published Monday, February 10th, 2014

Get Off The Couch: Don't forget Valentine's Day is coming

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, Friday is Valentine's Day and I see two plays in town this weekend that make me want to offer a word of caution to the guys out there. One is "The Vagina Monologues" at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and the other is "Fat Pig" at Ensemble Theatre.

LISA DENTON: Ha ha. We women do have our hot buttons. I know that second play was you taking a swipe at how my mug shot makes my butt look big.

We've covered "The Vagina Monologues" many times before. That's the episodic play by Eve Ensler that deals with different aspects of the -- I'm quoting here -- "female experience." There are productions worldwide around Valentine's Day, and ticket proceeds go to women's anti-violence groups.

"Fat Pig" is about a professional man who falls for a plus-size woman and the shaming he takes from his friends for it.

BARRY: Oh, both are legit, I'm just recommending that some of my less-sensitive friends think things through before speaking. It reminds me of the joke about the three sets of newlyweds around the hotel breakfast table. The first groom says to his new bride, "Will you pass me the honey, sugar?" The second is quick and picks up on it and asks his wife, "Sugar, will you pass me the honey?" The third new groom is not as bright, but he does catch on, sort of. He says to his wife, "Will you pass me the bacon, you fat pig?"

LISA: Yeah, a woman being asked, "Do you wanna go see a play, 'Fat Pig'?" could really get a guy in trouble.

BARRY: You've always warned against death by punctuation. Such a faux pas might cause a woman to suggest that a long walk "Into the Woods" (the fairytale mash-up is playing in Athens, Tenn., by the way) where "two go out and one comes back."

Anyway, there are many Valentine's Day-related dinners, shows and dances scheduled this week. There is even a yoga and Thai massage special at Hot Yoga Plus.

LISA: And you can create a masterpiece at the you-paint-it places around town, hire the Scenic City Chorus of Sweet Adelines or the Choo Choo Chorus of barbershop singers to serenade your sweetie or even see a filmed version of the recent Broadway production of "Romeo and Juliet," starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, at three Carmike theaters in the area.

You'd have to go underground to not know it's Valentine's Day. No, wait -- Ruby Falls is doing Romance at Ruby lantern tours. I guess there's really no excuse for not being ready.

BARRY: The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera is bringing back the very popular "Big Band Fever" event where they play while you dance on the Tivoli Stage. Local girl Valerie Duke, who toured as a vocalist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, will be the special guest.

LISA: If you'd rather "Shake Your Rump to the Funk," then you need to catch The Bar-Kays. The old-school R&B group, famous for the '60s hit "Soul Finger," will be at Mocha Restaurant & Music Lounge on Saturday.

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

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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