May 2011 Archives
May 31, 2011
A Knoxville man who had spent the past few decades looking forward to the complete annihilation of human civilization did not live to see his dreams realized. Dale Bradshaw, 62, had been anxiously awaiting the destruction of humanity since the 1981. Family said Bradshaw was ready for the collapse of government and the subsequent rise of militia groups. "He wasn't sure how the end would come, but he was ready for it," said Dale's wife, Patricia. "First it was AIDS. Then killer bees. Then UFOs. Then global warming. Then Y2K. Then Al-Qaeda. Then global warming. Then George W. Bush. Then Barack Obama. Then peak oil. Then disappearing bee hives. Lately it was the U.S. government's mounting debt. I think he was toying around with the rapture next. But he left me his three-year supply of bottled water and canned food in the will. Our son got his cache of guns. When the Mayans destroy the world next year, we'll be ready."
May 29, 2011
Knoxville's professional hockey team has voted to change its name from the non-threatening name of "Ice Bears" to an even less interesting moniker. The Southern Professional Hockey League team was founded in 2002, replacing such previous appealingly-named local hockey teams as the Knoxville Knights, Knoxville Cherokees and Knoxville Speed. But starting with the 2011-12 hockey season, Ice Bears will join those other obsolete names. "As a team, we said to ourselves, 'Ice Bear stirs up cartoonish images of a non-existent bear with no alliteration" said general manager Mike Murray. "We could take things in a better direction with the Knoxville Nightmare or the Knoxville Nemesis. But instead, from now on you can call us the Knoxville Fighting Broccoli." The Fighting Broccoli will continue to battle against being decently named from its home arena, the James White Civic Coliseum.
May 27, 2011
An infamous Middle Tennessee poltergeist may bring suit against the filmmakers behind the 1999 horror film "The Blair Witch Project."
The Bell Witch of Robertson County alleges that the makers of "The Blair Witch Project" stole key details of her legend and made money off them that should have been hers.
The Bell Witch is the alter ego of Kate Batts. According to accusations by the Bell family of Robertson County, Batts terrorized the household for several years starting in 1817. The Bells claimed to hear knocking noises in their home and were reported to have been physically assaulted on numerous occasions by the invisible force.
"The film's story of three film students making a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch is a clearly taken from my actions," said Batts in a statement. "The filmmakers hear cracking noises in the forest, become disoriented and eventually disappear after finding a mysterious house. These are classic poltergeist activities that I perfected. Also, the movie was so shaky that I threw up after seeing it. Not cool"
It remains to be seen whether Batts has a case.
"It seems obvious that the creators of 'The Blair Witch Project' relied heavily on the actions of the so-called Bell Witch," said University of Tennessee Professor of Law Linda McBride. "But Kate doesn't hold a trademark on Bell Witch. She hasn't demonstrated that she made money off her legacy in the first place, or that she has lost any because of the movie. The film also came out more than a decade ago. You can buy it for $5 at Big Lots now."
Knoxville trademark attorney Allen Hurtak agreed. "The Bell Witch is sort of dead. Courts usually don't consider cases filed by deceased persons. The way it usually works is that a relative of the deceased files suit on their behalf. A dead person successfully suing a live person is unprecedented in U.S. law."
The Bell Witch plans to hire Knoxville attorney and KAT bus enthusiast Stephen A. Burroughs as her legal representation.
May 26, 2011
Several local ice cream trucks have been delivering heart disease, diabetes and other delicious preventable diseases to front doors all over town. Frozen dessert devotees who don't feel like driving five minutes to a grocery store are reveling in the springtime convenience of having cold treats and atheromatous plaques brought right to their homes. "I usually get a gallon of the high blood sugar berry," said Justin Pippert, 45. "I am on a diet." "I love when I first hear the piercing melody of 'Turkey in the Straw' split the air," said Sandra Goad, 38, a Push-Up pop fan. "I grab my purse and head for the door. The driver knows me by name. If I could just get the bank to drive an ATM by my house, I'd be set."
May 24, 2011
KNOXVILLE - The iconic beard of moonshiner Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton will be on display at a local museum through the month of July. The Museum of East Tennessee History will showcase the famous collection of chin, cheek and neck hair as part of its award-winning exhibition, "Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee." Sutton was well known in East Tennessee for his career in bootlegging. He published "Me and My Likker" in 1999, an autobiography and guide to moonshine manufacturing. He was also featured in two documentary films: "Hillbilly: The Real Story," a 2007 film that aired on The History Channel, and "The Last One," a 2008 piece filmed by Neal Hutcheson. The Museum of East Tennessee History is operated by the East Tennessee Historical Society. The museum has not displayed hair in its collections since the mullet of "Billy" Ray Cyrus was exhibited in 2006.
May 22, 2011
An apologetic Prince of Peace announced today that he completely forgot about yesterday's rapture. The event was scheduled to occur by radio broadcaster and president of Family Radio Harold Camping. Had the rapture taken place, untold Dispensationalist Premillennialists would have ascended into the heavens, leaving the clothes off their backs and their "Left Behind" novels abandoned on the earth. "Harold e-mailed me about it a few times," said Jesus of Nazareth. "I got the first e-mail, but the rest went into my spam folder. So unfortunately I didn't get it added to my Google calendar. What does he expect? Who still uses an AOL e-mail address? He probably still has dial-up, too. I guess he should have sold some of those billboards and given the money to the poor."
May 20, 2011
DOWNTOWN - When the Market Square Farmer's Market ended last fall, patrons weren't sure if the current season of play would happen at all. Labor disputes between the league owners and farmers made the 2011 farmers' market season entirely dependent on the adoption of a collective bargaining agreement between the two disputing parties.
"Things were grim for a few weeks," said Richard Washburn, a vegetable farmer who raises crops a few miles outside Pikeville, Tenn. "We spent the winter negotiating. After talks broke down in April, I didn't think there would be a season this year. But we went back to the table one more time and worked out a deal. I think everyone--the farmers, the league, the fans--are relieved. And so far this has been our best season ever."
The last minute deal allowed the MSFM season to reopen as planned on May 7. The past two weeks of league play have allowed vendors to sell produce, free-range meat, baked goods, honey, eggs, artisan crafts and other goods directly to shoppers.
"It's a good deal for everyone," said MSFM Commissioner Roger Badell. "Consumers know where their food comes from. Farmers can sell directly to customers. And the league? Well, we do all right."
This is not the first MSFM labor dispute. In 1982, a clash over revenues led to a 57-day strike.
"I'm just glad everything worked out," said farmers' market shopper Gretchen Carringer. "Don't get me wrong. I love the fresh taste of Blue #1 and Red #40. And nothing brings out the rich, smoky flavors in Potassium Sorbate like Turmeric Color. Mixing Carnauba Wax and Polysorbate 80 also makes the palate come alive in a way that has to be experienced firsthand. But sometimes you do want a salad to go with your Slim Jim."
The Market Square Farmers' Market is open every Wednesday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. On Saturdays, free parking is available in the Market Square, State St. and Locust St. garages.
May 18, 2011
LAFOLLETTE - According to a recent survey of parents living at 3901 E. Beech St., a tiny guest who spent the night sleeping in Mommy and Daddy's bed is an unappreciative jerkwad. After being chased from her own room by several monsters living under her bed, young cover hog Sophia Plemich spent the night safely wedged between her parents Matthew and Crystal Plemich. Though Crystal slept through the night soundly, her husband was not so lucky. "I have a black eye and bruised unmentionables," said 31-year-old Matthew Plemich after being pummeled by his daughter in the face and below the waist. "The guys at work are going to think my wife really did this. Someone should teach our kid some manners. And who pees in another person's bed? It's kind of rude when you think about it."
May 16, 2011
In the wake of its approval to allow homeowners to keep up to six hens in their backyards with a permit, Knoxville's City Council is considering an ordinance to authorize urban crocodiles at its May 17 meeting. "Crocodiles are about more than just the eggs, although there's certainly that," said Tammy Robbins, 47, a medical doctor who lives in East Knoxville. "They're a great educational tool for your children. They make great pets. And they're 10 times better than a guard dog. You should see a burglar run when he sees a crocodile sitting on your front porch." City Council will consider the ordinance to legalize keeping backyard crocodiles under certain circumstances. The practice is currently illegal under city code, though several cities across the U.S. have passed similar ordinances in recent years.
May 14, 2011
The host, narrator and co-producer of "The Heartland Series" will go toe to paw with a black bear during a new special installment of the program. The live, hour-long wrestling match will air later this week in an effort to capitalize on the current Nielsen sweeps period. The event will pit Bill Landry against a 225 pound bear from the Great Smoky Mountains named Daisy. If victorious, Landry will earn a world championship match at the Tennessee Valley Fair in September. "I don't want to spoil the ending, but fans of the show will be bear-y happy," said Landry. "If you thought the program was educational before, you haven't seen anything yet. We've tanned hides on 'The Heartland Series,' but never like this." "The Heartland Series" aired from 1984-2009. It was revived last year for four special episodes.
May 13, 2011
KNOXVILLE - Several undead beings who subsist of the blood of living creatures plan to protest tomorrow's appearance by Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series author Charlaine Harris.
"Look, she's got it all wrong," said Paul Bruner, a 35-year-old vampire from Sweetwater. "There is no synthetic blood miracle cure that is going to allow my kind to co-mingle with humans. I know it's a novel, but we shouldn't be sending these kinds of messages. Humans and vampires will always be mortal enemies. Honestly, you're pretty lucky I agreed to let you interview me. I could be draining your succulent life force right now."
Harris is the creator of the Southern Vampire Mysteries series of books, the first of which was published in May 2001. The 11th and most recent book in the series is "Dead Reckoning." It was released on May 3. The series is narrated by Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress and telepath from a fictional town in Louisiana. The books are also the inspiration for the hit HBO show "True Blood."
Harris will appear for the B97.5 Author Spotlight at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Rothchild Catering and Conference Center, 8807 Kingston Pike.
But while fans of the series are eager for question-and-answer session and book signing, East Tennessee vampires are furious.
"People keep trying to update vampires for the 21st century," said vampire Megan Thorn. "We vampires may be timeless and we may adapt to changing cultures, but we aren't a metaphor for your post-9/11 angst or your unrequited love. We don't glitter like diamonds. We kill like Jack Bauer if he didn't shout so much, drank blood and never aged."
Vampires aren't the only ones concerned, either.
"So we're telling our young children it's OK to date mysterious men who have a compulsion to drink blood," said human mother Emily Little. "Really? If my daughter ever brings home a boy who drinks blood, I'm going to beat him to death in my living room with a potted plant. Just sayin'."
May 12, 2011
KNOXVILLE - A very scary 74-year-old Roman Catholic nun is one of 13 protestors facing prison time for trespassing on U.S. Department of Energy property. Yesterday a federal jury found the group guilty for their actions on July 5 of last year, when the protestors stormed the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. "She was waving the cross around her neck like a Samurai sword," recalled security police captain Molly Lach of the incident. "At first I really thought she was a ninja. I was pretty sure she was going to cut me in half. I may have wet myself a little. Not gonna lie." Witness Albert Padilla agreed. "Did she have a grenade in that habit? There's no question about it. You can never be too careful with pacifists. I don't think I've been that scared since my great grandfather drank too many shots of Metamucil." The nefarious nun could spend six months to a year in federal prison.
May 10, 2011
NASHVILLE - Amazon.com is considering a plan to build three distribution centers in Knoxville or Nashville, but only if the state will agree to pay the retail giant a 10 percent sales tax. Under the plan, the Internet store would create approximately 1,700 full-time jobs and 2,000 part-time jobs, as well as investing $180 million in the state. However, Tennessee must first consent to paying Amazon one-tenth of the amount of every sale the online retailer makes in the state. The company recently refused to build distribution centers in Texas and South Carolina because those states refused to pay it a sales tax. Amazon officials hinted that the Volunteer State would face similar treatment. "In these difficult economic times, we're going to do everything in our power to create new jobs," said Mitch Franks, vice president of Amazon's North American operations. Amazon is also demanding foot rubs from the state Senate every Friday, a swimming pool filled with milk chocolate and seven baby kangaroos from the Knoxville Zoo.
May 8, 2011
A Knoxville mother who mailed her daughter a scale is confused about why her daughter was insulted by the gesture. The package arrived on Wednesday with a note that said, "I was at the store and saw this and thought of you." "It was on sale, so I bought it," said Katy Vincent, a 45-year-old mother of three. "It didn't mean anything. I mean, sure, my daughter could stand to lose a few pounds. But who couldn't? I just wanted her to now I love her and that I want her to make good decisions." Scales are instruments which are typically used to determine the mass of an object. In some cultures, mailing a scale to a human being is thought to be the postal equivalent of calling them a fatty fatty fat fat.
May 6, 2011
Fort Loudon Dam, Tellico Village and other landmarks may soon become part of the Turkey Creek shopping community.
The Turkey Creek City Council approved a resolution Wednesday to annex the 247 square miles that make up Loudon County, including Greenback, Lenoir City, Loudon, Tellico Village and Dixie Lee Junction. The county's 48,000 residents would all become residents and employees of Turkey Creek.
"There's really only so much you can do with three miles of name brand stores and restaurants," said Turkey Creek mayor Randy McCheese. "Honestly, we're running out of room. If you thought we had unlimited selection before, well just wait. Now we're going to have our own dam."
Before the annexation is final, the City Council must first vote three times on a separate ordinance to approve it.
Mayor McCheese noted that the 247 miles of additional retail space will expand Turkey Creek's coffers.
"This will certainly add to the tax base from a sales and property tax standpoint," he said.
City planner Terry Slemp said that the goal is to make sure the shopping center grows in an orderly fashion.
"We've got big plans for this area," Slemp continued. "We'd like to see 40 or 50 screens added to the Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18. We'd like to divert the river so that shoppers can access stores by water taxi. We're in talks with several major retail chains about expanding to the Turkey Creek market. We're even looking into hosting the World Cup. The sky is the limit. But not really. We're going to have an airport, too."
If the annexation is approved, construction on new projects would begin almost immediately. Turkey Creek hopes to finish the annexation by 2020.
"It's ambitious, but I think it's a promising development for the area," McCheese said, adding that it could create jobs. "And if this goes well, we haven't rule out further expansion. We have our eye on Monroe and McMinn Counties. Can you imagine an underground mall in the Lost Sea? We can."
May 5, 2011
ALCOA - East Tennessee travelers are hopeful they will finally be allowed to carry mouthwash, bottled water and shaving cream on airplanes in the wake of Osama bin Laden's May 2 death. The news of bin Laden's demise in a firefight with American special forces sparked celebrations in the U.S. and across the globe, including among frequent flyers eager to bring more than three ounces of liquid onto airplanes. "I've got my full tube of toothpaste and it's not in a plastic baggie," said traveler Heather Baggott. "I'm ready to go. I may even brush my teeth in the bathroom on the plane. How do you like that, Al-Qaeda?" Passenger Greg Dall agreed. "It took 10 years, but terrorism has finally been beaten. Thank God George W. Bush found Osama in that cave in Iraq. Wait, what? He's not president anymore? And Osama was in Pakistan the whole time? Well, that's weird."
May 3, 2011
Prognosticator Harold Camping has predicted the rapture to occur on May 21, a possibility that has several East Tennessee pets worried. Cats, dogs, birds and even fish are anxious about their impending deaths from dehydration, starvation and other calamities that may occur after the sudden disappearances of their owners. "Look, I'm no theologian, but I'm pretty sure I don't have a soul," said Rex, a four-year-old German Shepherd. "What's going to happen if my owner disappears? I can eat the cat, that's a given. And hopefully they'll remember to leave the toilet seat up, but that will only give me a few extra days. I'm an inside dog. I'm a pretty big guy, but I'll never be able to tunnel my way to freedom in time." Heaven did not respond to inquiries about the possibility of pets being included in the rapture by press time.
May 1, 2011
A reign of weather-related puns ruled over multiple East Tennessee counties late last week, causing extensive damage to comedy. Reports indicate a steady stream of quasi-humorous word play that made its way from Athens to Morristown. Facebook statuses, newspaper headlines and TV meteorologist banter were showered with varying degrees of homophones and homographs. "Oh, hail no they didn't," said one storm pun observer. Whether vain or not, much of the bright word play failed to whet appetites and left many foggy. "We weathered the storm, and now these drips are all 'when hail freezes over' this and 'this weather is quite fowl' that," said Shelly Boycourt, 32. "I guess some people just can't rein themselves in." Three funny bones were reportedly shattered during the storms.