Saturday in a Small Town

July 15, 2013

“Hey,” my husband calls from the computer room. “There’s going to be an Elvis impersonator onstage at 11:15.”

“No way,” I say. I crank up my voice a few hundred decibels. “That. Is. Awesomeness!”

My husband laughs.

“No, dude! You don’t understand. We can-not miss this. We can’t.” I run into the computer room and jump up and down, fist pumping the air. “Fake Elvis! Yesssssss! Yarrrggggghhh!  Fake Elvis is the bomb, duuuude!”  (and yes, as I write this, I am embarrassed at my vernacular).

“You are strangely psyched about this,” my husband says.

“Hell yeah, buddy!” I holler. “Because it’s gonna RAWK!”

My ferocious yawping attracts the attention of the littlest Minx. She hovers around the entrance to the computer room, peering in with blatant suspicion.

“Mom. Why are you being all weirdo?”

“Because we’re going to see Elvis, bunnybunny! The King! Today on stage at 11:15. It’s gonna be great.”

My husband looks at M’s deadpan expression. “Um. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know who Elvis is.”

I flip him the bird and crouch down to eye level with my daughter. “Meemalicious, you know who Elvis is, right?”

“Elves? Like Steve?” (our Elf on the Shelf at Christmastime).

“Jesus, she doesn’t,” I say to my husband. “This is seven kinds of wrong. This is going to be remedied today, because this is just…”

“I know who Elvis is,” Miss D. says, entering the room. “We sang Blue Suede Shoes in choir last year, remember?”

I do, in fact, remember. Because one day after school this past year, D. said, “Hey Mama. Have you ever heard of some old guy named Elvis?”

Yet another glaring indication that I am a complete failure as a mother.

My kid worships the White Stripes and belts out Abba tunes and goes to sleep listening to A Tribe Called Quest and yet she didn’t know about friggin’ Elvis Presley? That’s a full-throttle Mommy fail, folks.

It’s a full-throttle fail because my Daddy-o loves The King. When I was a kid, we’d climb into the orange TravelAll (or the suicide Chrysler–that story’s comin’) and Daddy’d crank up the volume on the cassette deck, and I’d always sing the loudest to “Suspicious Minds.”  It’s still my favorite.

But then I forgot. Once I wasn’t a captive audience in Daddy’s car, I forgot.

It’s okay, Gentle Readers, because I got on the phone immediately and called some Minx friends and we were out of that door by 10:45, driving to the majesty that is Fake Elvis.

“Hey, Evelyn,” my husband calls back to Miss M’s bestie in the back seat. “Do you know who Elvis is?”

“Yeah, I do! He’s the guy who died on the potty.”

It is 90 degrees already in a small town and we’re power-loaded with sunscreen and dollar bills and Chapstick, heading to Fake Elvis. We’re cackling with Evelyn and cranking the air in my mom car, and even though I detest crowds and startle at loud noises and can’t abide mosquitoes or packed parking lots, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. This is small town, Americana.

It’s hot as the devil’s crotch in the Elvis tent, and we’re winded from running–can’t miss a minute of this spectacle–and Elvis is rocking it. He is! Dude has chops.

He also made the very dodgy choice to wear Elvis’ iconic white leather suit, embellished in silver studs, in 90-degree heat in a crowded tent.

People are using the informational fair brochures to fan themselves, and it’s so steamy that that the kid two rows in front of us sends the vomit alert. He runs to the row of port-a-johns outside the tent and I tell hubby that hydration via sno-cone is necessary today. This day deserves sno-cones. He sighs and joins the throng of people in front of the cone booth, because I can’t take my eyes off of Elvis.

Miss D. and her friend sit a little bit away from us, reeking adolescent cool. Evelyn’s chartreuse sno-cone leaks out of the paper holder and slicks her legs with goo.

“Are you okay?” I ask Evvie, handing her a wad of napkins.

“Sure,” she says, shrugging it off, and now I know why Evelyn is my favorite of all of M.’s friends. When an Elvis impersonator is earnestly shakin’ it and you have a sno-cone? A girl ponies up.

I belt out Suspicious Minds. I can’t help it. The crowd is overheated and listless at first, but Elvis cranks it up. He’s sweating pools and his face is so red that I don’t think it can get any redder, but it does.

“Holy crap,” my husband says. “Am I going to hafta pull out the CPR skills? This guy’s gotta be dying in that suit.”

My absolute favorite part of the day happens just then.

I look at my husband. He looks at me. Elvis gyrates and segues to Jailhouse Rock. We don’t say a word, but I smirk. And he knows. And he’s in.

When Fake Elvis finishes the song, in all his pelvic glory, we go nuts.

We holler and whoop and all 4 kids are humiliated and want nothing to do with us. D. even leaves the tent, she’s so disgusted.

Miss M. and Evelyn shoot us the weirdo eye, but don’t vacate.

And then? As hubs and I are fist pumping and ass-slapping and clapping and yelling our lungs out, this couple behind me–a young guy with a ZZ Top-style beard and a baby-faced girl rocking a nose ring–they lose it. They begin with grins and burst into hysterics. They get it. They jolt up onto their feet and whistle and throw their hands into the air, like we’re all watching The Who at Wembly.

Other people–not all, but many–follow suit. The children ooze out of the tent in a trickle, wishing for death.

Elvis is crimson and drenched but he’s smiling like nobody’s business.

It is Saturday in a small town.



{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby July 16, 2013 at 6:17 am

You know my history with Elvis impersonators, so I have been eagerly awaiting this post. Love it. And I love that her friend’s name is Evelyn, as that was my grandma’s best friends name when I was little. I named my two dolls Helen and Evie after those two women, which was weird, but whatever.

Rock on, Elvis!


TKW July 16, 2013 at 10:08 am


I think the name Evelyn needs to come back into fashion. The minute I met her and heard that name, my ovaries cried. I wanted an Evelyn. It’s a beautiful name.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes July 16, 2013 at 6:29 am

We had a similar ‘you are bonkers’ moment with our children when we both when out of control on ‘Thunderstruck’ and ‘Highway to Hell’.
Rest assured children, they will be many more of those….


TKW July 16, 2013 at 10:11 am


I would have been fist-pumping right along with you. No resisting ACDC. I would probably be wearing Angus Young’s white socks as we went there.


Shannon July 16, 2013 at 6:32 am

My dad loved Elvis, too. Even saw him in concert once.
I would have loved to have been in that tent with you, and I would have whooped and hollered right along. I bet you made that guy’s day!
Favorite Elvis songs: In The Ghetto and Kentucky Rain


TKW July 16, 2013 at 10:12 am


I love both of those!


Alison July 16, 2013 at 6:42 am

You have all the fun!


TKW July 16, 2013 at 10:13 am


Come out next year. I’ll buy you a sno-cone.


Biz July 16, 2013 at 7:55 am

My favorite line of this whole post? “Yeah, I do! He’s the guy who died on the potty.”


My parents saw Elvis in concert at one of his last performances I think in 1976 or 1977 – both were fans, but none more than our best friends Mom – she has a shrine of Elvis in one of her rooms at her house, complete with a velvet 20×20 purple picture of him!


TKW July 16, 2013 at 10:14 am


For sure, the potty comment was the best quote of the day. We just lost it.

And I am very, very jealous of you. I have always wanted to meet a person who owned a velvet Elvis. Sincerely.


Elaine A. July 16, 2013 at 8:13 am

It doesn’t get much better than this… :)


Mary Lee July 16, 2013 at 9:20 am

My mother-in-law is an Elvis freak (at 93.) Picture the walls of the Assisted living facility rattling with Elvis hymns turned up to full volume for her mostly deaf ears. There used to be an Elvis impersonator at Myrtle Beach she loved. Probably saw his show close to a dozen times until an adoring fan grabbed his shirt one night to plant a kiss on his sweaty cheeks. She yanked him off the stage and caused serious injury. Seriously serious! It ended his fake career.


TKW July 16, 2013 at 10:16 am

Mary Lee,

You. Must. Write. About. That.

I’m cackling just thinking about it.


Jamie July 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

Loved the young couple behind you joining in. Also, Ev sounds like a doll. You guys are totally those parents that every kid secretly wishes were theirs!


Ami July 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I love every tiny bit of this. And you are totally going to heaven for making Impersonator Elvis’s day.


Jennifer July 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I love you guys. For real and true.


SuziCate July 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I’m loving this! A few years back our oldest son sent us to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert for our anniversary so we could “relive our youth” as he put it!


Tiffany July 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm

That sounds like a perfect day to me!


Katybeth July 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

“Do you remember when mom and dad took us to to see that Elvis impersonator? Oh, God how could I forget…..” and so the memories are made.
What FUN! FUN!


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me July 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm

You said yawping – I love you. What a fun day. Even if your kids think you’re crazy, they will never forget that. You probably made that guy’s day.


TKW July 20, 2013 at 7:23 am


You’re a Whitman fan? :)


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me July 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm

A card-carrying, yawp-wielding, Americana-loving fan, yes. :)


Naptimewriting July 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm

You’re adorable. That’s all.


Liz July 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Coming to your blog ALWAYS makes me wish you lived in my neighborhood.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: