East Tennessee is a little nutty. We all know this. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact we’re less likely than others to lock our crazy relatives in the attic and more likely to elect them to office. Whatever the reason is, things happen here you probably would not encounter anywhere else in the world – at least not on such a regular basis.
Honestly, crazy is a constant condition in this neck of the woods. Shucks, my tiny hometown has made the Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno show twice: once for the beer run and once for the drunken stationary bike rider.
Now, after you’ve lived here for awhile, you adapt. You accept folks shooting red light cameras or assaulting each other with pork products as routine occurrences. And it takes a whole lot of crazy to raise your eyebrows.
But yesterday, my eyebrows were raised so high I gave myself a headache.
Perhaps it’s because I stumbled across insanity in places where I least expected to find it or maybe it was the accumulation of crazy that got to me…
See, first I discovered by way of Michael Silence that Elvis has endorsed Obama and bootlegging is making a comeback. This information alone is not so bad. In fact, it could inspire a half-decent Southern Rock song.
But then, I stumbled across the news that one of our more controversial state lawmakers, Representative Stacey Campfield, may have a challenger for the House’s 18th District seat. This challenger would be Ron Leadbetter, associate general counsel at the University of Tennessee. In 2000, Leadbetter filed two lawsuits against UT and then-President J. Wade Gilley alleging that Gilley discriminated against white men by hiring and promoting less-qualified women and minorities.
Finally, (and this craziness hits a bit closer to home) there was this in the Tennessean:
“When state Sen. Mike Williams wants peace and quiet, he takes the stairs down to the Legislative Plaza parking garage, where a wide desk and a high-backed chair are wedged into a strip of concrete next to a bank of fans.
He heads to the makeshift office, he said, when he needs refuge from the General Assembly’s chaotic traffic of lobbyists and lawmakers. The office-away-from-the-office — not quite in the legislature, but not quite outside it, either — is emblematic in some ways of Williams’ status in the Senate, where he is the only independent in the body otherwise evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.”
My senator leaves his office to play in the garage? He has a desk by his parking space. That’s not crazy at all, right?
So, is it official now? Can we just change our district from #4 to #BR549?
Or maybe we ask Elvis if he approves first?