Want to know what's on your fellow citizens' minds? Take the temperature of the populace? Feel the pulse of the passers-by? We can save you the expense of a fleet of flacks and a bank of robocallers just by getting our sharp-eyed, quick-witted readers to finish the deathless phrase: "You are so Nashville if ..."
So what's on your mind, Music City? The topics this year were broader-ranging than in years past — thank you, cicada life cycles! — with more moving (and in some cases, firing) targets. To be sure, some common concerns emerged beyond by-now habitual worries over guns, religion and public transportation. You got in some barbs at our veto-averse governor and the distinguished (huh?) state senator from Knoxville. You took some swipes at a controversial public official that might be considered, shall we say, "gratuitous." You're up in arms over mega-dollar jeans, mobile dining, and anything that smacks of hipster.
Above all, you had fun zeroing in on the folks and foibles that give Nashville its identity, at a time when the city's national profile has never been higher. This was the first time in YASNI's 23-year history that we conducted the entire contest online. The result was more than 1,200 entries, almost as many as last year, including those of perennial contestants whose names are as familiar to us as kin. (Here's to you, Wando Weaver, Dan Brawner, Ken Lass and Stacy Harris, et al.)
What, your entry was funnier? Didn't get picked? Got submitted almost exactly by someone else? Let the arguments begin — and start gathering your A material for next year. For now, join your fellow Nashvillians in completing the sentence, "You are so Nashville if ..."
You think Bart Durham should direct the Real Housewives of Nashville. —Holly MatthewsMeet the winner:
The winner of this year's "You Are So Nashville If ..." contest is no stranger either to deadlines or to the YASNIs themselves. Even before she started UT-Knoxville as a journalism major, Holly Matthews was penning a weekly column about high school life for her hometown daily, the Morristown, Tenn., Citizen Tribune. She switched career paths — smart move, Holly — and went into teaching not long before she moved to Nashville in 2004.
"I love the vibe of Nashville," says Matthews, a native Tennessean who will soon start the fall school year as a librarian for Metro Nashville Public Schools. "It's so progressive, which is a great thing. There are all different types, and there's lots of room for creativity, which is encouraged."
Speaking of encouraging creativity, Matthews says she's entered YASNI at least two or three times over the years, but this time her entry — "You think Bart Durham should direct the Real Housewives of Nashville" — made it all the way to the top. Asked what gave her the inspiration for the entry, Matthews says it probably came from "years and years" of watching colorful Nashville attorney Durham's novel serialized soap-opera TV ads.
"It seems like he and the Real Housewives would get along well," Matthews says.
You know deep down that no wife is hot enough to help Vandy to a winning season. —Bill Mason
You think that Chely Wright is the only gay country singer. —Jenny Madison
You think you're green and your favorite restaurant gets less than 10 miles per gallon. —Bill Hench
You look too much like Kenny Chesney to attend his concert. —Dave Lundquist
You were heartened to see your friends almost as united by a bull semen spill as they were by the flood. — Meredith Hunter
You think Peyton might have come if Shoney's would have sweetened the offer with some hot fudge cake. —Jason and Heath Hinson
You would so buy an "Occupy Nashville" Hatch Show Print. —Clifton Kaiser
Your backyard chickens are named Mild, Hot and Extra-Hot. — Trent Hanner
When your friends were talking about a bacon sundae, you wondered if they had gone to Burger King or The Catbird Seat. —Mike Dorr
You think you are witnessing drug deals when you drive down Gallatin Pike, when in reality it's just people in line for the Redbox machine. —Daniel Spartan Smith
Your teenage daughter knows it's dangerous to hold hands with her boyfriend but thinks the word "condom" is Spanish for Colombian drug mule. —James Dittes
You're all about the First Amendment — as long as it's practiced on the day, time and location you designate. —Meredith Hunter
You have to pay your newspaper to look at pictures of tattoos from Bonnaroo. —Patten Fuqua
You left without seeing Chris Bostick and haven't seen or heard from your family since. —Patten Fuqua
Your non-discrimination policy discriminates. —Mike Dorr
You think the Greyhound bus terminal expansion has gotten out of hand. —Mike Dorr
You've asked for the William Todd suite at Hotel Indigo. —Roy Moore
By looking at the billboards around town, you think Muammar Gaddafi is alive and well and conducting your local symphony orchestra. —Luke J. Schneider
As you drive by, you are envious of the great tans on The Contributor vendors. —Michael Nott
Your employee parking lot doubles as a shooting range. —Ken Lass
The bumper sticker on your car reads Little Jimmy Dickens for President. —Sheri Hardison
The only car in your kids' carpool line at school with an old Jim Cooper bumper sticker IS Jim Cooper's. —Louise Hanson
Your governor couldn't find his veto stamp with two hands and a flashlight. —Virginia McCoy
You've been photographed with the Bang This twins. —Trent Hanner
You give Jack White a dollar and patiently wait for a Contributor. —Jamie Yost
You can't get a couple more charter schools and Legislative Plaza still isn't ADA-compliant, but dammit, you've got backyard chickens! —Meredith Hunter
You follow the Grilled Cheeserie on every form of social media but have yet to eat there. —Brent Eubanks
You saw Phillip Phillips at Which Wich with an A&R exec who looks just like Sirhan Sirhan. —Matt North
You're leading a food and music revolution in East Nashville. —Kendall Joseph