Day 19 – A pocket knife museum, Nashville’s Country Music Hall Of Fame, and illness strikes

One of the many thousands of people I’ve walked past who have been coughing, spluttering, and sneezing without covering their mouth have managed to stick a germ in me and I’m crook as. Fingers crossed it’s a 24 hour thing, cause we’ve got more travel to do yet! This update is gonna be short, cause I feel like I’ve been hit with bricks.

  • Prior to getting crook, the day started out quite good – we left Carrollton on our way to Nashville and Memphis. The added pillow height resulted in a much improved nights sleep, and is now my number 3 travel pro trip.
  • On the way down the highway, there was a sign for a pocket knife museum. Knowing how much Erin enjoys museums, and how much I enjoy pocket knives, this was a match made in heaven. The museum itself was quite small, but then again so was the price tag ($0.00). All the staff in the shop appeared to be related in a slightly The Hills Have Eyes way, but they were all very pleasant and at no point tried making a suit out of our skins. One of them asked if I was interested in having a closer look at any of the knives I was peeking at and I had to explain that being from Australia we are barely allowed to own anything more dangerous than scissors. I did end up buying a knife, but it’s basically a glorified box opener as opposed to the foot long folding Kukri blades I quite liked the look of.
  • Leaving slightly better armed, we headed for Nashville. The countryside was far greener and hillier and tree-filled than I was led to believe from country music film clips where flanno-wearing cowboys kick dust as they strum guitars. It’s actually very nice countryside around there, and we noticed the acres and acres of corn had been replaced with cotton.
  • Once in Nashville, we were greeted by incredibly expensive parking, and approximately 62 different variations of those pub bikes where a dozen drunks sit at a “bar” and pedal, while a (presumably) sober driver points the bike in the right direction, applies brakes, and generally tries to stop the drunks killing themselves. Apparently only hens nights use these things because the amount of estrogen definitely outnumbered the amount of testosterone, and the group sing-alongs had a lot of high notes. And those high notes bore little resemblance to the tune let alone key of the songs they were enthusiastically belting out, but they were having a good time.
  • Because we were in Nashville, we had to do the Country Music Hall Of Fame right? Well, it turns out if you have no interest in country music, have never had any interest in country music, and don’t even enjoy country music then it’s probably not the place for you. Out of several floors of displays and exhibits, we recognised maybe half a dozen artists. It was also insanely crowded, and very expensive to get in to so all in all a massive waste of money to just ask each other “Do you know who that is?” “No, do you?” over and over again.
  • I did recognise Luke Coombs, but only because everyone bought tickets to his show and I assume regretted it because they were for sale all over Facebook for a while there. I also recognised Taylor Swift, as much because of her saturation on popular media as because her name is burned in to Erin’s screen from being constantly played. Also Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash. I think that’s about it.
  • The car from Smokey and The Bandit II was there, which is there 4th best movie ever made. This was the highlight of the museum for me. I don’t actually remember there being that much country music in that movie, aside from the theme song, but I’ll take what I can get in this sea of nobodies.
  • There are literally walls covered in gold records for these people which is supposed to indicate a massive achievement in sales, but as far as I can tell there’s more records on the wall then even exist as country music albums so who the heck is even buying this stuff? It’s like sideshow alley at the Ekka – every child wins a prize! Was tempted to buy a guitar and a pair of boots at the gift shop and receive my own golden record on the way out the door.
  • Speaking of faked things, the whole cowboy image was manufactured. It was originally referred to as hillbilly music but the commercial interests didn’t like the negative connotations, so rebranded it as cowboy / western to coincide with the popularity of Westerns as a movie genre. This is the one and only thing I learned from this museum.
  • We left the Country Music zone with even less of an interest in country music than we started, and headed to our hotel at Dickson. Incredibly comfortable beds, thank goodness!
  • It was about this time that whatever illness I was coming down with decided to hit like Thor’s hammer. Like a country music singer’s dog, I was dead. In bed by 6pm, up a dozen times for use of the facilities, and slept straight through pizza delivery (Papa Johns, FYI). Ate some bread sticks and straight back to bed.

I’m done, crashing like a pirated copy of Photoshop. Fingers crossed I don’t need to utilise the incredibly fair and affordable US health care….


Leave a comment!