It's funny how none of the press materials accompanying the flurry of local activity surrounding Elvis Presley's 64th birthday celebration on Friday mention The King's untimely passing a while back. It could be wishful thinking or complete denial, but more likely, no one wants to upset all of the true believers counting on another comeback special. More people are hoping for Elvis to show up again than for a return engagement by Jesus Christ, and if Elvis did, none of them would ask any questions. You know, like, "Why did you fake your own death?" or "How hard is it to get jelly-donut stains out of white polyester?" They'd just welcome him back with open arms, the prodigal son returning from some trailer park or his private underground lair.
But who among us really wants to see a 64-year-old Elvis? Personally, we weren't that thrilled with the last time we saw Elvis, more bloated and crazy than Marlon Brando, with a head of hair and sideburns that resembled a hat you'd wear in a Minnesota winter. So his tombstone has a misspelling on it. That doesn't prove he's alive. After all, he lives--oops, lived--in the South, where there aren't such things as rules of spelling. (Below the Mason-Dixon line is the only place where you can contract a contraction.) If his double-fisted consumption of prescription drugs didn't kill him, something else was bound to. He ate like he had a couple of 5-year-olds living in his stomach (see: an Elvis burger, ground chuck sandwiched between two glazed donuts), and by the time he died, he looked that way too.
If you still think Elvis is just waiting for the appropriate time to re-emerge--and if you do, can I interest you in some oceanfront property in Arizona?--there are numerous ways to pledge your undying allegiance to The King. Chuy's is offering its Elvis Presley memorial combo platter (beef, cheese, and chicken enchiladas, a taco, chile con queso, and--harhar--a twinkie) all day long. For those who come in costume, the platter is free. In addition, diners will be treated to Elvis music and movies, and a live performance by someone who may or may not be Elvis. Check to see whether he's carrying that Secret Service card Nixon purportedly issued him.
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The Hard Rock Cafe will honor Presley with a host of activities, including a look-alike contest (the winner gets $500 from the restaurant, and a swift kick in the ass from us) and, again, Elvis music and movies. The cafe will also add Elvis' favorite meal--pork chops with brown gravy, vegetable soup, and apple pie--to its menu for the day. Topping off the action will be Elvis impersonator Dave Tapley and his All-Star Cavalcade. Delightful.
If that's not enough for you, stop by Dick's Last Resort, where Elvis impersonator Jesse Garon will perform. Before Garon's show, Dick's will sponsor a look-alike/sing-alike contest. The first-place prize is $250, which you could win "even if you are ugly as a hound dog" (priceless). We have just one thing to add on this very special occasion: He's dead, dammit! Get over it, already.
Hard Rock Cafe is located at 2601 McKinney Avenue at Routh. The look-alike contest begins at 8 p.m., and Elvis impersonator Dave Tapley takes the stage at 10 p.m. Call (214) 855-0007. Dick's Last Resort is located at the corner of Ross and Record Streets in the West End. The festivities--including a donut-eating contest--begin at 8 p.m. Call (214) 747-0001. Chuy's has two locations in the metroplex: 4544 McKinney in Dallas, and 3951 S. Cooper in Arlington. Call (214) 559-2489 or (817) 784-2489.