Tag Archives: Paula Deen

The Orange Side of Savannah, Georgia

26 Jul

Last week, we spent some time in Hilton Head, South Carolina, but, in my mind, the best day consisted of a drive to Savannah, Georgia, the settlement established by James Oglethorpe when he first colonized the area. It is an old city with lots of history, and we rode a trolley through it all.

We saw the squares for which the city is famous filled with Live Oaks with Spanish Moss hanging from the branches. Each square is surrounded by a church and stately homes. One home was the headquarters for William Tecumseh Sherman when he captured the city on the completion of his march to the sea. Another home belonged to the family of Johnny Mercer and was the site of a murder that inspired Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – both the book and the movie.

Since movies were brought up, we saw where Forrest Gump sat on a bench and told his life story but missed an entire square because Adam Sandler was in the process of filming a scene. I was hoping to see where Burt Reynolds filmed parts of Gator, but the tourism folks do not promote that one as much as others.

We saw a lot of interesting places. The location of John Wesley’s first sermon in the New World. The docks where cotton was loaded onto ships bound for England. Of course, no one mentioned the slaves who worked the cotton. To make up for that lack of information, we saw a building used by the Underground Railroad.

Savannah is a beautiful city of architectural wonders and almost three hundred years of history. It was also filled with people trying out for American Idol. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of that stuff. Our trolley ride made photography difficult. No pictures of Live Oaks. No pictures of monuments or statues.

However, I was able to take a picture of this place.image-44

When it was time for lunch, I asked the man at the visitor center counter a simple question.

“If you were going to lunch where would you go?”

He started down the typical list that included Paula Deen’s and other places where tourists are directed. I knew that he would not pick any of those places but could not deviate from the script. We wanted to eat with the locals, and this guy offered no help.

On the trolley ride, we passed a place that looked like what we wanted. Clary’s Cafe had a few outdoor tables and was off the beaten path. It did not take long to choose that over standing in line at one of the other places. We got out the trusty GPS and made our way through the squares and around Adam Sandler.

We pulled into the parking lot and made our way to the door. However, my wife was nowhere to be seen. She was standing behind the car talking to someone. It turned out to be the owner of the restaurant who saw the orange T on the front of my vehicle. For those who are not from around here, that is my signal to everyone that I am a fan of the University of Tennessee. As it turns out, the owner was also a fan of the Big Orange.

We talked for a while about the upcoming football season and the orange shrine her husband built at their home. They are from Tennessee and make it to as many games as they can. She has high hopes for the upcoming season and thinks Butch Jones has the program on the right track.

Eventually, we made our way inside and found what we were looking for. Sweet tea was in the pitcher, and lima beans were part the day’s special. It was a true southern restaurant that did not involve a television personality. However, that was not the best part.

As we finished our meal, the owner told the waitress to give us the Big Orange discount. After all, we were part of her college football family.

The Last Harrah

5 Apr

Harrah’s Casino in Tunica is closing. There are probably a lot of reasons for that, but I am not here to write about the economic condition of the gaming industry. I am here to write about why I am saddened by the news. It may sound strange, but I have great memories of Harrah’s Casino in Tunica.Harrahs

I have been going to Tunica with my family for many years. Most of that time was with my parents and my aunt and uncle. We have all liked the comped rooms, comped food and the gambling that you have to do to get those things. We have also liked the laughs on the drive down and the good times when we arrived.

Early on, we stayed and played at other casinos, but, at some point, we settled on Harrah’s as our stomping grounds. As I write this, I can picture being there with all of them.

Playing video poker at a machine next to my dad.

Checking on my mom and finding out that she won a few hundred dollars at the penny slots.

Sitting in the third base seat of the Blackjack table while Johnny, my uncle, sat at first base. We liked playing the $25 tables and watch the green chips come and go. When he was losing, he would buy more chips so my aunt would not know how much he had lost. Of course, she always knew. I must admit that I got a little nervous when my parents came around to check on how we were doing.

My uncle passed away a couple of years ago. He fought cancer for a decade, and Harrah’s was a place where he could get away from the struggle and have fun for a while. Each time we walked in, he said, “I am getting well.” That is the reason we went to Tunica so often.

I always drove and would drop everyone off at the front door. I can see everyone walking through the front doors and knew where I could find them once I entered the casino. Everyone would be at their games. I always made my way to Blackjack but would stop at a slot machine first. The movie themed ones were my favorite. Star Trek. Ghostbusters. If it was a movie I liked, then they were guaranteed to get my money.

Food has also been one of the great things about Harrah’s. There was nothing like eating a hoe cake at Paula Deen’s buffet. It was upstairs, and, honestly, the upstairs has always been my favorite part of the casino. Quiet. Away from the smoke floating around the tables. I could always find an oasis of calm up there.

A few years ago, I took my girlfriend, who is now my wife, to Harrah’s with my parents. She got to experience all of the things that I have written about. However, she never got to meet Johnny. Our trip to Tunica was great, but my favorite part was sitting and talking with her in the hotel lobby. That beat winning a$500 chip at Blackjack.

Not long ago, my parents and I went to Tunica. We did not stay at Harrah’s, but we gambled there for a while. We did not know then that it would soon close. However, I still got a nostalgic feeling. I missed having to old gang talking about when we were going to head up to the buffet or hiding how much we had lost.

The last time I went to Harrah’s with Johnny, it was a guy’s trip. Me, my dad and him. This time Johnny wanted to eat in the steakhouse. My aunt and mom would never agree to eat there. We gambled enough to get a free meal and got the biggest steaks they had. We ate, talked and laughed.

That is what I will miss about Harrah’s Casino in Tunica. The talking and the laughing. We went to gamble, but we really went to spend time together.

My Favorite Search Term of All Time

23 Apr

It is always interesting to see how people find their way to this blog. Like most bloggers, I look through the search terms and come away amazed at some of the stuff that gets typed in. At times, I wonder how they got here, and that’s when I search it to find the trail from them to me.

Recently, a search term popped up, and there was no reason to go looking for it. I knew exactly how it led them here. It is probably my favorite search term of all time, and I am proud to claim it as part of the Surrounded by Imbeciles experience. What could be so great? Take a gander at this.

where is all the whores in tunica ms

It is great on so many levels, but you must understand that it is not a surprise. I have written about Tunica, the gambling capital of the south. I have also written about whores. In fact, I have written about whores more than once. Therefore, if someone is looking for a prostitute in Tunica, then a search engine will bring them to me. It really is something to be proud of.

Here’s the thing, though. I have been to Tunica countless times, and I have never seen someone who I thought was a working girl. That doesn’t mean they are not there. Heck, there’s lots of money in Tunica, so it only makes sense that prostitutes would be there to get some of it. I just haven’t noticed them. Of course, it could be that I haven’t seen anyone that I thought should be paid for sex. Unless the guy (I assume it was a guy) on the prowl is fond of the Hoveround type.

Put in a quarter, and it will vibrate.

Put in a quarter, and it will vibrate.

Simply, Tunica is not the place to go to find a whore. Want to eat at Paula Deen’s? Go to Tunica. Want to play some Blackjack? Go to Tunica. Want to see people smoke a cigarette while wearing an oxygen mask? Go to Tunica. Want to have a high-class escort for the weekend? Don’t go to Tunica. Go to Las Vegas!!!

Although prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, escorts can be found everywhere. In fact, I used to make a game out of it and see if I could guess who was and who wasn’t. There is this one little casino that is kind of a dive. When I go in, I always get a Blackjack seat close to the bar. That way I can watch the people and figure out what is going on. It’s easy to see a woman walk in alone and walk out with someone in a matter of minutes. It is even easier when she makes her way back.

It’s a little more difficult in the larger casinos. These places don’t want the women hanging around, and security is everywhere. That means that the women at the bar have to be more discreet. It also means that many escorts arrive with their clients. If a man and woman walk into a casino together, then how can you prove that she is getting paid? Of course, there can be suspicions. When an 80-year-old man walks in with a 25-year-old woman who looks like she stepped out of a magazine, something is up.

To help the person who searched – where is all the whores in tunica ms – I have some advice.

1. Don’t look for a whore in Tunica. Go to Paula Deen’s buffet instead. You will get more bang for your buck.

2. If you want to find a whore in a casino, then go to Las Vegas. Just sit at a bar by yourself and see what happens.

3. Try to find a prostitute who has a degree in English.

She can also help you with your Longfellow.

She can also help you with your Longfellow.

Once your few seconds are up, she can help with your sentence structure.

The Lessons of Anthony Bourdain

8 Nov

This past weekend, I saw Anthony Bourdain in concert. Well, I guess you could call it a concert. It was really a PowerPoint presentation. Anyway, I have read several of Bourdain’s books about the world of the culinary arts, which is strange since I don’t cook. His writings are filled with great stories about what life is really like in the food industry, and, as people who work in it already know, it’s a lot different from the calm atmosphere around the table.

Bourdain parlayed his writing success into a popular television show that I watch whenever I can. He travels, eats, drinks and, in general, let’s everyone know what his opinions are. And, he doesn’t give a shit who he offends. In short, that’s the life I would like to have.

When I heard that he was coming to Nashville, I had to get tickets. With the things he says on his show, there would be no telling what he would say in person. With that in mind, these are a few of the lessons I learned from Anthony Bourdain’s PowerPoint presentation.

Paula Deen is the real life equivalent of Dr. Evil.

Fried food is finger lickin’ good.

People, like me, will pay good money to watch a guy say the same things that they can watch him say on television for free.

Go ahead and burn your money.

You can never have enough dick jokes in case your PowerPoint malfunctions.

Or, you could just use pen and paper.

When someone asks Anthony Bourdain a question, it always begins with “as a fellow culinary professional” and always ends with “can I have an autograph”.

Will you sign my rag?

Russians drink a lot of vodka.

Is the war still cold?

When an old professor sits in front of you, it’s not long before you realize that he is just as cranky now as he was 20 years ago.

No one has ever made above a D in my class, and I will make sure that it never happens.

If you request an altered version of a dish, then you might receive something extra in it.

Yes, I would like the hamburger, but can I get that without the meat and the bread?

I learned a few other things, but I have to go kill a duck to make foie gras.