I guess our esteemed senator Bill Frist doesn t spend his time adopting stray cats from animal shelters and chopping them up (something he admits to and about which he has admitted, I was going a little crazy, he now feels it his role to pounce on gays and is spending his time pushing for a Congressional proposal for a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage the new boogey man de jour. So here s a question for you Senator Frist, and it s really not that complicated and doesn t even mention your cat murdering, since you say that s a thing of the past, something you ve called a heinous and dishonest thing to do. Let s say you and your family are looking to buy a new home, and your realtor says that there are absolutely only two from which to choose. They are both equal in value and style. At one of those houses, the next door neighbors are two gay men who ve been together for years. Their house and yard are impeccable. They are both professionals: one a doctor and the other a lawyer. Yes, there are gay lawyers and doctors out there, believe it or not. They are involved in the community and regularly have cookouts for folks on the street. They drive nice cars. They ve never broken the law well, except for that sex thing before the Supreme Court said it was okay. When someone moves into the neighborhood, they are always the first to greet them with a handshake and a smile. Yeah, a little disco music can be overheard from their patio every once in a while, but for the most part they are very quiet. Now. At the other house, there s a married couple. Man and woman. They have nine kids from different marriages. Each of them has been divorced numerous times. The husband is lazy and instead of working for a living, he sells crack, often in front of his kids. He beats his wife and the police are constantly called because of domestic violence. He screams at his kids constantly. Half of them have been to juvenile court. They have mullets. They blare Black Sabbath at 6 a.m. and throw quart-size beer bottles into the street. Their car is in the back yard on blocks. The husband cheats on his wife, and then comes home and forces her to have sex with him, threatening to beat her again if she doesn t. Shady people come and go at all hours of the night. But they are married. Man and woman. Which house are you going to choose? Of the two households, who do you think should have insurance benefits, tax benefits, and all of the other rights most American couples enjoy? Come on, man. Which house are you going to buy? Finally, one more question, Senator Frist. Have you ever thought about opening your insipid eyes and looking around and realizing that this is the 21st Century and not all people are the same and that society has changed just a tiny bit in the last 200 years? Even ol Bring em on! Bush doesn t think we need the ban as this point. The vice president s wife, Lynne Cheney, agreed with the Supreme Court ruling that decriminalizes sex between two gay persons. Why don t you just go away? Don t go away mad, just go away. And stay away from the animal shelters. So there. And now here s a brief look at some of what s going on around town this week. Tonight, it s opening night for two plays: Wisdom from Whispers at Theatre Memphis, and The Outskirts of Heaven at Sleeping Cat Studio, an adult comedy about a bar and its patrons. Fleetwood Mac is in concert at The Pyramid tonight. Papa Don McMinn is the featured jazz artist at tonight s Sunset Atop the Madison party on the rooftop of the Madison Hotel. And The Mud Flaps (!!!) are at Patrick s. Friday, 11 There are several art openings tonight. They are at: David Lusk Gallery for work by John Pavlicek and Terri Jones; Painted Planet Artspace for a show of photography by 14 artists; Automatic Slim s for new works by Lamar Sorrento; and the Art Museum of the University of Memphis for works by 11 artists in a show curated by Beth Venn of New York and work by Joseph Whitt. At Theatre Works, it s opening night of Sylvia, part of Playhouse on the Square s The Works Series; it s a comedy about a pet and the marriage it turns upside down. (If you want to see a true masterpiece, find the 1950s film Sylvia with Carol Baker, which includes a performance by middle-age man dressed as a woman, karate chopping boards in half with his hands and smoking a cigar.) Cats opens its weekend run at The Orpheum tonight. At The Peabody, tonight s Chucalissa Archaeological Museum Historic Site Fund-raiser features a viewing of artifacts from the museum s collection, along with wine and hors d oeuvres by Chez Philippe Restaurant. Our own Justin Timberlake pairs up with Christina Aguilera at The Pyramid tonight for the Justified and Stripped Tour Concert. MPACT Memphis is hosting the third of four Mphasis Music Concerts to be hosted in 2003; tonight s show is at Butler Street Bazaar in the South Main Arts District, with live music by The Subteens, The Will Barrett Band, and Kim Richardson. Down in Tunica, David Cassidy is at the Gold Strike Casino (this should be interesting). And here at home, Native Son is at The Lounge. Neighborhood Texture Jam and The Lights are at the Hi-Tone. The Paper Plates, The Limes, and Greg Oblivian &The Tip-Tops are at Murphy s. And, as always, The Chris Scott Band is at Poplar Lounge. Saturday, 12 The Midtown Artist Market is having a Gallery Anniversary Celebration today from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. with an open house to celebrate its first anniversary. There s an opening reception this afternoon at One Love Juice Ba for work by Mitchell Smith and the Creative Summer Art Group. Rachelle Ferrell kicks off her smooth jazz Ladies Night Tour tonight at Isaac Hayes Music Food Passion. Tonight s Memphis Jam Concert Series show at the Mud Island Amphitheatre is by Better Than Ezra, Cowboy Mouth, Pete Schmidt, and Retrospect. The featured artists at tonight s Shelby Farms Music Series are The Chieftains, Nancy Griffith, and The Blue Moon Orchestra. And The Lost Sounds, The Break-Ups, and The Uninvited are at Young Avenue Deli. Sunday, 13 Di Anne Price & Her Boyfriends are at Huey s Midtown this afternoon, followed by The Robin Banks Band. Monday, 14 Blues Jam at the P&H. Tuesday, 15 There s a new non-profit group in town, whose mission, basically, is to bring people from all walks of life together to share, promote, and support one love: jazz. They re called the Mid-South Jazz Foundation and they re having their coming out party tonight at The Lounge, a Jazz Orchestra of the Delta CD-Release Party for Big Band Reflections of Cole Porter. The 17-piece big band is made up mainly of University of Memphis students, faculty, and alumni, and tonight s show features special guests Jack Cooper as musical director, Nashville-based Sandra Dudley on vocals, and native Memphian and jazz legend Marvin Stamm on trumpet. If you love jazz, you ll love this concert. Also, the Mid-South Celtic Arts Alliance is hosting a concert tonight at the Deliberate Literate by Scottish guitarist Tony McManus. Wednesday, 16 The Distraxshuns at Elvis Presley s Memphis. The Gabe & Amy Show at the Glass Onion. And that, as they say, is that. As always, I really don t care what you do this week, because I don t even know you, and unless you can please clear up this mess with Kobe Bryant and let it come out that this is just a case of celebrity extortion, then I m sure I don t want to meet you. Besides, it s time for me to blow this dump. I think I wrote something nice about George Bush earlier in this column, and I have got to have a cocktail to recuperate. -- T.S.