Of course, I have no idea what the cool kids are wearing. (I admit to feeling bad for so many young women who can’t afford to buy new jeans and are forced to go around wearing pants with rips all over the legs.) I do see a lot of high-schoolers with “Hollister” featured prominently on their clothes. It makes me wonder if the people buying the Hollister brand would be so eager to display it if they had ever been to Hollister, California.
The current Cheetos commercials promote the snack’s best feature as the coating of your fingers with orange, so you can make a mess of whatever you touch. The first time I ate Cheetos – many years ago – my reaction was what a poor imitation it was of the real thing: Korn Kurls. Of course, Cheetos is the number-one selling brand of cheese puffs in the U.S. According to Wikipedia, worldwide sales are about $4 billion. That’s a lot of orange-stains.
Gourmet hamburgers are what’s trendy these days. “Gourmet hamburger” is an oxymoron. You can spend hundreds, yes, even thousands of dollars on a hamburger. “Where is the best burger” is a regular topic in local papers, with florid descriptions of blue cheese, chipotle, bacon, pesto, avocado, mushrooms – or truffles! – with Kobe beef and even foie gras. Restaurants boast about their third-of-a-pound or half-pound or pound, high-calorie, high-fat burgers. What fast-food chain has the best burgers is an on-going argument.
I’ve visited Memphis several times in the past few years. Beale Street has lately been spiffed up to be more attractive to tourists, Disneyfied, if you will. Sun Studios and Graceland draw crowds. W.C. Handy’s home on Beale, though not as grand as Elvis’s, is still open to visitors.
On Mulberry Street, less than a mile from Mr. Handy’s home and the $350-a-night Beale Street Westin Hotel, is the National Civil Rights Museum, formerly the Lorraine Motel. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered there on April 4, 1968.