What an exciting week its been in the world of SouthSide lifestyle blogging. As loyal readers will recall, the Internet lit up Saturday afternoon as angry attendees of the Chattanooga Taco & Tequila Festival bombarded Facebook with angry messages about long lines, short supplies, and the general feeling that they’d been scammed. My persistent journalistic efforts eventually drove Nooga.com to cover the unfolding crisis, and they interviewed the event’s organizer, Matt Lowney of Nashville’s Acklen Park Productions.
Matt predictably downplayed the negative reaction while acknowledging a “vehicle problem” that contributed to longer than expected lines. The short interview failed to illuminate many questions that still lingered in my mind, so I decided to email Acklen Park’s CEO to see about getting my own interview. The fact that this “President & CEO” posted his personal email address as the lone contact for the entire company immediately raised red flags in my mind.
But despite my suspicions, I received a prompt reply to my polite request for an interview. I explained how many angry attendees of his event had contacted my site, and he seemed eager to provide his side of the story.
Despite the portrayal I’d read in angry Facebook comments, I was surprised to find his reply to be very courteous and respectful. So I responded by sending him these five questions which I felt specifically addressed the concerns coming out of the Taco & Tequila Festival:
Were the lines abnormally long for the event in Chattanooga opposed to other cities that have hosted your Taco & Tequila Festival?
Is there any truth to the rumor that the only taco truck present was a U-Haul?
Have you faced similar criticisms about long lines and short supplies at events you’ve hosted in other cities?
How many local taco vendors participated in the event, and how many Chattanoogans were employed?
What did you learn from hosting this event that you think will help you to better prepare for your other planned events in Chattanooga?
For some reason, he never replied. A few days later, I sent him another email acknowledging what I’m sure must be his very busy schedule but hoping he’d still get the chance to reply to my questions. Again, no answer came. So this morning, I sent him this last ditch effort:
It’s been six hours, and I still haven’t heard back. So I’m going to take that as a tacit approval that he’s fine with me completely fabricating his side of the interview in the manner I think my readers will find most entertaining. Sooo… with my satirical declaration of intent clearly stated… I’m proud to present ChattaBoujee’s EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW* with the man behind Chattanooga’s controversial Taco & Tequila Festival.
Q: Were the lines abnormally long for the event in Chattanooga opposed to other cities that have hosted your Taco & Tequila Festival?
A: What? I’m sorry. I couldn’t hear you over the sound of my money-counting robots.
Q: Was there any truth to the rumor that the only taco truck present was a U-Haul?
Q: Have you faced similar criticisms about long lines and short supplies at events you’ve hosted in other cities?
A: No. Have you faced criticisms that your amateurish WordPress blog reflects the shallowness of your vapid, self-absorbed existence so effectively that some people actually mistake it for a work of satire?
Q: How many local taco vendors participated in the event, and how many Chattanoogans were employed?
A: Who cares? Not my army of money-counting robots.
Q: What did you learn from hosting this event that you think will help you to better prepare for your other planned events in Chattanooga?
A: I’d love to answer that question, but me and Martin Shkreli and Cash-Me-Outside-Girl are on our way to Chick-Fil-A for some homophobic chicken nuggets. Bye, Felicia.
* For legal reasons, I want to restate that the above interview is a complete work of fiction intended to satirize the events surrounding The Chattanooga Taco & Tequila Festival. By no means am I seriously suggesting that the CEO of Acklen Park Productions is a mustache-twirling cartoon villain who chums around with real life villains like Martin Shkreli or Cash-Me-Outside Girl. If he does in fact enjoy Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, it has everything to do with their delicious flavor and nothing to do with their hateful ideology.