Last year, I flew to Nashville to attend the memorial service for a dear friend. I flew on a weekday late afternoon, which was supposed to be the least crowded trip from Las Vegas to Nashville. Apparently, that meant no one was hanging on the wings or the tail. The cabin was full and they were overbooked. Remember when flying was fun?

Covid-19 was still an issue, so everyone had to wear a mask. Fun, fun, fun for a 4-and-a-half-hour flight. We arrived a little after 9 PM Central Time. Like most other Southwest flights I’ve taken, we landed at the furthest gate from the exit. Took several minutes to get to the airport exit. Like most airports, the Nashville Airport is always under construction. No shuttle busses as all the access roads were torn up.

After the almost half mile walk, schlepping my guitar and bag, I arrived at the rental car agency at about 10 PM. I must have looked like death, because the agent took pity and upgraded me to a luxury SUV. On the drive to the hotel, a boutique property right off South Broadway downtown, I found out how bad the traffic had gotten since I lived there about 10 years ago.

Many of the people escaping the tyranny of the Northeast during the pandemic moved to Nashville. The population had exploded. Sadly, the roads hadn’t been expanded so all the traffic was jammed into pre-2020 roads. What should have been a 20-minute trip to the hotel took almost 40 minutes, even at that time of day.

The hotel was great! The valet parking was 24/7, I checked in and went to my room. Except for some all night Denny’s that were at least a 20-minute drive from the hotel, there was no food to be found in the area. I didn’t feel like getting back on the roads. The desk clerk suggested that I walk a few blocks to South Broadway. He said some of the bars served until after midnight. I was starved. Southwest’s dinner consisted of a Coke and a tiny bag of pretzels.

Wanna feel old? Take a walk down South Broadway in Nashville around 11 PM. It was mobbed with 20 and 30 somethings, all wearing baseball caps and dressed in T-Shirts and shorts. I finally made my way to a bar that had posted a menu outside. chili cheese fries looked like the best bet.

Loud rock music blared from inside the bar. Not much country music on Lower Broadway. Only one bar had country and they serve after 10 PM. All the other places had a loud rock band hoping to attract the younger denizens of the street. I like loud rock music, so I went in and ordered. I was the oldest person there, found a seat at the bar and sat down.

I ordered the chili cheese fries and a Heineken. The bartender said they didn’t have Heineken. I asked what they had and she said “Bud Light.” You know, that watery liquid that tastes like cat piss smells. It was the only beer they served. WTF? Hey, it was nearly midnight and beggars can’t be choosers. I ordered the cat piss and chili cheese fries.

The chili cheese fries were okay and the Bud Light was…well, Bud Light. I looked at the check and the chili cheese fries were $17.00 and the Bud Light…ready for this? $15!!! Again, WTF? Okay, I wouldn’t be back and the food and “beverage” filled a desperate need at the moment.

The band was loud but very good. The guy next to me said, “Hey old man, I guess you don’s know any of this music.” Old man? I contemplated bashing my $15 Bud light over his head. But I opted to not spend the night in jail and choose another path.

“I’ll bet you $20 I know the title and artist of the next 3 songs.” He hemmed  and hawed a bit but I finally shamed him into putting a 20-dollar bill next to mine. Betting against me about music is a fool’s bet. I have been banned from many “name that tune” contests at bars. There aren’t many popular songs from 1940 to 1990 that I can’t name in a couple of notes.

I nailed the next 3 songs, “Aja” from Steely Dan, “Positively Stuck on You” by Huey Lewis and the News, and “James Dean” by the Eagles. After the second one, I asked the guy if he wanted to put another up another 20 on the last song. He refused. After the third song, I finished the fries and had 3 sips (3 too many) of the Bud Light. I took my winnings and got up. One the way out, I dropped the loser’s 20 into the tip jar and thanked the band.

I looked back and waved at the fool. I did notice that everyone in the bar was apparently enjoying their Bud Light. 20 and 30 something, hard working folks. Everyone was having a good time. I believe they represented a good cross section of Bud Light’s target demographic.

As I walked back to the hotel, a man approached me and asked for money. It was right in front of two “security guards” standing on either side of an enclosed parking lot. The guy was brandishing a knife. The “security guards” just watched. Yes, I had a gun. But, since I can’t fly with ammunition, it was empty. I was going to buy the ammo tomorrow, but I didn’t want to leave the gun in my room. It had a laser sight so I pulled it and pointed the red dot at the guy’s chest. I recall saying something about dropping him where he stood, but before I could get it all out, he took off up the street. God bless lasers!

The guys at the parking lot still stood there. I think I said, “Fuck you both and thanks for the help!” What if he hadn’t tun off? I would have found out how good a 70-year-old is hand-to-hand. Which probably means this tome would not have been written.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. The memorial service was wonderful. It was a very positive way at say goodbye to my good friend. There were dozens of people there. I even went to Ray Stevens CabaRay Theater the next night. Still an incredible performer in his 80’s. Hey, there’s hope for me!

The flight home? Awful! I’m still in therapy.


My weird journey to South Broadway afforded me an opportunity to see the demographics of the Bud Light drinker – 20-30, pretty much blue collar, just an average person with lousy taste in beer. I’m betting they’re mostly conservative and overall just regular folks. They went to a bar that only served Bud Light! Pretty sure that has changed now.

The idiot “marketing director” who decided to add a “woke” spokesperson to the mix is a living testimonial to how bad our higher educational system has become. Anyone who understood advertising and branding would never have done that. Her move cost the company billions in market value. While company executives are saying they didn’t know shat she was doing, that’s absolute BS. They will throw her under the bus and try to salvage their iconic brand.

Her next job might be asking customers, “Would you like fries with that?” I just hope she doesn’t replace Ronald McDonald with Pennywise.

© 2023 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and posted on any online site or read aloud on any audio or video media without the express permission of the author.

TV Shopping Host and Coach, Musician, Author, Teacher.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: