published Monday, November 19th, 2012

Get Off the Couch: Time to eat, shop, kick off holidays

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, so I guess it's fair to assume you've been in training, working on your Soddy karate. You know, doing some aerobics and working the heavy bag with your elbows and pointy shoes. 'Tis the season without reason and all that.

LISA DENTON: Correct. But it's the yearlong training that makes the difference. I may shop till I drop, but I won't be KO'd by an opposing shopper on Black Friday. This year, shoppers can even start on Thanksgiving. Apparently, Thursday is the new Friday.

BARRY: Full-contact shopping is not for the timid or weak, so it's good you train. It reminds me of Barney explaining to Andy why he was practicing his gun-drawing: "... 10 minutes every day. If I ever have to use this baby, I want to teach it to come to papa in a hurry."

LISA: Speaking of Mayberry, I ran across a quote from Aunt Bee the other day that reminds me of feasting on Thanksgiving.

She asks Andy, "Did you like the white beans you had for supper?"

He says, "Uh huh."

She says, "Well, you didn't say anything."

He says, "Well, I ate four bowls. If that ain't a tribute to white beans, I don't know what is."

I'm planning to do my own tribute to white beans Thursday ... and to turkey ... and dressing ... and, well, you name it, I'll eat it. I need to keep my strength up for shopping.

Of course, there's more than eating and shopping to entertain us this week. There are a couple of theater productions opening. Chattanooga Theatre Centre has two companion comedies by David Sedaris: "Season's Greetings" and the hysterical "SantaLand Diaries," about his stint working as an elf at Macy's one Christmas.

And Closed Door Entertainment will have performances of "A Christmas Carol" at the Tivoli Theatre and the Catoosa County Colonnade.

BARRY: It is that time. I've kicked off the holidays by listening to my favorite holiday song (Google " 'O Holy Night' worst rendition ever") to get ready. Not only are the theater productions ramping up, but things like the Enchanted Gardens at Rock City have opened, and the "Polar Express" screenings at the Imax Theater begin on Friday.

Choral Arts of Chattanooga is presenting Handel's "Messiah" at St. Paul's (the perfect venue for it) on Sunday and in Cleveland on the following Tuesday, Nov. 27. Who doesn't get goose bumps listening to the Hallelujah Chorus? Back to YouTube I go.

Yep. Goose bumps.

LISA: That's exactly how I feel about Black Friday.

Get event updates every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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