29. Mason’s Restaurant

It’s pretty easy to be the youngest person in Mason’s Restaurant by a couple of decades, even if you’re in your 50s. Don’t let this dissuade you from going, though.

Mason’s is the kind of place where you can buy enough food to fill your whole table and pay ten dollars for it–eggs and bacon and toast and coffee and biscuits with or without gravy, maybe some ham, you want some sausage? Maybe some pancakes? French toast?

It’s as good as Hermitage Cafe, but without the overnight hours and all the cops at the counter.

“Do y’all get famous people in here?” I ask one morning.

“Oh, sure,” my waitress says. “Bill Monroe came in all the time before he died. And Lefty Frizzell…”

“Oh, kids today don’t know who Lefty Frizzell is,” one of the other waitresses said.

“I do, too, know who Lefty Frizzell is,” I said, feeling a little indignant.

“He stops by every once in a while for breakfast,” My waitress said. “You know, he’s just down the road here.”

“He’s dead,” I said.

“Oh, we all know that,” she said. “But his money’s good and he tips well, so we don’t mind.”

The other waitress came by, “She can speak for herself. It gives me the willies.”

“Well, bless your heart, I hope you don’t let on when he’s here,” my waitress said.

“Of course not,” the other waitress scoffed. “Unlike some people, I am not rude.”

“One time, I wouldn’t let her husband come in and wait while we closed, fifteen years ago, and she still won’t let me forget it.”

Me on WPLN

I don’t think I could ever grow tired of hearing “Nashville writer Betsy Phillips.”

Anyway, it’s weird. As I get older, my voice sounds more like my grandmas’. I like that, except I remember them having better enunciation than I have. Ha ha ha.

Still, what a treat!

Haslam Doesn’t Want to Talk Specifics

From The Tennessean:

Haslam said reporters are more interested in focusing on conflicts than on the candidates’ plans for the state budget. “You guys want to focus on those issues,” he said. “We’ve had 10 days of gun stories, and not one saying, ‘Yeah, I wonder who has done their homework on the budget.’ “

So Andrea Zelenski tries:

But he offered few specifics Thursday when asked by reporters what departments or programs he’d propose trimming should he assume the state’s highest elected office and with it an expected $1.5 billion budget shortfall.

So, that explains why he wouldn’t answer my Planned Parenthood questions. He doesn’t actually want to talk about the budget.

I’m going to be honest. I’m concerned that he’s stupid. Some of the stuff that he’s fucking up? A competent politician and his campaign should have been prepared for–“Hey, we’re going to talk about cutting state funding to Planned Parenthood! Okay, what are the five or six questions we’re bound to get about that? What will our answers be?” Not “Talk about cutting state funding for Planned Parenthood, get asked the questions folks always ask when this nonsense comes up, dick around for days, and then refuse to answer.”

Or the whole gun thing? He didn’t even know that Pilot employees can’t have guns in their locked cars in Pilot parking lots while he’s saying employees of all companies should be allowed to have guns in their locked cars in company parking lots? I mean, I don’t expect Haslam to know every detail of every policy at Pilot, but who doesn’t motherfucking check before shooting off his mouth?

They say early voting is way, way down this year and I have to think that it is, in part, because no matter who your candidate supposedly is, he kind of sucks.

Something to Read

I just really like this post, the whole thing, so I won’t bother to quote any of it. But it reminds me of the Tennessee Obesity Task Force stuff. We’re supposed to believe they’re concerned about the health of Tennesseans, but their literature includes pictures of fat people designed to show us as slobs or clowns, as if being gross to look at or funny to look at has anything to do with health.

Briefly on O’Donnell

In a way, I find the whole thing kind of baffling. It’s hard for me to understand what kind of guy would have a naked woman in his bed and be all “ew, pubic hair” and then brag about it in public. Does he not understand that women’s bodies have a lot of variety? I don’t like the “they want women to look like a little girl!” argument either. First, it’s just hair. Cut it, dye it, trim it, remove it, grow it out as far as it will go–whatever floats your boat. As long as you’re doing it for fun and not because some douchebag requires it of you, I do not give a shit.

But second, I was in a bachelor’s bathroom the other day and his Penthouse was right by the toilet. I, being an intrepid blogger, picked it up and looked at it, and, of course, the women in it were hair-free. I didn’t particularly find that disturbing. After all, when your aim is to give the viewer as clear a shot of things normally obscured by labia and hair, it makes sense to hold the labia apart and remove the hair. What I found disturbing was that almost all of the variations in coloring that you’d normally find on a woman’s nether-regions, regardless of age, were gone. If you are familiar with labia, you know that everything inside them is kind of slick and more the color of the inside of your mouth than of your skin and some areas are darker or lighter than others.

Not on these gals. It was all flesh colored except right around the vaginal opening and around their very small inner labia and clitoris. So, instead of this great fleshy moist region (hairy or not), there was this almost unrecognizable non-pink hairless landscape with only the tiniest hint of moisture right at the vaginal opening. It was as if this had been photoshopped to this. It’s not just the shrubbery that’s missing. There appear to be vital working bits gone. And the kinds of working bits that work for the person with the cooter. It’s as if everything that suggests a female sexual response more complex than “rub this one spot; poke this one spot” is erased.

And that, to me, is where the “they look like little girls” critique falls short. This goes beyond making your cooter resemble a little girl’s. This gets into a cooter aesthetic that removes all individuality and variance and humanity from a part of our bodies most associated with being embodied in a human body.

You’d think a man who came to understand he didn’t actually know one way women’s bodies might differ from each other would be kind of embarrassed, that he’d tell that story as if he were the fool. But not this dude. He’s all “Amirite?” It does not occur to him, even briefly, that he’s the one who looks like a dumbass in that story. That’s bewildering. And would be hilarious except that there’s a real woman at the butt end of this.

But what also troubles me is that O’Donnell does not and has never had a prayer of winning. That’s no knock on her. Those are just the facts on the ground. So, why does she have to be knocked down so hard? Is it a warning to other female politicians? That part of running for office is this kind of bullshit?

Just who is supposed to be learning a lesson here, I wonder?