You’ve Ruined Me for All Others

Dear Readers,

There are many mysteries in life to which I do not know the answers. Some of them, such as “Why the fuck does Donald Rumsfeld still have a career?”, are unanswerable. Others of them are answerable, I’m sure, but I just don’t know. So, I turn to you.

Here we go:

1. This morning, I was singing in the shower and I started into “In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man. Now I’ve reached that age, I try to do all those things the best I can.” Then I had to stop because I didn’t know the rest. a.) What fucking Led Zeppelin song is that? b.) Is it just me or does it seem like that could also be the beginning of an awesome country song?

2. Hank Jr. He says “We say grace. We say ma’am. If you ain’t into that, we don’t give a damn.” But what is it he says right before that? It sounds like “[unintelligible] boys [something] shotgun.”

3. What is the best way to toast pine nuts without burning them?

4. If you’ve oversalted something, is it salvageable? Can you add something else that will balance out the taste? Perhaps chili powder?

5. Was there a plan at one time to join all the Old Hickory Boulevards? Why did that never happen?

6. I’ve noticed that around here most Pikes are named for the towns they go to–Nolensville, Franklin, Murphreesboro, etc. Where is Couchville? Is it under Percy Priest Lake?

7. I’ve been on Stewart’s Ferry Pike a long way. I’ve even been on the stretch of the pike surrounded on both ends by Percy Priest Lake. I just want to know this: Where was Stewart’s ferry, originally?

8. Are we allowed to bring knitting on airplanes now?

9. Is there such a thing as “Nashville barbecue” and is it any good?

10. Black Bottom. Both an old Nashville neighborhood and a dance, I’ve been told. I think I’m pretty clear on where that neighborhood was, but what was the dance like? Shouldn’t all Nashvillians know it in honor of our famous neighborhood?