Stunts Ahoy! 

Success of ‘swim the Cumberland’ stunt has other groups working up their own

Last Thursday, about 20 swimmers paddled across the Cumberland River under the watchful eye of rescue boats and a few dozen spectators, and were rewarded with newspaper and television coverage and a spotlight on their pet cause: water quality

Last Thursday, about 20 swimmers—governmental officials and activists—paddled across the Cumberland River under the watchful eye of rescue boats and a few dozen spectators, and were rewarded with newspaper and television coverage and a spotlight on their pet cause: water quality.

The success of that publicity stunt has already spawned several other groups to plan similar participatory events:

• A press release from an organization called “Dickerson Road: Cleaner Than Ever!” says the group is organizing a “Saturday Night Stroll” down the thoroughfare long famous for its arrests of streetwalkers and johns. “We’ll gather at dusk and just walk along the road, and participants will be amazed at how much better the situation is than it was in the past. We anticipate that some strollers may be able to walk as long as three minutes without being propositioned.”

• The “NES Chainsaw Festival of Tree Art,” set for July 4 weekend, will turn participants loose on a wooded lot with heavy-duty chainsaws. Each person has one hour to reduce a formerly healthy tree to the kind of deformed, foliage-free, twisted stump that the utility apparently feels should line the residential roadways of Nashville. “We’re a lot more creative in the way that we decimate our city’s greenery, and this should really prove it,” says an NES spokesman. “These stumps can kind of take on a eerie beauty.”

• To show how clean the courthouse floors are, several officials from the mayor’s office will literally eat lunch off the floor on July 11. The menu of hot dogs, potato chips and cookies for dessert will all be on the floor for participants to sit down and enjoy. “These things aren’t going to be on plates on the floor, they are going to be actually on the floor,” Mayor Karl Dean emphasized to his dubious staff when he was describing the event. “I have every faith in our cleaning staff to have the floor clean enough to eat off of, and I would love to be among those enjoying the lunch if I weren’t out of town that day.”

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