Gardens, Guns and Grits

October 9, 2008

I just returned from a four day symposium at the Silver Star Convention Center in Choctaw, Mississippi. For anyone who has not been to Mississippi or spent four solid days at a casino there, here are five things you should know.

1) Nothing is ‘non-smoking’. It this had occurred to me before, I would have packed strictly disposable clothes as everything from my shirt to my ballet flats smells like an old astray at a Bingo table. They smoke in the casino and at the cafe, they smoke in the bathroom and in the hotel rooms, through the shops and on the street. They smoke everywhere.

2) Rooms come complete with reading material like “Garden & Gun”. I would have loved to have been in on the R&D when this idea was presented. “Well, ya see, we got magazines about gardens and we got magazines about guns. But what the market is really lacking is a magazine about gardens and guns”. Brilliant.

3) They take their fire alarms very seriously. It strikes me as ironic that in a facility that allows and encourages smoking in every possible venue my hair dryer is what sets off the fire alarm. It does not strike me as ironic that even after I assured security that there was not a fire in my room they could not disengage the fire alarm system. Instead, I waited 25 minutes with the blaring weehh, weehh, in my ear for 2 police men, 1 security rep and 3 firemen to come in my room, look around and confirm I was not engulfed in flames. They did not radio in that the alarm could be disengaged before looking around the room at my wet towels (dropped on the floor for clothes ASAP when I heard the fire brigade at the door), discarded PJ’s and offending blow dryer and judge me. I could feel them judging me. This is in a state that produces a magazine called “Garden & Gun”.

4) The breakfast buffet (the only way to get food before the lunch buffet opens at 11:00) consists of eggs, biscuits, gravy (both brown and white), grits, cheese sauce, chicken fried steak, hash, sausage, ham steak and bacon. It does not include yogurt, cereal, plain toast or fresh fruit. It does, if asked, come with fruit cocktail which may even be edible if you cover it in the cheese sauce or white gravy.

5) In addition to your typical hand soap and hand towels, each of the public restrooms includes a sharps disposable receptacle. I understand that diabetes is rampant in the United States, even more in the middle of the country and even more so among ‘Native’ populations. But, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that perhaps this could be related to the all you can eat beige buffet and the chicken fried steak they serve in lieu of cold cereal and fresh fruit for breakfast.

To keep me honest, and to satisfy all of your Garden & Gun curiosity I have brought back the September/October issue of “Garden & Gun” magazine. It includes fascinating articles about the Lost Condfederados, the Best of the New South and secrets of Charming Atlanta. If you are interested in entering my little contest to win the magazine, just leave a comment and tell me why you want it or what you plan to do with it and it can be yours. It is a fine publication suitable for coffee tables and retails for $4.00 an issue.


11 Responses to “Gardens, Guns and Grits”

  1. fritz Says:

    well i have no words as to why i need that magazine, i am sure there is someone more deserving then me. however i did go to atlanta a while back and had a very southern lady tell me about her buffet (please pronounce the t) experience and that “white food cant hurt me”

  2. Molly Says:

    Is it me, or does that guy kind of look like McCain on the cover? Also, that would not surprise me AT ALL.

  3. Matt Says:

    MMM delciious.

    you know- I never realized how nice it was to have non-smoking as a law. Here in Colorado, you really cant smoke anywhere- and I love it!

    It really helped me quit!!

  4. Erin Says:

    I think this is perhaps the best blog post title ever.

  5. Pessimistic Redhead Says:

    Okay so I preeeetty much puked when I saw that ham steak. Hearty!

  6. Matt Says:

    As wonderful as the magazine sounds, I already have too many copies Better Homes & Handguns sitting around the house (I swear I’m going to read them soon.)

    However, if I were to acquire Garden & Gun magazine I’d dispose of it in the way described in the March 2007 issue: use it for target practice with my fully-automatic M16A1 (we had a cougar here a few months ago, so I need a full-auto weapon) then add the shredded remains to the compost heap.

  7. Mike Says:

    Given your current gig, why the hell were you in MS? Crazy.

  8. Jennie Says:

    Are you sure you weren’t at my Nanny’s house for breakfast?

  9. Anna Says:

    Umm, I MUST win, because our good friend is the editor*, and I’ve never seen a copy in person.

    *For serious. He was the editor of Field and Stream, and they swayed him and young family to greener pastures (a.k.a. not NYC).


  10. Sara Says:

    Fritz – white food can hurt us all
    Molly – it is not you, that guy might actually be John Mc Cain, but where is his up-do’d side kick?
    Matt- it was AS good as it looked
    Erin – thanks sweetie
    PR- Sorry, I should have put some sort of warning about vulgar photo’s below.
    Matt- I think you can get BH&H subscriptions on line, it might help with your back log.
    Mike- Looong story. Not a good one, just a long one.
    Jennie- I am pretty sure, but after all the smoke I inhaled I could have been anywhere
    Anna – ok, you win. But I have GOT to hear more about this guy!

  11. […] amazed with the art work they are able to do on fields and ball parks and this was no exception. Again, I would have loved to have been in on the meeting where someone proposed the electoral ice map.  […]

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