The Shot

Finding Love at a Waffle House

Plus: Volunteer your way to High Water Fest, Nashville’s National Wild Turkey Federation convention, and more news from around the South

Welcome to Mardi Gras week, Valentine’s week, and the beginning of Lent, which for some means the end of decadence and debauchery and the beginning of a whole new you. While thinking about ways to improve yourself for the next six weeks, feel free to improve the next 60 seconds by reading this week’s edition of The Shot:

Smothered in Love

If your honey likes his or her Valentine scattered, smothered, and covered, you’re going to need to save yourself a couple of seats. Valentine’s dinner has become such a hot ticket at Waffle Houses that reservations are going fast for their signature evening of romance, complete with table cloths, candlelight, and the answer for your significant other who asks, “Why don’t you ever take me anywhere special?”

The tradition started eleven years ago at the Waffle House in Johns Creek, Georgia, when a division manager came up with the idea and hopeless romantics started showing up in tuxedos and ball gowns. This year, service at the 170 participating restaurants beginss as early as 4 p.m., depending on which location you’re hoping for, with the full menu and whatever local special the manager cooks up. Waffle House CEO Walt Ehmer says the one-night only affair has become “the must-have reservations for Valentine’s Day. It’s really a bucket-list experience.” So true, especially if your bucket is full of syrup.

Courtesy of Waffle House

Bill Bottoms, Up

Saturday Night Live alum, Charleston resident, and lifelong golf obsessive Bill Murray launched in 2016 a line of golf-inspired men’s sportswear with his five brothers under the brand William Murray Golf. With WMG’s core lookbooks up and swinging, Murray is now moving into far trickier terrain: gloriously loud, bell-bottom golf pants, called, of course, “Bill Bottoms.”

In a partnership detailed by AdWeek, Murray is test-marketing Bill Bottoms with Betabrand, a fashion R&D crowdfunding platform. For the non-millennials among you, that means you can buy your very own pair of Bill Bottoms in the beta-test phase, with the goal of using the proceeds to send Bill Bottoms into larger-scale production.

Are enough golfers brave enough to rock four-way stretch, elastic waistband, bell-bottom golf pants in Murray’s Lucy the Caboosie blue-and-gold print fabric to get these trophy pants into mass production? Here’s hoping.

A post shared by William Murray Golf (@williammurraygolf) on

Isbell on a Budget

The musical lineup for High Water Fest in North Charleston, South Carolina, in April will be a watershed for talent, with Grammy winners Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Shakey Graves, and Band of Horses just a few of the artists playing the annual event.

More than a music fest, High Water also encourages community service, and organizers are providing a way for fans to earn free tickets through volunteer hours supporting three of the event’s non-profit partners: Water Mission, Charleston Waterkeeper, and the Green Heart Project. Volunteers can do everything from cleaning up local waterways to helping kids learn how to plant gardens to bagging oyster shells for reef habitat. Free tickets for time well spent—everybody wins.

Turkey Calling

If sporting pursuits are more your speed, the National Wild Turkey Federation convention heads to Nashville this week. Dedicated to increasing the wild turkey population in the U.S. and preserving the birds’ habitat, the five-day itinerary attracts thousands of enthusiasts for seminars, a gear show, and national competitions for gobbling, owl hooting, turkey calling, turkey-call making, and excellence in taxidermy. If that’s not enough to ruffle your feathers, throw in the Early Bird Social, the “Waterin’ Hole” (sponsored by Wild Turkey Bourbon, naturally), and a football-field sized expo, and you’ve got one fowl convention.


Parting Shots

This week, the team at The Shot is … Excited for this weekend’s 35th Annual Southeastern Wildlife Expo in Charleston, South Carolina, where nearly every sporting pursuit you can think of will be discussed, taught, or perfected. Duck herding, anyone? … Still struggling to reconcile the Jimmy Buffett of beach bum lore with Jimmy Buffett, the mogul, as profiled in the New York Times, complete with an apartment in Time Warner Center in New York City and breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental. It’s 7 a.m. somewhere? … Impressed by this trio of University of Georgia buddies who paint the side of a barn in Tennille, Georgia, a few times each year, always with a new message related to their school. Those are some loyal Dawgs.

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