Elvis...oh no! here comes Roni with...
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|Sat, 08-16-2003 - 1:47am|
I did a contest last year for Elvis' birthday. Parked a shopping cart in iVillage and asked everyone to drop by and put an item from their kitchen that they have and never use into it, then toss in an item that they always need and never have. After we filled the basket, I listed the ingedients and challenged everyone to make a buffet for Elvis' birthday using everything in the shopping cart. The menus and recipes were amazingly workable, and were hilarious to read. If you like, I can try to dig them up and share.
The day Elvis died, I lived about 1 1/2 miles from his house and was in district hotel management for Holiday Inns, a little Memphis outfit you likely never heard of. I heard about Elvis on the car radio, driving to work (a hotel about 4 blocks from the hospital he died in), and I muttered, "Aw, Crap, now we won't hear any decent music on the radio for a month!" I'm a hard rocker, even now, not much appreciation for the sappy stuff and boogie woogie deal, and please, that shave...EWWW!
I was ill prepared for what happened to the hotel industry in Memphis that day. We were already full as ticks on a stray hound. The Shrine convention was here, and we had 32,000 Shriners in for a week (with their SO's). Everything within 50 miles of Memphis was booked, including campgrounds and college dormitories, and you could not get a room if you were God. So tourists began to arrive, crying, squalling, bawling, lying in the lobby floors and refusing to move as they sobbed rivers of black mascara into our carpets, to the tune of 100,000 a day. That was the GOOD news (oh, yeah). The bad news was trying to get home for me. The entire section of town where we lived was blocked off to all traffic, to keep them away from Graceland. And the stalled traffic stuck behind the roadblocks was impassable. If you lived in the neighborhood, you had to show ID and a proof of address to pass, but it was impossible to get to the checkpoints. This went on for almost a month.
Meantime, drunk Shriners were racing Harleys up and down the halls of the hotels and wreaking havoc in the streets. A revved Harley on carpet in a hotel hall will give you a bare floor in no time, then all the guest room doors around the curled carpet are compromised for entering and exiting (call to the desk--I can't get out of my room! The door is jammed! What's all that racket in the hall???) The City of Memphis asked the Shriners not to return after the whole fiasco was over, they had added so many problems to the mix.
For days the die-hard fans kept arriving, and the profiles were all the same..."We have just driven straight through from Seattle, we did not even stop to BATHE (oh, that was a treat) and you don't have a ROOM???" No, honey, Go lie in the lobby floor in the puddle of mascara with your buds from Maine and Belgium and North Carolina...we have a source for new carpet and a nifty can of Glade....it was awful!
I watched the movie tonight which (correct me if I am wrong) was put together by Priscilla. It was accurate in most points, but did not quite dwell long enough on the issue that this was a man so trapped in his own home(s) and so lonely by virtue of fame and fortune and contracts, that house arrest with an ankle bracelet would have looked like freedom to him. I enjoyed the movie.
I now work in retail shipping. Most of the business this week is "souvenirs." People are coming here and buying Elvis stuff, and can't deal with it on the plane or get it into the car. Loads of international packages (the Euros are always here in force for Elvis events). You'd just have to be here. Bad clothes, bad hair, bad taste....OMG! I hate Elvis events! Ugliest Tourists in history!
k-roni, dead Elvis week survivor (I hope, it's not over yet)