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1. Garden volunteers spruce up the giant ³M² that has graced East Parkway for decades. It¹s the same old story: Budget cuts prevent city crews from doing their jobs. Good grief. At this rate, what¹s next? A volunteer police force?

2. An FBI sting operation called the Tennessee Waltz results in federal extortion charges against state senator John Ford and other local politicians. Ford resigns the Senate seat he has held for 31 years. Well, as the lyrics to the state song go: ³I remember the night and the Tennessee Waltz/Now I know just how much I have lost.²

3. U.S. airlines get ready to test an anti-missile defense system that can be deployed by the pilot. At the same time, the National Rifle Association drums up support for .50-caliber ammo for ³sporting² purposes ‹ even though promotional materials brag about its ability to bring down ³sporting² targets such as, yep, airplanes. Does anyone see a problem here?

4. The FDA is looking at a possible link between Viagra and blindness. Our mamas always warned us, ³Stop doing that or you¹ll go blind,² and it turns out they were right! And what¹s with these hairy palms?

5. Director Craig Brewer lands noted actors Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci for his next film, Black Snake Moan, but it may not be shot in Memphis. Hold on. A movie about a bluesman and a ³nymphomaniacal country girl²? Where else could they possibly film such a thing? 

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