Originally published at Route 96. You can comment here or there.
Of course we went to Graceland.
I sang a medley of Elvis favorites (also at maximum volume) to get Petey and the still hung-over Derek in the mood, and we stopped on Elvis Presley Boulevard for a kingly brunch of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits, gravy, and a small side order of lard. By the third helping I think Derek was really communing with the Big E’s burnin’ love.
I tell you, friends and neighbors, Graceland was like the United Nations, with people from all over the world and all walks of life: from blue-haired old ladies (”Elvis was a bad postured hooligan, if you ask me, but he did love his mother.”) to green-haired young punks (”I wanna see the toilet where he died. Do you think they flushed it?”). There were busloads of Japanese tourists with cameras, as per the stereotype, plus a carload of old drunks who see something amazing, think they’re hallucinating, and throw away the bottle. A number of minibike twins were also in evidence.
Instead of tour guides, they have cassette tapes of Priscilla Presley leading you through the house. It only heightened the quasi-religious atmosphere of the place to see everybody shuffling through the Jungle Room in complete silence, listening to their little walkmans. If you took your earphones off, you could hear a dozen out-of-synch Priscillas whispering, “I remember one time Elvis ate nothing but meatloaf… meatloaf… meatloaf… for six months straight… straight… straight…”
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