Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Nashville says it's ok for me to drive again. Want a beer?

First off, I was guilty. No argument there. I came off of I- 24 onto the neverending construction zone that is Briley Parkway and got radared for going about 10 over the posted speed limit (55mph). There wasn't actually construction going on. Seems like there never is, just a bunch of torn up shoulders. But, like I said, guilty as charged. Now it's nine months later, and I get to go to "First Offenders Drivers Training" at the Nashville Municipal Court Building. The ticket's not the point. The class isn't either. The cop was civil, the court offices were helpful, the class wasn't that bad, and I got to play tourist for a weekend in Nashville. This is about the beer. Stay with me for a couple lines, ok?

Being a "First Time Offender" I got to go to the two hour course. But that also meant that I got to hang out with the other First Offenders on the Group W bench for about an hour waiting to sign in for the class. About 60 of us hung out together, getting to know each other, ... "Where ya from, What did you do to get invited here on a Saturday morning...?" There were a variety of versions of First Offenders there, like the Paducah truck driver who said he first lost his license when he was 16 and that this was his third ticket in the Nashville metro area. Said that they were just looking for him. But this isn't about him. It's about the beer, remember?

The lady teaching the course said that the city of Nashville "when it comes to cities in the U.S. the same size and population of Nashville, Nashville is #4 when it comes to traffic fatalities, and #1 when it comes to DUI's." She said the information came for the NSC She said that truck drivers call the town "Crashville". My new friend from Paducah said, "Yup."

So, now we get to the point. After the class, and the self-graded test, about 60 of us head out to the parking lot. It's 10:30 a.m., and we're all washed clean and ready to be back on the Nashville streets. We share some goodbyes and last words. Some folks trade phone numbers and e-mail addresses. A few of the guys from the class converge near the back of a gray pickup, where one of them hands out cans of beer. They shake hands, and head for their vehicles. Pop the top and hit the road.

Want to see some cool stuff in Nashville, off the expected country and western path? Check out the Frist Visual Arts Center or Centennial Park and the Parthenon.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Following behind the elephants

Maybe I will. Maybe I won't.

I wonder how many Blogs get started everyday? Every hour? And how many of those sit empty after the first entry, until the digital street sweepers come along and clear the leavings, like the last entry in a small town parade?

Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. We'll see.