Can you picture Elvis blowin’ out a flip-flop and steppin’ on a pop top?

More than once I’ve been told, “Enough with the Jimmy Buffett mess! You’re a Parrothead! We get it! Don’t you have a hobby or something you can write about?!”

Nah, not really.

Today’s article is about Jimmy Buffett.

Well, actually it’s about Elvis.

Well, specifically it’s about Jimmy Buffett and Elvis — two folks I rarely think about simultaneously.

Elvis has gotten a lot of attention lately because of a new movie that has gotten rave reviews. My wife and mom are both huge Elvis fans, which means I’ll see it eventually. Hopefully I won’t have to watch it in a theater, the kind of place I like to go to about once every three years (and I just made that once-every-three-years trip a month ago.)

Jimmy, meanwhile, gets a little bit of attention, too, with a few ventures — such as restaurants, resorts, RV parks, retirement communities, tequila, frozen concoction makers, flip-flops, t-shirts, a record label, food and… Well, he’s doing OK. Must be why he’s now No. 3 on the latest list of richest musicians with an estimated $600 million fortune (although I suspect his empire is worth at least 10 times that).

I know too much about Jimmy. I know when and where Jimmy was born. I’ve read a couple of his books and another book about him. I know his kids’ names. I know the words to most of his songs. I know he taught me to play guitar. I know he got beat up by Sheriff Buford Pusser. I know way too much.

Yet, I only found out this summer that he — allegedly — wrote the song “Margaritaville” with Elvis in mind, but the King of Rock and Roll died before Jimmy could get him to record it. I can’t imagine The King singing that. Plus, he’d have probably changed the first line to “Nibblin’ on a peanut butter and banana sandwich…” instead of sponge cake, and that just doesn’t work for me.

Of course, Jimmy could’ve been needling folks when he claimed he wrote the song for Elvis to sing. He’s been known to tell a few semi-true stories and only mentioned this a dozen years ago during a CMT “Crossroads” performance with the Zac Brown Band. Seems like the kind of relevant detail you’d think he might have mentioned earlier. It kind of adds to the myth of a song that became an empire, I guess.

Speaking of semi-true stories and things I didn’t know until this year, that brings me to the Georgia Guidestones. I thought the Georgia Guidestones were some kind of standardized test added to the other tests teachers are forced to waste time upon. But no. The Guidestones were a granite sculpture in Elbert County inscribed with some humanist suggestions like, “Balance personal rights with social duties,” “Be not a cancer on the Earth — Leave room for nature,” and “Don’t take no wooden nickels.”

I’ve been to Elbert County. I once covered a high school football playoff game at the Granite Bowl when I was told, “No press in the press box!” and was forced to sit outside in 22-degree temperatures (ah, the good ol’ days).

Yet, I had no idea what the Georgia Guidestones were.

Former gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor did, though. Moreover she literally made a video with her pledge to demolish them, kinda like the Taliban did with the Buddhas of Bamyan. She linked them to Satanists and human sacrifices. Of course, this is the same woman who is pretty sure she won the GOP gubernatorial primary with 3.4% of the vote. More than 41,000 Georgians voted for her — I presume by accident.

She’s happy now because someone attacked the Georgia Guidestones last week. The anti-granite terrorist(s) caused enough damage that the monument had to be completely destroyed by authorities afterward for safety reasons. Taylor insists God struck them down. Surveillance video suggests someone in a silver sedan did it. I guess both could be true, though I thought God would drive a Rolls Royce, Ferrari, or at least a 2019 Acura.

Yep, it’s been a summer of new knowledge. I learned Elvis had a shot at “Margaritaville,” the Georgia Guidestones are not a standardized test and God drives a silver sedan. Of all of those, I still just can’t wrap my head around one of them:

“Thank ya for the song, Mr. Buffett. Thank ya very much. But what’s a flip-flop?”


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