Every year, Nashville, we ask you to complete a sentence following the same five-word phrase: "You are so Nashville if...." And not once have you let us down. Well, there was that one year about a decade or so ago when we didn't pick a winner, and then we criticized you for not being humorous enough. But that's ancient history. Gosh, back then we even liked Bredesen.
Anyhow, we need to talk about today. After almost 20 years of this contest, you, Dear Reader, are funnier and sharper than ever. And you know why? It's because you're becoming as mean as a school board member with a soft spot for segregation. In this case—and only in this case—we mean that as a compliment.
This year's batch of entries included the usual mix of clever, lighthearted jabs at country music singers, Metro Council members and East Nashville. But you've also taken a sharp turn toward the dark side, with a series of vicious, well-aimed below-the-belt shots that made us laugh nervously under the fluorescent lights of our conference room. We used to worry that we were too grumpy and cynical for our genteel readers. No worries now.
We don't know if it's the sinking real estate market, the high gas prices or Rob Briley, but many of you are in an awfully bad mood. We have never seen you like this before—and quite honestly, we kinda like it. None of that "Bless your heart" jive for you guys. And even this new surly, straight-shooting side bespeaks a boost in civic pride. This is the type of contest that brings out our city's most adoring citizens, who can laugh at themselves and their flat-lining condos. Only people who cherish their city would apply a paddle this nail-studded to the backsides of its public offenders.
Maybe you're just going through a phase. Maybe next year you'll regale us with recycled Jeff Foxworthy jokes and japes about Old Hickory Boulevard and how no one here ever uses a turn signal. But this year, readers, you didn't hold your fire. Not even some of the city's coolest people were sacrosanct. (We're sorry, Emmylou.) And that, in a way, is so Nashville.
Bless your hearts.
Your DUI arrest gets a five-star rating on YouTube. —Roy Moore
You think John Rich is a dick. —Justin Floyd
You had to lock the studio door to keep Emmylou Harris from singing on your album. —Dave Weil
It strikes you as more than a little uncomfortable that your city has a fried chicken restaurant near every civil rights memorial. —Lucas Leverett
A judge deemed your juvenile court clerk to be a delinquent. —Wando Weaver
The Spin came to your band's show and reported a "sparse but energetic" crowd. —Larry Mell Morgan Jr.
You thought the Cumberland River was slimier after the Metro Council members swam across it. —Michael Williams
A retired couple and a lapdog in an RV can solve a 14-year-old crime that three police departments and the TBI can't. —Micki Eubanks
Your side project is bigger than your project project. —Larry Mell Morgan Jr.
"Grab Tim McGraw By The Balls" was on your bucket list. —Michael Williams
You think there ought to be a movie called Nashville that people can understand. —Joe Robertson
Instead of coming out to your parents, you just move to East Nashville and assume they will figure it out. —George Oeser
You're dreading seeing Bredesen in his Super Delegate tights. —Thom Abell
You think that Metro government got what they deserved for hiring a security firm named Wackenhut. —Dave Weil
You think Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver ought to run for judge, so he could wear a robe to work every day. —Jared Coffin
You're hoping the governor will let you store your priceless Jack Daniel's collection in his fancy cellar. —Joe Robertson
You flew to Austin for SXSW to listen to bands that you could hear any night in Nashville for $5. —Joe Robertson
You can't wait to ride the Moses River Rampage at the new Bible park. —Bret Moran
You saw Ronnie Steine taking a bulb from the large electric menorah display at the Belle Meade Kroger. —Michael Evans
You think Mayor Karl Dean looks just like Fred Flintstone. —Matt Richards
You want Bob Corker to build a border fence through Antioch. —Michael Williams
You accepted Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior while watching a Carnival Kia commercial. —Jason and Heath Hinson
What the pastor buys with the church credit card is between him and the man upstairs. —Clifton Kaiser
You want to kick Bobby Flay's ass for beating "The Biscuit Lady" at the Loveless Cafe. —Dave Weil
You complain about the dwindling amount of live music venues but can't wait for the new Urban Outfitters. —Andrew Cole
Your airport doesn't have free Wi-Fi, but your nail salon does. —Ilissa Gold
You remember when you could grow up in Sylvan Park and still be considered white trash. —Jason and Heath Hinson
You have a separate dresser drawer just for your good black T-shirts. —Bill Vinett
You can be tased again. —Clifton Kaiser
You end a night of partying downtown by taking pictures booty dancing with the Billy Graham statue. —Sara Beth Ulrey
You think one of your mayoral candidates is actually the Sprintz furniture guy. —Ernie Johnson
You think your country music career will have more longevity than your platinum-selling pop one. —Andrew Cole
The three-foot rule forced you from stripping back into waiting tables to make ends meet. —Jason and Heath Hinson
Your nearest bank branch is "that fancy trailer in the old H.G. Hill's parking lot." —Seth Waltenbaugh
You wonder why Chris Gaines is hosting Nashville Star. —Daniel Dunn
You are afraid of the crossing guard at the intersection of Fairfax and 24th Avenue. —Kristen Forrest
You're forced to live in your parents' Green Hills basement because you are paying mortgages on two downtown condos that haven't sold. —Jason and Heath Hinson
Your Southern bar-rock band refuses to play the Springwater. —John Adams
You think you're entitled to be on the guest list for every show in town. —Meghann Langford
You fly your private jet to "Global Warming" meetings. —Michele Totty
You think a historic overlay is an escort that gets on top wearing period clothing. —Jason and Heath Hinson
Even Harmony Korine turns down your proposed film of glue-sniffing homeless stalkers. —Dave Weil
You wonder if Ophelia Ford is going to show up for work today. —Susan Jennings
You think Wynonna's next probable marriage, in her ever worsening choice of husbands, will probably be Perry March. —Buster Kenall
You can't wait for the ABC office's new Jack Daniel's bar. —Dave Weil
You bought a ticket and waited in line for the roller coaster downtown, only to find out it was artwork. —Jason and Heath Hinson
You did not vote in the presidential primary because your preacher was out of town and did not tell you who to vote for. —Lucas Leverett
When asked if you have ridden the Music City Star, you wonder to yourself how one rides a reality-TV show. —George Oeser
You are praying for your pastor while he is trying to vote you out of church membership. —Cris Cannon
What you moved here to get away from is finally here. —Jimmy Stratton
You spend time on a listserv coming up with bumper sticker slogans for your ZIP code. —Jen Gobeille
You sent a check to the mayor designated for "less-revealing jump-roping shorts." —Philip F. Newman
You buy your socks at the same Goodwill store that Mayor Dean shops at. —Michael Williams
Bill Hobbs has called you anti-Semitic. —Ilissa Gold
You asked Mindy McCready to get you Roger Clemens' autograph. —Jared Coffin
Your local alt-weekly's writers secretly hate Nashville. —Jason Cox
You know Manchester does more in four days to deserve the title of "Music City" than Nashville does all year. —Fancy Taylor
The thought "maybe I shouldn't store all of this personal information about every registered voter in Davidson County on an easy-to-steal laptop" never crossed your mind. —Drew Maynard
You're mad that they sold the Gaylord Entertainment Center to the French. —Dave Weil
Your light bill is cheaper than Al Gore's. —Bret Moran
You dug your old #90 Jevon Kearse jersey out of the Goodwill pile and then added a decimal point to the beginning. —Chris Chamberlain
You'll trust your vote to a computer but would rather have Ping-Pong balls for your lottery numbers. —Ilissa Gold
You thought those Vanity Fair photos of Miley Cyrus were hot. —Jocelyn Phillips
You see Nashville on a reality show and have no idea where the area they taped the show is at. —Rebecca Arnold
Your sheriff is your pharmacist. —Philip F. Newman
You want that Mexican who won Nashville Star deported. —Michael Williams
You are in favor of the Metro Schools re-segregation plan...I mean, "neighborhood schools." —Jason and Heath Hinson
You can't remember where you put that $94,000. —Michele Totty
You think a middle name of "Hussein" is a wedge issue. —Lucas Leverett
You've ever asked for chopsticks at Sitar. —Amy Waller
You contract E. coli while swimming across the Cumberland River trying to prove how clean it is. —Dave Weil
Your $200,000 condo is across the street from government housing. —Nikkie Jordan
The "Save the Predators" rally was your first—and most recent—visit to the Sommet Center. —Jason Cox
You thought you saw the bony white visage of the Grim Reaper at Bongo Java, but it was just Jack White. —Sean Parrott
You know Al Gore is using his Nobel Peace Prize money to pay his electric bill. —Michele Totty
You think Katherine Harris runs the membership elections at Two Rivers Baptist Church. —Michael Williams
You remember when strip clubs were still entertaining. —Lucas Leverett
You report the downtown homeless for panhandling via speed dial. —Karen M. Kelson
You remember when Miley Cyrus' dad was a big deal. —Kirsten Parkin
Louis just can't fill the void left by Woody. —Bruce Spaulding
You seriously consider becoming a bank robber because you know as long as you don't "speed away" from the crime, Chief Ronal Serpas isn't interested in you. —Barry Hutchison Sr.
You have lived in a "transitional" neighborhood for eight years. —Jason and Heath Hinson
You were disappointed when that Johnny Cash statue outside the Christian bookstore building turned out to be Billy Graham. —Joe Robertson
You're in a band founded by one of the Orrall brothers. —Larry Mell Morgan Jr.
You had a block party when you found out Garcia was leaving. —Lucas Leverett
You've taken a field sobriety test in front of Electronic Express. —Charlie Harris
All of the Music City Moms are on your MILF list. —Michael Williams
You drive to the Farmers Market for "homegrown" bananas. —Leslie Hackett
Your LASIK eye surgeon is in your personal injury lawyer's commercial. —Lola and Suzanne Austin
You feel fortunate enough to know the difference between a Crave Case and a Steamer Pack. —Wando Weaver
You drive past the farm stand on your way to Whole Foods to buy local produce. —Page Carpenter
You are convinced Ron Paul hired Luis Palau's campaign people. —Andrew Cole
You loaned "Boots" Del Biaggio 50 bucks. —Philip Marlowe
You move to Williamson County before your kids start kindergarten. —Jason and Heath Hinson
You are rabidly for the English-only Metro ordinance because "It ain't right to not make people not use American for doing bidness with the city." —Dave Weil
You're not sure what Toby Keith's last name is. —Daniel Dunn
You've attended Steeplechase for the past four years and recently discovered it is a horse race. —Erin Burcham
Your artwork was repositioned to create a higher g-force. —Wando Weaver
You think it's a sin to type OMG. —Daniel Dunn
You bring your own oscillating fan to eat at Rosepepper. —Jason and Heath Hinson
You want to strangle the annoying kids in the "Let's go camping, Pops!" ad. —Stacy Harris
You've slept with Mindy McCready. —Michael Williams
In your quest for "keeping up with the Bredesens," you built a bunker in your front yard. —Bret Moran
You refer to your local politicians, professional athletes and business leaders as "defendants." —Stephanie Simmons
You thought Fred Thompson could at least act presidential. —Joe Scutella
Your former pastor has a recent mugshot. —Heather Helton
Metro Transit Authority eliminates your route right after you sell your car. —Lucas Leverett
You wish the lotto would get back its balls. —Michele Totty
Gretchen Wilson was your class valedictorian. —Michael Williams
You think Bart Durham is your congressman. —Asia Mathis
You increase your carbon footprint to end the terror of one-inch snowfalls. —James H. Williams
Your governor's mansion is considered a "fixer." —Bryan Baskin
You bummed a Lortab from Ricky Headley. —Thom Abell
You think John Rich's mustache was in the Village People. —Michael Williams
You use taxi drivers for target practice. —Jeff Johnson
You think there's a secret tunnel between Miss Saigon and Kien Giang connecting a single kitchen. —Dave Weil
You would seriously let Trace Adkins run your billion-dollar company. —Daniel Dunn
You rave about the diversity of your 12 South neighborhood, yet send your kids to private school. —Jason and Heath Hinson
You wish those women in the last train car would shut the up. —Thom Abell
You thought that Hickory Hollow Mall had already gone out of business. —Tim Hamilton
You rent west and buy east. —Lindsay McMullen
A homeless man received your Social Security number for Christmas. —Bill Melville
The timeless narrative saga of the Trickett dogs renders you speechless and on the brink of tears with each new installment. —Drew Maynard
You have a son by Gary Morris. —Carlotta Cakes
You get the runaround on a Ferris wheel before buying a new car. —Wando Weaver
You see your local politicians on The Colbert Report more than you do on CNN or Fox News. —Stephanie Simmons
You have to use bloggers to get your fill of Capitol Hill coverage. —Jason Cox
You collect Jack Daniel's bottles for the sheer joy of it all. —Michael Williams
Your baby's lunch and dirty diaper are just going to have to wait until you make your point about this stay-at-home dad debate. —Larry Mell Morgan Jr.
You think Adam needs a new internship. —Fancy Taylor
You are disappointed in Boots Donnelly for going bankrupt. —Jason and Heath Hinson
You have a downtown parking garage disguised as a library. —Daniel Dunn
Your dog is your wingman. —Asia Mathis
You brag about having grown up in the Gummo neighborhood. —Stephanie Conner
You were green before and after swimming the Cumberland. —Wando Weaver
Pacman Jones "made it rain" at your daughter's dance recital. —Sean Parrott
You dream of a local Reese-and-Jake sighting. —Heather Helton
You commented on how perfect Marty Stuart's hair still was while performing his field sobriety test. —Jason and Heath Hinson
You know that Trace Adkins made Nashville look far better than it really is. —Becks Amante
You have an IOU from "Boots" Del Biaggio. —Michael Williams
You spend $3 on a single cupcake while complaining about gas prices. —Wando Weaver
You think the YASNI Awards should be televised. —Bonnie Huettig
Mary Littleton wrecked your marriage. —Tom Nevers
You see your state representative on Cops. —Joe Robertson
You think it's a matter of time before genetics link the Fords and the Brileys. —Bill Melville
The attorney you hired in Printers Alley has the same probation officer as you. —Christine Horner
You persist with maintaining the namesake of your showpiece parkway after the family with two generations of drunk drivers. —Tony Gottlieb
You lobby your state representative at an AA meeting. —Joe Robertson
The liquor bottle you brought to the State Legislature session was definitely not bought in a grocery store. —Mike Dorr
You hired Rob Briley's girlfriend instead of Jimmy Naifeh's wife as your lobbyist, and you wonder why your bill hasn't made it out of committee. —Kat Rand
You didn't know there was a rehab center in Tunica. —Michele Totty
You have to pose as a liquor lobbyist to get your state representative's attention. —Ilissa Gold
You can sing along to "F-ingham" and not miss a word at Robert's.
You played Putt-Putt and jumped on Trampolines next to Bavarian Village in Green Hills while It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World played at the Green Hills Theater for two years.
You wonder when you'll see Mike Williams and the Scene editor (if they had one) exiting arm-in-arm from Tribe.
You're a "person of faith," and even though the body is the temple of the Lord, you look like a human landfill.
You need 11 prescriptions and a ventilator just to exist, and you think it's "God's will" that you're alive.
You strut around Hickory Hollow Mall in the latest high fashion, which is nothing more than a glorified prison uniform.
You think the Cheesecake Factory is a mosque and Dental Bliss is a bordello.
You get a job at The Palm as a server and start your first shift at 10 a.m. Halfway through your first table's appetizer, you get signed. By 12:30, you have a No. 2 hit. By the end of lunch, you're doing a phone-in with Steve Gill as to why your follow-up tanked. When you start the dinner shift, you find out you've been dropped by your label, and by 11, you're fired for telling John Rich to ride his OWN damn cowboy.
You know that the late Herb Rich, well-known Nashville attorney and former NFL player, intercepted a pass from Sid Luckman in the early 1950s and ran it in for a touchdown, thus completing possibly the only known Jew-to-Jew touchdown in NFL history.
You overhear a local at the airport say, "Look, Amish!" and point to a group of Hasidic Jews.
A co-worker tells you she has been working like a Hebrew slave all day—and you're Jewish.
You can say "meat and three" without thinking about sex.
You go to get your nails done and the customer sitting next to you is some guy who gets acrylic finger nails on two of his fingers because he uses them as guitar picks.
You move to Nashville and your wife becomes a Miss Bar-B-Cutie model. Signed photo available upon request.
You wouldn't be caught dead going to something as touristy as Fan Fair—ahem, the CMA Music Festival—which is why you don't make eye contact and quickly slip to the bathroom when you spot your co-workers in the beer line at LP Field.
You still think it's funny to get first-time patrons to peek in the hole.
You care more about secondhand smoke and smoking then you do about where our tax dollars are going and crime...after all, we could be nonsmokers and get hit by a tornado or a bus or shot by one of the criminals on the street.
You wish Jack Ruby had shot Bob Dylan instead.
The only time you've ever gone to a museum, it was Friday night...you ended up drunk and with a Jessica Simpson look-alike.
You put an ad on Craigslist asking if anyone has seen specific country music singers so you can hook up with them.
YOU BUY A TRUCK TO HAUL ART AND MANURE.
You are a semi-good-looking woman whose boss waved at you and said "Hello," so you sued him.
You are gripped by any of the local TV weathercasters' seven-day forecasts and not struck by the irony as they tell you at the end of their segment to be sure and get the latest weather information tomorrow morning on the 4:30 a.m. newscast, thus exposing the likely inaccuracy of anything forecasted seven-days out, let alone overnight.
You have blonde hair, your best friend has blonde hair, her best friend has blonde hair, and you see each other daily in a Brentwood carpool line, oblivious to the fact that your three, huge SUVs, engines rumbling, are why George Bush, who you voted for twice, went to war.
You read the Nashville Scene because you are so tired of other media that is obsessed with gay marriage.
Your teacher hates you and hates your mother for having you.
Your daughter rocked your world by rocketing a rock in an attempted robbery that ricocheted that her runaway had hit rock bottom.
You were watched making love in this club.
You can't go to Nashville Shores without spending at least $100 at the tiki bar. Cocktails + water slides = FUN.
YOU ONLY LET "KIRSTEN" AT THE HOUSE OF BROWS TOUCH YOUR BROWS.
You think you can tell a lot about a person based on where they live...do I need to explain?
You voted for Bush & Co.—twice—then bought a kick-ass leather jacket to maintain your machismo while commuting on your scooter.
After your roommates CD release party, there is an after-party at your apartment. John Rich is in your kitchen at 2 a.m. and reads a clipping on your fridge from last years YASNI which reads "You can't tell which one is 'Big' and which one is 'Rich,' but you're damn sure there ain't no top hats in country music." He freaks out, curses the author, starts singing "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On" and takes his posse to Cabana, leaving his booze behind.
You know that the best time to visit your mamaw in the Smokies is during the week of CMA Fest and Bonnaroo.
You save the Nashville Scene with the Tennessee Social Club article to prove to your out-of-town relatives that there are loopholes in this Bible Belt city.
You're looking forward to seeing the Desperate Housewives movie, but in the meantime, you'll settle for fantasizing about removing Vic Lineweaver's bathrobe.
Part of your nickname includes that of your former employer. Example: former burrito boy, Baja Eric.
At your 20th high school reunion, they gave out an award for "Most Grandchildren." Do the math people—that's redneck.
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