Earlier blogging has illuminated the finer Knoxville shopping experience that is Fellini Kroger. A short recap: Fellini Kroger is the Kroger Grocery store on Broadway in North Knoxville, so called because its weirdness and its most frequent inhabitants. When Michael and I lived in North Knoxville, it was our main grocery store despite the fact that a student of mine decided to write about it as though it was an dizzying adventure through something akin to a crackhouse. Really, it's a nice place to be, very colorful, and it's really difficult to leave Fellini Kroger without having a casual conversation with someone that somehow has great significance. I've seen an old man repeatedly wet his pants there. I've learned from an old Knoxville lady how to buy the right celery just as though I had asked her.
And so it should come as no surprise to me that when I tried to return my recycling - oh, I should mention that - in Knoxville, the Kroger parking lots are where residents bring in all their recyclables - so just as I began to sort through my cardboard, mixed paper, aluminum cans, and assorted colored bottles, a police officer approached me. This immediately made me nervous as I had done an illegal u-turn about two miles back and I thought for a split second that he had followed me. I was prepared to play the "but-I'm-a-helpless-pregnant-lady" card.
Great alas, it was not my u-turn that caused his approach.
"Uh, Miss, do you think you could do that later," he asked.
"My recyling?" I was flummoxed. What an odd request.
"Yes, we sort of have a situation here," says strapping Tennessee police guy.
"Oh," I stammer. "Of course," I respond, shoving my burgeoning car full of a month's worth of smelly recycling back in my car, thinking how easily whoever this policeman is after could have taken my car and purse while I was running away from the bees in the smelly glass bottles portion of the recycling.
And so I left, responding dutifully to the policeman's request as quickly as possible. I returned hours later to find a girl I will just call a hippie for lack of a better, more encompassing word, halfway bent over one of the large green bins searching for something amid the smell of hot trash.
"Did you lose something," I ask.
"Uh, no." She is slightly, but not entirely, embarrassed. She sizes me up and asks, "Have you ever heard of Found magazine?"
I'm from Michigan, I tell her, so yes, I've heard of Found magazine, which collects and prints odd items found in miscellaneous places by people all over and which is run out of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"I'm looking for stuff for Found," she says by way of explanation, dipping once again into the filth that I am never entirely able of disinfecting my hands from.
And that's that. Fellini Kroger, ladies and gentlemen. A tour of Knoxville's finest.