Sunday, October 23, 2005

What They Say and What They Say

The editors of the Commercial Appeal weigh in on the chance of a Buck & Bass Superstore being opened in the Pyramid, and it's nearly what you'd expect, if you look closely.

There is the obligatory "Bubba" remark, the pleas to keep other -- any other, please -- options open. The gentle derision. You get the sense that they imagine a B&B store downtown and curl their lips with a mix of amusement and horror. "Can't you just see those hip-wadered, camo-dressed, capped yahoos wandering around open-mouthed in our beautiful, modern, exciting Manhattan on the Mississippi? It would be funny, if we didn't have to actually deal with them. What if they decide to gut fish right there on the Mall? Do we need ordinances for that?"
To some people, the idea of converting The Pyramid into a giant Bass Pro Shop sounds like a strategy guaranteed to reinforce Bubba stereotypes about Memphis.

It's hard not to laugh at the thought of the Downtown arena draped in camouflage canvas to resemble a giant tent.

It's all too easy to make jokes about an indoor aquarium where customers can don hip waders and nets to scoop out fish, or a showroom floor adorned with sawdust and spittoons, or a guy dressed in a deer mascot costume kibitzing with customers.
You see? But the B&B people seem serious and the Pyramid is just sitting there, draining money, so the CA folks seem to be urging Downtowners to suck it up for the good of the City.
Based on what he's learned about other Bass destination stores around the country, Lipscomb believes one in Memphis would include one or more upscale restaurants, animal exhibits and other family-friendly attractions.

"It's not just for duck hunters and fishermen,'' he said.

The store might be capable of attracting 2 million to 3 million visitors each year, which would have a significant impact on the local economy.
Now, if any other attraction, like that civic-improvement, high-minded aquarium for example, was to announce they were bringing 2 or 3 million visitors a year the CA would be wetting themselves with boosteristic excitement. Why, that's more than the FedUp Forum! And it's artistic - educational - civic - historical to boot!

But no, it's a haven for all those thinly veiled barbarians. You know, they (whispered voice of outrage) kill things! Keep 'em in Mississippi and Arkansas where they belong, not in the very heart of our World-Class Modern Metropolis.

I say bring it on. The Mid-South is a great area for hunting, fishing, etc. and if the Buck & Bass Superstore helps draw more hunters into the area that's a good thing. It's a family activity and most hunters and fishermen these days are good stewards of the woodlands.

Heck, the next time someone spots a deer in downtown, just send up the cry, "Hey boys! Huntin' season!" Problem solved.

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