15. Bacon Frying in the Pan

Years ago a couple, the Andersons, moved to a little house on Ordway. Their neighbor was a little old man named Tim Macon, who lived alone now that his wife had died and his children had moved north.  He was a perfectly delightful neighbor. He’d come over to help Mrs. Anderson dig bulbs.  He could be counted on to watch the dog while they were on vacation.  And when Mr. Anderson needed someone to stand under the hood of his old beater with him, Mr. Macon was knowledgeable and brought beer.

And one day, Mr. Macon died.  He sat down to rest on the swing on his front porch and never woke back up.  It was as mild a death as one might have.  Which is, perhaps, why it didn’t seem to slow him down.

When the new neighbors moved in, the wife came running over to the Andersons’ one morning, almost in tears.

“I smelled bacon,” she said, as she started to calm down.  “I heard bacon frying in the kitchen.  I thought it was my husband.  But he was still in bed with me.  We went into the kitchen and…”

“There was bacon?” Mr. Anderson asked, half teasing.

“No, there was nothing, nothing but the smell of bacon frying in the pan.”

They calmed her down, convinced her she was dreaming, and sent her home.

Three days later, she was back.

“Come now.” she ordered.  “Come now.”

They ran next door and, plain as day, they could smell cigarette smoke.  Not the stale smell that might work its way out of paint or carpet, but fresh cigarette smoke.

“We don’t smoke,” the neighbor husband said.

“Mr. Macon?” Mrs. Anderson asked.  “Is that you?  Now listen, you are scaring the pants off these poor people.  Why don’t you come and live with us?  You know we don’t mind.”

I heard this story from the neighbor, which is why she remains nameless.  She says that, after this, she never had any problems in the house–no ghostly bacon, no cigarette smoke.

But here’s the weirdest thing.  So, years go by and the property values on Ordway go up and the Andersons decide to sell their house and move out on Lickton Pike, in the country.  The new people who bought the Anderson’s house, after about six months, came over to the neighbors’ and said, “You’re not going to believe this…”

“Cooking bacon?”

“How’d you know?”

“That’s our old home owner.”

“What should we do?”

“I don’t know.  I’d call the Andersons and ask them.”

And you know what?  The Andersons came back to their old house, told Tim Macon that he was freaking out this set of homeowners and that Lickton Pike was lovely; he should come and stay with them out there.

And it worked.

Ma, I Made The Scene!

I went to Qdoba for lunch just so I could grab myself a bunch of copies of this week’s Nashville Scene, and see if my entries all made it.  And then I sat here and laughed with delight, seeing my name in print.  Holy shit.  How much awesome fun is this?

You can read them online if you like.  I put up Barry Mazor for best book, El Rey Azteca and the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the City Cemetery, Jim Malec, Michael Cass, Rachel Walden, and Jackson Miller and Nicholas Holland,  and the Ryman for best bathroom (which I can’t find online, but in the paper, they put a picture of it!!!!), oh and the Nashvillest, (and again, it had a picture, so maybe that’s why I’m not seeing it online).

Shoot, they ran all of them, then, I think.  How cool! Ha, I’m just tickled.

God, I’m such a nerd.  Sorry folks.

But also, “Woo hoo!”

Trying New Things

I went to the Best of Nashville gathering, which was my own personal hell, in terms of set-up.  Oh, it seemed innocent enough, like it was just going to be in a big tent outside the Parthenon, but you had to go into the Parthenon to check in, which meant up a bunch of tall slick stairs without a railing, across the side of the building, again, with no railing, and then up more railingless steps and over a thresh-hold.

I about threw up when I got in the building, not just because it was all “You will fall to your death in a pile of broken goo” to get in there, but folks, there was just no fucking way I was going to be able to get down a shit ton of too-big railingless stairs.

So, I hung out in front of Athena for ever hoping that I would see Kleinheider and he would, yes, tease me mercilessly and then write snarky headlines about me, but I could at least guilt him into letting me take his arm while we went down the steps.

No luck.

I was stuck.

Until I found the elevator! Score.

After all that, I forgot to pick up a copy of the Scene to read.

I made my way to the Professor’s house for dinner and she fed us sausage and sauerkraut and roles. Yes, there was a salad, but I declined to eat that. I was, for the first time in my life, going to try sauerkraut.


It wasn’t bad. Certainly not worthy of the top spot on my list of shitty foods my parents tried to make us eat growing up but I refused.

So, I navigated complex stairs going up by myself. Got down from the high place the steps brought me without a panic attack. And ate cabbage to which a very bad thing had happened.

Who knows what new things I’ll get up to next?