There's a phrase you'll hear in the New American South Dear Listeners. You'll hear it whispered in hushed tones in seedy back-street bars by hipsters of all shapes and sizes:
What's this you say? Some new drug craze? A more powerful, virulent form of Meth? No, don't worry, it's nothing like that. It's extreme hula-hooping, and it's taking East Nashville by storm.
You see, I was in East Nashville this very afternoon searching for 'I Dream of Weenie', the hot-dog stand I read about while preparing to leave Belfast, (and recommended by Emotional Mullet in this post).
After driving around endlessly in my rental vehicle I found 'IDoW', but, before ordering a dog I became distracted by what I observed in the car park next door.
A gaggle of hipsters, (or 'hoopsters' as the Tennessee media has taken to calling them), were limbering up for a 'hoop-off'. Though notoriously secretive I was able to gain their confidence and they allowed me to take a few snaps.
The gentleman and lady featured above had already 'battled' and were in the final stages of winding down. What I was interested in was an upcoming bout featuring a seasoned amateur and an up-and-coming pro. The kid pictured below is the pro; he's just started in the game but has already picked up endorsements from a wide field of sport-related advertisers.
Look at that face. The face of a competitor. But is it the face of a champion?
Here's his opponent. Tough. Seasoned. She's seen off a lot of young punks in her day. But will this afternoon see her reign as 5-Points HH Champion end?
And they're off!
They battled like this for many seconds, Dear Reader. The tension was palpable. The only sound heard was the hypnotic 'whissing' of the hoops...and in the distance...faint, oh so faint, the bass-line from a passing vehicle playing 'Hip-Hoop' music...
Oh my god! An upset! The young challenger drops his hoop, experience beats youth!
The crowd is elated. The kid seemed a bit uppity.
And with that I finished taking snaps and went next door to the Yellow Volkswagen Van that houses 'I Dream of Weenie'.
Oh, but it's a Sunday.
Well there's only one thing I can do to take my mind off the dogs.
(Special thanks to all the 'hoopsters', especially Cameron, Diane, Alisa and Meg, ((Meg's the Champion pictured above, owner of the Art & Invention Gallery and wife of the 'I Dream of Weenie' Proprietor)). Also, upon reflection I may have exaggerated the afternoon's events for narrative clarity. I am known to do this from time to time).
Update, Monday 17th 2007: One of the pics above made the front of hooping.org, (see below), I couldn't be happier!: