You are so Nashville if... 

If you want to find out what's on people's minds—what makes them grind their teeth on the drive to work, what makes them spit their morning coffee, and what makes them consider chucking the remote by the time they hit the sack—don't do any of the things the media typically do to take the city's pulse. Don't conduct a poll. Don't hire telemarketers. Don't put a guy with a clipboard at the foot of the escalator in Green Hills Mall. Instead, just ask people to finish this thought: "You are so Nashville if..."

That's what the Scene did 20 years ago, with the very first YASNI contest. It seemed like just a goofy idea, a lark to fill a slow news week. Then we started hearing the phrase in checkout lines, at Steeplechase, at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack. The phrase, and the contest, took on a life of its own. It became shorthand for all the city's quirks and contradictions—the peculiarities of living in the Bible Belt's buckle, yet frequently with our pants around our ankles.

So what's on your mind this year? People, it's bad. The Republicans are wackos. The mayor is invisible. From May Town Center to the passing of one of Nashville's favorite newsmen, the landscape is changing. The gun nuts are loaded, and that's before they hit the bars. That's to say nothing of the gravest problem facing Nashville law enforcement today—namely, John Rich.

But readers, you fought back with the sharpest weapon the law will allow (until the next General Assembly, anyway): your wits. We got entries that made us howl with laughter, gasp with shock, and sometimes just scratch our heads in fearful puzzlement. (We're looking at you, Weirdies, the contest's catch-all for sputtering mania and quizzical rambling.)

After 20 years, you keep finding ways to surprise us. We hope that you can say the same. And if not...well, we're sure you'll let us know next year. In the meantime—what were those five words again? Oh, yeah...

The man behind the YASNI
You are so Nashville if...Winners and Contenders


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