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?

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
Back to Spokesman Mobile