Comedian, musician, host of Chris Crofton's Advice King Podcast and former Nashvillian Chris Crofton asked the Scene for an advice column, so we gave him one. Crowning himself the “Advice King,” Crofton will share his hard-won wisdom with whosoever seeks it. Follow Crofton on Facebook and Twitter, and to submit a question for the Advice King, email bestofbread[at]gmail[dot]com or editor[at]nashvillescene[dot]com.
Dear Advice King,
I’m allergic to pollen, so springtime is brutal for me. Besides taking Benadryl, any advice on what to do?
—Doug in Maplewood, N.J.
This question made me think of those dividers they put on park benches so people experiencing homelessness can’t sleep on them. Why? Because it made me think of tree removal. Why? Because the Nashville Symphony cut down a bunch of trees because they don’t like the kind of bird that uses them.
You probably think I’m making that last thing up, but I’m not! The Nashville Symphony has (had) a bunch of trees that have (had) become a favorite stopping place for a migrating bird called a “purple martin.” Sounds nice, right? Turns out they, um, shit too much. I’m not making that up either! Rather than risk a bird shitting on John Rich’s spats, the symphony has decided to remove the trees. FUN FACT: Purple martins are a protected species. John Riches are not.
Do you see where I’m going with this? No? I’m not sure I do either, BUT I’m going to continue writing until I figure it out.
I was already thinking about the symphony’s plan to get rid of the trees, because I just heard about it a couple of days ago. That story made me think of the dividers on the park benches, because just like the birds need trees, people without homes need benches. Then I thought about the spikes they put on those big office building window sills so people can’t sleep on them. I thought, Why are they removing the trees when they could just put those anti-homeless spikes on the branches? Birds won’t land on those. Finally, I thought: If you can remove trees ’cuz you don’t like birds, why can’t you remove trees ’cuz you’re allergic to them? And then I had one more thought: People would be angrier about spikes on the branches than they would be about spikes on the benches. And another: Who gets to decide this shit?
In related news (I see it as related, anyway), the city of Nashville built a soccer stadium instead of paving Ellington Parkway. I'm sure that’s not how the city frames it, but that’s the first thing that occurred to me last week as I was driving down that Oregon Trail replica. Potholes, broken glass, hubcaps, diseased oxen, etc. I made up the oxen. GOOOOAAAAAAAAL!
How are Belle Meade’s roads doing? Lemme take an educated guess: Smooth as a political donor’s hands. By the way, Have you ever shaken hands with a billionaire? I have. A couple of them used to frequent a restaurant where I worked. *SHIVER* Their hands are as soft and formless as baby hands. Or flan. To simulate shaking a billionaire’s hand, squeeze a perfumed, powdered, heavily sedated frog.
Sooooo, Doug. Are you a political donor or a symphony supporter? If you are, I would suggest asking the mayor of Maplewood to remove all the trees in town. If you are not, Benadryl. Generic Benadryl.
FUN FACT: This isn’t the first time Nashville has made the news for removing trees! In 2019, the city cut down a bunch of cherry trees to make room for the NFL Draft. I wrote a column about it.
Nashville — Business Friendly, Tree Mean™️