The results are in and, again, we’re the hottest topic in town.
Nashville Scene, the city’s alternative weekly, announced its selection from over 1,300 entries to its annual "You Are So Nashville If…" reader’s poll.
The winning entry: You are so Nashville if you saw Kenny Chesney in a Kroger reading Out & About.
A one-two (three?) punch, it’s a short quip that manages to encapsulate the reality and absurdity of life in Music City today. Just two months ago The Kroger Company, the Cincinnati-based supermarket behemoth of this region, abruptly denied access to your friendly neighborhood GLBT monthly newspaper to its roster of free publications displayed in each store’s entryway.
The company recently readmitted Out & About Newspaper to a small number of its outlets, those with the highest cluster of residents who had previously subscribed to the publication, after an impressive campaign involving local political organizations, community groups, and nationwide publicity in the GLBT and mainstream media. Early in the process the Nashville Scene itself weighed in on the controversy, and later lampooned Kroger’s knee-jerk acquiescence to the initial anti-O&AN protest.
The Kenny Chesney part? A fast one, yes, but only at first glance. In fact, you can’t help but wonder how an entry like this one can place (at the top, no less) without assuming there must be someone safely hidden away SOMEWHERE concealing the perfect piece of information, should it ever, you know, be called for evidence.
Upon closer examination, though, and what makes this the most brilliant entry is that the now high profile marriage of a niche publication like O&AN with the most mainstream of grocery stores in town both acknowledges how mainstream gay life is (becoming) in this city and it underlines the fact that everyone (gay, straight, or Kenny Chesney) is free to read whatever he or she wants. Wherever we want.
This selection comes on the heels of last year’s winner: You are so Nashville if you were a gay cowboy before being a gay cowboy was cool.
The last GLBT-themed winner goes back to 1998 when it was: You are so Nashville if you’re the only one who doesn’t know you’re gay; then back to 1994 for this (admittedly tangential) winner: You are so Nashville if you think that the HOV lane is for people with AIDS.
Back in the present, it seems the GLBT community, and the Kroger debacle, was on the mind of many who entered. Outside the top three, another handful of entries pointed in our direction. In summary: You Are So Nashville If…
…you complain about Kroger carrying that immoral sex rag Out & About as you pick up your copy of Cosmo, Maxim and the Inquirer.
…your favorite church is on Gay Street, and your favorite bar is on Church Street.
…you can’t decide if you’re pro-family or anti-gay.
…you have never heard of, let alone read, Out & About but feel safer knowing Kroger has banned it.
…your local news channel makes a moral decision to run episodes of The 700 Club before Ellen.
As in previous years, the editors found a few strange entries that they dumped into a category called "Weirdies." Don’t try to figure out how: You Are So Nashville If…
…you are a gay male, wear real designer sunglasses and purchase Green Hills clothing whenever your maxed-out credit cards permit, have manicured nails and highly polished teeth, eat and drink at trendy cafes and drive a circa 1988 Honda.
What does it mean? No idea but, in the name of equality, this entry also landed in the "Weirdies" column: You Are So Nashville If…
…you are a single female, wear six-inch heels and nails, wear fake Chanel sunglasses and carry a fake Vuitton bag (both purchased at the Farmers Market), dress in a plus-size outfit from Fashion Bug and drive a circa 1988 Honda.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my personal favorites. Hence, You Are So Nashville If…
…you tell your spouse that you are thinking about "going Perry March" on her during an argument.
…you’ve checked your flower bed for Janet March (the winner from 1997).
…you blame Barry Gibb for Johnny Cash’s house burning down.
…towns you’ve never heard of are going to be hit by a tornado at 6:51, 6:53 and 7:01 p.m. (the winner from 2002).
…you’d rather be a child molester than married to Wynonna Judd.
and because our own Pam Wheeler doesn’t care what you think (as long as she gets paid):
…you believe Bart Durham’s office should stick to law, not acting.