A neighborhood cookout in the Crieve Hall area last week was absent any talk of house prices or property tax increasesa first for Davidson County this year.
It wasn't until after the party at the home of Mark and Sandy Timothy was over that several attendees realized that the dozen or so neighbors had spent roughly three hours discussing more substantive topics.
"I remember some people talking about their families and how proud they are of their kids," one neighbor at the event recalled. "Somebody's husband had just finished a graduate degree and we talked about that for a while, and then somehow we got going on what books had most influenced our lives, and everybody had a turn at that.
"Toward the end, after a few beers, we even had kind of a mini-debate about stem-cell research, all very respectful. But I don't get it. No real estate chatter? How did that happen?"
This lapse makes the Crieve Hall cookout unique among such events in all parts of the county this year, says William S. Markham, professor of social economics at Belmont University.
"Our research shows that at Davidson County cookouts so far this year, 63 percent of the discussions have revolved around the sale prices of neighboring houses, the magnitude of property tax increases, and how nobody can believe how crazy it all is," Markham says.
"The second most discussed topic is the weather, at 24 percent of total conversation time. So the Timothy family cookout somehow avoided the conversation topics that accounted for 88 percent of the conversations at typical cookouts. I may get a research paper out of this," he added.
"We didn't plan it, and I don't know how it happened," says Mark Timothy, host of the freakish cookout. "In fact, a couple of days later I saw my neighbor in the yard and the first thing he said was, 'Did you hear what they're asking for that brick rancher in the next block?'
"I guess for that one night, we just forgot."
(The Fabricator is satire. Don't believe everything you read.)
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