Hills to downtown. "While I was watching all the tiny little freshmen walk by, I thought to myself, 'This will go so much faster on game days when there is only one lane going in this direction instead of two.'"

Critics of the plan suggest that the city instead hire Pac-Man to periodically eat inert traffic.

"Motionless cars have to taste better than those pellets," said Daniel Cochrum. "He's a yellow circle with a mouth, not a rabbit."

Officials say they plan to proceed with the streetscape project without the help of arcade characters from 1980. They say construction will begin late this year, early next year, or possibly some other year after that.

In the meantime, officials suggest that drivers avoid Cumberland Avenue during peak traffic times like day and night or take alternative routes, such as any other roads that exist.

August 21, 2014

NFL reportedly paying some music acts not to play Super Bowl halftime show

The NFL is reportedly paying several musical acts not to play at the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show. The prominent pro football gig is highly sought-after by musical acts, blackouts, lip-sync artists and wardrobe malfunctions. Donnie Burgett, a spokesperson for the NFL, told reporters that the league's goal "is to put on the best half time show possible, and you can't really do that with a band that is awful." "We will do everything in our power to ensure that Nickelback, 4 Non Blondes, Spin Doctors, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chili Peppers never play the Super Bowl," Burgett continued. "Wait, we already let the Red Hot Chili Peppers play the halftime show? This year? I really don't even understand this organization."

August 19, 2014

Area man manages to donate to charity without influence of ice bucket

A Knoxville philanthropist Monday managed to donate money to charity without being prompted by a bucket of cold liquid. Connor Strickland was able to give to his favorite charitable organization by simply striking a few letters on a keyboard and then navigating a website. "It was surprisingly easy," said Strickland. "I just went to my favorite charity's website and clicked on the 'donate' button. Then I entered an amount, put in my credit card information and just like that I had donated. It was much easier than getting ice water involved in the equation." Yousif Abdalla of Sudan agreed. "Some of my friends avoided donating money to charity by dumping a perfectly good bucket of clean drinking water over their heads and onto the ground," he said. "I just wrote a check and mailed it."

August 17, 2014

East Tennesseans celebrate History Fair by contracting quinsy, dysentery

Knoxville residents flocked to the East Tennessee History Fair Saturday, where they celebrated regional history by contracting several ailments prevalent in 18th century, including quinsy, the falling sickness and dysentery. The seventh annual fair was held in downtown Knoxville. "I had never even heard of quinsy before," said disease re-enactor Benjamin Glass. "Fortunately a doctor was on hand to dip a large, inch-thick piece of white bread toast in brandy and then apply it to the crown of my head. I felt much better after that." Other fairgoers traded livestock or grain at the general store in exchange for medicines such as Daffy's Elixir and Lucatelli's Balsam. "I had Vapours from the Spleen and Bites of Scorpions until I took some Daffy's Elixir," said Dorothy Cooper, who also contracted Joint Evil and Griping of the Bowels at the fair. "That fixed me up pretty good."

August 15, 2014

Knoxville relieved it didn't open Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Knoxville tourism officials expressed relief today that Bristol recently opened the Birthplace of Country Music Museum so they wouldn't have to worry about creating a similar attraction.

The museum, which opened earlier this month, is a 24,000-square foot, Smithsonian-affiliated institution that "explores the history of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and their lasting impact on our music heritage."

Knoxville tourism officials said the new permanent exhibition in the city on the Tennessee-Virginia border would allow them to not have to make an exciting museum near downtown that could potentially draw thousands of tourists to the area.

"We're so glad Bristol thought of this idea first so we wouldn't have to do it," said Stacy Howard, Knoxville director of museums that could be amazing tourist attractions so let's not make them. "Knoxville arguably launched the career of Elvis Presley. It was at one time the home of Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins and The Everly Brothers, as well as of WNOX, one of the first radio stations in the country. It was the last known appearance of Hank Williams Sr. It would be just crazy to put all those things into a museum so that people from all across the world could come here to learn about them."

Others expressed similar feelings.

"Museums are great things," said Jared Landers, Knoxville director of not living up to our potential. "They celebrate heritage, history and culture. And they are a great destination attraction for people who would otherwise never come to a city. Think of all those tourist and sales tax dollars. Fortunately that money is going to cities like Bristol and Nashville instead of to us. It makes me sigh with relief."

Tourism officials have high hopes for not opening other exciting attractions in Knoxville.

"There are several other incredible museums we plan on never founding, including one dedicated to writers with Knoxville connections like Cormac McCarthy, James Agee and Nikki Giovanni, and one dedicated to Knoxville's role in the Civil War," said Howard.

August 14, 2014

Student with snakes for hair sent home for 'distracting hair color'

An East Tennessee student with venomous snakes growing out of her head was sent home Wednesday for having hair that school officials called "too distracting." The student, 16-year-old Medusa Gorgon, is a monster described as being able to turn her peers to stone by gazing into their eyes. "My daughter has had this hair for her entire life and this is the first time it's ever been an issue," said Medusa's mother, Ceto, an ancient sea goddess. Gorgon is a straight-A student enrolled in a number of AP courses, and is actively involved in sports and student government. School superintendent Perseus says he stands by the decision. "Our school dress code clearly states, 'Students will not be allowed to attend classes if their hair is reptilian and contains modified saliva that can immobilize its prey,'" he said.

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