Las Vegas East

Has Nashville become Las Vegas East, the place for bachelor and bachelorette parties? The Capital of Country Music now hosts forty “party bus” companies. They traverse the streets “whooping and hollering” at each other. There are reports of “flashing” and beer cans being tossed between vehicles.

Of course, drunks in open vehicles pose danger to themselves as well as to bystanders. Last month, a 22 year old man fell off a party bus that then ran over his legs.

The “party buses” range from the luxurious (a stretch limo convertible containing a hot tub), to the sybaritic (an open-top bus equipped with electric massage chairs), to the wild (a purple bus staffed with drag performers), to the cut-rate (an old school bus named Bertha, with antlers mounted on its hood).

Nashville remains “the buckle in the Bible Belt”. The CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. stated, “We are losing our sense of who we are, what built our success. You can have a fun, entertaining, unique experience here. There is nothing unique about downing twelve White Claws at 3 PM.”

Good point, Mister CEO. Country music has never glamorized drinking.

All good things must come to an end (or be regulated by the government). The Nashville Metropolitan Council is considering proposals to bar alcohol on “party buses”, to require training permits, and inspections, and to limit areas where the vehicles are allowed to operate. And, oh by the way, to license and tax “party buses”.

Anything that is fun begins as an illegal activity. When the government realizes it can tax it, it is no longer a “Scourge of The Devil”. Gambling used to happen in back alleys. Now it plays out in luxurious (and legal) casinos in partnership with the state. Marijuana used to be “The Gateway Drug”. Now it is available in “Medical Dispensaries” with Pennsylvania taking a large slice of the profits.

One Nashville party bus operator anticipated government regulations and got “ahead of the curve”. He imposed strict rules:

No music with explicit lyrics.

All rides end at 10:30 PM.

No inflatable penises (an item popular with bachelorette parties).

Being flashed by a drunken bachelorette waving an inflatable penis is not the Nashville city fathers’ idea of a “fun, entertaining, unique experience.” Of course, if it can be taxed, it is OK.

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Lynette Dufton

These posts are written by my father, Ed Dufton, who has an incredible knack of condensing the day’s news into a witty and insightful commentary on society.