28th Annual You Are So Nashville If ...

“You are so Nashville if …” It’s just one little sentence, a comedic cue that should easily roll into a punch line, but the Scene’s annual YASNI contest seems to morph every year, as our city continues to develop into something new and unfamiliar. What does it mean to “be Nashville” anyway, when we have the same towering condo buildings and crane-peppered skylines that litter every coastline of America?

But there still is something very special about life in Nashville. And Scene readers have once again managed to find the heart and the humor (some of it dark) in yet another year, from our bumbling Durhams and record-breaking hockey games to the burgeoning war between new and old.

Because one thing became clear while reading through the thousands of YASNIs we received: Nashvillians are very torn over the city’s current awkward pubescence. While some folks took cheap shots at growing pains, including traffic and cranes (oh, how people loved to hate on the cranes), others ranted against the anti-development crybabies, mocking them for staying in a city they don’t like (yet likely weren’t born in).

So, yeah, life here is being redefined every day, but as this year’s entries prove, that just keeps things interesting (and weird, and entertaining, and fun and frustrating).

But seriously, we never want to see another YASNI about a crane ever again.

1st Place:

Your therapist doesn’t know you’re gay. — Russell Ries Jr.

About the winner:

We have a new champion!

For the past two years, Zack Bennett has been ensconced on the YASNI throne as the first Scene reader to hold the peak position in consecutive years. But in an unexpected upset, 2016’s winning entry — “You are so Nashville if your therapist doesn’t know you’re gay” — didn’t come from a familiar name.

In fact, winner Russell Ries Jr. has submitted to the contest only a few times, and, he says, his efforts have mostly been relegated to the “Weirdies” pile. Last year he missed the deadline for entries completely.

Ries, a Nashville native and student at Nashville Software School, found inspiration for his winning entry in the passage of the spectacularly hateful bill HB 1840, which allows Tennessee therapists to refuse to treat members of the LGBT community based on “sincerely held principles.” And Ries says he didn’t give a lot of thought to his jokes before sending them along — he just riffed on some ideas while having lunch with friends, and “anything they laughed at, I entered.” You’ll see a few more of his entries scattered throughout the issue.

Now that he’s won, will Ries be more motivated to attempt Bennett’s back-to-back YASNI performance? “Yeah, as long as I’m paying attention and don’t miss the entry form,” he says.

28th Annual You Are So Nashville If ...

2nd Place:

You refer to the two major roundabouts as “The Sticks” and “The Dicks.” — Will Churchill

28th Annual You Are So Nashville If ...

3rd Place:

Megan Barry tried to DJ your wedding. — Jamie Yost

Honorable Mentions:

Your downtown bridge needs a sign to explain why it turned that color today. — Stephen Yeargin

28th Annual You Are So Nashville If ...

When asked where your favorite place is to watch a Titans game, you say, “From the fetal position in the corner of my room.” — Logan Elliott

You’re at an event with Mayor Megan Barry. Right now. — Drew Maynard

Your therapist suggests you “take a little break” from the East Nashville Facebook page. — Brian Bates

You’re down for a playful spanking, but you draw the line at Republican whips. — Bill Hench

28th Annual You Are So Nashville If ...

You actually thought you could make trains quieter. — Miles Price

You submitted this while sitting in traffic. — Jamie Yost

Bart Durham is only the second creepiest Durham you know. — Ellis Metz

You wear a man bun, but you’ve never heard of the Nun Bun. — John Richardson

28th Annual You Are So Nashville If ...

You tried to grow a Chris Stapleton, but ended up with a Jason Aldean. — Mike Dorr

You’re furiously writing a hip-hop musical to save Old Hickory’s place on the $20 bill. — Matthew Parriott

You wonder if you’ll wind up going to TPAC’s Tubman Hall. — Ken Lass

28th Annual You Are So Nashville If ...

Of all the things, you never thought it would be Jim Ridley’s heart that would fail him. — Meredith Hunter

Your life here was affected by Jim Ridley whether you knew it or not. — Ken Lass

Your kid is building condos out of Legos ... and has already pre-sold them all. — Daniel Spartan Smith

And the rest …

You’ve still never made it in the Nashville Scene’s People Issue, but your neighbor’s dog has. — Brian Bates

You score the game-winning goal in a triple-overtime playoff game, yet still find yourself known as a singer’s husband to the locals. — Codey Holland

Your city can sell out a stadium to watch a three-win NFL team, but not to see Beyoncé. — Lindsay Parriott

It takes triple overtime for you to be on Lower Broadway after midnight. — Ellis Metz

You’ve DJ’d at Duke’s. — Cale Tyson

Your “Ms. Cheap” is going to have to rebrand as “Ms. Relatively Inexpensive.” — Trent Hanner

You have started referring to your commute back home from work as your alone time. — Logan Elliott

You feel like The Belcourt has been closed for 10 years. — Lindsay Bergstrom

You believe a good funeral includes a free concert. — Jeff Wilson

You’re pretty sure Zack Bennett is gonna get caught writing YASNIs all day on the clock in his darkened cubicle someday. — John Marshall

Your church produces better hype videos than your professional sports teams. — Zack Bennett

You’ve recently started referring to the Briley Parkway exit as the “Brexit.” — John Marshall

You’ve got a girl crush on the mayor. — Anonymous

You’re itching to see a pedal-tavern pileup. — Jessy Yancey

You’ll pay $80 for a concert ticket, but refuse to pay $10 to park. — Stefanie Porolniczak

You tried to amend an amendment to an amended Metro Council proposal. — Anonymous

You love the convenience of wine in grocery stores, but still have to drive to the Kroger across town to avoid running into friends from church. — Brian Bates

You find yourself lying most about the level of heat you can handle at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. — Logan Elliott

You eat at a concept rather than a restaurant. — Ken Lass

You can’t wait to recycle all your Bill Freeman jokes from last year when he inevitably runs for governor. — Page Forrest

You can name more Nashville chefs than Metro Council members. — Nicole Miller

What the hell am I supposed to do with this Seth Jones bobblehead? — Daniel Ryan

Mike Fisher is the only Titans coach you can name. — Lesley Lassiter

Go home, Nashville. You’re drunk. — Jamie Yost

Your shrink advised you to check out his indie-rock show on WXNA. — Jim Reding

Your favorite musical act is the Thompson Lane tunnel tuba man. — Shannon Williford

You’re worried about Keith and Nicole because you haven’t seen them out lately. — Matthew Parriott

You sell $48 used bandanas out of an old gas station. — Brian Siskind

You make more driving for Uber than from streaming. — Jimmy Junior

You just found out there were black players in the NHL. — Brian Bates

You have a record by the last person you slept with. — K.T. Harrison

You got distracted from this entry to think up new TDOT traffic safety puns. — Miles Price

You declare Dino’s “ruined” on social media and swear never to return after Justin Bieber’s late-night hang was publicized, and then Monday rolls around and you hit up your homiez, like, “Time for mojitos!!!” — Charlie Frederick

All your Tinder matches are tourists. — Lauren Barbieri

You can tell the show is fiction because everyone was filming Luke Wheeler in landscape mode. — Meredith Hunter

You’ve had a hot-chicken injury. — Mike Dorr

You’re mad that Nashville doesn’t reflect accurate commute times. — Daniel Spartan Smith

You’re aghast at the Vandy rape trial, but don’t mind cheering for Mike Ribeiro. — Russell Ries Jr.

You based your decision on where to live on how annoying the neighborhood Facebook group can be. — Stephen Yeargin

You’ve lived here five years and are pissed at how much Nashville has changed. — Edwin Williamson

You’ve lived here 30 years and are pissed at the slow pace of change. — Edwin Williamson

You’re afraid the new bathroom bill will get your concert canceled. — Jackie Hughes

You went to Pinewood Social and didn’t Instagram it. — Grant Robinson

You still can’t buy wine on a Sunday. — Katie Miller

You save the Scene’s Bonnaroo Bingo games and play them on Broadway all year long. — John Marshall

You know at least a dozen realtors … and counting. — Melissa Reinke

You tithe using your credit card to get points! — Michele Totty 

You like East Nashville’s anti-establishment vibe, but a Publix would be nice. — Amanda Eckard

You buy your wine at Publix instead of Kroger because you have class. — Brian Bates

The stand-up paddleboard you take on the Cumberland is made from reclaimed barn wood. — Andrew Molloy

The Metro Transit Authority logo makes you want to play Trivial Pursuit. — Jamie Yost

It still irritates you that the Nashville Scene didn’t pick a winner in 1995. — Ron Eubanks

Goodwill will not accept your Shea Weber jersey because they have too many in stock. — Brian Bates

Dave Cobb produced your ringtone. — Tandy Travis

Housing prices have gotten so high, the city evicted you from Fort Negley. — Logan Elliott

You think there should be a spin-off series called Teddy Conrad: Inmate #BR-549. — Jeanette DeMain

You missed your son’s college graduation sitting in traffic. You left the house when he was 12. — Michael Hill

You leak legal documents and videos to Phil Williams. — Anonymous

Your YASNI joke, “You got tired of waiting and brought your own wine to the grocery store,” isn’t relevant anymore. — John Marshall

Your Uber driver was a contestant on The Bachelorette. — Tandy Travis

Your favorite seats for an Ascend Amphitheater concert are halfway across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. — Jeff Shearer

The sky-crane operator waves to you when you open your blinds. — Karen Rolen

You’re excited about the Game of Thrones convention coming to Nashville just to see all the fans in their costumes confuse the hell out of all the bachelorette parties on Lower Broad. — Lightning de la Flame

You’ve turned down free Titans tickets because someone else already gave you theirs. — Daniel Ryan

You’ve never taken public transit but wish we had “a train.” — Trent Hanner

You’ve ever wondered if we should be cutting Memphis a check for all the Elvis crap we sell. — Daniel Ryan

You’re more excited about the improved bathrooms and added stalls at The Belcourt than the actual theater restoration. — John Marshall

You’re mad about the Shea Weber trade because he’s the only Predators player you could name. — Lesley Lassiter

You’re just waiting for John Rich to buy the old guitar scoreboard at Greer Stadium and move it to Love Circle. — Zack Bennett

You wish Betsy Phillips wouldn’t curse so fucking much. — Meredith Hunter

You were taking selfies in the Hermitage Hotel bathroom long before the Sinema bathroom came around. — Jamie Yost

You tried to take Williamson County’s school superintendent, but all you got was a dick pic from his legislator. — Tandy Travis

You tried to pay for the tab at Corner Pub with 12 $2.25 Ticketmaster vouchers. — Dave Foster

You track the TDOT fatality statistics more closely than the Titans’ record. — Chris Chamberlain

You suddenly discovered an appreciation for rugby, and how. — Trent Hanner

You still have nightmares of David Fox wearing his fox costume on Lower Broadway. — Laurel Green

You like the ABC that brought wine into grocery stores but not the one that canceled Nashville. — Ken Lass

You hope you get jury duty for the free parking at the Public Square parking garage. — Jeff Shearer

You got conceived on Jan. 22, 2016. — Trent Hanner

You figured the mass influx of bearded Yankees just had to have something to do with a Battle of Nashville re-enactment. — Josh May

You enjoy a little AAA baseball with your craft beer and hot chicken. — Ken Lass

You don’t watch The Bachelorette, you’re only here for the recaps. — Meredith Hunter

You are the first Nashville mayor with some balls. — Ron Jarshall

Your spin class is a pedal tavern. — Karen Rolen

Threatening to spank Amanda Haggard was the closest thing to a piece of ass you’ve had in years. — Meredith Hunter

You are thinking about starting a “Keep Charlotte Weird” movement before it’s too late. — Jeanette DeMain

Your zoo builds a zip line over the animals because what could go wrong, right? — Brian Bates

Your most trusted advisers are Michael Higgins and Bob August. — Melissa Reinke

Your laundry schedule revolved around when you hung out at The Gold Rush. — Miles Price

You’ve fang-fingered someone who cut you off. — Bo Wolfe

You wrestle and dabble with a little bail bonding on the side. — John Marshall

You wonder why the special passing lane has bicycles painted in it. — Patrick Howell

You traded recipes with Jack White at the neighborhood potluck. — Betsy Barbour

You think the mayor is playing it a little fast and loose with the lighting of the courthouse and Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge. — Anonymous

You suspect R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” video was inspired at the I-440 split. — John Marshall

You still can’t get that awful Charles Robert Bone jingle out of your head. — Zack Bennett

You pay your mortgage for the year by renting your house on Airbnb for CMA Music Festival weekend. — Michael Clemons

You felt like you were cheating on The Belcourt every time you bought a ticket at Regal Green Hills. — Trent Hanner

You don’t mind driving down Shelby Avenue during rush hour anymore because you know that Swing Guy is gonna make everything alright. — Stephen Bohn

Localism. Authenticism. Vagueism. Prosaicism. — Meredith Hunter 

You consider “You are so Nashville if ...” to be the original Twitter. — Lindsay Bergstrom

You can’t make it to work when they shut down your interstate exit because you only know one way to get to work. — Lorenda Patterson

The phrase “Walmart Skip Bayless” is the only thing to make you feel bad for both Walmart and Skip Bayless. — Anonymous

Even the naked man at the airport thinks the lines at security are too long. — Kris Lott

A condo ate your sidewalk. — Ken Lass

Your councilman can go from sworn in to shot to indicted to resigning all in under six months. — Stephen Yeargin

You measure time by which failed project was supposedly going in at Lake Palmer. — Stephen Yeargin

Your neighborhood grocery store has to close for many months so it can reopen as a crappier grocery store. — Trent Hanner

Your mom read Nashville was canceled and thought you’d have to move back home. — Brian Bates

You’ve ever made up a new bar/neighborhood just to fuck with people. “Oh you haven’t been to Blasé? It’s technically in SloDo, but has more of a NoCha vibe. The cocktails are AMAZE.” — Daniel Ryan

You wanna play a fuckin’ train song. — Richie Kirkpatrick

You thought Tandy Wilson was the name of a character on Nashville. — Amy Hancock

You think it’s too hot and you need a pool … still. — Tori Venable

You can’t help notice the only things ascending at the amphitheater are beer prices and ’90s bands. — Julio LaPeppercorn

You can’t see the trees for the Forrest. — Michele Totty 

You are convinced that House Speaker Beth Harwell’s next punishment for Jeremy Durham will be a Game of Thrones-style Walk of Atonement from the Capitol building. — Logan Elliott

Whenever your life is in chaos, it is only compounded by the voice in your head telling you to “move quickly through the station, your time is running out.” — Rob Duke

The Carvana machine ate your quarter. — Brady Mills


You think every brand should have an ampersand in it (e.g. Nashville & Scene). — Brian Siskind

You have strong opinions about Barb Murphy. — Stephen Yeargin

You can’t believe city leaders are ignoring the biggest threat to our image: hot-chicken sharts. — Bill Hench

Of note, relatedly, William Williams. — Trent Hanner

You hold your photo shoot in a bar, some random lady crashes it on a pool bet, and everyone seems cool about it. — Zack Bennett

Dad Jokes:

Your mayor is a Barry but your state legislature is nuts. — Russell Ries Jr.

Your Titans football season was “Titanic.” — Michele Totty

You have a number Dose every morning after drinking their coffee. — John Marshall

You’re hoping the Nashville Zoo will soon open their “Majestic Steel Cranes” habitat. — Moose

You wish we could Nashvexit from TN. — Amanda Eckard

You try to sign up for a Zika class at Gold’s Gym. — Larry Sullivan

You think getting a soccer team will increase our chances to win some football games. — John Marshall

You think the Vanderbilt Marriott should have hired Morgan & Morgan for the Erin Andrews lawsuit because Morgan & Morgan are for the peephole. — Peter Dinkle

You don’t see the humor in the proposed Viagra law. Violators could face stiff consequences and hard time. — Bill Hench

Ok. We Get It:

Your neighbor’s house was just replaced by a crane to build another new building. — Curtis Stoneberger

Your forwarding address is One Crane City. — Jen Foster

You can see a tower crane out your window. — Mary Divittorio

Your kids play the Alphabet Game with the pattern of cranes across the skyline. — Jeff Shearer

Your skyline has more construction cranes than buildings. — Melissa Reinke

You look at the skyline and see several of the city’s official bird, the crane! — AW

The crane is your city bird. — Mike McAlister

You think the official city bird should be the crane. — Amanda Eckard

You think the official city bird is the crane. — Mike A.

You think Nashville’s official bird is the crane. — Peter Dinkle

You want to see a resolution in Metro Council naming the Construction Crane the city’s official bird. — Jeanette DeMain

You tell everyone the state bird is a crane. — David Clark

Your chiropractor’s advice for your neck pain is to stop looking up at all the construction cranes. — Sam Cooper

The Weirdie:

You get up one morning and say, “Hey, Mom, what’s that new road?” Your mother says she doesn’t know. So me and four seventh-graders packed a sandwich, jumped on our bikes for a daytrip to see where the road goes. We got on the new road just below where the boys club is and we we’re off. It ended just at Antioch High School. We reported back home to tell our mothers, “It goes nowhere.” It was I-24. 

You Mad Bro??

Fuck you, Nashville. — Jamie Yost

You escaped from The Escape Game. So has everyone else. Your bumper sticker doesn’t make you special. — Zack Bennett

Your producer told you to never edit drum tracks in Pro Tools because it kills the integrity of the song while he sat there editing the fucking vocals. — Matt North

You know the claim that Goo Goos have the same ingredients today is bullshit. — Arthur Reed

You DON’T believe in Nashville. — Tandy Travis

You constantly walk around saying aloud, “Who are all these people, and why did their parents buy a house for them?” — Brian Siskind

You and your friends wish the HOV lane was actually a “Nashville Natives Only” lane. — Reed Neff

You never liked the people who lived here when you relocated, can’t stand the new transplants. — Sandy Moss

You complain about a newly proposed condo tower blocking the view from your new condo, that blocked the view of John’s new condo, that blocked the view of Jane’s new condo, that blocked the view of … — David Clark

You remember when the Scene had relevance. — Arthur Reed

You write for the Nashville Scene but you don’t live in Nashville. — Peter Swanson

You have to pay Nashville to stay!!!! $11 million this time! — Michele Totty

You think a roundabout is some fuckin’ Canadian song by a band called No or some shit. — Richie Kirkpatrick

You call yourself a “creative” and create nothing while on your laptop sipping lattes. — Brian Siskind

You come home after a long, hard day of slinging drinks and being on vinyl duty at Barista Parlor and pop open a cold Fat Bottom, all the while trying to relax in the lush garden where you grow your own tomatoes in your East Nashville home, yet still lamenting the fact that you’ve worn out your custom-made Imogene + Willie jeans and need to call your parents in Iowa for the money to get a new pair. — Joey Chappell

Past Winners:

1989: You think our Parthenon is better because the other one fell apart. — Susan Fenton

1990: Your mayor is married and engaged at the same time. — Maralee Self

1991: You say to the person behind the counter at the Hot Stop, “We really kicked y’all’s ass in that Desert Storm.” — Willie D. Sweet Jr.

1992: You go to a Hank Williams Jr. concert at Starwood and pass out before Hank does. — Ted W. Davis III

1993: Your church congregation is referred to as “the studio audience.” — Sharon Kasserman

1994: You think that the H.O.V. lane is for people with AIDS. — Paul Allen

1995: No winner

1996: You never meant to stay here this long. — Robert Jetton

1997: You’ve checked your flower bed for Janet March. — Terry Robertson

1998: You’re the only one who doesn’t know you’re gay. — Diana Hecht

1999: You dig up your mom. — Rick Hagey

2000: You want to vote Brad Schmitt off the island. — Chad Tribble

2001: Your minister follows the Nine Commandments. — Ken Lass

2002: Towns you’ve never heard of are going to be hit by a tornado at 6:51, 6:53 and 7:01 p.m. — Rick Hagey

2003: You returned a friendly Southern wave to Adam Dread as he veered across Franklin Pike. — Cindy Parrish

2004: You need a war to sell records. — Joe Scutella

2005: Your governor gives TennCare beneficiaries McDonald’s instead of health care coverage. — Ken Lass

2006: You were a gay cowboy before being a gay cowboy was cool. — Michael Williams

2007: You saw Kenny Chesney in a Kroger reading Out & About. — Michael Williams

2008: Your DUI arrest gets a five-star rating on YouTube. — Roy Moore

2009: Your local GOP makes the KKK look like the ACLU. — Jonathan Belcher

2010: Your city flooded and all you got was a lousy T-shirt. — David Anthony

2011: Gay gay gay, gay gay; gay gay gay gay gay. — Dana Delworth

2012: You think Bart Durham should direct The Real Housewives of Nashville. — Holly Matthews

2013: You think the TV show should have been called Mount Juliette. — Bill Hench

2014: Your amp goes to eleven, but not to Belle Meade. — Zack Bennett

2015: You’re afraid Bob Mueller’s mustache will be torn down to build a high-rise apartment building. — Zack Bennett

Email editor@nashvillescene.com

28th Annual You Are So Nashville If ...

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