Culture - Page 16

Serpentine Belt Guy and Poem Lady to be keynote speakers at 2013 Southern Creative Panhandling Convention

Organizers of the Chattanooga-based annual 2013 Southern Creative Panhandling Convention have announced its final lineup of speakers, workshops and discussion forums, for this year’s event, featuring veteran downtown panhandlers Serpentine Belt Guy and Poem Lady being the keynote speakers.

The compelling, award-winning storyteller Serpentine Belt Guy will speak about the challenges of keeping the same story he has told for over a decade fresh.

panhandlerAn estimated 18,000 Chattanoogans and tourists have heard Serpentine Belt Guy’s tale, about being from out-of-town and needing the remaining funds to pay for an emergency serpentine belt replacement for his car; it is learned that, unfortunately, he has left his wallet on the dresser of his hotel room, but he offers a faded, dog-eared handwritten receipt as evidence for the veracity of his story.

Poem Lady’s lecture, entitled “Shiny Change for Shoddy Product” will educate and enlighten about the technique of being so annoying that people will pay you to shut up.

A venerable downtown mainstay, Poem Lady offers, in exchange for a modest payment, the spontaneous creation of poetry, which is of consistently poor quality.

The convention, which typically draws two-thousand panhandlers from across the nation and Canada, will be held at the Electric Shuttle stop in front of the downtown Buffalo Wild Wings.

Panhandler (Used under the CC-BY-ND-2.0 license. Source:


Coolidge Park fountains to spray guacamole for Cinco de Mayo

Coolidge Park fountain (Used under the CC-BY-ND-2.0 license. Source:
Coolidge Park fountain (Used under the CC-BY-ND-2.0 license. Source:
To promote multi-culturalism, the Chattanooga Department of Parks and Recreation announced yesterday afternoon at a press conference that this Sunday, the 5th of May, celebrated as the holiday Cinco de Mayo, the fountains at Coolidge Park on the North Shore would spray guacamole instead of the usual water.

“Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of freedom and democracy for both Mexicans and Americans, and what better way to commemorate this occasion than by showering our frolicking children with this delicious, verdant green foodstuff,” said Cassie Pellingham, the director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Pellingham explained that this idea was partially inspired by the decades-old Chicago tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green in observance of St. Patrick’s Day, and in 2009, even the First Lady Michelle Obama suggested that the water in the White House fountains be dyed green for that holiday.

“When people think of Cinco de Mayo, most folks think of obnoxious party-goers over-indulging in nachos with questionable white cheese dip and cheaply made sangria. But when I think of Cinco de Mayo, I think about freedom, tolerance and abundance, in addition to chihuahua races and novelty sombreros,” said Pellingham.

To symbolize abundance, it was decided to use some sort of liquid foodstuff in the fountains, and there was much debate over what substance to use, Pellingham said.

“First, we thought of using mayo, until someone pointed out that the ‘Mayo’ in ‘Cinco de Mayo’ means the month of May, and not mayonnaise, like most of us had thought,” said Pellingham. “Someone else suggested using salsa, but that was just a ridiculous idea.”

TFP’s Harrison Keely Voted Sexiest Chattanoogan on the Internet.

Screen_shot_2011-02-26_at_12.35.33_AM_t300  In a poll taken by the Chattanooga Board of the web, Chattanooga Times Free Press social media manager Harrison Keely was voted sexiest Chattanoogan on the Internet.

Keely, who has been known in recent months for his weekly news updates via the Times Free Press webpage, won by a unanimous decision.

“It was pretty much a landslide,” said Chattanooga Board of the web spokesmen Peter Howell. “The guy is a natural panty dropper. When that goatee and those rosy cheeks hit your computer screen each morning, it’s   quite difficult to refrain from going into sexy convulsions.”

Keely joins the ever-growing prestigious list of sexiest Internet Chattanoogans, such as the correctional officer who botched the National Anthem and failed Congressional hopeful Weston Wamp.

“I like to think that he’s out all night romancing the ladies in a maroon or blue shirt, sports coat, and striped tie.” Said Chattanooga Board poll voter cougarlookouts69. “I can smell the sweat and sexy oozing off of him  from the previous night and into his webcam.”

Before this article, Mr Keely has not been notified of his victory. On behalf of the Chattanooga Bystander staff, Congratulations Harrison, you did it!


 photo taken from Chattanooga Times Free Press

Corey Smith to debut new song “Firefighters Are Pussies” at Track 29

Corey Smith (Used under the CC-BY-2.0 license. Source:
Corey Smith (Used under the CC-BY-2.0 license. Source:

Country-rock singer/songwriter Corey Smith and Chattanooga music venue Track 29 had a rocky start to their relationship, with his September 2, 2011 show being cut short after Smith began to play his controversial fan-favorite “F-ck the Po-Po” despite being asked before the show by the venue owners to not play that song.

Soon afterward, Smith penned a new track entitled “Chattanooga” about the incident, but since then Smith and Track 29 have buried the hatchet, with Smith even returning to Track 29 for a second performance one year after his first and releasing the concert as the album Live in Chattanooga.

At a press conference yesterday afternoon, Smith announced that he would make a third appearance this summer at Track 29 to debut several new songs, including the track “Firefighters Are Pussies.”

“I just want to make it perfectly clear that any controversy is long behind us,” said Smith. “I am proud of these new songs, and I believe that Track 29 is the perfect venue for me to present them to the world.”

When asked about the song “Firefighters Are Pussies,” Smith said, “I have nothing but respect for the good, honest, hard-working firefighters who protect us and save lives. But when I was eleven years old, I had a run-in with one bad apple, who took away my sparklers and bottle rockets at a Fourth-of-July barbecue.”

“He was a pussy,” Smith added.

“Firefighters Are Pussies” will be the first single off Smith’s upcoming album, entitled 9/11 Was an Inside Job, which will include other tracks such as “The Moon Landing Was Faked,” “Charles Manson Was a Spy for the F.B.I.” and “Joe Biden Was Born in Canada.”

This article is satire and fictional.

Chattanooga Whiskey Makers decide to keep operations in Indiana


After the historic passing of Bills of 102 and 129 in the Tennessee House and Senate respectively, Chattanooga Whiskey co-founders Joe Ledbetter and Tim Piersent announced they have decided to keep distillery operations in Indiana.

“It’s really due to a variety of reasons” Ledbetter said, “plus, can you imagine the pain in the ass moving a distillery would be?”

The bill passed the Tennessee House and Senate with wide margins, which currently awaits Governor Haslam’s signature.

Distilleries have been illegal in the Chattanooga area due to laws dating back the prohibition era. Many months of debating within Tennessee lawmakers proved to be an emotional rollercoaster for the Whiskey duo. “It was quite the ride! Too bad it really was for nothing,” Piersant laughed.


Photo courtesy of Chattanooga Times Free Press

“Ever since we started this Chattanooga thing, we decided to grow out some facial hair,” Ledbetter grumbled, “it is going to feel great to finally be able to rid our faces of this shit.”

With Chattanooga recently overthrowing Austin, TX as the number one hipster city in the states, Ledbetter saw this as a deterrent. “We all know that hipsters tend to gravitate to the High Lifes and the PBRs. Our high quality product just couldn’t compete with the lower price, and lower taste option,” Ledbetter cried.

When asked about the 30,000 square-foot building the pair were planning to occupy, Piersant replied, “Fuck it! Let it develop into some more expensive apartments or a Red Lobster.”

CreateHere’s ArtsMove program replaced by new “TakeTheMoneyAndRun” program

TakeTheMoneyAndRun logo
TakeTheMoneyAndRun logo

At a press conference yesterday afternoon, a new grant program was unveiled, intended to take the place of Chattanooga’s ArtsMove grant program which was implemented in 2006 to encourage talented artists of all varieties to move to Chattanooga to stimulate the cultural growth of the city.

Artists who agreed to live in Chattanooga for a certain minimum length of time and who purchased housing in specific areas would be rewarded by having a significant portion of their mortgages essentially paid by the grant.

The grant program was enacted by the non-profit funding organization Allied Arts before moving to CreateHere in 2007; after CreateHere experienced its planned conclusion at the end of the year 2011, its so-called “White Dwarf,” administration of the ArtsMove program moved to the organization Choose Chattanooga.

As spokesperson Sandra Lautonne explained, program administrators noticed that a significant number of the grant recipients decided to move away from Chattanooga after fulfilling the minimum requirements of the grant.

“We discussed this phenomenon and thought, ‘Why not streamline the whole process?'” said Lautonne.  “Let’s award valuable grants to out-of-town artists, let them move to Chattanooga and exhaust all local opportunities and resources as quickly as possible, and make it easy for them to swiftly move away, with little-to-no accountability.”

Thus, the TakeTheMoneyAndRun grant program was born.

Lautonne described how the program will challenge artists who have been loyal Chattanooga residents for years or decades to be more resourceful, careful and economical, since the TakeTheMoneyAndRun grant recipients will usurp the already meager local funding opportunities.

Additionally, after the TakeTheMoneyAndRun grant recipients move away from Chattanooga, they can become ambassadors for the city; Lautonne spoke about one ArtsMove grant recipient who has since moved to Brooklyn and wrote an article about her experience for the New York Times, entitled, “‘See ya, suckers!’: How I escaped the Chattanooga hell-hole.”

Rock City to change slogan to “See Seven Shootings”


In reaction to the many months of gang-related shootings, and the need for a new tourist attraction, Rock City is changing their slogan to “See Seven Shootings”. “While seeing seven states has been a staple in bringing in customers for many years, we realized we must get with the times,” said Rock City representative, Steven Borash. “Changes will come to the park over the next few months, in which more unfortunate events will more than likely raise interest in the new attraction.”

Renovations to the new attraction include changing the famous seven state markers to different neighborhoods of Chattanooga, including: Highland Park, Orchard Knob, St Elmo, etc. “We plan on charging $1 per session our view-finders, in which some of the proceeds will help fund a possible Rock City Chattanooga Gang Task Force,” said Borash.


image provided by Rock City

Other changes that will come with the attraction change include:

  • The famous “See Rock City” birdhouses will now include bullet holes.
  • Park hours will now extend till 4AM
  • A “wall tagging” station for the kids
  • Customer choice of Chattanooga gang colored souvenir t-shirt

“All of these changes are needed because with the invention of Google Earth, people don’t really give a shit about seeing seven states from atop of Lookout Mountain,” explained Borash, “we hope this change will keep Rock City fresh and current”.

Missy Crutchfield negotiates deal for Human Centipede sequels to be shot in Chattanooga

Still from the original Human Centipede film (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Source:
Still from the original Human Centipede film (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Source:

In recent years, several Hollywood films have been partially shot in Chattanooga, including Leatherheads starring George Clooney, Water for Elephants with Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, and the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 starring Harrison Ford, with another film, Will To Succeed featuring Helen Hunt, scheduled to start filming later this year.

Marking another victory for the film industry in Chattanooga, Founding Administrator Missy Crutchfield of the City of Chattanooga’s Department of Education, Arts & Culture announced at a press conference yesterday that she had successfully negotiated a deal with Dutch film director Tom Six and his studio Six Entertainment to have the fourth and fifth installments of the Human Centipede series filmed in Chattanooga.

“This will not only bring a great deal of work for those in the film industry here in Chattanooga, but also the local hospitality, tourism, and food-service industries will benefit as well, pouring as much as $1.4 million dollars into the area,” said Crutchfield.

The first film of the series, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) gained notoriety for its incredibly disturbing subject matter, about a deranged German doctor who kidnaps three tourists–two American women and one Japanese man–and surgically attaches the three of them together, connecting the mouth of one to the anus of the other, forming the titular creature.

It was followed by The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), which many critics considered to be even more revolting than the original, and the third installment, The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) is currently in production.

Although the third film was originally intended to be the last film of a trilogy, Six was inspired by talks with Crutchfield to keep the franchise going for at least two more films, enjoying financial incentives provided by the City of Chattanooga but with one stipulation: the films must be uplifting in some way.

Scheduled to be filmed in the fall of 2013 in Chattanooga, The Human Centipede 4 (Small Hadron Shitcollider) will tell the story of a group of scientists who connect twenty people, human-centipede-style, into a ring-shaped configuration after feeding them some bad salmon, causing the resulting fecal matter to be propelled at astronomically high speeds around and around, allowing the scientists to test various theories about particle physics.

Following in 2014 will be the filming of The Human Centipede 5 (Assholes Across America), which involves a billionaire philanthropist who devises a plan to have volunteers form a human centipede that spans the entire continental United States, from coast-to-coast, to raise money for charity.

“I haven’t read any of the scripts or seen any of Tom Six’s films or even know anything about the plots of the movies, but the director asked me if I would like to be in one of the ‘segments,’ which was incredibly flattering, so I signed up right on the spot,” said Crutchfield.  “It’s been almost three decades since I starred as ‘Anne #1’ in Model Behavior, but I think this might be my return to the big screen!”

“We’re connecting people together, one at a time, to form an Unbroken Centipede of Compassion,” said Crutchfield.

Retro “Megoteca” analog Internet service provider to feature ’90s-style dial-up access

Analog acoustic coupler modem (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Source:
Analog acoustic coupler modem (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Source:

The music venue Discoteca enjoyed a year-long existence between January 2010 and January 2011, being Chattanooga’s “all analogue bar” which only allowed vinyl records or cassettes to be played and featuring notable indie music acts such as Will Oldham, Lambchop, and Monotonix.

At a press conference yesterday afternoon, the proprietors of Discoteca have unveiled a new business called Megoteca based on a similar concept, allowing customers to access the Internet only by using outdated, slow analog technology, including land-line phones, acoustic-coupler modems, and dial-up phone numbers.

Co-owner Dewey Blackwell explained, “Listening to your favorite album on vinyl can’t be beat, for all the warmth and richness of that analog format.  Similarly, nothing compares to surfing the Internet the retro, old-school way, using dial-up connections and 300-baud acoustic modems.  Who can forget the thrill of anticipation of slowly loading up in Netscape a grainy .GIF file of Cindy Margolis in a bikini?”

“‘Gig City’ my ass,” continued Blackwell, referring to the nickname bestowed upon Chattanooga due to the one-gigabit-per-second fiber-optic Internet service provided by competitor EPB.   “This is Meg City!  We are talking about some sweet-ass Internet, here.”

Subscribers to Megoteca’s Internet service will receive a starter kit with installation software on a 5.25-inch floppy disk (compatible with Windows 3.1), a free Megoteca email account with a 5 MB storage limit, and a free Geocities web page.

D-Dawg’s Guide to Chattown: Chili’s


When hitting up the hottest Chattanooga nightspots, ya gotta go where shit is the tightest. My name is Desmond “D-Dawg” Cooper, and I’m a UTC frat guy and “go-to” brah when suggesting the best places to hit up after hours in the down-t. I’ve found one of the best places to truly capture the atmosphere of the C-town is the Chili’s on Market Street.

Chili’s is located within reasonable drunken stumbling distance of the frat house, which makes it a great place to get your drink on, while saving dad’s money rather than catchin’ a cab. It sits in a prime location that is adjacent to another local favorite, the Applebee’s, and the Hairy Dog.

Upon entry, you’re greeter by either some hawt babe with big ol T’s, or some skinny brah that I could easily beat up. I mean this guy is a pipsqueek and probably isn’t even man enough to pledge. One-on-one with me on the beer pong and this dude would go crying back to his mamma.

The best time to visit Chili’s is during game time. The Bud-L and Miller-L is usually damn cheap, and you can get torn up in no time. With so many flat tv’s up in this bitch, you will never miss a play when it is game time. The mild wings are definitely a fav for my frat bros and I. If you’re looking to make the evening more enjoyable, shots can be obtained on the cheap. Obtaining said shots from a hot bar tender makes the experience even better.



Photo courtesy of

I believe the Chili’s has the best of what Chattanooga has to offer: local flare, beer, shots, wings, and sports. If you and your bros ever decide to hit up the Chattown Chili’s, let em that D-Dawg sent you.