published Monday, October 29th, 2012

Get Off the Couch: Scary? Merry? Choice is yours

LISA DENTON: Barry, I have looked into the future, and it has given me whiplash. Actually, it's the more specific condition I call holiday whiplash.

In the span of a week, you can trick-or-treat AND tell Santa what you want for Christmas. You can watch scary movies with Dr. Shock in Ruby Falls' Haunted Cavern, or sing a few carols at "A Sanders Family Christmas" at the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Tenn.

I might as well get out my elf suit and wear it as a Halloween costume.

BARRY COURTER: It's synergy. In my crystal ball, which is actually acrylic and has a beach scene from Gulf Shores, Ala., inside, I see a future where all of the holidays are merged into one three-month festi-bration (I just made that up). There will be costumes, candy, parades, gift-giving and big meals, and none of us will remember exactly what it is we are celebrating, remembering or honoring.

But that's the future. For now, we have lots to look forward to in the coming weeks.

LISA: One event for your must-see list is Ron White. The comedian known as "Tater Salad" will be at the Tivoli Theatre on Sunday on his Moral Compass tour. I've had a few readers suggest I should reset my moral compass after they thought I was going to throw my panties onstage at that Elvis tribute show, but I'm not sure Ron White's method is what they had in mind.

BARRY: It's an interesting idea, this resetting of your compass, but I don't think the rest of us would survive the North and South poles switching positions.

LISA: That would be some wicked whiplash. I'll warn you if I ever get serious about it.

BARRY: Tater Salad makes me laugh, and I've seen him three times here in town, but he is on the business end of blue humor.

If you are looking for something granny and Cindy-Lou can enjoy together, the Sanders Family will make everybody laugh out loud. And you know our own Jason Ross is one of the stars. Everyone is good, but Ross owns the role of the Rev. Mervin Oglethorpe.

LISA: He is outstanding. He may be the busiest actor in Crossville, and I think I know why. If they didn't keep him tied to the stage, so to speak, he might run away to Broadway. Or Branson. He's got the chops.

BARRY: I don't know about his sideburns, but he can act.

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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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