The Slice: The Slice: A big hunk o’ snobbery

August 9, 2007 - Updated: June 30, 5:56 p.m.

I‘m just going to say this and get it out of the way.

Your Elvis stories won’t impress me. So save your breath.

You see, I lived in Memphis – the center of the Elvis universe.

OK, it was a long time ago. And though I found the Presley saga interesting in a pop culture sense, I can’t say that I was a fan.

But here’s the thing. When you actually live in Memphis, you bump into people who had various roles in the Elvis story. This is especially true if you work for a newspaper.

I knew the woman who helped Elvis make his first recording.

I interviewed his former manager.

I used to have lunch a table away from the doctor who wrote Presley’s problematic prescriptions.

The owner of a newsstand I frequented told about Elvis running in the front door and out the back to elude frenzied girls.

Elvis used to drive by my future in-laws’ house in a golf cart.

The CBS Evening News once sought me out to offer a cynical perspective on the singer’s post-death popularity.

And on and on.

So what did I discover upon moving to Spokane? Well, I learned that I am an insufferable Elvis-story snob.

A colleague would speak of plans to write about some Spokane Elvis impersonator, and I would have to bite my lip. I mean, who cares?

Or someone would mention a theory about lingering Presley mania, and I’d think, “What do you know about it, pal? I’ve seen it up close and personal.”

I’m only bringing this up because a week from today is the 30th anniversary of Presley’s death. And if anyone is thinking of sharing some set-in-Spokane Elvis story with me, I have just one thing to say: Don’t bother. I’d just scoff.

Of course, the same thing happened when I moved to Memphis from Tucson ages ago. On like my second night in Tennessee, an editor made a big deal about taking me to a Mexican food place. He thought I would be impressed. I was not. In the Southwest (I’d also lived in El Paso), that shiny new restaurant would not have even made the playoffs.

I discovered that suddenly I was a Mexican food snob.

So here’s a question. When people move away from the Spokane area, about what are they snobs in their new locale?

Fishing? Bing Crosby stories? Pine trees? Huckleberries and lentils? Marmots?

I don’t have any immediate plans to move again. So maybe I’ll never find out.

Just as well. My snob-subjects list is long enough.

“Today’s Slice question: What bribe always worked with your kids when they were young?


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