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In the wake of the brouhaha over a planned Washington Post salon
(in which corporate sponsors could pay $25,000 or more to dine at publisher Katharine Weymouth's house with journalists, Obama administration officials and other Washington power brokers), the Scene
has canceled its own upcoming salon, titled "Reckless Abandon With the Feckless at Brandon's."
The powwow at the legendary Printers Alley haunt was to feature varying levels of access to state legislators, Metro Council members and lobbyists, for sponsorship fees ranging from $3 to $87. In addition, a silent auction was to offer further one-on-one access with our city's and state's movers and shakers. Among the items up for bid:
- A year's worth of English as a Second Language lessons from council member Eric Crafton (starting bid $20);
- A guided tour of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, led by the esteemed explorer and naturalist, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (starting bid $200);
- Five rounds of whiskey, four rounds of ammo and a beer chaser with Sen. Doug Jackson at the NRA's annual "Shots and Shots" mixer at Snubnose Joe's Hair Trigger Saloon in Dickson;
- Free admission to a daylong seminar titled "Race Relations in the New Millennium," taught by famed sensitivity-training expert state Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga (starting bid $40);
- Your choice of a weeklong convention or trade show at the planned Music City Center, hosted by Mayor Karl Dean (starting bid $1.75, and you might be able to stay an extra week or two);
- Two free tickets to Pastor Maury Davis' upcoming seminar for recently indicted felons, "Jesus, John and Paul, Attorneys at Law" (starting bid $3,000, plus $350 per hour charged in six-minute increments);
- Rep. Joe Towns, D-Memphis, will bring in the waist on all of your delinquent son's saggy pants (starting bid $40, $50 for plus sizes);
- Signed copies of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett's new books: How to Win Office and Intimidate People and Even Paranoid Loons Have Enemies (starting bid $26);
- A political endorsement from Jeff Woods (starting bid: a six-pack of PBR).
According to Scene
editor Pete Kotz, the salon had been concocted by the marketing department without his knowledge. Upon learning of the egregious breach of the paper's Chinese wall
, Kotz issued Tasers to all edit department employees with explicit instructions to "zap those marketing SOBs from here to May Town if they come within 20 feet of you."